Demon’s Bride by Zoe Archer
Our winner for the copy of Devil’s Kiss courtesy of Kensington Books was Wanda! Congratulations and enjoy!
ORDER A COPY: Demon’s Bride (The Hellraisers)
Publisher: Zebra Paranormal Romance
Publishing Date: May 1, 2012
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Hell to Pay. Leo Bailey may have been born to poverty, but ruthless business sense and sparkling intelligence have made money worries a thing of his past. It doesn’t hurt that the Devil himself has granted Leo the ability to read the future.
But even infallible predictions are a déclassé commoner’s trick to some members of the ton. They’ll never see Leo as their equal—one good reason to prove himself their better. And a noble marriage is an obvious start.
Bookish Anne Hartfield, daughter of a baron, is hardly the flashiest miss on the marriage market. But her thoughtful reserve complements Leo’s brash boldness in an attraction neither can deny. A whirlwind courtship sweeps Anne and Leo into a smoldering marriage before either can believe their luck. But happiness built on Leo’s dark powers can’t last. Soon, Anne will have to save her husband…or lose her heart.
Leo Bailey was born the poor son of a saddler. He used his brains and his determination to crawl out of poverty, but that is not enough for Leo. Leo gladly makes a deal with the devil for the ability to see the future and the financial ruin of his competitors, so he can not only grow his own wealth, but to take down those of the aristocracy who will always look down on him no matter how much money he acquires. He makes his deal with the devil with no thought as to what the cost may truly be to him.
Leo also knows the only way into the ranks of the aristocracy for someone like him is to wed a nobleman’s daughter. He chooses quiet Anne Hartfield, the daughter of a Duke who is on the verge of poverty. Except once the marriage night approaches, Anne is overwrought with nerves. Since Leo’s parents were a love match, he doesn’t want to force himself on his new wife as his aristocratic brethren would have done. So Leo offers to wait on the consummation of their marriage until they have had an opportunity to get to know each other.
As Leo and Anne get to know each other and their mutual respect grows, Leo cannot believe how lucky he is in his choice of a wife, and as the love grows between them, Leo knows that he cannot allow Anne to ever know of his about his deal with the devil, but can one hide that much sin. The epic fight for Leo’s soul begins once Anne claims his heart.
I looked several times at Devil’s Kiss when it came out and I kept wavering back and forth whether I wanted to read what was Book 1 of this series. When I read the back cover of this one, I immediately put it on my TBR list. This was a great story and the most interesting part is that at the beginning of this story, the hero and heroine from Book 1 begin as our antagonists. As we soon learn, they are truly the protagonists as they are trying to save the souls of the Hellraisers, all five of whom have made a similar deal in trade for different powers granted from the devil. With the help of Whit and Zora, Leo and Anne fight the demons to reclaim Leo’s soul before it is too late and the darkness consumes him.
Anne starts out in our story as a very shy woman, but she grows into a powerful and determined heroine as our story goes on with the Leo support, and as the love and respect grow between them. Sadly, we see the foundation created between them torn apart once Anne finds out the truth about Leo, especially considering the darkness was so deep in Leo. Although he knew he couldn’t let Anne find out about his powers, it took a looonnng time for him to figure out that he needs to let go of that power in order to reclaim his soul and rebuild that foundation with his wife.
Fabulous story! I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Received ARC copy from Kensington Books.
“Tomorrow.” He advanced on her, stalking her, yet she did not back up in fear. She met him straight on, until their bodies were less than an inch apart. “You teach me how to dance.”
“You have taken a sudden interest in it.”
He shook his head. “If anyone partners my wife, it will be me, and no other.”
Color stained her cheeks. “Dancing exclusively with one’s spouse is considered unfashionable at best. Gauche at worst.”
“Don’t. Bloody. Care.” He brought his mouth down on hers. Her lips were soft, silky. And eager.
Her fingers threaded into his hair, holding him close, as she met his kiss. In the span of a day, already transformation had begun. For she knew him now—not perfectly, not entirely, just as he still did not fully know her—but this, the touch of lips to lips and the consuming of each other, this was known and explored further.
His blood was fire, his body instantly awakened and aware. He gathered her close and hated the elaborate cage of her gown, for he could not feel her completely, locked as she was in stays, panniers, and petticoats. The rustling of her silken dress sounded louder than a tempest. It maddened him, suggesting the movement of her body beneath her clothing.
He walked her backwards, until the wall met her back. Pressed himself against her. This primitive need—it overwhelmed him. Never had the hunger for a woman been greater, the demand to take, and to give, in return.
Hellfire, he wanted her. Like this. Now.