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Succubus in the City    by Nina Harper order for
Succubus in the City
by Nina Harper
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2008 (2008)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The title alone lets readers know what's ahead in Nina Harper's entertaining paranormal confection Succubus in the City - a cross between Sex in the City and Buffy from the point of view of the vengeance demon and her immortal sisters, who are all very aware of their place in the Hierarchy (Heaven and Hell presented as divisions of some huge and otherworldly corporate structure).

Along with her best buds - greed demon Sybil, ex-demigoddess Eros, and demon of desire Desi - succubus Lilith (Lily) has worked for eons for Satan, whom they call Martha in the twenty-first century when she's 'being the supergirlfriend and ultimate fashionista' and acting as their big sister. In addition to her day job as accessories editor at Trend, Lily is obligated to hunt on a regular basis and deliver to Hell sleazebags who make no effort to please her in bed. They simply turn to ashes after reaching a climax, and Lily's doorman - currently the uber-efficient Vincent - cleans up the mess and disposes of the belongings.

But, even as a Chosen of Satan, life 'is not all Prada' for Lily, who suffers eternal angst, longing for someone to truly love her - 'after three thousand years, a girl just wants a little more sometimes.' At least she has her friends - and then there's that clause in her contract that gives her an out to get back her soul and be a mortal again if she meets a man who loves her, even knowing that she's a succubus.

Someone outs Desi as a demon to her date and a 'frighteningly attractive fake' PI named Nathan noses around Lily - what's up? Researching - on Martha's orders - the 'dismal righteous bigots' who are targeting her and her friends brings Lily into regular unwanted contact with Akashic Librarian Bastform demon Asoked (who looks 'rather like a four-feet-tall Siamese cat' and has a personality to match), and of course requires her to date Nathan, with whom she discovers she has a surprising amount in common.

The plot thickens to take in the possibility of a demonic rebellion against Martha, a magician who survives a brief affair with Lily in Aruba, and a succubus in love making a foolish disclosure to Nathan, who then tells her he needs time to think. Will that end their relationship? Readers - and Lily - will have to wait to find out, but in the meantime she reminds us that 'Men may hurt and tear us apart, but girlfriends are forever.' If you're looking for a light, fun, and frothy read, you won't go wrong with Succubus in the City.

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