Friday, March 15, 2013

Devil May Care (Speak of the Devil #2) by Patricia Eimer

In Luck of the Devil, we are first introduced to Faith Bettincourt, who is quite literally a crowned princess of hell because she is the Devil's youngest daughter. Being the daughter of the devil, with Jesus as a cousin and the girlfriend of a nephilim, means that Faith's life is pretty complicated and family gatherings, potentially an out and out nightmare. The Devil May Care starts pretty much where Luck of the Devil left off and this time, it's time to meet the in-laws.

Faith's parents are getting married and so is her half brother Tolliver. Family weddings are always filled with some sort of strife but with the participants involved, petty disagreements are the least of their worries.  Things immediately starting going bad for Faith when he ex shows up.  Despite the fact that the Alpha erased his memories of Faith in order to restore his sanity, he seems intent on pursuing her again. Then, Matt's ex shows up with plans to free him from Faith's so-called demonic hold.  She spends most of her time snipping at Faith, who tries for the most part to be the bigger person.  When Matt's mother shows up, all bets are off because not only does she plan to break up Faith and Matt but as part of the process, she hopes to kill Faith.  Just when we are about to question how much one person can put up with, Faith's half brother Tolliver is kidnapped.

Devil May Care is laugh out loud funny and as with Luck of the Devil, anyone who has had to drink to get through a family gathering will not only relate but laugh themselves silly.  Essentially, Eimer is working a schtick but through the second book at least, it continues to be entertaining. Though there is so much going on with the story and a lot of characters, Devil May Care is easy to follow and Eimer tells just enough about each character to keep the plot moving and the reader interested.

One of the things I continue to enjoy about this series is the irreverent way in which it treats characters like Jesus and the Devil.  It turns them from distant enemies to fully fleshed out characters and in so doing reveals imperfections. The Alpha continues to be enigmatic with his hands off approach but people actively call him out for this.  When the Alpha does involve himself to resurrect Matt, it's clear that when he does act, self interest is a major part of his decision.

The women in Devil May Care are absolutely awesome.  When Brenda begins her attempt to steal Matt's affections from Faith, she starts by implying that Faith is fat. This irritates Faith but she does not fall for the bait because she is comfortable with who she is. When Valarie tries to slut shame Lilith by saying, "From what I understand, most men know you quite well," Lilith quickly cuts Valarie off and let's her know that she is not going to tolerate such abuse. Faith's mother even gets into the fray when Valarie suggests that Faith is a gold digger.  Essentially, each time an anti-woman comment is made, another character stands up and makes it clear that such language is wrong and will not be tolerated.  This is how you handle an ism.  You don't erase it, but every time you do portray it, you make it clear that it is wrong.

At this point, I am forced to assume that Jesus counts as a character of colour, because there are no other explicitly mentioned people of colour.  Simply because of where Jesus was born, means that he could not possibly be White.  That said however, in terms of race, I think that Eimer could use a lot more diversity.

This time, we did get an obvious mention of a LGBT character - Malachi. 
Malachi was a man. I mean sure, he did the demonic equivalent of drag on occasion but he still identified himself as a male demon  But I'd never thought of Malachi as a man. Like a man man.
When Malachi is in his female persona, he clearly sleeps with men.  In fact, he spends most of his time in female form being felt up by Bassano, Matt's father. The two also enjoy a bit of "naked twister," for which Faith wants to "disinfect" Malachi.  He sashays and is ubber feminine in female form.  Even with that, Faith's mother still recommends him as a new love interest for her, when she and Matt break up. I know that Malachi falls somewhere within the alphabet soup, but exactly where, I cannot tell you.  When Malachi is dressed as a woman, Eimer faithfully uses feminine pronouns.

I was not happy to see he relationship between Matt and Faith come to an end but at the same time, I recognise this as Eimer leaving herself room to write a third book in this fun series.  Devil May Care absolutely lived up to its predecessor and is an wonderful and fun read.  It's not serious and never pretends to be, but perhaps this is part of what make it so fun.  I highly recommend this series for its ingenuity and absolutely hilarious dialogue.

 Editors Note: A copy of this book was provided by Netgalley