Damien (Nightwalkers Series #4)

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Overview

He'd never loved. But she was irresistible.

As reigning Vampire Prince, Damien has tasted every pleasure the world has to offer—consorting with kings and queens and delighting in sensual adventure. Now, tired of such pursuits, he devotes his energies to protecting his people. The war between human necromancers and Nightwalkers has escalated, and when the enemy makes a daring move, kidnapping Syreena, a Lycanthrope Princess, Damien boldly follows. He succeeds in rescuing her, but...

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Damien (Nightwalkers Series #4)

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Overview

He'd never loved. But she was irresistible.

As reigning Vampire Prince, Damien has tasted every pleasure the world has to offer—consorting with kings and queens and delighting in sensual adventure. Now, tired of such pursuits, he devotes his energies to protecting his people. The war between human necromancers and Nightwalkers has escalated, and when the enemy makes a daring move, kidnapping Syreena, a Lycanthrope Princess, Damien boldly follows. He succeeds in rescuing her, but is unprepared for the erotic longing her lush sensuality awakens in him.

Gifted with rare abilities, Syreena grew up in a cloistered setting and was forbidden to form attachments to others, yet the connection Damien feels with her is immediate, intoxicating, and impossible for either to resist. But claiming Syreena as his mate could have shattering repercussions for every Nightwalker—and leave their enemies more dangerous than ever before.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Damien is a prince of the Vampires; Syreena is a princess and-should anything happen to her sister, Siena-heir of the Lycanthropes, a strange mutation capable of transforming into dolphins or falcons with ease. When the two meet at the discovery of a Nightwalker library, they feel an instant attraction. But it isn't until Syreena is kidnapped by a crazed demon bent on vengeance and Damien comes to her rescue that they shatter Nightwalker taboos. As they fight both Ruth, the demon, and a love affair that is forbidden and politically explosive, they are forced to question what their priorities are: their people or their love for each other. Frank's latest Nightwalker entry is fast-paced and steamy, nicely developing the world of her generally upstanding, gorgeous and charismatic supernatural creatures. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"Frank's latest Nightwalker entry is fast-paced and steamy, nicely developing the world of her generally upstanding, gorgeous and charismatic supernatural creatures." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452633213
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/29/2011
  • Series: Nightwalkers Series , #4
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Jacquelyn Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of the Nightwalkers series, the Shadowdwellers novels, the Gatherers novels, and the Three Worlds series. She lives in North Carolina.

Xe Sands has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration and performance. Sands's characterizations are rich and expressive and her narrations evocative and intimate. She has also won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for her narration of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein.

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Read an Excerpt

Damien The Nightwalkers
By Jacquelyn Frank ZEBRA BOOKS

Copyright © 2008 Jacquelyn Frank
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8217-8068-8



Chapter One

San Jose, California, Present Day

Damien's head snapped up as he got the sudden sense that someone was very nearby. The sharp turn of his neck caused the braid at the base of his neck to snap like a whip against his throat.

It was nearly like pitch, the darkness around him was so black and so complete. There was no visible moon, leaving everything like a heavy blanket of suffocating velvet that those who considered themselves vulnerable might feel an urge to run away from. Even the glow of the streetlamps placed few and far between in the California suburb seemed helpless to penetrate this darkness.

However, the night did not bother Damien. Quite the opposite. It was his natural habitat, all of his senses equipped to work best within its folds. In spite of all that, something blew with alien chill down the back of his neck as this new presence crept within range of his perception.

He leaned back into the protective shadows of the foliage a little bit more as he realized it was not a human being that moved toward him with such near-perfect stealth. Normal humans were not capable of defying his senses so well that they could come this close before he became aware of them. So the Vampire Prince was left to wonder who, or what, it was that was following sostealthily in his footsteps.

He first had to determine if this was an accidental or purposeful tail. He exhaled, out of habit rather than a need to, shaking his head with momentary perturbation. All he had wanted to do that night was take part in a good hunt and then return to his holdings in peace. However, in order to have that sort of easy peace, he mused, one had to have no enemies.

Unfortunately, Vampires had a lot of enemies.

