Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
As the war between the species heats up in Crimson City, a common enemy has all kinds banding together to fight.
"Find her... the Phoenix Tear. Close the gate. Permanently." These were the last words of Patrick's mother as she lay dying and there was no way he could possibly refuse her last wish. Thus begins Patrick's adventure.
Patrick is the Draig-Uisge, leader of the Druids, who has the power to shape energy to his magical needs. When the demon Bak-Farus invade Earth through a gate from Orcus, death and destruction follow in their wake and the world will die if they are not stopped. Being so closely linked to the Earth, Patrick can feel the vitality of the world seeping out the loner the gate remains open. Following his mother's plea, he goes in search of the only one who can help him, the Phoenix Tear.
Xiao Fei is a survivor, but barely. She is the last remaining Phoenix Tear, a hemophiliac whose strength and gift lies in her blood. Her blood has the ability to heal the gravest of injuries, it can even make a vampire human again. She came to Crimson City years ago, after helping to close a demon gate in Cambodia at the tender age of eight years old, and being the only one to survive. Now, hiding out in Crimson City, she's about to confront the horrors of her childhood once more.
Patrick is convinced that a ritual sex act pairing him and Xiao Fei will enhance their respective powers and bring about the closing of the gate. Xiao Fei has her doubts, after all it took 30 monks and Phoenix Tears to close a gate last time. But allied with the vampires and werewolves and all the Druids, they may very well have a chance. Too bad love has to interfere with Patrick's plans.
This is only my second read of the Crimson City series but it was most definitely more sensual than the previous book in the series I read. This is due to the nature of the plot. Patrick believes they need sex to conquer evil and Xiao Fei is resistant initially. The attraction between them however overcomes all doubt on more than one occasion. The sexual pull is increased even more though as something interferes every time they are close to succumbing to their desires. Initially, the two star-crossed love birds fight the feelings between them, convinced their emotions will only weaken their dedication to the plan. It certainly doesn't help matters any that Patrick will do whatever it takes to complete the ritual and close the gate, even knowing this course of action could very well be the death of the woman he has come to love.
In spite of the nature of Patrick and Xiao Fei's gifts and the dedication to the cause, they never lose their humanity, which is one aspect I especially loved about Seduced by Crimson. Patrick has many inner battles to face, stemming from events unfolding in his childhood. We are made privy to his history through entries in a journal he kept through his teen years. These entries give us a lot of insight into him and why it is so very important he win this battle. Xiao Fei lived a horrific life as a child and the incidents surrounding the closing of the demon gate so many years ago has left her traumatized. This adds to her fear in present day as no one can truly understand what it means to have that gate open unless they lived through it before. We are given a look into her life through flashbacks and her telling of the story. This made her previous experiences have that much greater of an impact on how we viewed current events.
Seduced by Crimson by Jade Lee starts with a bang and doesn't let up until the final page is turned. The opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the book. On a bloody battlefield, Patrick sees what havoc the demons have wrought and must close the gate and defeat the Bak-Farus before they destroy the entire city and possibly the world. The frenzied pace of the story and the desperation to close the gate before it's too late make for a very tension-laden story. I was on the edge of my seat and biting my nails as I waited to see what would happen next. Add in the fact you have rival species like werewolves and vampires being forced to work together to help fend off the demons and the pressure builds still more, knowing their animosity towards one another could come to the forefront at any given moment.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, April 2007. All rights reserved.