“You don’t know how much pleasure darkness can bring.
Or how beautiful a storm can be...”
– The Demoness of Waking Dreams by Stephanie Chong
Paranormal romance is loaded with exceptional series revolving around relationships featuring angels and/or demons (Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter, Sharon Shinn’s Samaria, Meljean Brook’s Guardian saga, et. al.) and while Chong’s storyline didn’t exactly distinguish itself from these comparable sagas, the one element that did stand out was Chong’s ability to pen a sexually supercharged and, at times, deeply lyrical story.
Revolving around Rogue demoness Luciana Rossetti and the angel who is tasked to track her down and capture her (former Detroit undercover cop Brandon Clarkson who was murdered a decade earlier), the two are set on a crash course where only one can hope to survive. Clarkson is tasked with a virtually impossible mission: single-handedly capture a seductive demoness who “has the ability to unleash a weapon of unparalleled power” onto the world. Rossetti, on the other hand, has let a deal with the Prince of Darkness lapse and must bring Satan “the angel” to compensate for her error. When the two meet, however, their connection is all-powerful – life changing – and they quickly realize that neither can complete their respective missions… together, they set out on a journey of survival and, perhaps, salvation.
Here’s a seemingly insignificant example. Rossetti’s eyes are green. Most authors may use one or two adjectives to describe her optical orbs and then move on. Chong uses this descriptive opportunity to not only create wonderfully memorable imagery but to also deepen the Christian mythology that is the foundation for the storyline.
• “Then he looked into those absinthe eyes of hers. And felt himself falling…”
• “But it was her face that took his breath away. Those plump lips of hers… her evergreen eyes…”
• “She was Eve in the garden. She was the forbidden fruit, ripe and temptingly lush on the bough of the great tree. And she was the green-eyed serpent, all at once.”
“Into a magnificent room with velvet furniture. The sound of a door closing behind him. When he reached for his gun, it was gone. The shoulder holster where he normally carried it, empty. No matter. She was not the kind of enemy you could kill by shooting. Luciana turned, resplendent. With a single motion, she shed her dress. It dropped to the ground, pooling at her feet…”
Although Chong’s heroine had, ahem, a few minor personality flaws – demonic seductress, serial murderer, etc. – Chong’s well-developed characters and rich writing style make this a novel (and a series) to seek out and read, particularly if you’re a fan of paranormal romance that has plenty of (angelic) feathers and (hellish) fire.
And while the Company of Angels novels are certainly connected, they also work as standalone novels as well!
Caprice Damani is a work-from-home mom with extensive experience in the publishing industry, as a bookseller, editor, and romance reviewer. Keep up with all of her blogs – as well as all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more – by following @BNBuzz on Twitter!