Reviewed by Mandi
In the company of witches is book two in Joey Hill’s Arcane Shot series (although it can be read as a stand alone). In book one, we meet Mikhael, the very dark and dominant Dark Guardian who tends to Ruby’s (heroine from book one) sexual needs until the hero comes along and pushes Mikhael out of the picture. From the brief glimpse we get of him, I was so intrigued to see how Joey Hill would turn this cruel man into a romantic hero.
Mikhael Roman is a Dark Guardian of the Underworld. Reporting to Lucifer, he first comes across Raina as he is chasing a succubus who has stolen something from the underworld.
Raina is part succubus, part witch and runs a classy bordello to help those succubus that need to feed off sexual energy. Instead of the succubus running around fatally draining humans, she uses her magic to put in safeguards in her house. These safeguards allow the humans to have the most amazing sexual experience of their life, and her young succubus to feed, and let the humans go unharmed. She has a big heart for succubus in need, which is why when Simon, the succubus running for his life from Mikhael, burst through her woods and up to her porch, she won’t let Mikhael harm him. She wants to give Simon a chance to come clean, and grow some trust, and hopefully he will come around and give Mikhael the information he needs.
Mikhael decides he is not going to leave the house while Simon is there. Partly because he needs to keep an eye on Simon, but he also is pretty sure Simon’s misdeed may bring other darker forces hunting him. With Mikhael at the house, he can provide extra protection spells to keep those evil forces at bay. He also has an eye on Raina, a very seductive, luscious woman. While Raina can protect the demon side of the succubi she protects, she doesn’t have enough power to do that for herself, which means it’s dangerous for her to have sex. But with the very powerful Mikhael, she can let go. Years ago though, she was held captive and tortured, so getting past that barrier,and letting Mikhael show his dominant side and submit to him, is a struggle for Raina.
This book is extremely erotic. There is a lot of sex, and the sex scenes go on for a very long time. I think this has its high points and low points. Joey Hill writes amazing sex scenes. All of the books I have read by her always impress me by the way she mixes emotions with highly charged erotic scenes. However, I do think by midway through this book, I was kind of done with the sex. I needed something else going on in the story. Similar to the first book, we start with a very dramatic, conflict filled scene. It sets up a villain but then we have to wait, and wait, and wait for anything to happen with this storyline. All focus gets shifted to Mikhael and Raina. And again, at first I was cool with that. Mikhael is so dark and wicked and really gives it good to Raina. They actually are both very stubborn and know how to play the game. They both surprise each other with their resistance at first and then with how much they respond to the other. But again, halfway through the book, it just felt like the storyline stalled. I needed something else besides these two battling in their sexual games.
For as dark as Mikhael is, he does have a sense of humor. And Raina is a strong heroine and a good match for him.
“Go to sleep, or I’ll give you a spanking.”
Amusement unfurled among all the other less settling emotions. “That’s suppose to inspire me to sleep?”
His arms tightened. “My mistake. If you go to sleep now, I promise you a spanking later.”
She shut her eyes right away, smiling at his snort against her neck. And gave a yelp as he turned her over and gave her a smack right then and there.
Apparently, sleep was going to wait.
I was also happy that the issue of Mikahel sleeping with Ruby in book one (Raina’s best friend) was addressed. Mikhael and Derek had it out and I’m glad the author chose to show us this scene.
In the Company of Witches didn’t quite do it for me as book one did, but I’m still looking forward to more in this dark, erotic world.