Professor Cailleach "Callie" McFay travels to the small, mountain-base town of Fairwick in New York State for a job interview at Fairwick College. Despite the fact that she has her heart set on lecturing at NYU, she soon finds herself mysteriously drawn into buying a Victorian house that used to belong to a reclusive author in the town and accepting a job offer to gives classes within the Folklore Department at the college.
Callie's long term partner - Paul - is currently living in California as he earns his own doctorate, so when she has increasingly realistic erotic dreams she just chalks it up to sexual frustration and the fact that the faceless man in the dreams bears a strong resemblance to the 'shadow man' who haunted her childhood dreams must be a coincidence.
But when Callie uncovers the unedited drafts of the author's novels, it becomes clear that the author was also being visited by the same presence. And Callie realises that her colleagues and the majority of Fairwick's residents aren't quite human, so uh oh - her midnight stalker may not just be a harmless dream.
This is one of those books that I didn't think that I'd like so I didn't bother reading for a few weeks, only to flick through a few pages cautiously and not put down again until I'd finished it.
Normally I wouldn't be a fan of the incubus/succubi angle in fantasy books: it's an excuse for having the hero/heroine jump in out of bed with multiple partners and creating the ever-dreaded 'love triangle' sub-plot, which I hate as most of the series I read tend to use this over-worn plot device. And lets not forget that the human equivalent of a incubus visitation is someone breaking into your house, tying you to the bed, gagging you and having their way which you - not in the slightest bit appealing.
INCUBUS is part Gothic romance, part fantasy and part mystery.
Yes, I know. Thinking about it now, it's creepy as hell - not romantic. But when I'm actually reading the book I get caught up in it and one of my first thoughts was "it's beautiful".
Cassie is a refreshing change from all of the gun-toting, wise cracking, 'sassy' heroines that are constantly thrust upon us in this types of book, as she's 'normal' for the most part. I can't go into to much detail about the rest of the cast without spoiling some of the subplots, but everyone is well developed and they have interesting back stories of their own.
There is one exception; Paul. By the end of the book we still know very little about him. It's not really the author's fault as he is living in a different state to Cassie and we're supposed to feel her detachment from him here. But Cassie is [unintentionally] cheating on him and I don't really feel bad for him, in fact it is very easy to forget that she even has a boyfriend.
The explanation behind the setting of Fairwick itself is obvious to readers before it becomes so to Callie and it gives this series infinite plots and characters for future books, so this series isn't going to repeat itself and become predictable in the foreseeable future.
Any pitfalls? It's only minor, but the way that the author quickly shoved two plot devices for future books into the final chapter was abrupt and happened too close together to be seen as anything else other then as the plot devices that they clearly are.