Goodreads Blurb: BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, MAN AND DEMON, SHE’S ABOUT TO FACE THE ONE THING SHE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SURVIVE.
Welcome to the world of Kara Gillian, a cop with a gift. Not only does she have the power of “othersight” to see what most people can’t even imagine, but she’s become the exclusive summoner of a demon lord. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The fact is, with two troublesome cases on her docket and a handsome FBI agent under her skin, Kara needs the help of sexy, insatiable Lord Rhyzkahl more than he needs her. Because these two victims, linked by suspicious coincidence, haven’t just been murdered. Something has eaten their souls.
It’s a case with roots in the arcane, but whose evil has flowered among the rich, powerful, and corrupt in Beaulac, Louisiana. And as the killings continue, Kara soon realizes how much there’s still to learn about demons, men, and things that kill in the night—and how little time she has to learn it.
Just like working a crime scene, summoning a demon has rules you must stick too – though with demon summoning there are much more dire consequences if you fail. Kara, who we first meet in Mark of the Demon is once again working a case that is more than it appears. People are dying around Beaulac and only Kira realizes that these murder victims are having their essence pulled out as well. Kira’s usual source of information, her aunt, is still in a coma after she was forcefully used to summon a demon in the previous book and her aunt’s library is in lock down. So Kira turns to the demon realm for answers as well as the sexy Lord Rhyzkahl.
Although Kira is a smart and tough detective, her biggest weakness is her loneliness. She has isolated herself emotionally and physically (she lives by herself in the country) due to her demon summoning and the weakness is really exploited, intentionally or not, during this book. First there are the two romantic interests in Kira’s life – Ryan and Lord Rhyzkahl. Kira never knows where she stands with Ryan, the two of them are friends but could there be more? His flirting demeanor with Kira is definitely confusing, at least I kept vacillating between Ryan liking her and just wanting to be friends. Ryan is so judgemental of Kira’s decisions to summon and bargain with demons that it’s surprising that they can remain friends. Meanwhile Ryan isn’t being completely above board with Kira about his abilities and continues to be enigmatic.
Lord Rhyzkahl is a different beast entirely. Kira thinks she understands Rhyzkahl’s motivation but her yearning to be touched by a man coupled with her need for information about the arcane makes her relationship with Rhyzkahl complicated. He doesn’t give anything for free but you get the impression that he makes certain concessions for Kira and he refers to her as his “dear one”. Rhyzkahl offers more than his smokin’ hot demon body though, he offers to share his knowledge of the arcane with Kira for a price. It’s hard to decide which man is better for Kira or if either of them are good enough. They both have so many secrets they keep from her and manipulate her in their own ways. It will be interesting to see how the romance plays out in future books.
Along with learning more about the two men in Kira's life we also learn more about the demon realm. I like Ms. Rowland's concept of the demon realm not being good or evil and working on a different moral code. It's a different take on the typical idea for demons and it works well with the police procedural aspect of the book. And let me tell you the mystery aspect of this book is great - I had no idea who the bad guy was till the end.
This is a 4.5 out of 5 for me - sexy demon lord, excellent mystery, and a female detective/demon summoner you feel like grabbing some beers with.
Review: Heart of Stone by Christine Warren
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