And the Prince of all Vampires usually had ten times the usual dose of them. Exterior politics and the number of annoying humans or troublemaking Nightwalkers aside, Vampires had an awful tendency to play King of the Mountain with one another. Though most knew better than to match skills with Damien, there were always a few who over-estimated their ability to unseat the royal Vampire from his throne. Theirs was a society where survival of the fittest was at the core of many of their motivations. In the case of the throne, it determined who would lead their entire species.

He should know, he thought with a sly half-smile that allowed the ivory of one anticipatory fang to glimmer in the darkness. Defeating the previous monarch was how Damien had come to be in his princely position several centuries ago.

But his predecessor had been something of a jackass, he mused as he waited idly for his stalker to catch up with him, and he had quite thoroughly earned his ritualistic beheading.

As he turned his senses to the task of making prey of his hunter, he was able to determine that it was not a Vampire that tracked him. All he needed to do to figure that out was flick into place the small nictitating membranes hidden in the anatomy of his eyes. That membrane added the ability to visualize a brightly fluoresced aura that varied with the amount of heat a body was giving off.

While Vampires did not have a natural circulation to speak of, they did retain the heat of the blood of their victims from one feeding to the next, able to maintain it well, provided they fed within twenty-four hours of the previous meal. However, the flaw to that system was that extremities like fingers and toes lost that artificial heat the quickest. So, in his visual perception, a Vampire who had not hunted yet would have a sort of bull's-eye effect at this young hour of the night. The heart and chest would be the hottest, flaring bright and white, but in eddying circles that white would fade to a circle of red, then orange, then pink, until the location of hands and feet were almost imperceptible to heat vision, blending in too well with the temperature around them.

A Vampire who had hunted already would be a uniform red, unlike a human, who was a changing series of white, red, and redder splashes of determining color. Human heat levels were always changing, with movement, effort, sickness, or arousal, and there was a perceptible time period before the human body compensated for those changes, evening them out somewhat. However, those with the sharpest of eyes and skills could easily determine the difference between a flushed Vampire and a mortal being after a century or two of practice.

The figure that tracked him was neither human nor Vampire, he determined. However, it was potentially a Nightwalker who could emulate any level of body temperature they wished, or it was a Demon. The Demon race was notorious for a body temperature several degrees cooler than most upright walking species on the planet. This was the case in the body that stood in shadow not too far away from him.

The Nightwalker species were the races that lived only in the night, hiding from a curious variance of negative effects the sun caused them. Of these species, Demons were the second least likely to cause grief or pose a danger for the Vampire Prince. Demons were infamously moral and reclusive, focusing within themselves and upon policing their own, and were very much less likely to venture out in order to cause trouble elsewhere.

Usually.

There had been a bit of trouble lately that made anything possible.

Of course, it could be a Shadowdweller. Those devious little tricksters were the masters of self-camouflage. They were the Nightwalker equivalent of chameleons. They were also an enormous pain in the posterior, Damien thought wryly. They had little to no political structure, wandering around in clans or religious clusters, quite often causing more than their fair share of mischief and trouble. They were like wild children, pestering other Nightwalkers, scrapping amongst themselves and with others, mucking with mortals like they were toys and dolls for playing with.

Not that Damien failed to see the appeal in that. He had mucked around with humans and others quite a bit in his youth.

Well, perhaps youth was being too liberal.

To be honest, he was still quite easily capable of toying with the workings of the races around him, if it suited his mood. He chuckled to himself at that. Gideon, an old Demon friend of his, had once accused him of being a cosmic busybody. It was not all that far from the truth.

Before Damien would allow himself the luxury of believing that this Demon was a friend, he needed to turn the hunt around and surprise his quarry. If he lollygagged in the bushes much longer, the person tagging after him would realize he had become aware of being followed.

Unexpectedly, the shadow suddenly broke from its surroundings and headed straight in his direction.

The direct approach.

That meant one of two things. Incredible stupidity, or immeasurable fearlessness. As he switched to normal vision and picked out the features of the approaching figure, he realized it was the latter.

"Noah," he said, breaking from the shadows himself to step up to the Demon King.

Noah smiled slightly, reaching out to take Damien's quickly offered hand and shaking it firmly. The two monarchs then settled their weight evenly on their feet and regarded one another with quick, skilled eyes.

