*ARC received for an opinion from publisher
Tegan Ashton was attacked by a Hingo Demon. According to Gabe no human can survive this type of attack but Tegan does. Tegan has physical and emotional scars. She has lived in fear since the attack. Because of the conditions surrounding her attack she is thought to be crazy and sent to a mental institution. She happens to come across the “man” that attacked her one night and she knows that she has to find someone to help her. She finds Gabe on-line in a search, the adjective “paranormal” catches her eye. Even though she has her doubts about Gabe and how authentic he is she knows that she needs someone who believes her about her attack. Gabe definitely believes her and immediately realizes the grave danger she is in. He knows that the Hingo demon will not stop until he finds her again and claims her.
Gabriel V.H. Smith, is a demon-slayer by night and a Licensed Private Investigator by day. Gabe is sorting through his emotions, in his line of work he has seen a lot of deaths. He lost his parents and fiancée and is not ready to give his heart up to Tegan. He knows that behind her black-belt-in-karate-tough-persona is a women who has beaten incredible odds. He swears to protect her and keep her safe. He takes protecting her very serious but is not sure how vulnerable he can let himself become. Tegan is overwhelmed to discover that she was attacked by a demon. Up until she met Gabe she didn’t know that demons existed, but that is only the beginning. She learns that there are different types of demons and each one has a different way to die. She also learns that witches are real when Gabe has a spell put on him. His only recourse is Tina, a witch that he later learns put the spell on him because demons had her sister. Tina, we later learn, plays a very important role in Tegan’s attack.
As the story unfolds we learn that Tegan’s attack was not accidental. Her father gives her a book with their family lineage and Tegan begins to learn about her ancestors. She and Gabe have to piece together why the demon attacked her and why they are searching for her again. Gabe is also in for some surprises. Four years ago he was slaying a demon to protect a random women on the street. Unbeknownst to him while he was rescuing this random women on the street demons killed his fiancée-Laura. When he meets the demon that attacked Tegan he learns that the random women he saved was Tegan. When pieces of the puzzle start to come together Tegan realizes that she has to use all her strength, both physical and emotional to face the battle that awaits her. Tegan and Gabe have to face an army of demons, this is a fierce fight but after the battle is over they have their own personal emotional demons to battle.
I tend to stay away from paranormal because I don’t find them to be entertaining, but Lisa Kessler really delivers! I really loved the way she weaves this story of demons and witches and I caught myself tense with anticipation. I was intrigued to see how Tegan and Gabe would beat the demons and the other little difficulties that appeared. Tegan was a fascinating character to watch evolve. At the beginning she motivated by fear and keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. As she starts to face her possible death she becomes stronger and confident. At the end of the story she is reclaiming her life. Gabe also comes to terms with his fears and realizes that it’s harder to fall in love than be a demon slayer.