Title: Demon Angel
Series: The Guardians #1
Author: Meljean Brook
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publish Date: 2 January 2007
Book given to reviewer as gift from another author.
For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father’s armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege. Bound by a bargain with the devil and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation. That is, until she faces her greatest temptation—Heaven’s own Sir Hugh Castleford…
Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons—and the cursed, blood-drinking nosferatu. His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her. But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil—and against a desire that has been too long denied…
Who will be the first to succumb?
The first in The Guardian series (not including the novella Falling for Anthony), Demon Angel introduces a reader to the War between Heaven and Hell over earth and the souls of the humans living on it.
The tale starts in Medieval England with a young knight, Sir Hugh. On his way home from two years protecting his Lords child bride in France, he meets Lilith at some roman ruins close to his destination after investigating a mysterious flash of movement. There is an instant attraction between them, though they both fight it. Lilith because she is bound by a bargain with Lucifer and part demon, Hugh fights because it goes against his morals and code of conduct.
Hugh discovers Lilith is a demon when he sees her turn to attack his mentor, Sir George and then has the truth revealed to him about Angels, Demons and Guardians. Hugh’s mentor is actually the leader of The Guardians, Michael. When Hugh dies while protecting another from a Demon’s influence, Michael makes him a Guardian to continue to protect mankind from evil influences.
After Hugh becomes a Guardian, he and Lilith spend hundreds of years fighting each other, fighting evil and fighting their sexual attraction for each other.
Now in present day San Francisco, they must fight together to avert the turning of the war and ultimate evil. I won’t go anyfurther in the story line, because I would hate to destroy the twists and surprices. Lets just say that there is love lost, guilt, punishment, unlikely friendships, love rediscovered, forgiveness, symbols to be decifered, lies, truth, betrayal and trust.
I have to say, I am a HUGE fan of Meljean Brook’s series. The world is so detailed and has very defined rules that allow the reader to become submerged in the storyline and the characters.
And what great characters. Lilith has to be a favourite of mine. She is smart, sassy, strong and sarcastic (a lot of “S” words). The best part is that Brook is able to show this side of the character but still include the humanizing vulnerabilities. Lilith is totally badass but also very easy to identify with.
Brook again uses dual personality with her hero, Hugh. Hugh’s vulnerabilities are also his strengths. He’s need to help Lilith and moral compass are his motivation, which seem to make him soft but his centre is toughened steel. He has the strength to hold up Lilith when she needs support and deny himself what his heart desires (and his body!).
Colin is as vain as they come. He bemoans the cost of feeding Lilith’s dog but does not hesitate to spend a fortune on clothes. The sparing between Lilith and Colin is hilarious, empty threats and sarcastic flattery. It is witty, clever and tinged with their loving friendship.
However, my most favourite character in this book is a sideline character – and he isn’t human. Sir Pup is a Hellhound. Brook imbues Pup with such human emotions and responses. I often laugh out loud at his antics. Yesterday I found this image and it immediately brought this character to mind!
The love scenes are masterfully written. They are strong but loving. INCREDIBLY HOT. My Lord, are they hot. My husband found me to be quiet inspired while reading this book!
Demon Angel is a fabulous book with intensive characters and some sizzling love scenes. Easily one of my favourite authors, reading any of Meljean’s novels is well worth the time and money well spent.
To learn more about Meljean and her books, check out her webpage here.
Favourite Quotes from Demon Angel
“Savitri Murray. What a delightfully mixed-up ethnicity you must have, and how delightfully foxed you must be to ring the wrong number at four in the morning. I must confess, I love nothing so much as exotic women who drink excessively.”
“Beautiful? Sartorially exquisite? Witty? Aye, creatures such as I are a menace indeed.”
“And now that I know you have ninja skills, I definitely don’t want you to be a psychopath.”
Savi stood by Hugh, her head at the level of his shoulder. “He’s very handsome,” she murmured in Hindi. Colin glanced up, but the rapacious pleasure in his gaze turned to something painfully beleaguered when she added, “It’s too bad he’s gay.”
“If anyone but me knocks at your door, use it.” Pausing, she reconsidered. After their confrontation in the park, Hugh might seek out the vampire. “Unless it is He-Who-Shall-Not- Be-Named.”….. “Voldemort?”
The hellhound gave an inquiring whine; Lilith glanced at him and shook her head. “You can’t eat her. We may need her later. No. Not even one bite.” She grinned at Colin, whose face had paled. “Obedience training. I don’t want him to forget he can’t eat human-shaped things while he’s on Earth.”
Sir Pup waited for her; the odor of the park and Hugh lingered on his fur. He glared at her with four eyes, but refused to look at her at all from his middle head. She grinned. “I meant police officers. You didn’t really think he might be harassed by pigs?” She dumped a pile of dry dog food into the bathtub, promised she’d bring bacon to Colin’s house for his dinner, changed into her suit and ran out the door.
Her eyes gleamed with amusement. “Have you seen what happens if pure hellhound venom gets into a demon? It paralyzes them. Think how easy it would be to pose you for photos then. I’ll probably keep a few for my own enjoyment; you’re both so handsome.”
“I want to be on top,” Hugh said.
She stared at him a moment, then shook her head and burst into laughter. “Good, because we are completely out of condoms.” When he frowned, she said, “Idiot, just because we are settling down you think we want a kid? We already have Colin.”
Hugh choked on his laugh. “Sir Pup. Savi.”
“We are doomed,” Michael said and disappeared.
She quickly wound her hair into a coil. “Can I drive?”
“Not a chance.” He slung his leg over the back of the bike, patted the seat behind him. “I’ve seen you fly.”
Hugh slanted an amused glance down at Sir Pup. “Why is it that she’s so determined to put me in a sexual situation with another man?” He caught her look and raised a brow. “I’ll do it, if it makes you happy.”
“Michael said the same thing: that there is naught to do but fight,” he said, and laughed when she made a sound of dismay. She closed her eyes, grateful he’d let her escape into humor. “Shit. The next time I sound like him, stab me.”