Demon Hunting in the Deep South (Demon Hunting Series #2)by Lexi George
Hotter Than A Demon In Panties
Evie Douglass doesn't know what's worse--the demons secretly infesting her small Alabama hometown. . .or human belle-from-hell Meredith Starr Peterson, who's made her life miserable since high school. But when the "Death Starr" is brutally murdered and Evie is the/b>
Demon-slayers, evil forces, and an uber-bitchy ghost. . .
Hotter Than A Demon In Panties
Evie Douglass doesn't know what's worse--the demons secretly infesting her small Alabama hometown. . .or human belle-from-hell Meredith Starr Peterson, who's made her life miserable since high school. But when the "Death Starr" is brutally murdered and Evie is the number-one suspect, she's suddenly besieged by the evil-not-dead-enough and Meredith's furious specter. The only way she can clear her name is to get out from under demon hunter Ansgar's grim protection. He's blond, breathtaking, and the most lethal of all his kin, but after years of teasing, Evie is wary of anyone who swears her plus-size self is beautiful. However, having Ansgar all over her is sparking outrageous powers Evie didn't know she had. And she'll face any ultimate evil to keep this sexy slayer in this dimension and in her bed for all eternity. . .
Praise for Demon Hunting in Dixie
"A demonically wicked good time." --Angie Fox
"A not-to-be-missed Southern-fried, bawdy, hilarious romp." --Beverly Barton, New York Times bestselling author
"A genuinely funny new voice in paranormal romance." --Publishers Weekly
Read an Excerpt
Demon Hunting in the Deep South
By LEXI GEORGE
BRAVA BOOKSCopyright © 2012 Lexi George
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBlood. There was so much blood, especially on the dead woman sprawled across her desk.
Evie stared in shock at the corpse from the doorway of her office. Death did not become Meredith Starr Peterson. She lay on her back like a broken doll, her blue eyes open and staring, her carefully painted mouth twisted in a frozen scream. The pink sheath dress she wore was hitched around her white thighs. One designer stiletto pump was missing, and her matching pink ruffle-pleat cardigan was ripped and torn. The blade sticking out of her chest didn't do anything for her, either.
Evie's heart jerked in a crazy rhythm. Oh, God, what was happening?
Pulling her stunned gaze from Meredith's body, she looked around. Outside, things at the lumber mill seemed normal. A forklift rumbled past her window on its way to the holding yard, and in the distance she heard the muted whine of the saw and the barker. But inside things were a nightmare. Her once neat office looked like a slaughterhouse. Spatters of blood stained the beige carpet and khaki walls, ran in thin rivulets down her filing cabinets, and dripped off the framed print hanging over the bookcase. There were red streaks of it on the window and splashes on her brand-new ergonomic desk chair. Crimson polka dots decorated the paperwork strewn around the room.
The room smelled of death and something else. Scents, Evie knew. Soap-making was her hobby and her passion. The rich, fruity scent of frankincense overlaid the nauseating odor of something rotten.
She swayed and grabbed the door frame, her stomach rebelling. She needed to get out of here, but she couldn't seem to move. She kept staring at Meredith's poor, tortured body. Whoever killed her had taken his time. The victim was covered in blood from dozens of shallow cuts and stab wounds. The murderer must have chased poor Meredith around Evie's office, whittling at her as she ran. Playing with her and taking his time. Enjoying her pain.
When he tired of the game, he stabbed Meredith in the chest, pinning her to the desk like a bug.
Evie shuddered. Meredith looked so small ... so pathetic. Hard to believe this shattered thing was her nemesis since the seventh grade—the cool, popular kid who called her Fatso and the Whale.
On Wednesday, Meredith had publicly accused Evie of having an affair with her husband, Trey Peterson, the heir apparent to the Peterson timber fortune. Evie's boss.
And now it was Friday and Meredith was dead in her office.
The handle of the knife in Meredith's chest glittered in the early-morning sunshine. It was mesmerizing, hypnotizing. Evie took a step inside the room. No, not a knife, she realized in dawning terror as she got a better look. Meredith had been murdered with a letter opener. Her letter opener, the silver one engraved with her initials, a recent gift from Trey. The man she was supposed to be having an affair with.
Oh, this was not good. This was definitely not good.
She drew closer. Funny thing about that letter opener. The handle was clean. Spotless and obscene in its shininess. Not a drop of blood on it.
She wanted to look away, to run screaming from the room, but she couldn't. Some invisible force dragged her reluctant feet to the desk, like iron to a lodestone. Inside her head, she heard a chilling, relentless litany.
