Once an angel, now a demon, Monica is still a succubus with an insatiable desire for sex. The more the better. Soul-stealing orgasms beat out dealing with her broken heart any day of the week. Monica has no interest in being near both her ex-lover and his new girlfriend, so she’s not thrilled when she’s asked to join them in investigating a string of murders that are clearly beyond the pale. But when she sees that one of the victims has her Celtic family crest carved on his arm, she realizes she may finally find the answers to her past she’s been searching for all these years… (goodreads.com)
Ugh. I so love this trashy trash goodness. Smutty smut smut. I don’t read a ton of it, but when I do I like it engaging, with excellent characters, and incredible sex. Check, check, and check.
Collins doesn’t disappoint in the second book of her Soul Stripper series. We get more about Monica’s prior life as an angel, we get to see how she fell, and we get a bit of a creepy story in the mix. And not creepy in a crappy relationship way. But the murderer that Monica, Damien, Adrienne, and George are hunting is digging into people’s lives and annihilating their descendants in rather ritualistic ways. It’s creepy.
The only complaint I really had was that a good portion of the story took place in Salt Lake City and the descriptions of the city didn’t feel all that accurate. It painted a very rosy, almost stereotypical view of Salt Lake as the pious of the pious places where everything was really buttoned up and it was going to be so hard for Monica and George to do their business. I’ve been there. It’s definitely a different kind of place. Utah is as close to a theocracy as we’re going to get in this country. But it’s not this bereft of sin. Two words: Pioneer Park. Right around the corner from the Mormon Mecca Temple and rife with drugs and crime. It is Chicago? No. But it’s certainly not the Mormon vision people think of with Salt Lake either.
Aside from that, I really enjoyed the story. I felt the toggling between Monica’s current affairs and her background were excellently done and added to the story being told as opposed to distracting from it. I like how the women in Monica’s life are supportive of her in their various ways. Maybe not all the time, and maybe sometimes grudgingly, but they’re there and they’re there to stay. I also liked how the twist at the end ended up being atypical. I was expecting one thing and got another and it was refreshing to see that.
I liked the mix-up of supernatural creatures as well. It’s done in a way that they all fit in naturally together. I’ve read some books that use elements of the supernatural in glaring ways that make what I’m reading feel like a disjointed mishmash of things because the author wanted everything in there. Not here. Collins’s world is expertly molded and it fits together wonderfully.
Plus the sex. Collins writes incredible sex scenes. But as much as I like seeing Monica getting into a relationship that’s deeper than the physical I do miss her aggressive, assertive side too. The end of my copy of SOUL SURVIVOR had the first few pages of SOUL STRIPPER in it and the sex scene with the guy she met at the coffee shop was incredibly hot. I miss that Monica a little bit and I hope she’s not gone for good. I still have one more book in the series so we’ll see.
SOUL SURVIVOR is definitely not a disappointment, especially for the middle book of a series. Intense action, great storytelling, wonderful characters, and salacious sex. It’s a Hell of a package! (Pun vaguely intended.)