Reviewed by Mandi
Blurb: Exiled by her people after an accidental death, Celeste’s power is so unstable the elegant Shadow healer is considered a deadly menace. Fifty years of isolation have left her a little lonely. And more than a little bored. When a nearby family falls victim to demon infection, she decides to go hunting. But without backup, it won’t be long before the demons are hunting her.
A dangerous assassin, Gabe has better things to do than save a Shadow from her own reckless behavior. Like find the demon who killed his brother. Sure, the Shadow is gorgeous, alluring, and she needs his help. But he can’t afford to get distracted. Everything changes the second he spies his brother’s killer among the demons after Celeste. Now, nothing will tear him from her side.
Gabe is dangerous and secretive. He’s also a skilled fighter and sexy as hell. Celeste knows better than to team up with a Warder, but she’s not sure she cares. It’s been a long dry spell since her exile. Neither of them expects their fling to turn into something more. But when Gabe’s past catches up with him, he learns that his brother’s murder was just the beginning. A new evil is rising, and its sights are set on Celeste. Now Gabe has to make a choice: revenge or love?
This is a novella that starts a paranormal series about demons and those that hunt them. Celeste is a Shadow, over 400 years old her specialty is healing people. While she excels at that, she has a very hard time controlling the energy when it comes in the form of electricity. When she is around something electric, she can’t predict what will happen, and it once killed a child (although to be fair, the child was already brain dead.) Guilt-ridden, she has hid in a reclusive mountain range for the past 50 years. Recently, she has noticed a nest of Vorati demons nearby. These demons will find any kind of crack in someone’s soul (bad deed etc) and infect them. They eat away at the person, until they are only a shell, and they constantly look for new souls to destroy. Celeste goes out one day to kill some of these demons, and becomes a bit overwhelemed. Lurking though is a soldier named Gabe. He is an assassin who isn’t suppose to mingle with Shadows, but he can’t let Celeste lose to the demons. He goes out and helps her kill them and during the process he gets shot. Celeste helps him back to her house to let him heal.
In this novella, we get some background and information on this world but I would have liked to have a broader view of the world itself. We learn what Celeste is and the demons she fights, but it’s a narrow view of just where she lives. We also don’t dive deep into Gabe and being a Warder (assassin) really means. Since this is a novella that kicks off the series, I assume we get more information in the first full length book. While the sex between Gabe and Celeste is intense and hot, the love declaration at the end kind of comes out of nowhere. Felt very forced. But I liked Celeste and Gabe’s interactions. This author is setting up a world where these demons apparently are extremely viscous and cruel, which could be a good thing. . I hope in the first full length book we get to see some of that darker violence.