Touch it. Touch the knife. The evil whisper filled her mind.
Shaking with the effort to resist the compulsion, she reached for the letter opener, tears of fright and frustration dampening her cheeks.
The deep, compelling voice rang out, shattering the spell. A pair of strong arms wrapped around her and jerked her away from the desk. She caught a brief whiff of an intoxicating scent, a subtle, dizzying combination of cedar with notes of lavender and bergamot. Whoever her secret savior was, he smelled divine.
The spicy scent stirred a whisper of memory deep within her. It fractured and flew apart as she was lifted and sent spinning into nothingness. There was a brief, falling sensation, and then she was sitting on her front porch steps.
Dazed, Evie looked around, trying to focus on her new surroundings. What happened? How'd she get here? Her office at Peterson's Lumber Mill was five miles outside of town. She must be in shock. Yeah, that was it. She drove herself home but didn't remember doing so because of the trauma. There was no other explanation.
She looked around. No car. It was like she'd fallen out of the sky and onto her front porch. Oh, God, this was nuts.
Shivering, she rubbed her arms and encountered a leather strap. She still had her purse on her shoulder. With shaking hands, she reached inside, retrieved her cell phone, and dialed 911.
As she hung up the phone, a Pepto-Bismol-pink van pulled into the driveway and stopped. It was her friend, Addy, in the delivery van from her flower shop.
Addy got out and strode up the sidewalk. Her white-blond hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail that bounced with every step. She was dressed for work in a clingy silk top and a knee-length skirt that showcased her long, sleekly muscled legs. Some of Evie's panic receded when she saw her best friend. Addy would stand by her, no matter what. Together, they'd figure this thing out. They were as close as sisters despite their obvious differences. Addy was beautiful, funny, and a smartass to her DNA, not shy like Evie.
"I came to see about you." Addy's brown eyes were wide with concern. "You all right, chicka?"
"How did you know something was wrong?" Evie felt a brief flare of hope. "Did the fairies tell you?"
"Nope. Ansgar did."
Something thrummed deep inside Evie, a tiny thrill of recognition. It happened every time she heard Addy or Brand mention Ansgar's name, which was weird since she'd never met the guy.
"Brand's brother?" She shook her head in confusion. Brand Dalvahni was Addy's darkly handsome, intimidating, demon slayer boyfriend. The guy who saved Addy from certain death at the hands of a rogue demon and put her through the Change, as Evie and Addy referred to the infusion of demon slayer essence that transformed Addy from a human being to Something Else. An immortal super chick with lightning reflexes, stealth speed, and a buttload of Dalvahni sex appeal. "How did he know about Meredith?"
Oh, God. Meredith. Evie saw again the crumpled, bleeding figure across her desk.
"Meredith?" Addy's eyes narrowed. Addy hated Meredith. "What's she got to do with this?"
"You mean you don't know? He didn't tell you?"
"No, he didn't tell me anything. Just showed up at the shop and started ordering me around in that arrogant way of his. You know what a hemorrhoid he is."
"No, I don't. We've never met, remember?"
Addy looked oddly flustered. "Oh, yeah. I keep forgetting. Trust me when I say he's irritating as all get-out. Anyway, he says you need me, and then he disappears. So, what's going on?"
"Oh, Addy." Evie buried her face in her hands. "Meredith is dead."
"Dead?" Addy gave her a blank stare. "What do you mean 'dead'?"
"Somebody killed her. In my office. I found her this morning when I went in to work."
Addy sat down on the steps and put her arm around Evie's shoulders. "Are you sure, babe?"
"I'm sure. I saw it." Raising her head, Evie shivered. "It was awful. There was blood everywhere. And she had my letter opener buried in her chest." She clasped her shaking hands together in her lap. "My office, my letter opener. Remember Meredith's little scene in the flower shop two days ago, the one where she accused me in front of God and everybody of sleeping with Trey? People will think I did it."
"The Death Starr's dead? I can't believe it."
Evie winced. Since middle school, she and Addy had called Meredith the Death Starr because of her ability to zero in on people like a super laser and annihilate them in one fell swoop. But now that she was dead, it didn't seem respectful to call her that.
"Did you touch anything?" Addy asked. "Please tell me you didn't touch anything."
"No," Evie said. "But it was close. Something was in that office with me, Addy. Something evil. It wanted me to grab the letter opener." She shivered. "I heard it talking inside my head. I was reaching for the letter opener when someone said my name."
"Who said your name, the creepy whatzit?"