"What brings you to my hunting grounds, so far from home?" Damien asked, cutting to the chase. Noah's holdings in England were a far cry from California, which was where Damien claimed his territory nowadays. It was not as though the King would be able to claim the likelihood of just passing by, since Demons were less frequently found in the United States. They were not enemies, though, which was clearly indicated by the fact that Damien asked his question first, rather than after trying to kill him.

Vampires were also very territorial.

"Call it a business matter," Noah returned congenially. "My apologies for invading your mealtime."

Damien waved the matter off with the flick of a long-fingered hand, the large ruby of the ring on his middle finger winking one of its facets at the Demon King.

"I had not acquired prey yet. It is no matter."

"I had measured as much," Noah returned.

The Demon King was a Fire Demon. Every Demon claimed a power and affinity with certain elements of the natural world around and within themselves. Fire was of course the most volatile and impressive of these elements. As such, Noah could sense energy patterns and, having lived over six centuries, had enough practice with them to know whether or not Damien had acquired a target for the night's feeding.

Noah had earned his throne much in the way Damien had, only he had been elected to it because of his unquestionable strength and ability to be a leader. The previous Demon King had needed to die before that would happen. Of somewhat natural causes, too, because it was severely frowned on for Demons to battle or kill one another-though, being basically immortal, there was very little about the death of any member of either of their species that could be considered natural.

Usually it came down to some form of homicide. In that culture, however, it was unlikely a Demon would be elected King who had just murdered their predecessor. Demons took great affront to the murder of their monarchs.

Noah could also never be voted out of his office. Though the Great Council had elected him, they could not change their minds. His death would be the only way they could replace him with a successor. In less civilized times that had made it a very interesting prospect to be the King of Demons. Especially if the Great Council decided they had made a mistake and tried to assassinate the reigning monarch.

Then again, no Nightwalker race could ever be completely civilized. That was one of Damien's firmer beliefs.

"So what is your business?" Damien asked, indicating with that same ringed hand that the King should walk beside him. They were in a quaint little development in the San Jose suburbs, the rows of houses on either side of them sitting quiet and dark, set back from perfectly manicured lawns and neat little sidewalks.

"The Library."

Again, he cut right to the point of it. Damien liked that about Demons. They did not play social games, unless it suited some extraordinary purpose.

"Yes. The Library. I have not forgotten," the Prince said. "What is it you would like?"

"Scholars from your society, to be blunt. We have no intention of keeping the mysteries of this hidden Nightwalker Library to ourselves. It is clearly a universal collection of many Nightwalker histories. We have not reentered the place since our initial discovery of it in the caverns in Lycanthrope territory. Neither have any of Siena's people," Noah said, smiling slightly when he mentioned the name of the Lycanthrope Queen who had recently wed the commander of his own armed forces. Elijah, the Captain of the Demon warriors, was clearly looked on fondly by his ruler.

"We ... that is, Siena and I decided it would only be fair to invite you to join us when we send our scholars in to begin to research what the significance of this place is. Since none of us have ever seen its like before and it is obviously compiled of the languages of all the Nightwalker species, all Nightwalkers should have a fair chance of having a crack at it. On equal terms."

"That is very fair of you. But I do not think I need to tell you that my people are not the scholarly type. Outside of our immediate political structure and my rather compact court, we are a nation of tribes. We run in small, independent packs, worry mostly about feeding, avoiding human hunters, and"-Damien gave Noah a feral grin-"seeking out sensuality. If we cannot consume it, kill it, or party with it, it does not interest us."

Noah laughed at that. That basically described almost every Nightwalker race there was. However, the Demon King knew that the Vampires were the epitome of that particular stereotype. Vampiric boredom was a frightening thing to behold. A Vampire tended to cause a great deal of upheaval when not distracted or amused. Still, Damien had his own way of policing his species. It did not get too far out of hand in this day and age, as it sometimes had in the past.

Of course, that could have something to do with the fact that Damien had matured and had stopped leading his people into the fray.

"If I send anyone to you who is interested," Damien said slowly, "they will no doubt have ulterior personal motives. Perhaps looking at this strange Library as a means of gaining power. There is nothing a Vampire enjoys more than gaining power. If I send someone who is not interested, the place will no doubt become a Vampire hangout until it loses its charm. They would only get in your way. No, it is best if we get any pertinent information from you and yours. Demon and Lycanthrope scholars are the best for this sort of task."

