Life hasn’t been easy for Megan Murphy lately. Not only did her husband die leaving her with three kids to raise by herself. Megan is still not over her husband’s death. She owns a bar named after him and she has a bumbling bartender named Quinn who is more than he appears. Left to deal with the memories of her husband and her mother in law’s statement that it’s time to move on, Megan’s problems get worse. A demon pays Megan’s bar a visit and with the help of Quinn she narrowly escapes with her life.
Meagan knows that there are creatures out there that mean her harm, what she doesn’t know is that Quinn has been sent to protect her and he’s not human. Quinn takes her to the one place where he thinks he can keep her safe, Ireland. It won’t be easy keeping Megan safe from demons, dragons, gremlins and shape shifters and to top it all off, the whole world may be coming to an end.
Dances With Demons by Lori Handeland is a stand alone novella in the Phoenix Chronicles series. The series has five books that center around psychic detective/demon-slayer Liz Phoenix and her battle to stop Armageddon, one demon at a time. I enjoyed how this book touches on the mythology of several different creatures, has a decent love story and has a picture perfect setting when the story moves to Ireland. I loved the way the cottage that they stay in is described along with the lake and the red-painted doors on the homes that keep evil away.
The biggest part of this story though is the relationship between Quinn and Megan, I liked how the relationship built slowly, Quinn acts clumsy because he wants to appear human and it makes Megan think lowly of him but he will do anything for her. I loved the scene when Quinn realizes that Megan is battling a demon, he wonders why she didn’t call for his help and then realizes that it was because she thinks of him as incompetent. They eventually grow closer together and there is a steamy love scene in the cottage. I also liked the decision Quinn makes when he believes that Megan will never get over her husband.
My favorite part of the novella is the dialogue between Megan and a man named Ben Skrewed. I liked how the two go back and forth about Ben’s name, musicals and the evil spirits of Ireland. I also liked how Ben avoids talking about a mysterious box that is in the back of his car. Ben may not be a main character but he was an entertaining part of the story. There was also some good dialogue between Megan and Quinn on what Quinn actually is.
Dances With Demons is a short read with some great moments. The only bad part about the book was that some of the action scenes felt rushed. The main focus here was the love story, the mythology that is brought up and the setting. Ireland really came to life in this novella and it could be described as a character itself. If your new to The Phoenix Chronicles this book would serve as a good introduction and will whet your appetite for more.