Type: Historical Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
My Copy: Sent
She holds the key . . .
One of the mythical race of shape-shifting Imnada and a member of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery suffers under a ruthless curse. As the result of a savage massacre on the eve of Waterloo, he and the men he served with are forced to live the hours of darkness trapped as their animal aspects. Now one of them has been murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada may finally have been discovered. His only link to unearthing the truth—Bianca Parrino, the beautiful actress whom every man desires.
. . . to his forbidden desires
Forging a new life for herself after escaping the clutches of her abusive husband, Bianca is again drawn into violence when a dear friend is brutally murdered and she becomes a suspect. Forced to place her trust and her life in Mac’s hands as they flee a determined killer, Bianca cannot deny she is falling for the mysterious soldier. But will his dark secrets tear them asunder? Or will love be the key to breaking even the cruelest of spells?
A dark and intriguing start to a series based in an interesting historical London.
1815 – Three men walk through a house that has destruction all around, dead and dying bodies lay both outside and inside the house. The men are Imnada, a group of shape-changers and telepaths and they are trying to find out what happened and who is responsible before they go back to the war.
The three find Adam, their comrade inside and find he is the one responsible for the deaths, however they do not blame him as they will do anything to protect the secrets of their race as the Imnada’s continued survival depends on it. As the three men help Adam out of the house, one of the presumed dead men starts talking in a strange language and before they can escape, they are cursed by the Fey-blood.
A year later in London, the three are attending the funeral of Adam, their comrade and friend. David, Gray and Mac have come back together, bonding again because of Adam’s death. Since the curse they have been outcast from their clans, their bloodlines forever tainted and they have been erased from the world. Also at the funeral is a lone woman who is silently mourning the death of a friend. Bianca Parrino is a famous actress who is widely known in London; she was friends with Adam and was one of the last persons to see him before he died.
Fey-bloods look at Imnadas as monsters, during King Arthur’s time they felt threatened and tried to get rid of them, few Imnada’s survived the purge. A woman (Renata) whose father was killed a year ago on that fateful day knows about the Imnada’s and wants to avenge her father, she tracked and found Adam and knows there are others and vows to kill them.
Mac is intrigued with Bianca and wants to find out more about her. He is unsure of her alliances as she was friends with Adam and yet also has a friendship with a fellow actress named Sarah who is married to the Earl of Deane who Mac immediately recognizes as Fey-blood. He is not sure what to think, however seems to trust Bianca, especially when she gives him Adam’s journal. She also tells Mac that Adam visited her the night he died when it was dark – which means that somehow he found a way to break the curse.
While together one day, Bianca and Mac are taken when Mac is confined by silver, something very poisonous to the Imnada. He is beaten and tortured while Bianca is confined, yet eventually she helps a much injured Mac escape. Knowing the danger, Mac and Bianca decide that the best thing to do is get out of London because whoever is trying to kill the Imnada, knows about Bianca. They travel to Surrey where Jory Wallace lives, an Imnada outcast because of who he married. He spent a lot of time with Adam and will know what to make of Adam’s writings in the journal and maybe help with the cure Adam found.
Bianca believes they need one more ingredient for the cure so she goes back to London without letting Mac know and because he is worried, he follows. With danger and misunderstandings all around, Mac, Bianca and Lord Deane must trust and rely on each other to defeat Renata, find the cure and make decision about the future of the Imnada, do they go back to the old ways or find new ways to live in the world with others, causing a rebellion.
This is an interesting world the author has created based in historical London where humans do not realize that there are others living among them. I also liked the fact that because this is historical London, there are not many modern conveniences to help with their fight. The hatred between Fey-blood and Imnada goes back to the King Arthur days and many have died to protect the secrets. I liked this first story in the series, although there is a lot of world building and the back story is complicated, I enjoyed it. The characters are interesting and each had their own reason for their choices. I look forward to reading more about what may turn out to be a rebellion for making future change. Mac and Bianca were good together, the romance worked and I enjoyed Bianca’s friendship with Sarah. I liked Jory and his family in Surrey and hope they are in more, his son is just starting to grow into a fighter.
I give Demon’s Curse by Alexa Egan 3.5 stars!