(August 23, 2011)
Fledgling guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares enter Devil’s Paradise nightclub on a mission – to retrieve the wayward Hollywood “It Boy” she’s assigned to protect. But she’s ambushed by the club’s owner, Archdemon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure-seeking humans. He won’t release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager…
After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy-sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries-old feelings. Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell…or a deliciously hot heaven.
The heroine, Serena, was such an innocent, naive and generous at heart, so you would think that being a guardian angel might be difficult for her because she lacked experience. Not so. It is her innate goodness that allows her to see past the demon to the real man inside, to the place that Julian hid his truth. At times her innocence would wear thin and then she'd toss out these little zingers, like an f-bomb during a particularly naughty interlude. It was these times that I could see her spirit and could see why Julian was so attracted to her in the first place. He was able to see past her angel to the real woman inside, the one that died too young and missed her fair share of fun and adventure. They need each other, yin and yang.
Julian plays the quintessential tragic hero, only with a clever twist...he actually enjoys his life, full of sin and temptation, well, most of the time. Serena really takes him back a notch or two, making him wish for things he thought were well out of reach for an archdemon. Julian is sex on a stick and surprisingly, once Serena entered the equation that sexiness was amplified. These two are hot, hot, hot, and the chemistry is off the charts.
I really liked this take on angels and demons, and would definitely read this author again. I thought the premise of angels and demons competing for souls corporate style, with meetings and set guidelines, was a really fun way to go. The secondary characters were just as good as the main, and the fact that the book really centered around 4 or 5 people made the events flow nicely and kept everything easy to remember. Arielle, the main angel in L.A. was your typical cryptic angel, doling out advice in veiled riddles and roundabout answers. Like Yoda. Corbin, a very powerful demon rival ruled Vegas like a mob boss and his bedmate Luciana was a cruel demon with a penchant for poison. All this was set in two cities, both ripe with possibilities, L.A. and Vegas, which I thought was an excellent choice to showcase a demon and angel fall for each other. Sexy, steamy and wicked good fun!