Genres: Night Huntress series, Vampires, Paranormal Romance-Suspence-Thriller, New Adult, Urban-Fantasy
Recommended for: Vampire series lovers, Night Huntress series fans, Paranormal Romance fans
Steam factor: 3 out of 5 flames - "just right" steam
This off-shoot of the Night Huntress series features Bones' vampire friend, Spade, and Cat's friend, Denise. Denise and her husband were with Bones & Cat in Canada over the new year's celebration, when Mencheres' wife, Patra, was trying to settle a vendetta with M by using black magic against Cat & Bones.
In this book, Denise's relatives are being mysteriously killed by heart attacks, yet none have a history of issues and are mostly young and fit. One of her cousins is killed before her eyes, again of an apparent heart attack, yet Denise knows better. When Denise invites what seems to be a wounded little girl into her home, she discovers she is a he - and a demon, at that! The demon tells & shows Denise that one of her ancestors, Nathan, made a bargain with him: in exchange for his soul, Nathan gained power from the demon. But then Nathan disappeared, and the demon can't get his due. The demon brands Denise and tells her that she's got 2 weeks to locate her ancestor and bring him to the demon, or the demon will take her in Nathan's place.
Denise can't reach Cat & Bones, but she does reach Spade. Who else would know about the undead world, including demons, but someone undead? Or so she reasons. Spade is reluctant to help her, because he finds himself attracted to Denise; she's human - so she can die, and Spade lost his heart when his last love, a human, died, without allowing him to change her. Denise is still smarting from her husband's death, just over a year ago, but she, too, is fighting the attraction.
Neither Spade nor Denise is familiar with demons and their powers, but Spade does know that demon blood is like a drug to vampires, so it stands to reason that Nathan could be "property" of a vampire peddling Nathan's demon-laced blood. Ian pops up and adds lots of comic-relief, when he attempts to help Spade and Denise in their search.
The search takes them around the world from New York to Las Vegas to England to Monaco. Somehow, they're constantly tailed; and the demon further brands Denise several more times, turning her into part-demon. But they do learn how to kill a demon - you must spear a demon bone into a demon's eye. But by doing so, you take on all that demon's power. Will Denise be doomed to being a shape-shifting demon? Will they find Nathan in time or will she lose her soul - what remains of it?
While some reviews complain about lack of chemistry between Denise and Spade or just a "lack" compared to Bones and Cat, I found this book engaging and fresh. We're somewhat familiar with Spade and Denise from the Night Huntress series, and IMO, this book explores beyond what we know and yet staying true to who they are.
I did enjoy this book. It was different from the "regular" Night Huntress series. There's still plenty of romance, paranormal, and fighting battles, but we move from the usual vampire world into a "new" world that includes demons. There's something new to learn and fight. That was a draw for me.
And Spade and Denise are quieter characters, yet they still have their individual depths. They're still very connected, as we discover when Denise needs help in Monaco, and the extended team comes to the rescue with a potential rescue plan.
Of course, there's a solution to the Spade-Denise mortal issue, which isn't a surprise by the end of the book, but it makes sense and allows Spade and Denise to become part of the paranormal "team".
I found this a good read for those who've already read some of the Night Huntress series.