Lady Katherine Blakely is married to a monster. On the same night she witnesses how low her husband can sink, she meets a charming stranger, a gentleman from top to toe. Yet even her gallant rescuer is possessed of a dark side.
Lord George Draconis Thornton, commander of the Dominus Daemonum, is on a mission to expel the demon prince Damas back to the underworld. But a golden-haired beauty derails his plans and stirs an attraction he’s never felt before, not even for his centuries-dead wife.
Discovering Lord Blakely is in league with Damas, George sweeps Katherine away from the chaos and devilry threatening her life. With every touch, their love grows by joyful leaps and bounds.
Sensing his enemy’s vulnerability, Damas kidnaps Katherine to his hellish lair, where he wages a sensual assault on her defenses. As George tears at heaven and earth to find her, he is painfully aware of only one way to save her soul. The cost will break her heart…and destroy his own.
Warning: Contains wolves in gentlemen’s clothing, a precipitous descent into Hell, and a frightening glimpse of a post-apocalyptic world where angels and demons wage war for dominion on earth
I’ve had this ARC sitting for awhile, not because I didn’t want to dive into it ~ far from it actually because Ms. Cross has become one of those authors that I truly enjoy reading and find myself chomping at the bit for news of her next release (mmmm Morgonkind anyone??) but more because I have a slight OCD when it comes to reading my ARC’s in order and because I wasn’t quite in the mood for historical fiction at the time. But the planets aligned to where it was one of the ARCs up next on the list and I just so happen to be in a historical fiction with a paranormal feel mood and The Deepest Well fit the bill perfectly!
Now I have to admit that I only read Forged in Fire, the first book in The Vessel Trilogy (Yes, I know bad fangirl *slaps own hand* but such is life) but Kat and George’s strained relationship was one of the aspects of the book that stuck with me so getting my greedy hands on The Deepest Well wasn’t a surprise in anyway and I loved finding out how they met and just what transpired to make two people, or beings as it were, who so obviously loved and cared for each other walk on eggshells when in each other’s presence.
I liked Kat as soon as she was introduced in FiF, she was sassy and confident, so seeing her as a lady in British society versus the kickass Dominus Daemonum that she is was actually quite fun. Though she was in an unhappy marriage she didn’t wilt because of it. She may not have been able to get out of her predicament, but she didn’t allow herself to break because of it and showed a lot of strength and self worth as she made the best of her situation. George is definitely a charmer, quite intense and sneaky as well, though that is probably part of the job requirement when you are the commander of the Dominus Daemonum.
Their courtship is a perfect blend of staying within the social norms of the time, impetuousness and heartbreaking angst. I really liked how their attraction grows and that they both followed their guts, and hearts, without apology. Could there have been a little more hemming and hawing? Probably, but considering what was going on in their lives I can definitely see why they made the choices they did and they were, IMHO, the right ones for both of them.
A part of their courtship is Kat finding out what George is and gaining a very quick education about the war that is raging right under her nose. I loved the fact that George was extremely honest about it all, not that he really had a choice, but he didn’t mince words or hedge on the truth. Katherine’s reaction to it all was a pleasant surprise, part of it though really does stem from the fact that she wasn’t given too much time to ponder over the crazy that has entered her life and the other is that she really isn’t prone to hysterics. (Thank God for that) And then there is what happens with Damas. It was heartbreaking to bear witness to what it did to both Kat and George and yet, in a weird way I couldn’t fully hate Damas (well played Ms. Cross) and found that though he was a bastard, he is a high demon prince after all, there was a slight sliver of compassion in him.
As with all of Ms. Cross’s books I’ve read, I found the writing to be engaging and clean and the pacing well done. Though I knew how some things would end up, the journey to get there was fun. I loved seeing Jude in this era and enjoyed his bantering and silent conversations with George. If you have read all, or part, of The Vessel Trilogy you are in for a treat and won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t you won’t feel lost since this book mostly takes place long before Forged in Fire and even at it’s conclusion all you’ll be doing is looking to jump into FiF. My one issue, which I think is a total “it’s not you, it’s me situation” has to do with George and Damas at the end. I wanted more. I have no issue with how things came to pass, but I wish there had been a little more time spent between them before it’s conclusion, especially since I know that Ms. Cross can write some kickass action sequences. But other than that I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to find out who the next one is about. Xander? Dommiel? Anya?
The Bottom Line: A great read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one!
~ ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review ~
Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.