The Devil's Possession
The Devil’s Possession by Heather Waters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First things first – Content warnings: Rape, coerced/forced marriage, animal on animal rape, animal death, and 2 more attempted rapes/assaults

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I initially thought I would.

This book deals with rape very well. Better than most romance books I’ve ever read have.

Spoilers from here on out:

So, Faith has been raped by Godfrey. A man who is basically looking for a sugar mama. He’s pissed that Draven slept with his original woman and appears to have killed her. What actually happened is Harold, Draven’s stepfather, killed her and put her in the cottage that Draven burned down. Draven, as a consequence, thinks that it’s his fault that she’s dead.

Harold wants to use the magic that Draven possesses thanks to his dead mum, to wage a war against the king. Draven keeps refusing to do so. And in doing so has rendered himself voluntarily mute. As such, no one has heard him speak since he was 5 years old.

Faith tells her uncle that it was Draven she had sexual relations with who got her pregnant. She lies to protect part of her dignity at being raped by Godfrey. She also does it to save Draven, who is set to be executed by Harold. Initially, Draven doesn’t want to marry her. But come the day of the wedding, she tries to tell the truth even though it’ll destroy her reputation but will free him from having to marry her. Draven has decided that he’ll have none of it and through a series of gestures indicates that it is his child and he will be the father and marry Faith.

They go to an outdoor faire/market where Godfrey meets up with Faith and attempts to assault her again. Draven finds them with Godfrey’s hand on her breast and Faith’s head turned and misinterprets what’s going on because she hasn’t told Draven that she was raped. And she doesn’t put it together that Godfrey is who raped her in the first place. Draven gets understandably angry and lights Godfrey’s hand on fire. Godfrey winds up losing his hand.

After the faire event thing, Faith and Draven go for a walk in the forest so that Draven can go out “hunting” (read: search for wounded animals to heal). They come across some mountain lions, a male and a female, during their mating. Faith identifies with the female who looks to be trying to get away from the male. The male winds up snapping the neck of the female and then raping her dead body. Draven infers from that that he was wrong about Faith and that she wasn’t a loose woman like he initially thought and gathers that she was raped from her reaction to the mountain lion death and rape. He winds up stopping the male at Faith’s request and then burying the female (also at Faith’s request).

That night, she confirms his suspicions but says she doesn’t want to talk about it. After that, she and Draven make a deal that he’ll try and heal a child if she winds up sleeping with him. She’s devoted to her clan and she sees sleeping with him as something for the good of the clan so she agrees even though she doesn’t want to because of her rape.

The next night she goes to him to fulfill her end of the bargain and they wind up not having sex. They only kiss and he respects her wish to not go further. Before that happened however, she left dinner early and waited in his room. Before he got there, she was attempting to touch herself to see if maybe she could do it and suffered a flashback to her rape. After that, she goes to her room to sleep. The next day he attempts to heal the child but the father intervenes and says no even though the mother is willing. That night, the mother brings the child to Faith and Draven after the father is passed out from alcohol to try and have her healed as her cough has gotten worse and she fears for her child’s life. Draven heals the child and passes out right after.

Faith and Draven slowly work through both his inability to speak (he starts re-learning how to speak since he’s lost the ability to form words well) and her inability to consummate their marriage. Faith goes on her level of comfort though. Draven initially binds his wrists and then puts his bound wrists above his head onto a nail in the wall as a hook so that Faith can take her time and not have to worry about him trying to force her or losing control.

Faith finds that she actually loves Draven and trusts him and decides to actually have sex with him. She lays down naked on his bed and he starts to penetrate her and she stops him because she starts having flashbacks to her attack. Draven stops and decides to give her a position that she’ll have all the power for. He has her move and then lays down on his back and has her straddle him. She finds that an acceptable way to have sex and that she really enjoys it. Which is something she thought she’d never do again.

Draven winds up saving her village that night from a fire started by a group of brigands. The next night, Faith is taken by Godfrey and Draven goes after her after telling one of the guards to go tell her uncle what’s happened. Draven at this point has fallen in love with her as well and falls into the trap that Godfrey and Harold set for him. Godfrey attempts to assault Faith in front of him but before he can she knees him in the nose giving herself some time to escape after Draven sets Harold on fire.

As Faith escapes, her uncle is just coming to rescue them (like to the gates of where she was taken). One of the men winds up taking her home and the rest of the village goes to save Draven. Draven learns afterwards that Harold wasn’t his father after all. Faith gives birth to the child from the rape and then 2 years after Draven gets her pregnant and she gives birth to a second child. And they live happily ever after yadda yadda.

I REALLY liked how the author handled Faith reclaiming her sexuality on her terms with her husband after her initial rape. And that Faith gives Draven the freedom to go free if he so wishes and to stop being her husband and he makes his own choice to stay. It’s really rare that I find a book with rape in it that has that element of the woman reclaiming her sexuality on her terms. So while normally a book with rape in it would seriously turn me off (because I’ve lived it more than once) this was a really good portrayal of it in a romance book. And didn’t fall on a lot of the typical tropes you tend to see in romance/historical romance/paranormal romance books. Which was like a breath of fresh air.

Buy it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble

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