"No, this was somebody else. He called me Evangeline, not Evie, which is weird. Nobody's called me that since Mama died." Evie rubbed her temples. Her head was beginning to throb. Probably another migraine; she'd had them a lot lately. "The next thing I know, I'm sitting here. Oh, Addy, I don't understand any of this. I feel like I'm losing my mind."
"Relax, Eves, Ansgar must have brought you home. I take back everything I said about him. Okay, maybe not everything, but the hemorrhoid part anyway."
"But why would he do that? He doesn't know me. And how did he get me home? I don't remember being in a car."
Addy snorted. "Who said anything about a car? We're talking about the Dalvahni here. Ten to one, Ansgar teleported you here."
"Teleported me?" Evie blinked in surprise. "Oh, my goodness."
"Dalvahni woo woo, chicka. Demon hunters are loaded with it." Her lips curved in a cat-in-the-cream-pot smile. "In more ways than one."
Evie felt a pang of envy. The sexual attraction between Addy and Brand was so smoking hot you'd have to be dead not to notice. You could almost see the pheromones in the air when those two were together, which was most of the time. Brand Dalvahni loved him some Addy Corwin; that was for sure.
"I wouldn't know," Evie said. "Well ... be sure and thank him for me. It was nice of him to get me out of there." She shivered. "It was horrible, Addy. Just horrible."
"Thank him yourself. Hannah's a small town, you know. I got a feeling you'll be seeing more of him."
Addy got to her feet.
Evie grabbed her arm. "Where are you going? Don't leave me! I need you."
"Relax," Addy said. "You're going with me. We'll go get your car and bring it back here. You can call in sick. No one will ever know you were there."
"I've already called nine-one-one. The police are on their way."
"Oh, man." Addy sank back onto the step. "You are such a rule-follower, Evie Douglass."
"I know." Evie sighed. "But you love me anyway, right?"
"Shit, I reckon," Addy said.
"Addy." Evie looked around. "Your mama hears you cussing and there'll be h-e-l-l to pay."
Addy's mama, Bitsy Corwin, was a force to be reckoned with. Evie loved her to pieces, but the woman scared the bejesus out of her.
"You don't have to spell it, Eves. The Bitser's not here. She can't hear me."
"Huh. That woman has ears like an elephant when it comes to your potty mouth."
"Don't I know it?" Addy was silent. After a moment, she said, "You realize that voice inside your head wasn't human."
A chill ran down Evie's spine. "Yeah, I thought about that."
"And that there's probably a demon involved? Maybe even that a demon killed Meredith?"
"Thought about that, too."
It wouldn't be the first time a demon caused trouble in Hannah. There was something very strange about their little town.
"The demon might come after you next. You'd better stay with me for a while until it's safe."
Evie snorted. "Me underfoot all the time? Won't Brand love that?"
"Brand will have to deal. You're my best friend."
"Thanks," she said, "but I'll stay here. The fairies will warn me."
Addy gave her a curious, almost hopeful look. "I thought you said you couldn't see them anymore?"
A wave of grief washed over Evie. She'd been able to see fairies as long as she could remember, although she'd only recently shared her gift with Addy. Seeing fairies wasn't something you went around talking about, not even to your best friend. Not if you didn't want people to think you were a loon.
She inherited her ability from her mother. It was a special bond they shared, a connection she treasured, especially since her mother's death. And then, inexplicably, one day not long ago, she couldn't see fairies anymore.
She swallowed the ball of sadness in her throat. "I can't see or hear them, but they rattle the wind chimes to let me know they're there. They'll warn me if something bad comes, and they'll protect me."
Addy grunted, but she sounded unconvinced. "Fairies and demons and demon slayers, oh my! Who would've thunk boring, little Hannah, Alabama, would turn out to be the supernatural Vegas truck stop of the universe."
"Hannah's never been boring, Addy. You just couldn't see it."
"Huh. Well, I see it now." Addy straightened as two cars pulled up to the curb. "Here come Chief Davis and the sheriff. What are you going to tell them?"
"The truth. What else?"
Addy groaned. "I was afraid you were going to say that."
Chapter TwoAnsgar stood beneath a sprawling oak near Evangeline's front porch, listening as she conversed with her friend Addy. Evie could not see him. As a Dalvahni demon hunter, he could make himself invisible. But he could see her.
And hear her.
By the gods, he'd missed her. He stood in the green shadows and drank in the sultry sound of her voice. Each soft, drawling utterance from her lips played upon his senses until he thought he would go mad with need.
