An FBI agent’s devastated when she learns her boyfriend’s a supernatural warrior—and Lucifer’s son—in this second installment of a paranormal romance series.
Special agent Alexandra “Zan” O’Gara responds quickly to boyfriend Rainer Barakiel’s frantic phone call warning her that his enemies are coming after her. She defends herself and her apartment from what turn out to be “scaly, slobbering monsters.” But the biggest shock is Barakiel, who, upon his arrival, kills the beasts with superhuman speed. Barakiel’s a Covalent from another dimension who’s been vanquishing demons in the Earthly Realm for almost 1,300 years. Unfortunately, though he and Zan have been lovers for some time, he hasn’t quite gotten around to telling her what he truly is. Upset by Barakiel’s lies, Zan tries to end their relationship, but it’s far from easy. His evil father, Lucifer, has targeted his son and, aware of Barakiel’s love for Zan, will likely continue sending demons her way through dimensional rifts. Barakiel and his mentor, Pellus, suspect a traitor among the Covalent is helping Lucifer—a traveler, like Pellus, who can detect and navigate rifts. But regardless of how hard they try, deeply in love Zan and Barakiel simply can’t stay away from each other. Doyle (The Passion Season, 2016) deftly injects turbulence into the recurring couple’s romance: Zan’s distress is understandable, while Barakiel’s resultant behavior is akin to stalking, adamantly refusing to leave her alone even when she demands he do so. Their mutual allure is often purely physical, as that seems to be what’s continually drawing Zan back to Barakiel: “He’s so hot, I am going to die.” The sex scenes, however, are unquestionably ardent and provocative. A subplot involving Zan and her FBI partner, Mel Romani, working a human trafficking case is primarily a wrap-up, having started in the preceding novel. The possibility of a betrayer, meanwhile, is more intriguing, ultimately launching an explosive final act in which the Covalent and the feds rally together.
A commendable follow-up with otherworldly action, down-to-earth melodrama, and sensuality in between.