Expected Release Date: Available Now!
Author’s Website: http://larissaione.com/blog/
My Source for This Book: Smashwords.com
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3.5 in the Demonica Series
Series Best Read In Order: YES
Steam Level: Steamy
Demon slayer Andrea Cole has always taken down the demons and vampires she hunts without mercy. But when a fellow slayer is captured and turned into a vampire by a sadistic monster, she must choose between loyalty to her family and the man she loves.
Kaden Quinn has dedicated his life to slaying vampires, so when he is turned into one, his greatest nightmare comes to life. And when the woman he loves is thrown into a dungeon with him – as food – he must battle new instincts and old desires, and choose between his life, and hers.
NOTE: This is a short novella that originally appeared in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 and the anthology Vampires in Love. It has been expanded for its stand-alone digital release. In the Demonica timeline, it falls between book 3, Passion Unleashed, and book 4, Ecstasy Unveiled, though it can easily be read without having read the Demonica novels.
Let me begin by saying that I consider myself a Larissa Ione fangirl. I have completely devoured the Demonica series in its entirety, and am anxiously awaiting her new Lords of Deliverance series, the first book of which (Eternal Rider) is due out in April.
That said, while I certainly enjoyed this read, I wasn’t entirely blown away by this short story.
What worked for me:
- I love the entire Demonica world, with the prejudices of the Aegis, and its slayers, as well as Larissa Ione’s unique writing style. Even though there are really only a few actual settings in this story, you can feel that they’re all part of a much larger world.
- I loved Kaden’s backstory with his previous lover, and why he’d been reluctant to move his relationship forward with Andrea.
- I’m also a big fan of the “affair that turned to love” storyline in romances. Even though the vast majority of Andrea and Kaden’s relationship occurred prior to the beginning of this story, there was enough rehashing that we got that sense that they’d both intended for their relationship to remain exclusively physical.
- I loved how even with a minute word-count, both Andrea and Kaden felt quite well-developed, as did their relationship.
What didn’t work for me:
- Despite claims to the contrary, I didn’t feel that this story would’ve worked well as a standalone. [spoiler]While the beginning certainly could’ve stood on its own without the reader having read the previous Demonica stories, once Andrea and Kaden moved to New York, I feel that a new reader would’ve been completely lost with references to the soul-shredder, Underwold General, and fallen angels and the like.[/spoiler]
Fans of the Demonica series will of course appreciate glimpses into not only other Aegis chapters, but also a cute, albeit short, interaction between Tayla and Eidolon. I did feel, however, that readers unfamiliar to the series would end up more confused towards the end than they would in reading a story that was not intended as an aside for an already established series.
As much as I adore Larissa Ione, I’m going to have to say that this one was only a 3.5/5 for me.