It started off a little sad--"sad" as in upsetting, not as in "poor." And frankly, 50% of the way through, I was trying to figure out what else the author could do to make Shade's life just a bit more miserable or complicated. But she had already covered all the bases on that one. It was like she sat down and said, "Now, how can I make Shade's predicament multiple times more serious than Eidolon's predicament was in the last book?" I know: I'll kill a loved one. Bring a vengeful relative back to life. Torture him. Bond him to a woman he may fall in love with, thereby triggering that pesky eternal-suffering curse. And of course, let's not forget the internal torment from a childhood misstep that destroyed his family. Summary: Dear Shade, your life sucks the big ones.
Luckily, things did get better. But the sad beginning took some of the enjoyment out of the book for me, so I can't give it a glowing 5 stars like I gave Pleasure Unbound. But still, I enjoyed this book more than I enjoyed most, if not all, of the other books to which I have given 4-star ratings this year.
When this book got good, i.e., less depressing, it got really good. Great action sequences. A believable and sufficiently scary and psycho bad guy. I loved seeing more of Wraith, who I can't wait to read even more about in the next book. Wraith is aaawwwwesooome! And of course, the sex scenes were steamy, as expected based on the first book in the series. (I think that Pleasure Unbound had slightly better sex scenes--but only slightly.)
I was pleased that author took a demon of the same breed, and even from the same family, as the demon featured in the first book and managed to create a completely different set of issues for him. Instead of the whole book leading up to the mating, as the first book did, the mating in this book happens toward the beginning. Neither party intended to mate, so a good portion of the book is devoted to the problems that arise when Shade, who is cursed to never fall or in love or to suffer for all eternity, is forced to get his sex from only a single female. Stage right: Enter the tortured, broody lover/hero. Throw this in the mix with that vengeful relative that I mentioned earlier, and we've got a angry, reluctant lover trying to protect himself, his brothers, and the mate he claims he wants nothing to do with. Lots of shape-shifting, demon-fighting, and love-making. In the end, I can't complain.