I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
is a paperback edition on October 6, 2009 and has 419 pages.
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Fifth in the Guardians paranormal romance series revolving around a group of supernatural beings, guardians to the world against rogue vampires and demons of any level.
Oh brother, talk about miscommunication! I was a good chunk of the way through this story before I got interested in it. I hated Irena’s character. I seemed as though her only concept of communication was by hitting everyone and anyone. You know, a good knock-out punch to the jaw. Gimme a break…she’s had lots of time to get over her early life and she really needs to learn to use her words…!
In spite of Irena, Brook has created an intriguing story that kept pulling me in — I was dying to know what the trauma was that had Irena so off﹘balance and Brook just kept letting it out in dribs and drabs. It was maddening. Then there’s the worry about a demon being in control of the purse strings for the agency…and just what his nefarious plans are.
Oh, boy, that’s a telling statement: “I do not like the man I become with you.”
We get a lot of background history on Olek and Irena. It’s enough to make me want to smack her around for days. Khavi cracks me up. Pay attention to what she says throughout the story — you’ll understand better at the end.
Oh man, the battle at the end with the dragon and the airplane is TENSE with a good laugh provided by Khavi. And then things get really bad.
Irena and Alejandro are meeting Deacon in Rome…far from his home base of Prague. Beaten from his position by a nosferatu-born vampire. But Irena knows Deacon. Good in combat, loyal. It’s worth taking the time to build him back up if only for his value to the Guardians and his friends.
When Khavi warns of an upcoming event, Olek and Irena are on the scene, but of no help. Too well-planned, the shooter has escaped, but has missed his target. At least, that’s the initial thinking. For Congressman Stafford is under investigation. And the oh-so-rigid Irena is furious with Alejandro’s plans.
Detective Taylor is also threatened and Michael is being quite proprietary about her safety.
As for Deacon, he’s concerned about Rosalia’s attentions. If she suspects what he has agreed to do for the demon…
Then there are the nephilim. Their mission is to take out misbehaving vampires, but now they are targeting Guardians. And Anaria is leading the pack, intent on pursuing her plans to take Lucifer’s throne.
Irena is over 1,600-years-old with half her childhood spent as a slave in Rome. Now she’s a Guardian with a power for shaping metal. She also created the first vampire. Alejandro Sandoval de Córdoba y Hacén, a.k.a., Olek, is a Guardian with the Gift of fire who did not survive the Inquisition. He’s been in love with Irena for centuries, apprenticed to her for years even though she will have none of him.
Michael is grigori and the Doyen. Not human as the tales have told. Instead he is a son of Belial and the leader of the Guardians with the power to “change any man or woman who sacrificed themselves to save another” into a Guardian, too. Lilith is a halfling demon, a daughter of Lucifer, who chose to become human and is now married to Hugh Castleford, a former Guardian who fell and became human, then fell again for Lilith. Lilith heads up Special Investigations (SI), a government-sponsored agency which polices the paranormal. She still has Sir Pup, her hellhound pet with her. Congressman Thomas Stafford is SI’s “patron”; he’s also Rael, a demon under Belial. Julia Stafford is his ambitious, wealthy wife. Margaret Wren is in charge of the congressman’s personal security.
Other Guardians include Rosalia, a nun when she was alive, now a Guardian imprisoned for several years as a living pantry for a nest of nosferatu; Dru is a healer from whom Pim is learning; Drifter is based in Seattle where he’s mated to Charlie; Jake Hawkins is still working on his teleportation Gift along with his newest Gift with Alice‘s help as they flit about the world exploring archeological sites; Selah is strong in teleportation; Mariko manipulates glass as Irena does metal; and, Radha can disorient her target with illusions and pierce the strongest psychic shields. Novice Guardians include Becca, Pim, Echo, Ben, and Randall.
Deacon is a vampire whom everyone believes is on the side of the Guardians partly because he was once a chaplain in the navy. His partners are Eva and Petra and he leads a nest of vampires in Prague. Caym is the one who beat Deacon. Lorenzo Acciaioli, nosferatu-born, led the vampire community in Rome. He’s also Rosalia’s brother. She was the “little brother” he fed from in Rome. Mr. Lukacs has cancer and has made a deal to live forever.
Anaria is a grigori, half-demon, half human, Michael’s sister, and co-creator with Lucifer of the nephilim. Imprisoned by the Guardians over 2,000 years ago, she has escaped and “intends to take the throne in Hell and eliminate free will”. The nephilim’s purpose has been to destroy vampires who go bad, but now they’re veering from this path and following their “mother”. Khavi is another grigori, a Guardian, and Zakril’s sister; her husband was Aaron, slain by Belial. Trapped in Hell for over 1,000 years, she also foresees the future.
Detectives Andy Taylor and Joe Preston are with the San Francisco PD; they know about the Guardians, have worked with them in the past. Now Taylor’s at risk. Captain Jorgenson is their boss and a jerk. Special Agent in Charge Bradshaw is based in San Francisco and he also knows about demons and the congressman. Well, he should since he’s also a Guardian, Luther. Colin Ames-Beaumont is the daywalking vampire, nosferatu-born. Powerful. And able to open the Chaos Realm. He’s partnered with Savitri Murray, also nosferatu, the SI resident geek, and Hugh’s little sister. Jason is Taylor’s brother, in a coma from which he will never recover.
Caelum is the Guardian realm on another plane of existence. The Chaos Realm is where those who do not fulfill their bargains with demons go to scream eternity away and the dragons and nephilim live.
The Cover and Title
The cover is aflame with a smudgy sky, a city in the background and the leather-aproned Irena in a fighting stance in the middle of it all. Daggers in both hands, her shoulder-length, blonde hair lifting in the wind of the flames, Irena is ready for Alejandro or the nephilim.
The title is too apt as Irena is indeed Demon Forged.