Author ~ Caitlin Ricci
Publisher ~ NineStar Press
Published ~ 6th March 2017
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance, Mystery
Carter is closer than ever to solving his latest cold case, but his disturbing dreams seem to be a warning to stay away from the truth. The victim, Jacob, deserves justice, and Carter can’t let a few bad dreams get in the way of that. When he goes to Malphas and Jamison for help, Carter learns that his dreams are more than they seem. What he learns is enough to send Malphas running, and as much as Carter wants to go with him and Jamison, he knows he can’t abandon Jacob so easily. Malphas says Jacob is being held by a powerful demon, and Carter knows he’s not in the business of doing favors for humans who aren’t Jamison. But to free Jacob, Carter is willing to do just about anything to convince Malphas to help him, even if it means making a deal with the devil.
This was a lovely little book, and I choose that word carefully because in many ways it’s about love. It’s book 2 in a series (or maybe just the two books? I’m making it my job to find out) and that is obvious from the start as it is clear the characters have history. However, I didn’t have any problem reading it as a standalone and I’m pretty sure no one else will either. There are only three characters we need to know about and they’re well drawn and fleshed out without any need to have met them before, and the story, while clearly a continuation, is also unique and self-contained.
Carter and Jamieson are cops and clearly have some history. Somewhere along the way Jamieson has picked up a demon lover Malphas with whom Carter has an uneasy relationship. The author makes no attempt to sugar coat what Malphas is, and he does some shocking things. He is also on a quest to discover what love looks like so he can “make” Jamieson love him.
Carter has picked up a “shadow” something that is there and not there. It doesn’t take him long to find a connection between it and a cold case he’s working on. That’s where the problems start, because the one soul Carter wants to save, is the one he can’t have – because he’s owned by another demon, one even more powerful than Mal.
The story is full of surprises, none more so than the last, big one. I won’t spoil it. Suffice it to say the ending is bittersweet.
I loved the characters and must admit to a certain fondness for Malphas who should really be entirely unlikable. He is trying hard though and earns brownie points for that. He also earns brownie points for genuinely wanting to have love between himself and Jamieson even if he has no idea how love works and goes about it the wrong way. Some of my favourite moments are when Mal is trying to be human, especially when he’s sitting on the sofa with pizza suspended in front of his face, changing channels with a flick of his fingers.
Another thing I really liked about the book was the interpersonal relationships, how each character was unique but fitted into their own space and reacted with and against each other. I also loved the way the paranormal was treated so normally.
I keep coming back to Mal because, although this story is Carter’s, Mal is such a deliciously naughty boy.
Although short, this book is very much worth the read.
Connect with Caitlin Ricci
Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful husband and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.