Hellfire
by Kate Douglas
(Zebra Books, $6.99, PG13) ISBN 978-1-4201-1000-5
***
Hellfire is the second installment in Kate Douglasís The Demonslayers series and it picks up where Demonfire left off.

Ginny Jones has met Alton before, sheís sure of it. When a strange compulsion leads her to suddenly visit cousins she hasnít seen in awhile and she meets Alton, she has hazy memories of having met him before, and sheís right. While she isnít supposed to remember, she met Alton when he saved her recently from a demon attack. Unfortunately, Ginny is a 911 call center operator, hardworking, level headed and completely independent so the misty memories coming back to her sure donít make any sense.

As she and Alton are suddenly caught up in the middle of a new demon attack on Earth, her shock and disbelief quickly fade as she realizes that while she doesnít truly understand whatís happening to them, she needs to help.

Altonís a Lemurian warrior from another world. Heís come to earth because he was bored in Lemuria, and fighting demons seemed like something for his very old, immortal soul to do while passing the time. He never expected to become entrenched in a battle of good against evil, to find out some very disturbing facts about himself and his family, or fall in love with a completely unsuitable human woman. Here he is, in the middle of a crisis, with little idea of what to do.

Ginny on the other hand, is terrified of falling in love or being dependent on someone else in any way. She thinks that maybe sheíll just return to her day job as if nothing has happened, but things get quite complicated as their foe gets stronger, fiercer and threatens everything they love.

Hellfire was a good ride; it had some unique elements which kept me interested but fell flat in other areas.

The best part was that Alton is smoking hot. He is half alpha male, all muscles and authority and half vulnerable, loving, sweet man. Iím still not exactly sure how Douglas managed a perfect balance, but hereís a stab at an explanation: she mixed just enough self-doubt in to make Alton not seem dictatorial and just enough take charge attitude to make him not seem wimpy. Plus some super spicy sex appeal added in.

Ginny is also well-written, all modern woman complete with too much to do, all the independence in the world and a bitchy side. I liked Ginny.

The story is very complex with a lot of characters, which I appreciated as it got going. However, even with the layered storyline, it fell very flat and boring for me throughout the long middle of the book before it picked up again near the end. It went from shaping into a dynamic action read to fighting demons, Alton and Ginny unsure of their relationship, fighting demons, and back. After the first turn, I was bored.

I also didnít get the connection between Alton and Ginny. Iím tired of authors expecting me to believe that a regular Jane would very quickly throw away her inhibitions, good sense and regular life to be with a man (albeit a smoking hot man).

Hellfire has its good points and bad, and itís up to you if you want to go ahead on the journey.

--Amy Wroblewsky


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