"I figured you would say that, but I thought I should ask in any event. I am surprised that you are showing no personal interest."

"On the contrary," Damien contradicted. "I am eaten up with curiosity. A joint Library with books in languages from so many of the Nightwalker species has intriguing implications. The one I find most curious is how we all managed to get in the same room long enough to even think of constructing such a place, never mind filling it as full as it was when we first saw it. It hints at curious histories so long past that even we who are so long-lived do not recall their origins. It flirts with the idea that we Nightwalkers may have more common origins than we would ever have suspected. It also opens the potential of pissing off a few of the elitist purists all of our races seem to have, arrogant, prejudiced bastards that we are. It is bound to cause trouble."

"And I know how much you enjoy trouble," Noah remarked wryly.

"I admit it, I do." Damien chuckled. "I am certain I will be seen snooping around your workers from time to time. Otherwise, I will instruct Horatio to attend your meetings and recaps of your discoveries. He will report back to me."

"Horatio?" This time Noah laughed. "Now there is an unlikely student. Diplomats make poor scholars. Sometimes history and recorded data is too factual for them. Too biased. They prefer to give too much the benefit of the doubt. Everything would be propaganda to Horatio."

"Just the same, he is already a fixture of your court. That will make it easier. There is also Kelsey. She is taking in the delights of Siena's court at the moment. Between them both and my occasional check-ins, I imagine I will get a fashionable form of the truth of the goings-on."

"Very well," Noah conceded. "But let me know if you change your mind."

"I rarely do."

"I realize this," Noah said. The other man stopped walking and they reached to shake hands once again. "Thank you for your time, Damien. I hope you will come to the naming celebration?"

"When is your sister due to give birth?"

"Within another month or two. Normally a Demon female would go a full thirteen months to term, but Gideon feels his son is very eager to make an appearance. Between that and Magdelegna's strong desire to finish this pregnancy, I have no doubt I will be an uncle again very shortly."

"Wish her well for me. I look forward to Horatio's news of the birth."

Noah gave him a nod, stepped back, and in a heartbeat became a twisting column of smoke that stayed in the shape of the tall, broad-shouldered man for several seconds before stretching out to the sky where it was lost to the night.

Damien followed the Demon King's retreat with his other senses for a moment before he turned his attention back to the task of seeking his supper.

Syreena hit the ground with a loud grunt, the impact of her body and the hard exhalation of her breath kicking up a cloud of dust that, upon her next breath, promptly entered her lungs. She coughed, spat blood from her mouth, and then twisted up onto her hands in order to glare at the person who had hit her.

Actually, she should say persons.

They were The Three.

And she had crossed them badly.

"Get up, child," the central robed figure commanded her.

She did so, drawing her slim legs beneath herself so she could push off from the dirt floor. She tossed back her hair, the two-toned tangles mixing iron gray and soft brown together for a moment before parting into uniform-colored sheets on either side of her head. They parted perfectly into a straight fall on one side and a feathered softness on the other. Her eyes flashed with anger. They were also one gray and one brown; however, they had the disconcerting position of being on the opposing sides of the hair color that would match them. The harlequin effect was always eerie, but in outrage it was downright disturbing.

"I am not a child," she snapped at them, defying the fear of The Three that had been instilled in her from a young age. "I will not apologize for my actions now or ever, even if you beat me to a pulp. So you may as well reconcile yourself to it."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Damien The Nightwalkers by Jacquelyn Frank Copyright © 2008 by Jacquelyn Frank. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 240 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(129)

4 Star

(71)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    DAMIEN!!!!!!

    I confess that I had a "thing" for Elijah and did not think the "yum" factor could ever be equaled. I was wrong. Damien and Syreena are a couple that keeps you turning the pages. Jacki Frank does an incredible job of world making and moving the 'Nightwalkers' story along while writing a wonderful and excitng love story. I trully appreciate her style and the intelligence she brings to her characters and story line. I cannot overstate my joy that she keeps the actions and personalities of the characters consistent from book to book, but expands the back story and introduces new characters and brings in all the previous characters without doing it at the expense of the current protagonists. <BR/>As long as she continues this, I will buy her books. She is also very connected to her readers.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Damien

