The Demoness of Waking Dreams
by Stephanie Chong
(The Company of Angels #2)
Mira Books (Aug 2012)
Paperback, 368 pages
Picking up after the events of Where Demons Fear to Tread, The Demoness of Waking Dreams by Stephanie Chong can be read as either a sequel or a standalone novel.
Featuring some of the characters from the first book, this second addition focuses on demoness Luciana Rossetti. She is ruthless, bloodthirsty and seductive, rarely failing to get exactly what she wants. A feisty Italian with a taste for vengeance, she is in possession of a unique poison that doesn’t just kill, but also destroys the soul.
Brandon Clarkson is an ex-cop, killed during an undercover drugs bust with two shots to the back and head. He was made an angel after death and now works for the Company of Angels to try and reform those who need to be saved. Still haunted by his death, he relives it every night in his nightmares and cannot shake the feeling he is missing something.
His next assignment is the capture of Luciana, and having never failed Brandon is certain he can bring her in. Flying from America to Luciana’s home of Venice, he seeks her out in the Redentore Church, where she goes every year to offer her yearly sacrifice to the devil. He is out to stop her from spreading her deadly poison, hoping he can reach her before it’s too late.
There is an immediate connection between them, despite their opposing forces of angel and demon, with neither one knowing who will win their battle of wits. Luciana tries every tactic she knows to escape Brandon, including seduction, interrupting his dreams to pray on his innermost desires.
She had a strong personality, certainly. But there was also the element of the chameleon about her. She would become what a man wanted. His waking dream.
He had to remind himself, for the hundredth time since his arrival, of what she was.
Not a waking dream, but a walking nightmare.
Both desire each other but there are other forces to consider, with the Company of Angels keeping a close watch on Brandon’s progress and trying to control his mission. Luciana is facing similar threats from archdemon Corbin Ranulfson, a vicious demon who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, especially after the events of book one.
There is something about this series and Stephanie Chong’s writing style that keeps me hooked, as I just want to keep reading on and on until the book is finished. She does not follow typical paranormal romance traditions, especially as the ending of the book is unexpected and she likes to play with our ideas of what makes someone an angel or a demon.
Some of the characters from book one are carefully integrated into this sequel, but there is little about the plot that would be ruined if you were to read this book first. I loved the plot, as the characters of Brandon and Luciana are so different and yet also similar that it was easy to see why they would share a connection. They are the kind of couple that you root for throughout the book, wishing them to just get together.
The characters are well-developed, as enough details about their pasts are given to keep you interested whilst shocking details are withheld until the final pages. I also enjoyed the setting of Venice and the use of Italian phrases throughout the book, as it was the perfect setting for a romance to flower and also teaches you some Italian!
Overall this was a really great book, with a good cast of characters and an intriguing forbidden romance which leaves you uncertain as to whether Brandon and Luciana can ever be together. There are multiple shocks throughout, certainly not a book whose events can be predicted easily. If you love paranormal romance then this book is definitely for you.
This book was a great addition to the series, with Stephanie Chong’s infectious writing style drawing me in at every turn. The ending is not your typical paranormal romance conclusion, making for a very exciting book with shocks on every page.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Where Demons Fear to Tread
- The Demoness of Waking Dreams
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