The fifth book in the Dark Crescent Sisterhood series, published December 2010.
She's definitely getting warmer.
Her flame power nearly extinguished in a battle against the dark forces attempting to control Manhattan, fire Sybil Camille Fitzgerald is down but not out. Joining a new squad of warrior witches, she hopes to reclaim her fighting spirit and, with luck, her pyrotechnic mastery. Two problems on that front: a new army of cannibalistic demons and her superheated lust for John Cole, an unholy blend of demon and U.S. Special Forces agent now working undercover for New York's Occult Crimes Unit.
John knows he can't be trusted--hell, he can't trust himself. His warrior soul has entered a new, supernaturally fit body. Unfortunately, it's a body belonging to the Sybils' worst enemy, whose supernasty essence still lingers. But when John's demon energy seems more alive than dead, it's Camille whose scorching kiss keeps him human--for now. All he's got to do is master his dark side and save Camille and the Sybils from an army of satanic hellboys planning their ultimate destruction.
In the previous book, John Cole became a ghost, sharing the body with Duncan Sharp, his best friend, and infected by a Rakshasa Demon. In the end of that book, Camille separated that soul, and put it unintentionally in the body of the almost defeated Rakshasa Demon leader named Strada. And in that moment, John and Camille joined souls.
John was already attracted to Camille while still sharing Duncan’s body. And now that he has seen her soul, he loves her. But he cannot be near her until he gets Strada’s essence under control, so he won’t take over his body again. But he still watches her from a distance, and when needed, helps her in her fights.
Camille is confused. She knows what happened back them, but refuses to believe it. But why then doesn’t she attack Strada when she has the opportunity? Can he really be John Cole?
From young Sybil on, Camille never fitted with the other Fire Sybils. She doesn’t have their ease with fire, she doesn’t smoke, but she does have other powers. Powers the mothers find too dangerous for her to use, and haven’t trained her in. There is only one ancient fire Sybil in motherhouse Ireland who helps her. A recluse, living in the ancient catacombs beneath the castle. Ona has the same powers Camille has, and she tries to teach her how they work. But Ona is damaged, and cannot bear to tell Camille everything that has happened.
At the same time, John is getting trained by the Bengals, and their leader, Elana. An other ancient woman, who knows much about what Camille and the rest of her squad are going through.
When John is finally in control enough of his inner demon, he meets up with Camille, her squad and Duncan again (who married Bela in the previous book). The other Sybils don’t trust him, he is a whole new kind of demon, and they want to test him as they did Duncan and the Lowell brothers. But Camille cannot stand it, she knows it is John even though he looks like Strada in human form. And that day their relationship starts. They already know the most important things about each other, but Camille just needs time to get to know the real John, his past, and what he wants, beside fighting Rakshasa demons.
Unfortunately, that time is not given to them easily. The Rakshasa don’t sit still and wait to be found and killed. They join forces with the mobsters, go on creating more Created demons, and their pet sorcerers know how to make Asmodai. Patrolling every night is exhausting, but there still aren’t enough fighting Sybils to cover the whole of New York to give them a night of now and then.
The new leader of the Rakshasa, Tarek, is learning more about humans daily. He is proud of his accomplishments, of his fellow Eldest, but his pet sorcerer and his coven is getting out of his control. And he cannot have that, when he is on the verge of a great battle with those four different Sybils, the one with the ancient powers, the same powers that imprisoned them all a thousand years ago.
I really loved this book. It took me awhile to pick it up after the previous one was a bit of a disappointment, but this one was great from the start. I could really feel with Camille, who was standing apart from her sister fire Sybils as she can’t do what comes so easily to them, and which is so hard needed in battle. But her other powers are getting stronger, and are exactly what is needed to safe the world this time.
She loves John, but is uncertain of their future. Her powers are unknown and dangerous, and so extremely strong, there is no limit to what she can do. But the backleash of using all that power can kill her and those she loves. Still, she is willing to give love a try, building a relationship with him, and be happy even if it will be only a short time.
John has been a soldier his whole life, first as a fighting priest in the army, than as an undercover federal agent. He kept fighting as a ghost, and now that he has a body again, he can go on again. But there is also Camille. He has fallen in love with her, ever since he touched her soul. And yes, he wants that happy ever after with her. If only he can control his inner demon for good. He will absolutely not endanger her. He accepts Camille, accepts she is a warrior in her own right, and will have to face danger. But they fight well together.
Bit by bit, we learn more about the different powers those four Sybils have, and how they can use them. Camille really has some cool ones. This book is action filled, lots of good fighting scenes, especially that last one. You can feel the love between Camille and John, and their lovescenes are scorching hot, literally. It is not an easy love, for both of them. Sometimes it is difficult not to run away, and stay with the other. Sometimes they just can’t.
There is also a little bit more information about Griffen and Rebecca, and I am extremely curious to find out what they are, and what they are really up to. Their last scene was such a surprise, it will have to backfire on them, or on the Sybils somewhere. Andy is so happy that there is another water Sybil alive after all, some one who can teach her what it means to be a water Sybil, show her what to do with her powers. I believe in the next book there will be more about that. But the biggest surprise was Jack Blackmore, who came back from his tour of the motherhouse a changed man. He managed to behave, and not to piss of Andy, except for that last meeting.
All in all, a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I am looking forward to Captive Heart, which is on the shelf above me, just there for the picking. But there are also two other books I just received calling my name … Decisions, decisions …