This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Dystopian Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on May 27, 2014
Ever since I finished up Raven’s story in Black Widow Demon, I have been salivating for Creed’s story. I was almost scared to even start reading because of the anticipation and expectation I had built up, but once I started reading, the nerves left and I was fully engaged. Creed was exactly who and what I thought him to be. He’s big, powerful, heroic, gentle and passionate while still keeping his smiles and fun-loving nature that he brings out to reassure and encourage others. Like a good finale story does, this one comes full circle to the beginning intertwining Hunter, Aerie and Scratch back into the story along with a formidable foe and a strong direction for everyone’s future.
This is a continuation story even with a new hero and heroine so it must be read in order. It picks up where the last one left off with Creed tracking Willow and the other half-demon children she is gathering to her for her own purposes. He follows her trail by stopping in each city to check rumors of children disappearing or being sold to slavers. Since the demons were driven out of the world, half-demons have suddenly gained more demon gifts and find it difficult to hide. Humans are uneasy because there are more half-demons than were ever thought to be. The situation is volatile as many want to exterminate all half-demons out of fear and some half-demons want to exterminate all humans in retaliation. Creed and a few others want to find a way for everyone to live in harmony, but first he needs to stop Willow.
When entering the town of Desert’s End, he follows his usual routine by questioning the sheriff which leads him out to a kyson ranch to question the owner about a boy he sold to slavers the year before. At the ranch, he encounters a skittish woman slave that his demon surges up in him urging him toward. He tries to soothe her with gentle compulsion, but this makes her freak out worse and he can only figure that she had a bad encounter with a demon before. His encounter with the cruel owner, Bear, and, with the woman, Nieve, lead to the discovery that the child was suspected as demon spawn.
The mention of her child finally breaks Nieve free of the memory block that was put on her to forget her own child. Now after years of docility, she will do what it takes to get her son back even if it means partnering with that which she fears the most. Creed has been nothing, but kind. However, she knows he is a demon just like the one who entranced her before leading to her father selling her to the abusive Bear. Never again will she fall for a demon. Creed promises to help find her son, but is honest by saying that he has a mission to complete as well. Nieve plans to just rely on herself because she doubts Creed’s promise and knows he plans to capture any half-demons and take them to the human authorities. She won’t let him get her son.
Creed does all he can to protect and reassure Nieve. She has softened toward him as they work together through travels and dangers along the way, but he knows that ultimately she will leave him. She hates and fears his kind and then there is the fact of his work. The demon in him wants Nieve and wants her to claim him as hers. Creed would like that too, but its all up to Nieve. Meanwhile, he must focus on the inevitable confrontation with Willow, the demon she has summoned and her group of strongly gifted half-demon children.
As I said, I was thrilled with the character of Creed and every scene he was in just sparkled and snapped with excitement for me. The plot is a good one. It’s the build up to the big confrontation. Most of the story is about Creed and Nieve tracking Willow and the missing children as they make their way to hopeful allies in Hunter and Aerie. Hunter and Aerie are dealing with fear and prejudice where they settled near his home town. Little Scratch watches and orchestrates events and people in silence so that good will triumph over evil. Several plot threads work separately through much of the book, but then weave together in the end for a great showdown.
Now while I loved much of this story, the exciting scenes, the character development, the setting and even a bit of the romance, I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the heroine as a romance interest for Creed. On her own as a main character, I totally rooted for Nieve as she grew a backbone and worked through her issues while she determinedly set out to find her son. As a romance interest for Creed, she left me wanting and not because she isn’t alpha enough. I wouldn’t have minded a meek heroine. She is so self-absorbed and focused on her business to the exclusion of anything or anyone else that she can’t even see that Creed isn’t who and what she makes him out to be even though the evidence piles up right under her own nose. For much of the book, she made it clear that she was disgusted and afraid by his demon nature even though he came through for her from the moment they met. He treated her with respect and gentleness, he put his life on the line for her, and loved her in spite of her continuing rejection. She used him and pushed him away every chance she could. Her quick about face at the end wasn’t enough for me. Creed wanted her and was happy, but I wanted better for him. Although that end scene where her son runs to Creed to jump into his arms showing his full acceptance was pretty adorable and I loved that Creed gets his own ready-made family and the promise of hit growing.
A little off topic, but I have to give a shout out for the cover art of this book in particular and the series as a whole. It just has eye-catching pop.
In the end, I am sorry to leave this series and its awesome worldbuilding and characters behind. I have totally loved the Wild West vibe and all the paranormal elements with the gritty situations. The romances are always complicated and passionate. The storyline was engaging from the first page to the past. Nope, don’t want it to end, but I am glad that not once did I read a dud in this series so it ends on a high note.
I would recommend this series to several types since it blends the genres. Dystopian Romance, Paranormal Romance, and Western Romance fans might all want to try these books.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.