A light-hearted, sexy romp of a book full of humor, action, and heart.
The title lets you know right away what you’re in for, and That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon delivers the promised goods in this playful fantasy romance perfect for the beach or the couch. If you’re looking for deep lore and wildly innovative fantasy elements, look elsewhere. But if you want “fantasy that fucks,” as Lemming’s author catchphrase puts it, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins, not surprisingly, with the protagonist, Cinnamon Hotpepper (even the names are funny) accidentally saving a demon during a night of debauchery. She comes from a family of spice merchants (another wink to the intended audience), and it turns out that cinnamon repels demons, more or less, though Cin herself clearly attracts Fallon (the demon) from the get-go. The plot involves a lich everyone thinks is a goddess, and Cin agrees to help Fallon destroy her.
There’s plenty of old-school D&D-style questing and fighting, which is all well and good, but it’s Lemming’s signature irreverence that makes the fantasy plot enjoyable. There’s even a delightful little nod to D&D:
We’re going to need to write some kind of monster manual so I can keep all this stuff straight.
The characters speak in vernacular English with a lot of cursing, and Cin’s interior monologues are particularly humorous:
The apple-embroidered curtains lit up with morning light while songbirds mocked me with their optimistic greeting of the day. A fucking demon attacked me last night, and the day had the audacity to shine as if nothing happened?
Cin’s family is a bickering, loving bunch, and the family scenes are a delight, with heaps of food served with a side of familial sass. Food remains a theme throughout the book, and one of my favorite scenes (besides the sex scenes, but we’ll get to that) involves her catching and cooking up a mess of crayfish for Fallon with her signature spice blend. I can feel the love in the family and the food scenes, and I’d bet you dollars to donuts that the author is a great cook as well.
Speaking of feeling the love, this book has many nods to romance books, which will surely please readers of the genre. I had a hard time picking my favorite, but I’m going with this gem:
Brie flipped through the page of her romance novel from her spot on the love seat. She’d been helping me pack and watching me bicker with my new travel companion all morning. “Honestly,” she began, adding more sugar to her coffee. “I think you two need to bone.”
Oh, did someone say boning? This book has plenty, and the author’s love for these scenes shines in language that goes from full-throated explicitness (sorry, can’t share that here—you’ll have to read the book for those) to hilarious:
I could die from this. They’ll have to write “fucked into oblivion” on my tombstone. But glory, glory, what a hell of a way to die.
Or this gem:
He tore my blouse off like it personally offended him.
But there are lyrical moments as well:
It was almost like catching rapture in a bottle, its euphoric softness, a kind of aching desperation to feel it again.
The sex scenes involve some BDSM and the like, which is always a nice bonus, and there are content warnings in the book, so kudos for that. But the author shows the beauty of the power play dynamics as well:
I loved the greedy and possessive way Fallon touched me. It made me feel like a feast set in front of a starving man.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which was a bit outside my usual comfort zone—I often don’t do well with humor, but the light-heartedness of this book was such a breath of fresh air that I couldn’t put it down, and the spice was right up my alley. If you’re looking for a fantasy romance that’s heavy on spice and sass and doesn’t take itself too seriously, That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon absolutely the book for you. And the second book is called That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf. Who wouldn’t want to read that?