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

Standard

 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

E.J. Russell on Fashion, Characters and her new release, Demon on the Down-Low (Supernatural Selection #3) (author guest blog and giveaway)

Standard

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

Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: L.C . Chase

Published February 25th 2019

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E.J. Russell here today talking about fashion, choices, characters, and her new story,Demon on the Down-Low. Welcome, E.J.

✒︎✒︎

✒︎

Fashion impaired

by E.J. Russell

I am not a fashion-forward kind of person. In fact, “fashion” is probably a word that could never be paired with me, unless “victim” were also part of the sentence. Since I’ve worked from home for over fifteen years—first at my left-brain tech day job and then in my writer cave—I’ve definitely embraced the “comfort over style” paradigm.

This hasn’t always set well with my children, particularly when they were teenagers and had ideas about how their parents’ appearance reflected on them. LD once told me flat out: “Mommy, you dress badly.” She was, I think, in sixth grade at the time, and I was wearing sweat pants (because of course I was). She had embraced her own sense of style quite early, as I recall. My Curmudgeonly Husband and I had decided before she was born that we wouldn’t go for the “girls::pink, boys::blue” model, so we bought pants and shirts for her in bright colors (the late, lamented Mervyn’s department store had great toddler clothes!), and if there was any any pink in the lot, it was dark fuchsia rather than pastel. Then, when she was about two and a half, she suddenly refused to wear anything but dresses. Pink dresses. Pastel pink dresses. (Although CH and I had shunned the frilly and overly feminine, my mother was not on board, and her gifts infiltrated LD’s wardrobe.) 

With DS A and B, CH and I pretty much said, “Screw it,” because if we wanted anybody to be able to tell the boys apart (especially from a distance), we needed a color code. DS A’s outfits were predominantly red; DS B was the blue guy. Not only did it assist in people outside the family being able to identify them, but it was a huge help in sorting laundry.

The twins weren’t quite so dismissive of sweatpants either. Until they were in seventh grade, their entire fall-to-spring pants wardrobe consisted of Target sweatpants in red (DS A), navy (DS B), or black (both of them, dang it, and I had to buy a handful of laundry markers). Since Target  put their boys’ sweats on sale at regular intervals, back-to-school clothes shopping for the twins was a snap—even more so because, unlike LD, they didn’t want to have anything to do with choosing their own outfits. I bought ‘em; they wore ‘em. Easy peasy.

Who would have believed that those same boys would one day become absolute clothing snobs—especially DS B. Moving to Manhattan for college (and then remaining there to work as professional dancers after graduation) might have had something to do with their evolving sense of style. DS B, for instance, has worked in at least three different higher-end mens’ clothing stores, and usually smoked the other clerks in sales.

Because I’m not particularly interested in fashion, most of my characters dress pretty plainly. But in Demon on the Down-Low, I had a secondary character—Olli, Hamish’s first date—who needed to be fashionable. I knew just who to contact for advice, and had this text conversation with DS B:

As it happens, Olli is Finnish, not Swedish, but I hadn’t figured that part out yet. DS B pointed me to several websites, and I was able to dress Olli from the Paul Smith site.

In case you’re wondering about the coat, here it is (with DS B inside it). He designed the coat and had a friend of his make it.

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it’s got two different fabrics, plus a lining, all of them super soft.

Lucky for me (when it comes to character wardrobe research), he’s come a long way from navy Target sweatpants!

 

 

Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining me on blog tour for Demon on the Down-Low, the third (and final) book in the Supernatural Selection trilogy! Follow along with the tour and comment for a chance to win the tour grand prize, a $25 Riptide gift card and your choice of either Single White Incubus or Bad Boy’s Bard. Winner chosen randomly at the end of the tour from comments across all tour stops.

 

About Demon on the Down-Low

After decades of unrequited love, this kangaroo will jump at the chance for a date. Any date.

Lovelorn kangaroo shifter Hamish Mulherne, drummer for the mega-hit rock band Hunter’s Moon, waited years for the band’s jaguar shifter bassist to notice him. Instead, she’s just gotten married and is in a thriving poly relationship. How is Hamish supposed to compete with that? But with everyone else in the band mated and revoltingly happy, he needs somebody. Since he can’t expect true love to strike twice, he signs up with Supernatural Selection. Because what the hell.

When Zeke Oz was placed at Supernatural Selection through the Sheol work-release program, he thought he was the luckiest demon alive. But when he seems responsible for several massive matchmaking errors, he’s put on notice: find the perfect match for Hamish, or get booted back to Sheol for good. The only catch? He has to do it without the agency’s matchmaking spells, and Hamish simply will not engage.

But Zeke starts to believe that the reason all of Hamish’s dates fizzle is because nobody in the database is good enough for him. And Hamish realizes that his perfect match might be the cute demon who’s trying so hard to make him happy.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

 

About Supernatural Selection

Are you a shifter who’s lost faith in fated mates? A vampire seeking a Second Life companion? Or perhaps you’re a demon yearning to claim a soul (mate)?

Congratulations! Your search is over!

Welcome to Supernatural Selection, where our foolproof spells guarantee your perfect match.

Until they don’t.

Check out Supernatural Selection today.

 

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com

Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author

Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Demon on the Down-Low one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and an ecopy of either Single White Incubus (first in the Supernatural Selection series) or Bad Boy’s Bard (the book from the Fae Out of Water series that influences this one). Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 2, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!