    Love this series

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    oh WOW! I thought I was in love with Jacob (book #1) Damien is

    oh WOW! I thought I was in love with Jacob (book #1) Damien is the....BOMB. alpha with a heart and great in bed, could a girl ask for more! Syreena and Damien had me up allll night reading their story. I can not get enough of the Nightwalker series...hopefully once Jacki finishes with the adults she will do stories on their kids! LOL the love/sex scenes are HOT!!! but the story is even hotter. I felt as if I was in the story with them, everything was so vivid, it was like watching a mini series on TV except I was reading. Damien and Syreena will have you cheering for them. a must have for your collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Wonderful

    you'll just want more :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    good read

    good read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Not my favorite, but still a fan

    had some good moments, but still prefer the original guys better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    It was ok

    It didnt hold my attention like Jacob did but it was still a good read nonetheless

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Another hard one to put down in this series!

    I can't get enough of this series or the characters.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Hot!

    Although the first book in this series is my favorite, I enjoyed them all greatly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Have really enjoyed this series. Love the story lines and are presently reading Noah's story. Jacquelyn Frank knows how to bring so much life to the characters and just enough passion. Love how the male characters fall hard for the women, truly a great read!

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    BETTER AND BETTER

    This is truly a wonderful series, each book gets better and better, the men and strong and sexy, and the women are just as strong when they come into their own

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    ANOTHER BESTY

    Yet another fabulous novel by JACQUELYN FRANK. She always leaves you starving for more! A highly recommended read.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    highly recommended

    Loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011

    loved the complete Series

    Loved this book Jacquelyn is now added to favorite authors list have the hole series

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    A cocky vampire and a sassy lycanthrope

    I found Jacquelyn Frank when I picked up her new SF Romance SEDUCE ME IN DREAMS, which led me to her other work. Since I haven't delved very deeply into paranormal romance, having read only some Laurel K. Hamilton and Kelly Armstrong, I decided to give Frank's Nightwalker series a try because I loved her characters and world building in DREAMS. Not knowing where to start--I now realize I should have started with JACOB, which I'm currently reading--I picked up DAMIEN.

    Damien and Syreena didn't resonate with me as much as Bronse and Ravenna or Jacob and Bella. I think Syreena's petulance wouldn't allow me to take her completely seriously--an idea I share with the character Jasmine in the book--and Damien came across as a bit snobbish. That said, I still looked forward to picking up the book each night.

    The relationship is front and center, yet still integral to the plot, which is something I've seen done well in Frank's other works. I don't enjoy the head-hopping in and out of different character's POVs because even though there's usually a transitional cue, it's still a bit jarring. Just when I'm in Damien's mind, finding out more about him, there's an abrupt switch into Syreena or Jasmine's POV and vice versa. But, like I said, Frank is doing something right with her characters and world-building because I am completely sucked into the series now and enjoying the Demons better than the Vampires and Lycanthropes. I'm sure part of it has to do with the intense sensual nature of her characters and the graphic sex, but what's wrong with that?

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nice addition to the series

    This book falls right in line with the others. Like the others, you know that someone of the nightwalker species is going to fall for someone. I like that there's always a story around the main characters so it's not all about sex. I also like the way the she keeps the plot surrounding the traitors and updates us on the other characters. In this book, Syreena is naive but she's head strong when she finally makes her decision. I really wanted her to kick Damien's little wanna be sister's butt! She came close to it, but as usual, something got in the way. I thought the fighting part with the traitors this time was awesome. Anyway, can't wait to finish Noah.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Read!

    Good book...not too complex of a story. The characters were interesting. This was the best of this series....however, to understand what is going on you have to read the other books in this series first. Will add JF to my list of authors to watch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2010

    This is by far the best book of this series!

    You gotta read this book! For me, this book was the climax for entire the Nightwalkers series. The main characters were great but it was the supporting characters who really gave you that extra layer of plot that makes this one serious page turner of a book.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Vampire magic

    I was a bit shocked to find a story about vampire and lycanthropes in a series on demons. The characters are interesting and off-beat, even with the occasional clunker when they suddenly use old American slang. Still, the basic premise of the series is very interesting. I can't wait to see how it is resolved.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Good One From JF

    These are really good books if you are into paranormal stuff. I like this book because it was from a different perspective rather than the usual Demon point of view.

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