By Kendra Leigh Castle
When Raum, Destroyer of Dignities and Robber of Kings, has to make a hasty escape from the bowels of Hell, he’s left with one option – to work for the white wings aka Heaven, the very same Heaven he left eons before. Caught between Heaven and Hell, he now finds and destroys half-breed demons on Earth.
Until his assignment takes him to Johnstown, Vermont and the half-demoness Ember Riddick. Ember, wearing ugly glasses and severe ponytail as she busily works in her perfume shop, is the least demon-like demoness he’s ever seen. She blushes, she stumbles, and she’s beautiful. In fact, her beauty is the only thing demon-like about her. Her red hair and beauty is a gift from her father, Mammon, the very demon who caused Raum to flee Hell or perish. But he senses an essential core of goodness, of light in Ember that in no way was a gift from Mammon.
Ember’s first sight of Raum awakens all the primal urges and lusts that she’s battled all her life. With his dark and dangerous beauty, she knows he’s one of THEM but she thinks her disguise has held even after she practically throws herself into his arms and wraps herself around him. Fortunately, good sense prevails helping Ember escape his presence…and the mind-fogging lust she feels for him.
Raum and his blond companion, Gadreel, are in town to find a demon capable of opening a Nexus between Earth and Hell. But he’s not sure Ember is that demon and when Uriel, the angel in charge of their mission, agrees, Raum volunteers to guard her. In fact, he insists on it which surprises him, Uriel and his fellow demons. And that insistence leads Ember and Raum into a dangerous and, sometimes, wonderful adventure as they both learn about love.
It’s not easy though. Raum is dark, dangerous…the epitome of ‘bad boy’. He wears black. He scowls. He basks in his own toughness…which is used to protect Ember. He won’t admit that he admires her humor, her stubbornness, her own feminine toughness. Certainly he won’t admit it to her and he won’t let her close to him. Not that that stops her from trying to peal away the layers to find out if there’s a chance of a permanent relationship between them.
But Ember’s emotional demons are huge…Until she met Raum, her demonic side tended to be more violent than regular human males could accept so she avoided them. She’s always wanted to feel loved but knows that there’s something inherently wrong with her since even her mother doesn’t seem to love her. With Raum, she senses there could be something more, something wonderful but…does he have any feelings for her at all? Or is he just using her to get something else that he wants?
Ms Castle has written another wonderfully complex and imaginative tale peopled with immensely likable characters. Raum, the fallen angel, is seriously HAWT but more than that the reader can understand why he fell and…how he can be redeemed. Ember is smart, with a dry sense of humor – much like your best girlfriend. That’s one of Ms Castle’s strengths, creating characters we can understand and relate to. There are several characters I would love to see in a book of their own – Levi, short for Leviathan, a sea-serpent shifter. Gadreel, the blond Adonis fallen angel. Justinian, the King of Vampires. Sadly, it doesn’t appear that this will be the first book of a series. But Ms Castle does have a new series coming out from Grand Central Publishing about the ancient vampire dynasties that rule the night next summer with Dark Awakening. I can hardly wait.
Make sure you visit Star-Crossed Romance to help welcome Kendra Leigh Castle as she talks about our favorite topic - 'bad boys'.