Book Review: Demon Soul, by Christine Ashworth

demonsoul-200x3002-1Demon Soul (Caine Brothers Series #1)
By Christine Ashworth

Gabriel Caine stands on the edge of the abyss. A vampire has stolen his soul and if he doesn’t get it back soon, his next step will be into Hell. Only the naïvely mysterious Rose can help him retrieve it. Without her, he really will become the devil himself.

Rose Walters has been sent back from the dead to complete one task-save Gabriel Caine. She’s drawn to Gabriel on the most basic level, but restoring his soul may cost Rose her life.

Rose has touched the whole of Gabriel, making him yearn for a love he believes he can never have. Her willingness to put her human life on the line for him forces him to bring all three parts of himself—demon, human, and Feri bloodlines, and the strengths of each—into harmony and into the fight that decides their fate.

Before dawn, Rose Walters wanders into a Santa Monica strip mall, broke but for the clothes on her back and shoes that her feet are bleeding in after an eight mile walk. She repeats “Gabriel Caine” silently, right up until the moment she’s approached by the man himself. She’s dismayed to find a man whose twice her size and can read her thoughts as if she’s speaking out loud. How she is supposed to rescue him? That is what she was sent back to Earth to do. Still, Gabriel accepts there’s something special about her, right after he gets over her accidentally wicking away what remains of soul.

Not only did Christine Ashworth give me what I expected–beautiful yet flawed characters, emotional baggage, sexual tension, creature battles, and catharsis–but she included something very unexpected with Gabriel’s laid-back brother, Justin, and his witchy associate, Magdalena. They are, as far as I’m concerned, Benedict and Beatrice from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” They speak in snark and are obviously falling in love as fast as they can snap back at the other’s insults. Meanwhile, everyone around them sees the romance that Justin and Magdalena would swear to their graves doesn’t exist. And Ms. Ashworth uses torturous restraint, using them just enough to brighten and complement Gabriel and Rose’s story without becoming a distraction.

Demon Soul is a remarkably complex story for its length. Rose’s back story is woven into Gabriel’s current problem, which is the key to an ambitious vampire taking over her master’s Los Angeles crime empire, that the Caine boys aim to put a dent into. There’s also a delightful little demon named Mephisto that reminds me of Marie Sexton’s Cole Fenton that I hope makes an appearance in a future Caine Brother’s novel.

It’s also a fun read, despite some dark subject matter. I would recommend Demon Soul and the Caine Brothers series to fans of Hildie McQueen, the TV show Angel, and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

My Red Star Award

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40 thoughts on “Book Review: Demon Soul, by Christine Ashworth

  1. I really loved this story. Gabriel and Rose were both characters with flaws and strengths — so believably real! As a reader, I could really root for them. Great job, Christine!

    Leigh

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