A Caryn Review: Demon on the Down-Low (Supernatural Selection #3) by E.J. Russell


 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is the third and final book in the Supernatural Selections series.  I have truly enjoyed the ride on this one, but I wish Ms. Russell had not limited herself to only 3 books in the series.  I posed several questions in my review of Vampire with Benefits, as the first two books were building up towards some complex and sinister plot, and I couldn’t wait to see who, or what, was behind the series of inexplicable mistakes that ended up with two improbable, but extremely successful pairings.  This book does indeed answer those questions, but in an incredibly hasty and disappointingly superficial way.  The resolution fell flat after all the foreshadowing in the first two books.  I wish there had been a more substantial villain and motive, but I don’t think that was possible with the length of these books.

Zeke Oz was the front man, and seemingly only visible employee, of the supe dating service, Supernatural Selections.  He showed up multiple times in the previous two books, of course, and was always adorably flustered when everything kept going wrong.  His back story – a demon on the Sheol work-release program – is fleshed out a bit here, as well as the conditions of his life in Sheol that made him so anxious to do the right thing by his clients.  Adorable and innocent are perfect descriptions of him, despite that fact that he is a demon and should by rights be evil and ugly.  He was caught up in an impossible situation between his superiors in Sheol, his bosses at Supernatural Selections, and his AI – angel interface – and was guaranteed to piss off someone, and doing so would probably land him back in Sheol.

And then Hamish walked into Supernatural Selections, complicating Zeke’s predicament even more as his contract was the result of another baffling glitch in the software.  The spells guaranteeing a perfect match were offline, so the witches just told Zeke to make Hamish happy, or else.

Hamish was a member of Hunter’s moon, the band introduced in Bad Boy’s Bard of the Fae Out of Water series.  He was a kangaroo shifter – Australian, of course – and had been hopelessly in love with one of the other band members for decades.  When she found her bliss in a poly relationship, Hamish was devastated.  Everyone around him seemed to be paired up and happy, and in a fuck-it-all type of mood he signed up with Supernatural Selections, hoping they could accomplish what he clearly was a total failure at.  When Zeke told him that the spells were not working and he would have to actually date – well, it wasn’t what he hoped for, but nothing else worked, so why not?

As Zeke worked to make Hamish happy, several things became clear:  Zeke was exceptionally dedicated and smarter than he realized, and Hamish had a depth of compassion and protectiveness that he had never tapped into before.  Both men recognized that what would really make them happy was each other – but how could Zeke stay in the upper world when he was a demon, and freedom and happiness were things he was categorically denied?

The depth of characterization in this book wasn’t as deep as in the others, and I felt that Hamish especially fell in love just a little too easily, given that his heart was supposed to have been so broken in the beginning.  And Zeke was just a little too good.  And then the ending wrapped up just a little too neatly, and on a much smaller scale than I was expecting.  So maybe my relative disappointment in this book was just because I had such great expectations after reading the other two.  All that being said, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and the series, and I probably will reread them in the future.  And I hope the author is not tired of writing in this universe, because I think there is still tremendous potential for more stories there, and I would love to see more of all of of these characters!

Cover art by L.C. Chase again fits perfectly with the series, and Zeke is very cute in his glasses and hoodie, but don’t you think he looks like the same model for Single White Incubus??

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages
Published February 25th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title Demon on the Down-Low
ISBN 139781626498587
Edition Language English
Series Supernatural Selection #3

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