The demon has lived near the village for hundreds of years, far longer than anyone can remember. Periodically, like this day, he and his hunters visit the town and do business. The estate on which he lives is magnificent and houses more than the demon and his handful of hunters; in fact, it is home to many others, those who have in some way suffered in life. Alongside these permanent residents is something else though: men whose sole job it is to provide pleasure for the demon for a short while, never more than a few weeks, and then be replaced by someone new.
Even though Rees is a mere nineteen years of age, he understands much about the demon and is not afraid of him; the specter of death hanging over one’s life does that to a person—makes them brave. Rees is dying and his last wish is to become the lover of the demon and so he approaches one of the hunters and asks to be taken to the demon’s home. When the two meet, the monster is overwhelmed by Rees’ beauty and lack of fear. He also smells the tang of death on the boy, but when he learns Rees is a virgin, his desire to have the boy cancels out everything else.
Perhaps mating with a monster can save Rees—that is what he has heard–but after a few short weeks, the idea of being healed is supplanted by a lust so strong there are times when Rees thinks his sanity is going. All he can think of is the demon and being with him in the throes of passion. However, the fact that the demon has never allowed a man to stay with him—has never professed love to anyone–worries Rees, especially since Rees is falling in love with him.
Before I get into the main review of Roe Horvat’s Desires of a Monster, I think you should know that this novel is erotic fantasy/romance and it is both incredibly well written and chocked full of sex. Horvat is ever surprising me with his ability to weave a romance and a fully developed storyline into a vast array of intimate scenes that might seem over the top in the hands of a less talented writer. Desires of a Monster is just that, a love story, of a sort, with an edgy sexual component that is highly erotic.
Rees is determined to live the rest of his limited time as happy as possible. So placing himself in the hands of the demon most call a monster is not scary to him, but a chance to be sexually fulfilled prior to his death. In this way he can, in essence, have his cake and eat it too, for the monster surely will care less that he is dying and Rees will get to know what it is like to no longer be a virgin and potentially be cured. Perhaps the rumors about the monster are true and he may actually be able to heal Rees, but that definitely becomes a secondary need once the coupling between the demon and Rees gets going.
And what of the demon? What does he get in return for all this? Well, before Rees, the demon was content with no more than a few weeks of pleasure with a willing man who served his every sexual whim. But once Rees moves in, things begin to change. For the first time, the demon doesn’t think about a time limit with Rees. Instead, he can’t get enough of the young man and not just because of the sex. Rees is bright, articulate, and inquisitive. Unlike the others that the demon kept to be entertained by in the bedroom, Rees works the estate, not because he has to, but because he wants to—he hates being idle. Rees captivates the demon both sexually and intellectually and perhaps something more. The demon finds himself becoming more and more invested in making Rees happy and keeping him safe, something brand new to a man who formerly sought men just for sexual pleasure.
I enjoy this author’s work very much. This story sucked me right in; it made me care about both characters and made me want their time together to never end. The change that happens to both men is certainly unusual and compelling. I would love to have had a bit more of the demon’s backstory, but still this is more Rees’ story than his and so I can’t complain with the trajectory of the novel.
If you are looking for a lovely erotic romance then I think you will be quite satisfied with Desires of a Monster. It certainly ticks all the boxes and is a marvelous read.