The Night She Fell: Jennifer Soucy
Reviewed By Ben Walker
Where Jennifer Soucy’s Demon in Me involved demonic terror grounded by relationships that felt both genuine and uncomfortable (with a great soundtrack, let’s not forget!), her follow-up novel – The Night She Fell – is more of a paranormal romance, carrying with it similarly realistic portrayals of troubled family & personal relations, with the occasional stab of horror.
For the most part, this follows a similar path to many paranormal romances, so as we meet our hero Coralena, we find her dealing with a new obsession while her old flame lurks in the background. More sinister forces are involved than just a shitty ex-boyfriend though, with witchcraft on one side and satanic evil on the other.
Like the lead character of Demon in Me, Coralena is spurred by revenge, sometimes finding that the price those actions come with isn’t always worth paying, but also finding her way alongside forces more powerful than herself. Her targets are formidable, and her desperate thirst for vengeance can lead her into situations where she’s out of her depth. Inevitably, there are a few times where her new lover steps in to save the day, and as familiar as those kind of tropes are, they’re handled well enough to stay entertaining. Plus, Coralena does get a few chances to bite back, which pivot between satisfying and heartbreaking.
There are definitely themes and situations that feel familiar here, but this is perhaps thanks to the sources of inspiration the story draws from. It stays fresh by keeping the developments coming, and it’s often very sensual, from both the romance side and with Coralena’s passion for cookery. The latter ties into the witchcraft element and there are some scenes where people simply enjoy good food. It’s those little human touches that help keep the increasingly supernatural elements grounded as the plot tilts further into the unknown.
Don’t get too comfy though, as the same level of detail is put into the occasional scenes of horror and injury, especially some later ones which, while not gruesome, will definitely leave you feeling uncomfortable. There are also a few well-timed revelations along the way that’ll punch the wind right out of your gut. What Soucy does so well here is sweep you along in the moment, so while you may be enjoying those sensual scenes, a few lines later you’ll be feeling a whole different way about things, not to mention the characters.
Overall, if you’re in the mood for a solid paranormal romance with tinges of folk horror and revenge, The Night She Fell is worth falling for.
The Night She Fell
Coralena del Prado wishes to become a witch like her mama, but her ancestral magic still hasn’t activated. She fears she’ll be stuck forever as Mama’s assistant at Cornucopia, their Mediterranean cafe located in Greenwich, the home of Connecticut’s elite. But all that changes when a mysterious man from their past returns, sparking more than Cori’s late-blooming magic.
Hayden Colburn, Greenwich’s elusive bachelor prince, fled his life of privilege to become a restaurateur in nearby New York City. He’s everything Cori wants and, after one brilliant night, she’s ready to surrender. Until Mama shares a secret about the Colburns that shatters their peaceful home and Cori’s dreams of love.
Evil lurks beneath Greenwich, spawned by the Colburns and their powerful friends. Mama begs her to stay away, but Cori can’t ignore their crimes. She plans a sneak attack, armed with only her temperamental magic—a power made volatile by her conflicting emotions for Hayden, a man she’s sworn to hate who stubbornly fights to win her heart.
Cori vows to destroy her mother’s enemies. She’ll weaponize her magic even if the act violates every natural law, a sacrilege which might damn her soul. But none of that matters if it means saving her beloved mother from a pack of humans more wicked than any monster.
Ben got a taste for terror after sneaking downstairs to watch The Thing from behind the sofa at age 9. He’s a big fan of extreme & bizarre horror and well as more psychological frights, and most things in between. When he’s not reading, he’s writing, and when he’s not writing he’s on twitter @BensNotWriting or reviewing books on his YouTube channel, BLURB.