Incubus Adored by Ki Brightly
Peirs had accepted his life of servitude to an angel. His keeper asked only for a willing body, and in exchange his needs were met and he was fed and clothed. Peirs might have served the angel forever—it was the only life he knew—but one day Peirs discovered something he had no way to plan for. After two millennia, he was pregnant. Peirs now must summon the courage to escape his master and the unbendable divine law that declared no half-breeds should live, but running into an angelic soldier in the back room of a bar wasn’t part of his plan.
After years of begging to go to the battlefields on Earth, Tabbis, the youngest angel in Heaven, finally got his assignment. Ready for heroics and bloodshed, he was stunned when he found enchanting and seductive Peirs instead. Tabbis was duty bound to kill Peirs, but Peirs’s very existence challenged everything Tabbis thought he knew.
Tabbis needs answers. Peirs wants nothing more than to save his baby and live in peace. Can they band together to help each other? Or will the wrath of Heaven tear them apart?
Title: Incubus Adored
Series: Gravidam Series #1
Author: Ki Brightly
Publisher: Ki Brightly
Release Date: May 14, 2018
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 237 pages
Review by Elaine White
Star rating – ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 250
Cover – Cute and unusual!
POV – 1st person, dual character
Heat Level – High!
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, MPreg, Angels/Demons, Supernatural, Incubus
Content Warning – mentions of dub-con / non-con and abuse within relationship situations (nothing explicit) and escort/hooker; slavery, scenes of war
Captivating from beginning to end.
I love a good mpreg story and this one has all the elements to fit the bill.
The story follows the journey of Incubus Peirs, or Peirasmos, one of the last of his kind who was captured by the enemy in a war that he wasn’t a part of. Archangel Michael captured him as spoils of war and held him captive and isolated, until Peirs found a reason to fight for his freedom. When we enter the story, the Prologue shows us his beginning – emerging in the pool as an entity only coming into life – then progresses to his first POV in Chapter 3, where we see him trying to stay alive, while freed from his imprisonment.
Though Tabbis, a warrior Angel sent to Earth on a mission, is also a pivotal part of the story, Peirs is really the main character. He can’t accomplish half of what he needs to without Tabbis, but it’s through Peirs that everything begins to change. He’s the one who inspires Tabbis to question everything he’s been taught, to wonder, to seek for answers, and to reconsider the world he knows so well.
I’ll admit, the beginning was a little disorientating. The Prologue was brilliantly written and captivating from start to finish, but when it moved into Chapter 1, and we didn’t know who the POV from the Prologue had been about, I admit that I had to go back and read the blurb to figure out who Tabbis was and how he fitted into the story. It wasn’t immediately obvious whether he was the POV of the Prologue or not, or who he was.
Also, I was surprised that the story jumped right into the middle of the events the blurb explained. I felt for sure that we’d see Peirs in the midst of his servitude, discovering this pregnancy, and follow it throughout his escape and eventually meeting Tabbis. However, when we first see Peirs POV, it’s in Chapter 3, where he’s working in a sort-of brothel for demons, already pregnant enough that his “belly” is mentioned quite a few times, and even a John remarks on his weight gain and growing “gut”.
This was a confusing part for me. Not because it jumped in. I understood and appreciated the amount of story telling, world building, and explanations that came with the rest of the plot once I’d settled into it, and realised that there was no time to start with Peirs discover and no real need; everything could be shown throughout the rest of the story.
But, I had an issue with the way Peirs pregnancy was described. For most of the book, until about 37%, I believed that he was already about 4-6 months in and showing a considerable bump, due to the way it was described and the way he constantly clutched at his bump. In reality, at about 37% we see Tabbis explaining in his POV that Peirs is barely showing, just a few months in and with barely a rounded stomach. It jarred my visualisation of Peirs, but it also caused some confusion as to whether this was just a matter of some characters exaggerating how obvious his pregnancy was, Peirs imagining himself bigger than he really was, or whether it was an inconsistency in writing. It was hard to tell, in the end, but it definitely caused some confusion and a delay, as I looked back to make sure I hadn’t misread the previous statements.
This inconsistency also caused a problem during the sex scenes preceding 37%. I actually made a note that most of the sexual positions and escapades would be uncomfortable, difficult, if not downright impossible for someone with a fully grown baby bump, as I thought Peirs had, at the time. I had trouble visualising half the things while believing that Peirs was practically carrying around a bump the size of a baseball, as had been implied until that point. It was only later, once Tabbis changed the description of Peirs bump, that it made sense.
Yet, I did love that the chemistry between Peirs and Tabbis was both off the charts and adorable at the same time – due to them both being complete novices at sex, and not really having the first clue how to act around each other. I loved that they were both inexperienced but rode the emotions and high of being with each other to wherever it led. It felt just right for the fact that Peirs had never been a proper participant, but used throughout his life, and Tabbis had been forbidden. Together, they were awkward, super cute, and adorable.
I really enjoyed the storytelling and the method of discovery that we were led on, as pieces were stitched together piece by piece. From Tabbis slowly questioning everything, the slow build of trust and chemistry between him and Peirs, and the inclusion of his brother, Hadrian, there was a lot of information to be given, a lot of storytelling to do, and a lot of world building to explore. But it never felt overwhelming. I think part of that was due to the story taking place in the “real world” where there are buses, shops, clubs, money, and things that are already so familiar. Slipping an angel, demon or incubus into the story wasn’t difficult when the rest of the surroundings were so completely familiar. It left the author free to explore the nuances of the angel/demon storyline in better detail.
