The fourth book in the Dark Crescent Sisterhood series, published in November 2010.
Trapped by temptation, bound by desire
Saving humanity from the supernatural has been challenging lately - even for a well-trained earth Sybil like Bela Argos, who must harness the magic of a fractious group of warrior sisters and battle a new wave of paranormal attacks. Another challenge is Duncan Sharp, the hunky NYPD detective who might turn into a demon overnight and devour Bela in her sleep. Still, the darkness taking over Duncan's body can't stop the molten heat unleashed by the intense attraction between them.
Duncan has two major problems: First, he has the soul of a suspected serial killer hitching a ride on his vibe. Worse (yes, worse) he's got a demonic fever raging inside that promises a world of hurt for everybody, especially Bela. Now he's all about getting even with the demons that put this freak curse in his blood - satanic forces that dare to unleash their savage lust on Duncan's soul, his city, and the woman he loves.
After the war two years ago, that left her sister Sybils dead, Bela has been grieving hard. Why did she live? She has lost everyone she once loved, her parents, and now her follow triad sisters. But now she is ready to leave Russia again, and form herself a new fighting squad. And she knows exactly who she wants. Camille for her Fire Sybil, Dio for her Wind Sybil and Andy for her Water Sybil, she herself is Earth. They might not like her for getting their sisters killed, but she knows she can turn them into a fighting unit. And with the only fighting Water Sybil, they will be the first real quad again.
They will life together in New York, in the townhouse left to Bela by Riana. She doesn’t need it anymore as she and her fighting sisters have moved into the enormous house owned by their husbands. Three half-demons and brothers.
All the Mothers declare Bela insane, but she insists on the woman she has chosen as her team. They are all flawed, just like she is. And Camille, Dio and Andy agree to her request.
One night, while on patrol, they stumble upon a fight between a cop, and a cat-demon, called a Rakshasa. Another cop is already dead, and this one is severely wounded. Still, they take him home and try to heal him, but it takes every Mother available to do that. And it can only be temporary. The infection is too severe, and eventually, Duncan will turn into one of the demons himself. Bela cannot bear to think about that, because from the first time she laid eyes on him, she is attracted to Duncan. And then there is the ghost of the dead policeman, residing within Duncan. His only protection against the infection is an ancient coin on a chain, which used to be John’s. Duncan and John used to serve together in Afghanistan and other, even worse, places. And now Duncan was chasing the murderer of a rich society woman, which he suspected was John. But nothing was farther from the truth: John was tracking the killer himself, as he belonged to a paranormal military unit, much like the OCU. Duncan never wanted to believe in that kind of shit, but now he is living it. He has no choice but to learn as fast as he can. And then there is this gorgeous warrior woman he has fallen in love with. How can he ask her to be his, for the few weeks he has left?
They will have to find the Rakshasa demons and kill them, which is not an easy task. They are adept at hiding, and have a lot of human servants and even a coven of dark male witches to help fight the Sybils with elemental energy. They are also still trying to find out who hired the Rakshasa to kill the woman John was protecting.
I have been looking forward to this new trio of books for a long time, as I was so very much impressed with the first three books in this series. At first I was a bit disappointed, as it took so long for the story to grab me. The grief and doubt of Bela took a lot of pages, but she finally found herself and took hold of her team. When she really needed them, they were there for her. I did like Bela, she never shied away from her responsibilities, and it was difficult to accept what happened with Duncan, to know he would die on her within a few weeks, and still take a chance on love. The way she stood up against all those Mothers for what she believed was right.
And as for Duncan, he is a true hero. Strong and determined to protect his love, even though she is a fierce warrior like himself. Standing behind her, beside her when needed, accepting her for who and what she is.
The ending of the book was a bit of a surprise, though I did sneak a look on the backcover of the next book, Captive Soul … I will continue reading this series soon.