This story follows very much the style and form of the previous two in the series, "Jacob" and "Gideon". It focuses on the Demons, one of the groups of Nightwalkers (various creatures that go Bump In The Night like Vampires, Lycanthropes and the Demons, powerful supernatural beings) and in this story on the chief Warrior demon, Elijah, whose history includes being the warrior who killed the King of the Lycanthropes fourteen years ago.
Unfortunately as the story starts Elijah has been cornered by his enemies and seriously wounded. Just before he's finished off by Ruth and Mary, the former Demons who have now turned evil, those attacking him are frightened away by the call of a wild cat - a Cougar. That animal is the Queen of the Lycanthropes, Siena, whose rule for the last fourteen years since the death of her father has done a great deal to build bridges of peace with the Demons and the Vampires. Siena herself, rather in the manner of Queen Elizabeth I, has decided to stay a virgin so that she doesn't have to share her throne with a man who might drag the Pride back into war. The nature of being a Lycanthrope Queen means that if she mates with anyone that mating bond is for life.
Siena hasn't realised, however, the powerful pull of attraction she will feel when taking care of an almost-dead Elijah. She takes him to safey in a cave but they are trapped there for several days and despite the fact that they are from different species and the Demon Lore forbids any relationships between Demon and Lycanthrope, rather inevitably they find themselves unable to hold back their lusts. When they separate to go back to their individual lives there is clear evidence that there was more to this 'one off' mating than either of them imagined.
Their attempts to stay apart or to find a way of dissolving the Imprinting bond take their attention away from the fight against Mary and Ruth but soon all the Demons, as well as some of the other Nightwalkers, find themselves fighting for their lives.
As with the other books this is written in a lush style which is easy to read. However, also like the other books, the actual plot is rather thin and it seems that the characters spend quite a lot of time thinking or talking or faffing amongst themselves rather than doing anything (and the stuff they're doing doesn't really add to the sense of character for them, either). I was also a little disappointed that more wasn't made of the cross-cultural problem; for Elijah his mating with Siena breaks thousand year taboos (maybe like humans mating with chimps?) and for Siena to ally herself with a race that had been at war with hers for 300 years, not least that her mate is the man who killed her father, is a huge step and yet this all seems swept under the carpet remarkably easily. I had hoped for far more exploration of what this might mean to the individuals involved, the hostility they might face, and yet there was almost none.
Still this is a reasonable enough read in the genre with lots of input from the heroes and heroines of the previous novels as well as some likely new plot lines for future books. Those who enjoyed the others should like this one, others starting with this book should enjoy it but with some reservations.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book, [...] © Helen Hancox 2007