I wonder if there is a feature to reduce the marks of books in a series that I’ve previously read? Not because I suddenly don’t like them anymore, but because later books in a series such as this Demonica series just get better and better. Passion Unleashed is the third in Larissa Ione’s Demonica series and easily the best yet. So whilst the first two are still fully deserving of the five stars I gave each of them, to ‘only’ give this five stars somehow seems a bit stingy.
So yeah, you can surmise that I really enjoyed this book. A lot.
This story concerns the last of the three brothers, Wraith and how he evolves from a simple demon who loves to fight and fuck (pretty paraphrasing the first line in the book there!) to a being that is capable of feeling…well, that’s it. One who is capable of feeling.
The story of this journey begins a few months after the previous and apart from a tenuous connection (although I say tenuous, I suppose it is the driving force behind Wraith’s journey) has little to do with those previous books. But, without reading those books, I’d suspect it’ll be difficult trying to figure out who’s who. As it stands, there is a price on all the brothers’ heads and Wraith turns out to be the first target when he is poisoned for which there is no cure. No antidote. He is going to die.
You knew that was coming didn’t you? Unless he can locate a human that is charmed by an angel and getting that charm for himself by taking her virginity. But there’s a catch. Two actually. Because she’s charmed, she can not be harmed by anything so he literally has to seduce the human. Oh, and once he does, they themselves will die due to a demonic disease that is held in abeyance by the charm. And Serena, the human in question knows this.
And if that wasn’t difficult enough, Serena is charmed because she is protecting a powerful artefact that the demon world at large are also seeking in order to launch all out war upon heaven. Cue a non-stop, action-packed trip from New York, Egypt, Israel and back to New York again. Phew!
One of the things that I liked about this story is the change of bad guy shenanigans. Out goes the organ harvesting of the first two books and in comes Armageddon. Yes, I know. I’m squeamish over a bit of involuntary donations but war? Bring it on! But mainly, I adored Wraith’s pursuit of Serena. As an incubus demon and as Wraith in particular, it should have been no trouble for him to seduce, get the charm, get on with his life and leave the girl to her grisly fate. But something in Serena strikes a chord in him as he plays with his intended prey being the predator that he is and before long, he’s having doubts.
Given that Serena knows that she’ll die if she loses her virginity, she is a woman determined to hold on to her celibacy at all costs but when she meets Wraith, she wonders whether the price would be worth it.
Now given that state of play, you’d think that the hotness that’s expected of these books would be a bit lacking but you’d be very much wrong. Just because they can’t actually have intercourse still leaves an awful lot of room for some very heavy petting. Not to mention Wraith’s ability to create dreams of unbridled passion in his target.
Do they actually get down to it? Well, that would be telling wouldn’t it? Does he doom himself or save himself but lose the girl? Fear not, the story does resolve itself.
Another reason I adore Passion Unleashed is because of another resolution which had been bugging me until now and that is the relationship between Kynan and Gem. Not going to say anything more. Spoilers, you understand.
Finally, we are also introduced to Lore who, unbeknownst to all has an important to part to play in the story and nothing whatsoever to do with his original contract of assassination. Who is he? Well, I’ll guess I’ll find out as the fourth book is his!