Book Review: Demon Hunt, by Christine Ashworth

DemonHunt-ChristineAshworth_smDemon Hunt (Caine Brothers Series #2)
By Christine Ashworth

Tribred Gregor Caine decided long ago to deny his blood legacy, so he isn’t thrilled when paired with a full-blooded Fae to hunt the demons threatening to decimate Los Angeles. As they fight side by side, he finds she calls to both his Fae and his demon blood; a call he can’t resist.

Warrior Fae Serra Willows crossed into the Human Plane to help destroy the demons released from the Chaos Plane. Finding and shutting down the portal between worlds is more challenging than she expected…and Gregor and his world more seductive than she had ever imagined.

As the killings escalate, Gregor and Serra realize one of the most deadly demons from the Chaos Plane has marked Serra as his own. To save her, Gregor has to face his greatest fear—losing his humanity to the darkness in his blood. But in a race against time, that darkness could become his greatest strength. And he will kill to claim Serra’s love.

Serra Willows journeys through a portal from her world to find an ally, Gideon Caine, and lands on the beach near Santa Monica and immediately slips into the role of a jogger on the beach. As she’s followed nearly to the car waiting for her by a human male, a demon walks on scene. Herein lies a struggle that will pervade the story’s hunt. Serra, a Fae warrior, is duty-bound to protect the weaker creature. And Gregor Caine’s man card stipulates that he shield women from harm. Anyone up for a game of paper-rock-scissors, because these two are about that stubborn? The demon settles the dispute by dragging Gregor from the bushes, and Serra must call down the wrath of nature to burn the demon to a crisp to save him.

Demon Hunt follows the formula set in its predecessor, Demon Soul. The Caine brother in focus is a damaged guy hiding years of emotional baggage behind a steel exterior. Witness to his mother’s rape by a demon, he’s lived his entire life denying his super-human blood because what good is it to him or anyone else. Learning that Serra is Fae annoys him. Having to work with her irritates him. Taking orders from her is enough to make the big man twitchy, much to the amusement of his younger brother Justin.

There’s much to praise about Ms. Ashworth’s work. Her writing is fluid. Her plots and subplots are complex and delicately interlaced. Her creature battles are fast, vicious, and thrilling. But she excels as sexual tension, keeping the reader on the verge of yelling at the pages “get it on already.” This is certainly true of the main couple, Gregor and Serra, as she offering casual sex and he’s gallantly holding back. But, Justin and his witch girlfriend, Magdalena, are on scene and sizzling with their Benedict and Beatrice style. (For those of you who don’t get the reference, please read Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.)

Don’t tell Maggie that I called her Justin’s girlfriend, because she might turn me into something slimy, but they are the air each other breathes. (Take note, Ms. Ashworth, I expect Demon Rage to be explosive. * grin *)

The Caine Brothers series has taken me completely by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up Demon Soul, but this was not it. Part Angel and part Shakespeare, with a dash of erotic spice blown like a kiss off the author’s hand, The Caine brothers is a example of what the paranormal genre should aspire to.

My Red Star Award

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