A witch regains her magic and reunites with her vampire mate while both are threatened by external forces in Crescent’s (The Last Marine, 2015, etc.) romantic fantasy.
When Lilith Caldwell receives an unsigned note telling her, “The future lies in the past. Go home. It is time,” she eventually succumbs and returns to the childhood house she inherited. This is the same place where, two decades ago, a young Lilith called for her “mate” to save her from her grandmother’s beatings, and vampire-daemon James answered. Present-day Lilith, at her old home, tries to rid herself of a dark entity that seems to be attached to her—one that she’s dubbed “Aimee.” But there are surprises in the house: James is squatting there, and the magical power that she lost, likely due to Aimee, returns. James, a Guardian for the Watchers (a group of fallen angels), normally has a mission to assassinate any being that would threaten the balance of good and evil, but the Watchers demand he protect Lilith instead. The witch and vampire are drawn to each other, but, with various menaces looming, their newfound romance isn’t the only thing at stake. Julius Crowley of the Vampiric Council is searching for Lilith, certain that she’s a threat to all Guardians. Meanwhile, Rowena, the High Priestess of Lilith’s former coven, may have a way to decimate all daemonkind. Crescent’s novel deftly blends elements of erotica and fantasy. The inevitable sex scenes between the two main characters, though explicit, often thrive on tension, as James’ technique is deliberately slow and diligent, and the two take turns as the dominant partner. Nevertheless, the narrative is even stronger as a thriller, as it’s rife with mystery (with over 100 Guardians having gone missing in a month) and a dense back story that draws on multiple religions. Most readers will be unsurprised by the plot turns in the final act, but the confrontations between formidable characters (including the spellcasting Lilith) are thoroughly satisfying. The book also ends with a rousing setup for a planned second volume in a trilogy.
Romance, edginess, and the paranormal come together in a cohesive and engaging tale.