Demon Angel tells the story of Lilith (half-demon) and Hugh Castleford (a Guardian). From the first moment they meet, their relationship is a battle of wills, wits and then swords. Spanning nearly 800 years from the 13th Century to the present day, this is a much more complicated story than boy meets girl, boy saves girl, they live happily ever after.
I had read very good reviews of this book, but when I started it I was slightly wary. Number one, because it starts in 1217 and I am not a big historical fan and also I really am not keen on the cover (I know it's what's inside the book that counts but there you go.) Actually I admit that's an understatement, I really don't like the cover.
However, my bias was quickly swept away as I was drawn into Hugh and Lilith's tale. And we're quickly brought up to date as the majority of the book takes place in the present where Hugh and Lilith face a possibly unsurmountable threat to themselves.
Lilith is another of what I'm coming to think of as 2007's demon heroines (see also Jesse from Hell's Belles and Georgina from Succubus Blues). What I find interesting about her is how complex she is, in parts of the book she seems to revel in what she does because it's necessary. And then there are the parts where she is disgusted with herself, each equally well written. Meljean Brook takes us on this journey with Lilith and for me this is what made the story, readers who prefer a more traditional romance may find it slightly harder to get into. Personally I loved it.
Hugh is perhaps the perfect hero for Lilith, in that he doesn't let her get away with anything - even when, perhaps, he should. Their relationship is a very slow burn, starting out more adversarial than romantic, but in the end they are both willing to give up everything for the other.
It's great to find another series with well-developed characters and plot (more on that in a moment). The secondary characters - Colin the vampire, Sir Pup, Savitri are not just their to support Hugh and Lilith - they have their own problems to deal with - some which appear to have far-reaching consequences.
I've mentioned how much I loved the complexities of this story and its characters and I apologise if I appear to contradict myself here. In places I was left scratching my head as to what exactly was going on and at some points didn't understand what the characters were talking about as well. This is probably most in reference to the bargain made towards the end - I read through this bit several times and still didn't really understand it. It happened in a couple of other places as well but this is the one that stands out. If you can bear with that, this is a book that is well worth reading.
For anyone who hasn't seen it Meljean Brook commented on the plot complexities at the Dear Author.com site in the comments section of the review of Demon Angel. With particular reference to explaining the complexities of the bargain. LOL - I found it quite a relief to know I wasn't the only one who was confused.Demon Angel Review at Dear Author.com
The next novel Demon Moon is out June 2007 and is already on my wishlist. There are also short stories available in the Wild Thing anthology (May 2007), and the Hot Spell anthology (November 2006