An ancient warrior on Earth for centuries falls in love with a human woman, which may make him vulnerable to his evil, demon-controlling father in this debut paranormal romance.
It seems Barakiel, the spawn of Lucifer, is paying for his father’s sins. He’s a Covalent, beings that long ago bonded the Creative and Destruction Realms and have since maintained Balance. When Lucifer challenges the Council Forces with a demon horde and the Corrupted (rebellious Covalent warriors), the Council, fearing Barakiel may join his dad’s side, banishes him to the Earthly Realm. After 12 centuries, give or take, on Earth, occasionally battling Lucifer’s minions, Barakiel is far from content. But this changes when he meets FBI Special Agent Alexandra “Zan” O’Gara, at his door for his expertise on antique knives related to a murder case. A mutual attraction is instantaneous, and torrid physical encounters are soon complemented by an emotional connection. Barakiel’s “minder,” Pellus, with him for the entirety of his exile, is understandably concerned, as a relationship with a human defies Covalent Law. The couple’s romance hits a snag once Zan finally tires of Barakiel’s secretive, out-of-town business trips, and Pellus is convinced a fed’s background check will expose a bogus history. Lucifer, meanwhile, has something in play to provoke Barakiel into losing Balance, his primary source of power and strength. The author’s amalgamation of genres is impressive, mixing romance, erotica, and supernatural elements with an ongoing FBI investigation. There’s an eventual shift, somewhat disappointingly, to the couple’s relationship, though subplots stick around until the end. Explicit sex scenes and violent, demon-slicing clashes make the narrative decidedly adult. But Doyle excels at the dramatic, surprisingly realistic romance. Smitten Zan, for one, willingly overlooks Barakiel’s increasingly erratic behavior, like constant ambivalence (should he tell the Council about Zan?), that’s reminiscent of depression. Barakiel, too, is impetuously passionate, even if his tender words are cliché: “You don’t have to make yourself beautiful, Zan. You just are beautiful.” The father-son dynamic has potential for pure epicness in later books, while Zan’s more sensible FBI partner, Mel, who recognizes Barakiel as “the strangest fucking guy,” will hopefully earn more of a spotlight.
A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters and room for expansion.