I also liked the way the story delivered infrequent flashbacks to explain Peirs history with Michael, and how the important events came about. They weren’t over-used, and they didn’t show anything truly awful, but they showed how Peirs was an undeveloped brain, an innocent and almost childlike being, with no understanding of the world, and how he’d been taken in by this brute with no feelings, who treated him like a slave. We were able to understand and see the sense of wrong that flooded Peirs, and how he needed to escape, while recognising that it was his Incubus nature that had led to him a sort of self-imposed slavery, without any knowledge of what he was doing at the time. He was lost, alone, and in a world he didn’t understand, taken in by someone he thought could help him but only used him. I loved that we were able to feel his bravery, both through his present day POV and his flashbacks, to know what spurred him on to fight for his freedom and his safety, and how he’d grown to understand what was right and wrong, despite being a captive who was kept isolated from the real world.
As Peirs was an incubus with “needs”, there was A LOT of sex! I’m not a massive fan of huge chunks of sex in books, but since it had a purpose in the plot, and was a bonding moment, and a moment of growth, for Peirs, I totally accepted and understood the use and frequency. I found it an acceptable level, for the plot and the characters, but I also liked that it wasn’t just sex for the sake of sex. Whenever Peirs was with a John, I could feel a sort of disconnect in the intimacy of the writing – it became more about Peirs thoughts and fears than about the actual actions undertaken. For that matte,r I didn’t end up skimming any of the sex scenes, like I normally would do if they were overdone, because every time Peirs was with Tabbis, there was some emotional, spiritual growth going on and a moment of revelation for Peirs, as to how he was treated, that he wasn’t just used but was given in return. I found those bonding moments between them just as important as those when they had their clothes on.
I loved the secondary characters, too. I wanted to see more of Yahweh, to figure out who he was, and got that in the second half of the book. I loved Hadrian – the lovesick fool who never got over his incubus – and Lucifer, the other lovesick fool who has no choice but to get over his ex-lover. I can’t wait to see both Hadrian and Lucifer in the next book, but I’m also intrigued to find out what becomes of Yahweh and the others. I think Elio and Nix may have big parts in the future, too.
All throughout the story, I believed in Peirs and Tabbis, I believed in what they wanted to share, what they had together, and I loved how the ending came about. It was only within the last few pages that I felt a disconnect of sorts. Almost immediately after Peirs birth. Though the mpreg necessities – a pregnancy, and full exploration of the pregnancy, along with a birth – were all there, I felt that the birth was rushed past, and there became some sort of need to conclude the story after that. At one point, Peirs says that Lucifer “floated his theory about my missing brothers” but that’s about all we ever find out about that theory. There’s no other mention of what Lucifer thinks happened to the missing seven incubus, either before or after this moment, which left me wondering.
I was also deeply disappointed that there was no resolution between Peirs and Michael. While it had been a mainstay of the entire novel that Peirs was misused by him and Tabbis would kill Michael the first chance he had, the final confrontation between Tabbis and Michael was underwhelming and lacking any sort of recognition for what Peirs suffered, or any kind of justice for all he’d endured.
Was it perfect? No. Not at all. There were a few things that I had a problem with, but when considered as part of an overall, cohesive novel, everything came together well with only a few niggles throughout. The ending had the biggest bearing on my rating than anything else, because those last few pages sort of stole some of the magic I’d been feeling until that point.
As a note for future readers, more than anything else – unless you look at the cover closely, you wouldn’t know about. As this is a first book in a new series that doesn’t matter too much, but it does help to acknowledge that the overall plot isn’t going to be neatly rounded off, like it would in a solo novel. At the moment, Goodreads is lacking that “series” notice, but Amazon has it, so I’m guessing this is an issue that will eventually be resolved, by publication.
Regardless, the world building and characterisation were spot on, for what I look for in a novel, and the general plot was well written, well paced, and had a satisfying ending. The dual POV allowed us to get to know both characters and see events from both sides, while also showing events that only one of them was present for. I felt fully immersed in the contemporary world, angels and demons fight, while slowly learning more about how they functioned, blended, and where the incubus fitted in. And I can’t wait to read the next book, which I hope will pick up the story of Hadrian and Lucifer’s journey, and hopefully offer a HEA/HFN for one or both of them.
I’ll definitely be reading more of this series.
“Two more groups passed into the hall before another incubus came by, this time a clump of three of them. Hadrian looked ready to crawl down after them, so I wrapped my arm around his middle, which earned me an elbow to the side, but he didn’t shove me off.
“Their combined scent. What if I could have all three?” he sighed out dreamily. “They could tie me down and keep me forever.”
“Well, we could put Peirs’s theory that incubi can’t kill angels to the test.”
About the Author
Ki grew up in small town nowhere pretending that meteor showers were aliens invading, turning wildflowers into magic potions, and reading more than was probably healthy. Ki had one amazing best friend, one endlessly out of grasp “true love”, and a personal vendetta against normalcy.
Now, as an adult, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ki enjoys the sandy beaches, frigid winters, and a wonderful fancy water addiction. Seriously, fancy waters…who knew there were so many different kinds? It’s just water…and yet…
Ki shares this life with a Muse, a Sugar Plum, and two wonderful children.
Gravidam Series Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Gravidam-232939700609364/