Winter Demon, Volume 1 - Yamila Abraham, Le Peruggine This book is weirdly lovely and really only for those who enjoy m/m slightly strange relationships. It’s a graphic novel about a monk with the face of angel named Hakuin whose town is threatened by three fire demons. In order to save his people he must enlist the help of Fuyu the winter demon who held him captive in a previous short story and raped him. Still emotionally damaged by the trauma Fuyu inflicted upon him he sets out to do what he must to save his people. Fuyu, still enamored by the beautiful young monk, agrees but of course he demands a price be paid. As they spend more time together the demon begins to feel oddly attached to Hakuin and in tune with his emotions.

Things go awry when Fuyu is captured by the fire demon and receives the same treatment he apparently gave Hakuin in the past. Paybacks a bitch for this evil demon. The fire demon is bigger and stronger and Fuyu finds himself on the receiving end of things and becomes a bit more empathic towards Hakuin’s feelings.

Drugs are used heavily to make Hakuin submit to the sexual attention of the winter demon (though the demon begins to wish they weren’t necessary) and when the book ends he is deeply distraught and even more emotionally battered than when the book began. There is no quickie resolution here which I appreciated. The story is interesting, and the Luke & Laura type relationship between Hakuin & Fuyu is oddly transfixing but the artwork leaves something to be desired. Don’t get me wrong, the guys are gorgeous but in the close-ups they are easily mistaken for beautiful anime women. All they need are big boobs. The artist also doesn’t express emotion very well on their faces and it is a real shame because the storyline is pretty heavy. The characters are drawn with a blank beauty that leaves the reader a bit empty in the end.

The secondary story features a young man shunned by the town because he is “ugly” who finds true love with a male demon who finds him attractive and irresistible. The artwork on this one is leagues better. The men are handsome and much less feminine and their faces really express their emotions. I thought their relationship was sweet, sexy and believable.

There is a third story at the end but it was too short to have any effect on me. It didn’t seem to fit in with the other two, unless I’m missing something, and was pretty forgettable and downbeat.

All of the stories were sexually explicit but not overly graphic. The best bits are fuzzy or legs are placed in strategic places to hide the goods but still this is sexy stuff and you don’t want to leave it hanging around for the kiddies to pick up!

This is a promising start to the series and I can’t wait to check out the next installment.