Touch of the Angel by Rosalie Lario
Book 3 in the Blood of the Demon series
All Amara is trying to do is stay alive and save her mother from harm.Unfortunately, since she's succubi, that's much easier said than done. When her accidental and unsuspecting prey one night is a sweet, if a little rough-around-the-edges, angel named Ronin, Amara has trouble forgiving herself for killing him through their one-night-stand (let me interject here for all of you non-paranormal people: succubi kill any non-sex-demon they have sex with). She can't seem to get his face out of her mind. Ronin wakes up drowsy and weakened from his one-night-stand with a beautiful girl - and it doesn't take long before he realizes she's succubi. Can he find her and take her off the streets before she kills anyone else? And what will he think when he discovers her real motivation for her dirty deeds?
This book started out disappointing – especially since the first two books in the series were so incredible. This book began slow, a bit confusing, and not terribly attention-grabbing. I wasn’t sure quite what I was reading and I wasn’t all that interested in reading about it. Luckily, that didn’t last too long! About 1/5 of the way through, it finally started to pick up the pace and turn into the magnificent book I was looking for. Still, that first 1/5 of the book was agonizing to get through and I’m still not certain I understand exactly why it was written the way it was – where the reader is plopped in the middle of a scene as if they should understand it. One other thing I noted that I didn’t like about the story was that the dialogue was a little unnatural and wooden at times. However that also disappeared as the book went on. Really, only the beginning didn’t live up to my very high expectations (well, the ending was a little cliché, but I was still able to enjoy it and put that aside).
I liked the book but there were a few things I absolutely adored: Ronin, Amara, and the unique nature of their romance. How many romances start with the heroine almost killing the hero… with sex? That was amusing, to me. I also really enjoyed how both the romance and the plot became increasingly unusual - and not in a bad way. There were some twists I wasn't expecting, and the focus of the story was far different than what I expected, which was still enjoyable. I also loved the romantic focus on the vulnerability of Amara due to her incredible sexuality. I really liked how Ronin protects her – recognizes that she needs protecting – and looks beyond his own anger at her, to the larger problem (the main villain). Many heroes can be short-sighted, but Ronin was looking far ahead.
Amara, for her part, is a savvy heroine. She's funny, sarcastic, smart and kind-hearted. She's going through a rough time, trying to keep her mom healthy and herself healthy in a deadly game where she's a near-useless pawn. She's struggling but she's keeping her head up. She was generally optimistic and I loved how she was able to keep her self-preservation instincts throughout the entire story instead of turning into a wimp that needed rescuing. Her determination to survive is unmatched. She has to make hard choices throughout the book but she doesn't let her bottom lip quiver - she does the best she can to make the best decision she can. She's definitely a strong woman, in need of an equally caring and equally strong man.
Ronin was really an incredible angst-y hero. Suffering through a nauseatingly awful childhood, he is strong, caring, protective, and smart. He looks past his own suffering to the suffering of others and does his best to ignore his own pain and rescue them from their demons (past and present). He’s a very giving hero, and inspiring. He’s also funny and your ‘typical man’ sometimes, which brings him down from being an obnoxious paragon to simply a caring human being (or rather angel-demon hybrid) capable of mistakes but not prone to them. The way he cares for Amara is beautiful and touching and makes for a great romance. The book's terrible start coupled with its beautiful prose and tender romance throughout the middle and end had this book averaging out to a B- in my mind – still good, but not as good as I’ve come to expect from Lario. Especially since this book became so unusual and interesting throughout the middle, I was extra disappointed by the still adequate but cliche ending.
Still, I would definitely recommend the entire series. Books one and two are phenomenal, and I can't wait for book four. Thank you so much, Ms. Lario, for sending me your book for review!
Getting captured sounded like the best thing ever.
Ronin’s chest expanded. “I like it. How’s Brynn?”
“Fine. Pissed at me. She says next time I have to be the one to give birth.” (Keegan)
“Sexy”ness rating: Hot! What else could you expect from a sex demon?
Overall Rating: B-
Bottom Line: This book started off slow but quickly picked up its pace to become the enthralling read I expect from Lario. Ronin is a loveable hero and Amara an admirable heroine. The book focuses on their struggles and provokes major amounts of empathy from the reader for both the hero and heroine. I also adored the struggle they faced as lovers – my only wish is that it wasn’t resolved so neatly. Overall, another touching addition to the series!
Published: December 6, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal