Review: WITH A VENGEANCE by Freydís Moon (2022)

Genre: Adult Dark Paranormal Romance
Year Release: 2022
Source: Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: Dominant/submissive roleplay, rape fantasy, consensual explicit content, dubious consent, deadnaming, misgendering, body horror, dysphoria, reference to off-page sexual assault, murder, violence and gore, spanking, belt play, religious eroticism, religious trauma, familial death, saliva play, blood play, size difference, primal play, breeding kink, psychosis, mention of depression, depressive episodes, suicide ideation, racism, police brutality

Kye Lovato (they/them) returns to their haunted childhood home to settle their recently-deceased mother’s affairs. A demon prince, Eligos, hears Kye’s desperation and possesses them, starting a relationship that’s drenched in the supernatural, complete with powers. As if that isn’t complicated enough, an ICE agent starts sniffing around their mother’s alebrijes business and threatens the community she’s taken care of.

This romance between a nonbinary human and a demon is affirming and hot in its sexual content, while, also having a nuanced exploration of culture, family, grief, healing, and the things people do to keep their community safe from shady law enforcement. An incredible blend of recovering from trauma, a mystery, and getting split open by a saucy demon.

An interview with the author will be going up on September 1st.

The mystery of the story had me as glued to its pages as Kye’s possession problems. Who is this ICE agent poking around Kye’s affairs? What does he want? As we learn more about Kye’s mother’s business and affairs, Moon lays out bread crumbs and details in a way that makes the final confrontation especially satisfying from a storytelling perspective.

There’s also an exploration across identity, culture, and family that makes this book especially compelling. Kye has a hard time handling the contradictions between their family’s words of love compared to how that same family treated them after they came out. It resonated with me a lot. Relationship with Christian religion, especially when crossed with a strong sense community, appears as a theme in a theoretical sense, a fascinating juxtaposition against the more carnal relationship between Kye and Eligos. Both amplify and play off each other to great effect.

Speaking of, Moon absolutely pulls off the tension and tenderness between the central couple. They’re both really hot. Their dalliances are sexy, dangerous, but also so, so, so respectful of Kye’s mental state and identity. The sex between them is equal parts titillating and affirming. It’s an erotic bright spot at the end of a long traumatic road for Kye. It definitely moves the character development along, in addition to playing into the main plot itself as that progresses. The way dark magic plays into the finale had me in glee, though it is present in the book from the outset.

Definitely a must-read if you want to watch an incredibly attractive human and a hot demon with a sprinkle of righteous retribution against ICE.

One thought on “Review: WITH A VENGEANCE by Freydís Moon (2022)

  1. Pingback: August 2022 Reading Recap | Jo Writes Fantasy

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