Jenna Black, Speak of the Devil

Posted August 19, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Speak of the Devil (Morgan Kingsley, #4)Speak of the Devil by Jenna Black
Series: Morgan Kingsley, 4
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fourth in the Morgan Kingsley urban fantasy romance series taking place in Philadelphia. The primary focus of the series is finding a way to keep Lugh, King of the Demons, safe from a coup attempt by his brother, Dougal.

The Story
In Speak of the Devil, Lugh’s problem takes a backseat to Morgan’s. In an engineered frame-up by the girlfriend of a demon/host, Morgan exorcises a demon from the young Maguire, which triggers a lawsuit against Morgan. That leads to her suspension by the U.S. Exorcism Board. Coupled with her insurance company not wanting to pay out on the burned-out pit of her house, Morgan is not happy.

It gets worse when Adam asks her to take the newly-returned demon, Saul, on as a roommate (Domenic’s “old” demon whom Morgan exorcised in The Devil Inside)—as part of the plan to reinstate Lugh in the demon world, Saul has returned to the Mortal Plain. Unfortunately, having Saul as a third wheel in Adam and Domenic’s love nest is proving difficult. They need him gone; they think Morgan needs a bodyguard…she has been getting death threats after all…

Just to keep life difficult, Brian is very unhappy with Morgan. Seems her trust issues are pissing him off big time. Then there’s Barbara Paget. A private investigator for Maguire’s father who is trailing Morgan all over town looking for dirt.

The Characters
Morgan Kingsley is an exorcist with a slight problem. She’s possessed. Luckily, it’s not your usual possession. Brian is Morgan’s on-again/off-again boyfriend. They love each other but Morgan’s trust issues are eroding Brian’s interest in staying with her.

Lugh is the King of Demons and, through a dastardly plot on Dougal’s part which Raphael (another brother) thwarted by preempting it, is now possessing Morgan. Luckily, Morgan’s aura overwhelms Lugh’s so she is able to pass any demon-possession test. Raphael has gone undercover in Dougal’s coup, spying out and warning Lugh’s Council as to what Dougal is planning. No one trusts him…for very good reason.

Adam, Domenic, and Saul used to be a couple—Saul was the demon possessing Domenic before Morgan had to exorcise him (Devil Inside). For help with Lugh’s future, they brought Saul back although Dom refused to host him again. Oh, yeah, Saul is Raphael’s son…absolutely no love lost on Saul’s side.

Barbara Paget is a private investigator hired by Maguire’s lawyer, Hillerman, to find all possible dirt on Morgan…even if she has to manufacture it.

My Take
Okay, I still can’t stand Morgan. She’s like a porcupine on speed—quick to take offence at anything, a mouth that never seems to engage her brain, and some of the stupidest ideas ever. With all that’s going on and the danger she’s in, Morgan just can’t resist calling Maguire who’s suing her, visiting Hillerman who is Maguire’s lawyer and seems to be the driving force behind the lawsuit, and visiting people whom she’s known to associate with when the police are looking for her. It feels as though Black took the best parts of female heroines in other urban fantasy romances and simply hasn’t hooked everything up right.

That said, I do like this series. Her demon characters are absolutely engaging and Black has created an interesting scenario with the plots against Lugh, the demons’ interactions, and their culture that has me salivating over the next in the series…I just gotta know what’s gonna happen next!

Saul’s blossoming relationship with Barbara will be interesting to watch as are the hidden facets to Raphael’s character. Then there’s the weakness Adam has revealed…ooh, baby…

The Cover
The cover certainly conveys the essence of the series. Lugh hovers behind a wall of flames in the upper right corner while Morgan is looking at us over her shoulder…quite seductively…holding her Taser. Wearing a non-Morgan-like itty-bitty miniskirt and a leather midriff-baring halter top. I’m struggling to figure out what the title means; it doesn’t seem to draw from anything in this particular story.

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