4 stars. Elliott Kay’s Good Intentions is a true guilty pleasure read; equal parts witty dialog, rollicking plot, and serious smut. College student Alex Carlisle finds himself the object of affection of both Lorelei the succubus and guardian angel Rachel after he saves them by interrupting a dark ceremony intended to bind them to an evil sorcerer. The three become intertwined, at first fulfilling Alex’s titillating desires but then becoming something more. This upset of the natural order of things doesn’t go unnoticed, and a host of supernatural beings seek to turn Alex, Rachel, and Lorelei to their own nefarious purposes.
Central to the appeal of the story is that the main characters are all interesting and likeable. Their relationships develop throughout, and the growth of the feelings they have for each other contributes to the fun of reading the story.
The plot itself is boisterous but serious. Danger and action abound as the cast grows to include witches, vampires, demons, and werewolves. The climactic battle scene has a fun over-the-top blockbuster feel to it that delivers entertainment in spades.
Good Intentions is chock-full of explicit sex, yet never feels gratuitous. Kay has a purpose for every sex scene, and the erotica contributes to the story instead of simply being a Penthouse Forum interlude. The numerous hookups take on a “geek’s wet dream” feel that definitely add to the fun of reading.
What I enjoyed most is the sense of humor throughout. Rachel consistently steals the show with her foul-mouthed, irreverent wit; Kay makes the most of the juxtaposition of the guardian angel and her wide vocabulary. (Her recounting of the demise of a demon was worth the read on its own!) Little asides abound, such as a subtle swipe at the emo-vampire trend. I found myself chuckling every few pages.
Good Intentions is certainly not for everyone. Read the author’s warning; you’ll know if you’re the right sort for reading this book if you’re smiling after the first line.