by Linda Wisdom
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ARC Courtesy of Publisher
Bestselling author Linda Wisdom, with 13 million category romances sold, is working to build her single title audience with the hottest new area of the romance category– sexy demon heroes.Lovely witch Lili Carter takes a job at a paranormal hospital where patients have been disappearing. There she encounters Jared, a dangerously sexy demon on a mission that gets Lili into a world of trouble. Lili can't avoid Jared for long and soon they find themselves creating a whole new kind of magick...GoodReads
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Dr. Lili Carter is a witch with great healing abilities. She has returned to Crying Souls Hospital to investigate the disappearance of a close friend, Sera. As Lili arrives in Inderman; the magical plane outside of San Francisco, Lili discovers that Sera's suspicious disappearance is not the only one and sets out to play detective. As she arrives at the hospital for her first day at work, she's notified that she will be working with the mentally ill patients in the asylum underneath the hospital. Lilli is shocked and disgusted about the treatment of these patients and vows to help them, especially patient 1172. The one she feels a connection to and the the one that may be her future, if she can unravel the mystery and protect him.
The story takes off as Lili arrives in Inderman with her cat Cleo. Cleo was a unique character and I say character because she almost stole the show. I couldn't have imagined this story without her. She was sassy, spunky and so much fun. Cleo had the "I am God, you must worship me" attitude that I would expect all cats to have if they could talk. I looked forward to any and all interactions that included Cleo. Though I don't want to give too much away on who or what Cleo is, her name pretty much gives you a good clue. There were some aspects of Cleo I wish would have been delved into. There was a good number of supporting characters and Cleo was pretty much at the top. There was so much about her that I wanted to know that was never explained. She never wanted to talk about how she became a cat and it seemed to bother her. I wonder if Cleo will have more page time in another book and we haven't seen the last of, or if just part of her character wasn't developed enough. Whatever the case, she was great to read about.
The hero of this story, Jared, also referred to as patient 1172, makes an early entrance in the story as Lili arrives in Inderman. They share some intense eye contact and an intimate touch with the application of perfume down her neck before he vanishes; just too mysteriously show up in her living room later that night while she's thinking about him. Lili voices that she needs to strengthen the wards around her house and this is when we hear the book title phrase that's said by Jared "Witches are gifted, but a demon does it better". I think this would have made more of an impact for me, if it wasn't used several more times throughout the book. I get that it was there "thing" maybe an inside joke, but I was kind of getting sick of hearing it.
After Jared vanishes from her house, Lili comes across him again, in the dungeon of horrors, as the hospital staff calls it, filthy, beaten and bruised, not at all how she saw him last. Confused on how he could escape with no one knowing and even more confused with why he would come back to the dungeon, Lili is determined to get answers. I enjoyed delving into what Jared is and why he was in the asylum. The shadows that surround him and are so much a part of who he is, that when he shows up in the story, the shadows really take on a life of their own and that was one of the aspects I liked about his character
I had a pretty good idea who the bad guy was from the second he walked on to the page. I didn't like anything about him, but spent most of the book trying to figure out what he was up to. This is where my feelings on the book are a little confusing. As the book started off, I felt an almost disconnect with the characters and the story itself. Something wasn't coming together for me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I actually stopped where I was and started over, still struggling through the first few chapters. Luckily, it picked up a little bit for me about midway. The connection between Lili and Jared was there, but I didn't really feel it or see it till later on. At first it almost felt forced, like the author was telling me it was there, but I wasn't feeling it. Once these two finally came together, I was sold. Even in their feelings came on strong and fast, I was that much more invested in them.
Though I have mixed feelings about this book, the mysteries are what kept me going and wouldn't let me walk away from it. Will Lili find her friend Sera and what happened to her? What happened to the little ghost girl Amy and why is she stuck down in the asylum? What was it that Kevin saw and what is after him? What is really going on with Jared that he can't remember? What exactly is the bad guy up to? There was plenty of supporting characters in this book and those that I just mentioned had enough page time to catch my interest and invest me in their outcomes. I was just as anxious as Lili to figure out what was going on, but I was so disappointed not to have all my questions answered. Just as I was curious about Cleo, my questions about Amy and Kevin were left unanswered and never revealed. What was it that Kevin saw and why was it after him? I have no idea so why did it seem like it was an intricate part of the story? I have my ideas, but it's just speculation. Do they all coincide together to what was happening in the asylum? I'd like to think so, but I also like to work with the facts I am given by the author, and in this case, I wasn't given much. Another thing that was brought up was the death and murder of Lili's mom. It had such a deep impact on her and I felt it was important to her character. I felt almost cheated as the reader by not being let into the details of her pain. I wanted to know about her loss and what had happened, but all I got was the fact she was dead and it brought Lili to tears. I feel like there was so much more that could of been brought to the forefront and would of given me a deeper understand on Lili. Where she came from and how it made her the witch she was today.
I will say that I have not read the first book, and this is book two in a series. Would I have felt more connected to the story if I had read the first book? I have no idea, but that is a intriguing thought :) Maggie was introduced briefly in this story. She found her happiness in the first book, Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend. I have to say I thought her character was tough and wicked and I enjoyed the brief introduction to her tattoo :) She definitely has piqued my interest. I would give this book three stars because it was so up and down for me. I would like to check out the first book and if I enjoy it, possibly giving this one another go.
Jolene's Rating: 3 Wine Glasses