ORDER A COPY: The Demoness of Waking Dreams (The Company of Angels)
Publisher: Mira Books
Publishing Date: August 28, 2012
Paperback: 400 pages
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Even ANGELS can be tough… Ex-cop Brendan Clarkson is an angel with an edge. His tough exterior is the perfect camouflage for his job-hunting down the most dangerous criminals on earth. Brendan’s a self-reliant and demanding lone wolf, constantly on the brink of clashing with his superiors at the Company of Angels.
Brendan is the perfect angel to track and capture demoness Luciana Rossetti. Luciana’s cool, green-eyed beauty masks her true nature: inside, she’s a dangerous and malevolent killer. Yet, she sees what most people don’t-that beneath the layers of Brendan’s rugged shell beats the heart of a passionate lover.
They are perfectly matched. Yin and yang. Angel and demon. Man and woman. But only one of them can win the battle of wills, of strength and of desire.
Brandon Clarkson was a good cop until the night he is shot in the back and left for dead in a back alley. A night he dreams over and over again each and every night since he became an angel ten years ago. Now he works for the Company of Angels as a Guardian Angel. His current assignment is to capture and bring back Luciana Rossetti, a rogue demon who uses poisons as her weapon of choice and who may now have created a poison strong enough to kill a demon (or an angel). She has fled back to Venice, Italy, after she failed to kill her ex-lover Julian Archer in Las Vegas. She is to be brought back to the Company headquarters in the United States to determine is she can be rehabilitated or if she needs to be disposed of.
Luciana Rossetti may not be an archdemon, but she is certainly dangerous and powerful enough. She has bargained her freedom from Hell with a yearly human sacrifice, always made during the Festival of the Redeemer. When she is interrupted and chased by Brendan and does not make her deadline, there will be Hell to pay for it, and Luciana is not going to go quietly.
Except for the night of his death, Brandon has never failed to capture a criminal, but Luciana is not your typical demon. She has spent centuries avoiding capture. Her home is hidden in plain sight, cloaked by a revulsion spell by Satan himself, so humans avoid it and don’t know why.
Now Satan wants Luciana to kill the Angel to make up for her mistake. Will she be able to kill a Guardian Angel or more importantly, will she want to?
Stephanie gives us an interesting look at the question are angels all good and demons truly all bad. Luciana is truly an evil demon but we do learn that her human life was never sunshine and roses and her life as a demon didn’t get much better until she worked her way out of Hell on the blood and souls of others. She does show a tiny bit of remorse here and there, and we can sympathize of how she ended up where she is and doing what she does.
Brandon was all cop and he has become all guardian angel. He usually keeps himself under control and on the right side of the line but you do see some slips into a gray area and he is confused whether he sees goodness and redemption in Luciana or if he just wants to see it.
It was a well written and flowing story. If you liked the first one, you will enjoy this one. I see some set ups for future stories which I found interesting. Because it is well written and a good build off of the last story, I gave this story 3 ½ stars. Personally, I didn’t really connect with the characters, and although I will definitely check out the next story, I don’t believe this book would ever be a re-read for me.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
He turned back to look at her, watched the last play of moonlight on her face turning to shadow as they passed beneath the bridge. Utterly without thinking, he leaned forward and closed the distance between them. With a brush of his fingers on the side of her jawline, turned her face toward him.
You’re on a mission here, said his mind. You must retain all of your faculties of reason.
Kiss her, screamed his gut.
So he kissed her.
A mere graze of his lips against hers, a flutter of contact as light as her butterfly touch. But he felt it as a visceral jolt that intimate connection of skin against moist skin, a shock that resounded in the depths of his being. He felt as though he had shifted into another reality, one that seemed as volatile and ephemeral as a dreamspace.
He felt her gasp.
Felt her lips part beneath his, felt her sharp intake of breath. Felt her mouth quiver against his before she want completely and utterly still. After a pause that seemed to last a lifetime, her breath escaped on a sigh so faint that it was almost outside the realm of perception.
Am I awake, or am I dreaming? He wondered.
The butterfly effect sprang to mind—the theory that something as light as a butterfly’s wings could change everything. That the mere presence of one small insect could alter weather patterns. Could lead to the creation or the absence of a hurricane, for instance.
What about a firefly? he wondered.
Whether it could or not, a hurricane sweep of desire was building inside Brandon, generated by that kiss. That gentle contact had stirred an internal fire that flared and raged, aching to get out. It was a desire he fought against with all the discipline of his calling, wrestling with his unruly passions.
From somewhere deep inside himself, a little voice said, Perhaps this kiss could change everything…