Title: Love Tokens
Author: Megan Derr
Length: 12,500 words
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: m/m fantasy romance
Chanda is the Lord of Honey Flower House, which specializes in catering to those who have a taste for the paranormal between the sheets. Being an incubus makes him all the better at the job, even if the job makes him lonely. Then a demon appears on his doorstep in search of a missing person, and Chanda is quickly reminded why he prefers the relatively quiet life as master of a pleasure house.
Megan Derr takes an unusual look at the rent boy theme here in this fantasy story. Chandra is an incubus who runs a brothel. A demon, Azar, arrives, looking for someone and Chandra finds himself doing what he promised never to do again – fall in love with a demon.
There was much to like about this story. I enjoyed the way that the demon looked nothing like your stereotypical demon, and yet played on that sweet external image. Like many fantasy books by this author, there was lots of great setting and world building crammed into the book and she somehow managed to solve the mystery and provide a great romance plot at the same time.
Chandra and the Azar have a great push/pull relationship – mostly due to past hurts in Chandra’s past. Chandra matched Azar perfectly, giving just as good as he got, although I winced a little at their rough lovemaking! There was lots of great dialogue as the pair sparred off each other and my only real niggle was that the romance happened a little too quickly. Azar is only seen from Chandra’s point of view but he comes across as tricky and aggressive at first, and later possessive and loyal. I liked the way that my perception of Azar changed as Chandra began to warm more to him.
Another part which worked for me was the way that Chandra is portrayed as an incubus. Once again, there’s enough shown to the reader about how it all works for him for us to get a good feeling for him, without there being any unnecessary scenes. I liked Chandra a great deal and little seemingly incidental scenes such as when he comforts a young incubus, added to both his character and my liking for him.
Overall, I very much liked this fantasy story. I’m not usually too keen on demon stories but this one definitely worked for me and I would recommend it.