Levi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.
When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he's seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.
As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.
In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Poison Tongue. Not that I thought I wouldn't like it. Honestly it sounded strange and interesting, so I decided to give it a chance. I was nervous, though. I've only read one other Nash Summers book, so far, and though all my friends, whom I often share reading tastes with, liked it, I didn't really.
But I wanted to give this author another chance because even though I didn't enjoy that book, I could see she was a crazy talented writer. I was not disappointed at all, this time! Poison Tongue was my kind of paranormal book! It was strange and interesting and scary and creepy and I loved it.
I loved the setting, in a small Louisiana town, and the imagery that Nash painted was so vivid I could almost swear I was there. The summers are hot and humid and everything is so alive. Including, apparently, things that should be long gone from this world.
Levi Bell comes from a family of people that are very connected to the otherworld. They each have different abilities and strengths and ways of seeing the world. Levi can see souls just as vivid as the rest of us see buildings and people. For him, they are such a part of a person, he can't not see them. His Gran, who has passed on, could see the future and she told Levi that he would fall in love with the devil, himself. Darkness has always been drawn to Levi and he, it. It calls to him, in his dreams and waking life. So when the Devil comes to town, Levi is not surprised at the strength of his attraction. And repulsion. Poor Levi, he was so conflicted.
Monroe Poirier is a cursed man. Evil swims and slithers inside him and Levi can see the manifestation of that evil as snakes slithering all over Monroe's body. I can see where that might put off an ordinary fella. Levi is not so ordinary. Monroe has just returned to his childhood hometown and he is not welcome. They call him "murderer", "monster", "evil". And the sad thing is, Monroe isn't sure they're wrong. He knows there is something wrong with him, but he has no hopes of ever overcoming it.
I also really enjoyed the cast of supporting characters. Levi's younger sister, Silvi, was a little creepy, but also delightful. Her ability was that she could see ghosts. She wasn't frightened of them, oh no. Silvi embraced that part of herself. But she was still a child and seeing her with Monroe's dog, Coin, just made me smile. Levi's best friend, Ward, was like his anchor. He never judged, always protected. And I spent a good portion of the book trying to figure out what the real deal about Ward was. I never did figure it out, so I was surprised when it was revealed. And, Levi's mom who always warned him to stay away from the swamp behind the Poirier house because there is nothing but evil there.
Monroe does not have an easy time being back in Malcome, LA. He's obviously not welcome, but he doesn't really have anywhere else to go. He tends to mind his own business unless he is forced no to. He finds an unlikely ally in Levi, who both wants nothing to do with him and everything to do with him. Their attraction was clear from pretty early on and their conflict was the evil within Monroe. But no matter how much they might try to stay away from one another, they were drawn together. And if they don't overcome the evil inside and around Monroe, it might just consume them both.
There isn't much steam, but there is a fair amount of tension and a slow burn of a romance. Monroe wants Levi, but can't stand that his presence hurts him. And Levi knows that he should stay away, but the effort is too great. The one sex scene in the book was hawt! And the character development and writing were fantastic. I really am glad I gave Nash Summers another chance.
I definitely recommend Poison Tongue, and I can't wait to see where this series goes.
ARC of Poison Tongue was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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