May 2013, Paranormal Romance
Signet, $7.99, 384 pages, Amazon ASIN 045123975X Part of a series
Most paranormals these days are a part of a series. That makes this job particularly difficult. The books you need to read that you are thrust into the middle of a series sometimes means you don't go into the story with all the background information you need. In the case of Eternal Demon, that meant that while the Romance was good, the greater story arc was a bit of a flop for me.
When his worst enemy, who also happens to be his adopted father, steals his son, Erion knows that there is nothing he won’t do to get Ladd back. Kidnapping his father’s bride to be seems like an easy fix. He kidnaps the bride and then will exchange her for his son. But the female is unlike anything that Erion has ever seen. Not only does a part of her call out to a part of him, she is the most beautiful female he has ever seen. Yes, she may have eaten one of his guards, but she had good reason. And when she goes into heat, the only thing that holds Erion back is knowing that if he doesn’t return the bride in perfect condition, his son will be in even greater danger.
Hellen – whose name has Hell in it for a reason – has been promised to a cruel vampire. But she is willing to marry him at her father’s orders in order to protect her sisters. She knows that her father will follow through on his threats to hurt them. He is the Devil, after all. She may not love Cruen, but the way that Hellen looks at it, she will never love anyone else either and one male is the same as the next. How hard can it be to spread her legs? Of course, there is the fact that after only five minutes on the surface she ends up kidnapped, she goes into heat from not having her special potion to prevent it, and she ends up feeling terrible that the crazy vampire mutant lost his son, but Hellen isn’t one to give up. Returning to Hell seems her best option. When Hellen and Erion return to Hell to protect Ladd from her father’s cruelties, they discover that the worst is yet to come. He guesses their feelings for one another and they soon become the objects of a cruel torture themselves.
If I were to take Erion and Hellen as a couple and just look at their story, this book is probably in the A range. Hellen is snarky and refreshing. Her response when Erion asks why she ate his guard? She was hungry, ok? Sure there was a lot more to it (he tried to sexually harass her) but to her the material point really was that she was hungry. And I liked the banter they shared. Snarky Hellen was just what the tortured and uptight Erion seemed to need to let his own inner devil (literally) free. The trust they built together was based on the harsh reality that neither had anyone else that they could trust and that made their romance very touching and real. I really enjoyed their story. As Erion becomes a father and a mate, both he and Hellen have a journey of growth that is fun, romantic, passionate, and exciting.
Most paranormal series these days build one upon each other in a greater story arc, but it is still easy to pick one up early in the series (this book is the fifth in the Mark of the Vampire series) and still figure out what is going on. As much as I loved Erion and Hellen’s story, the greater story was very confusing. Some of that could have been eliminated with a glossary. Terms, like veanna, paven, balas, swell, were off-putting. Though it was clear that veanna meant some sort of female, it was unclear if it was also another term for a mate. Does it also refer to the breed of the female? Though it seemed to, I was left completely uncertain and that meant I had trouble understanding the secondary characters – and there were a lot of them. There was a lot of genetics involved in the characters, as well – Erion was a half breed but his twin was somehow a pureblood. I am sure that a fan will understand how that came to be, but for me, I just kept thinking - huh? I know it has something to do with Cruen and some genetic experiments that he performed, but that was the extent of what I was able to piece together. Too many rules, too many plots, too many intrigues and I feel like I need a flowchart to keep track!
For me, I don’t like being so unaware of the “rest of the story”. While Erion and Hellen were a great couple, the series as a whole was a bit of a flop for me. Though I can recommend this book for the good couple it presents, I think that reading the others in the series first might bring the enjoyment up to a whole other level and if you can, I would recommend that first.
-- Louise VanderVliet
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