DEMONS OF THE PAST
Abraham Stirling, Lord Rothwell, was a fighter once, a soldier in the Colonies. But Bram returned to London with more nightmares than tales of glory. Now he drowns his senses in the arms of countless women, while his friends, the Hellraisers, ensure he needn’t sin alone.
Until, that is, the Devil himself grants them each a wish, undoing their camaraderie as they explore their wicked powers. Bram finds himself magically bound to Valeria Livia Corva, the sensuous priestess who raised the Devil the first time—and died to send the demon back.
She may be a ghost, but Livia is no angel. The raw passion she witnesses in Bram’s memories isn’t much different from her behavior when she had a body to enjoy. But it doesn’t make it any easier to convince Bram to become a warrior again, lest all London burn. And the fierce desires reawakening within her might just start the blaze…
Ever have one of those moments where you start a book with trepidation because you sort of know the author (meaning you interviewed their husband once and he wished you a happy birthday) and what if the book isn’t good? What then? You’ll have to quit reviewing Ginny and live in a cave feeding on berries and probably kill a bear because how can you post a negative review when they literally just made you a birthday gift?
I feel it’s important to point out that yes, I know that’s not a logical progression of events. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m “a little bit”* crazy.
And this is the last time I’m going to type this for the week because I know you’re sick of reading it, but “then I read more than three pages” and I came to a realization.
One – read the books in order.
Two – Zoe Archer does not disappoint.
Allow me to expand on both of these facts. This book was fucking epic. There. Review over.
Listen, I’ve been typing for a really long time and my cat refuses to type while I dictate and… fine, I’ll expand further…
The book is fucking epic. As it should be. It’s (what I assume is) the epic climax of a series involving dissolute rakes redeeming themselves and fighting the devil. They fight the devil. You don’t get much higher on the scale of epic than that.
Because of this, you should probably go back and read the other books first, because you want to build up to the climax. And while I’m most definitely going to go back and read the first two books, are they really going to be as good as this one? Will I feel as strongly about Whit and Zora or Leo and Anne as I did about Bram and Livia?
Well okay, possibly. I do love me some gypsies.
Still, do yourself a favor and read these books in order.
I should probably talk more about the epicnicity, shouldn’t I?
There are several things that mark this book as being win:
Bram (which is a name I really like) is the overly angsty stand-offish male lead who is charming but doesn’t realize it because he’s such a damaged soldier.
Livia is ghost of the Roman Priestess who was so power hungry that she did truly awful things in her life. And that was before she let the devil out of his prison. She repents and tries to lead a good after-life, but she’s still kind of a lusty-B.
The bad guy working for the devil is a total psycho. The devil is the devil. The setting isn’t what you normally get in a historical romance (meaning the shitty parts of London) and they even talk about hangings. I felt OVERLY DRAMATIC while reading it, as I am want to do with good historical romances. But also kept having to tell my own paranormal characters to butt the fuck out and leave Bram and Livia be, which I have to do with really good paranormal titles.
If there was a best of both worlds tag, this book would totally earn it.
Oh, and it contained a new word for fornicating and a word I’d forgotten for lady parts, both of which I’ve tucked into my repertoire.
4.5 Stars. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 2 more books to read.
*This is on a sliding scale of crazy that consists of me and those people on the subway who yell at you while wearing a coat made of live cats because the end is near. I like to stack the odds in my favor.