Hunting the Demon
by Jaci Burton
by Jaci Burton
IN A WILDERNESS SEETHING WITH SIN AND SEDUCTION, THE CHASE IS ON.
Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronzed surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise--can resist.
Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: A force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal – possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid to love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger...or straight into each other’s arms…
Shay Pearson is a kick-ass demon hunter who volunteers to be 'bait' for Derek's long-lost younger brother Nic Diavolo. Because, like Derek, Nic is half-demon, she makes contact to assess him and whether he should be brought into their group or eliminated. Shay voluteers for the assignment because she feels a connection to Nic partially because of her psychic visions but is unprepared for the attraction between them which is instantaneous and electric. Circumstances force her to call the team in to kidnap Nic and, of course, he sees it as a betrayal and is enraged. Shay and the other demon hunters try to make Nic see the truth of his demon-family heritage not only because they need his help to stop the demons plans but also for his own safety.
Nic doesn't believe a word his 'kidnappers' say. His father wasn't evil, he has no brother and he certainly isn't half-demon. He knows he has to pretend to believe in order to escape and the only real part of his 'act' is the attraction and feelings he has for Shay. Before he can completely escape, he sees the reality of the demons for himself and knows that the demon-hunters were telling the truth. Now he must prove that he can be a part of the team and regain Shay's trust because her visions depict a horrifying possible future if he should lose control of the demon inside him - and he can't control it alone.
I have been eagerly anticipating this second book in the Demon Hunters series since Derek and Gina's book- Surviving Demon Island - came out in January and I wasn't disappointed with Nic & Shay's story.
I didn't fall instantly in love with Nic the way I did with Derek (the grouchy hard-ass) in the first book. In the beginning, Nic seemed to be a useless rich, pretty-boy surfer - I began to worry that I wasn't going to like this character which can ruin a whole book for me. I kept on reading and I began to see Ms. Burton's purpose in portraying Nic that way. The way he was at first served to accentuate the progression of his metomorphosis into a strong hero throughout the book. The core of determination inside Nic is tapped by his discovery of the existance of demons and he now has a purpose and a direction.
Shay was a good heroine, although the one major problem I had with this book has to do with her psychic ability. First, she fights the visions even when they could help them - OK, I know that they leave her feeling wrung out but I thought she should have been more open to them for the good of the team; Second, she has had these psychic visions since childhood but nobody else knows about them. My problem with this is: If she's so affected by them (left weakened or shaken by them) how can we believe that the whole group of highly observant demon-hunters, who spend almost all of their time together, wouldn't notice this about her? Third, suddenly in this book she is the one sensing the demons because of her psychic powers and the two people who usually sense them are suddenly 'unable' to. I could buy this if there were some explanation but there wasn't (or if there was I TOTALLY missed it).
Other than my beef with her psychic talent, I liked Shay. She was the perfect match for Nic - able to kick demon ass but still vulnerable and loving. I felt that this was a good combination for her because Nic needs someone to protect, as well as to be protected by. And despite his demon nature and his transformation into hero-material, he still had a bit of the playful surfer in him so Shay's loving personality fit.
Overall, I found Hunting the Demon to be well-paced, sexy, and engaging. I planned on skimming through it yesterday just to refresh and ended up re-reading it again... I got sucked into it. Surviving Demon Island is still my favorite - I loved Derek & Gina but this one is a solid addition to the series and book #3, The Demon's Touch, is due out in 2008 and will be on my 'buy' list.
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