He'd met her but a few months past, when he'd come to Earth with his brother Brand in pursuit of a group of rogue demons. It had seemed an ordinary mission, like countless others through the centuries. He and Brand would execute their task with brutal efficiency, round up the demons, and remove all trace of their presence here. Afterward, they would return to the Hall of Warriors to await their next assignment.
Such was the way of the Dalvahni warrior.
Things had quickly spiraled out of control when Brand fell under Addy Corwin's spell. 'Twas a thing unheard of in the history of the Dalvahni, Brand's unseemly affection for the Corwin woman.
Ansgar had been baffled by his brother's odd behavior. True, he had been charmed by Addy's friend, Evangeline Douglass. But he was no weakling like his brother, who'd succumbed to this peculiar affliction called "love." Bah.
He and Brand had completed their mission, capturing the djegrali after a battle in the town square. During the fray, Evangeline had been taken by a demon. Ansgar could see her still, white-faced with terror, beseeching him to slay her, less terrified of death than of demonic possession. And with good reason. A human possessed had no will, no choice. They were the demon's plaything, under the creature's control until their body was used up and the demon discarded them for fresher meat.
Hands shaking, Ansgar had nocked an arrow in his bow and shot Evangeline through the heart. The demon had abandoned her dying body as such creatures were wont to do—a demon trapped in death with a human dies also.
Ansgar had dispatched the demon with another arrow and, taking Evangeline in his arms, he'd saved her from death, infusing her with his essence. She'd awakened, fully healed and no longer human.
And with no memory of him.
'Twas for the best, he'd told himself. He left, with no intention of returning.
To his astonishment, the months away from her—what should have been a mere heartbeat of time in the life span of the ageless Dalvahni—had been an endless agony. He'd fought his feelings for her, losing himself in the hunt and the emptying embrace of a thrall, sexual creatures designed to sate a Dalvahni warrior's physical needs and empty them of battle rage and lust. Both species found the relationship to their advantage. The Dalvahni, drained of unnecessary feelings, were unhampered in battle, and the thralls were strengthened and sustained by Dalvahni emotion.
But love? The Dalvahni did not love.
The Dalvahni were immortal warriors created for a singular purpose. To hunt the djegrali, demons that had slipped the confines of their own dimension, and return them to their proper place or kill them if need be. Left unchecked, the djegrali invariably wreaked havoc upon mortals.
But his struggle had been in vain. Nothing could erase his memories of Evangeline. She was always there in the back of his mind, beckoning; light in an eternity of darkness, warmth and laughter and hope after eons of bleakness and grim, unrelenting duty. She was fever and longing and need. The scent, feel, and taste of her a craving that could not be extinguished by distance, time, or the emotion-sucking clasp of a succubus sex slave.
Excerpted from Demon Hunting in the Deep South by LEXI GEORGE Copyright © 2012 by Lexi George. Excerpted by permission of BRAVA BOOKS. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Even more fun than the first book! In book one, Demon Hunting in Dixie, we are introduced to the shy and shapely Evangeline Douglass and the Dalvahni warrior, Ansgar. We watched the attraction between these two characters developing in the background of the first story and we also watched the shy Evie blossom into a confident woman. But circumstances at the end of DHiD, leave Evie with a case of memory loss. Since fraternizing with humans is unacceptable, our very by-the-book warrior, Ansgar, knowing he is returning to his own dimension, leaves Evie with her memory loss so she will not remember him, and pine for him when he leaves her. Unfortunately for Ansgar, that is a decision he has come to seriously regret. After months away from Evie, it is Ansgar who is pining. He could not forget her nor the feelings she has awakened in him. Without Evie, he finds himself feeling lonely and after millennia as a demon hunter, his existence is now unsatisfying to him. Ansgar has returned to Hannah, Alabama, to be near the woman who has claimed his heart, but due to his own actions, she no longer remembers him or their time together, and she has once again become shy and withdrawn. So the mighty Dalvahni warrior is now forced to hide in the shadows to watch over his lady love, and hope that he can once again earn her love, while he tries to hide his betrayal from her. Our frustration at missing the burgeoning romance playing in the background of Book #1 is richly rewarded in watching our lovesick warrior trying to once again win the heart of his lovely Evangeline and again watching Evie’s self-confidence flourish due to the attentions of this gorgeous blond warrior. We once again take a trip to Hannah, AL, and are treated to a crazy, good time with the bizarre local residents, and we even meet a few new neighbors. If it is not enough that the Town seems to be a hot-bed for demons, Evie’s nemesis, Meredith Peterson is murdered in Evie’s office and someone is trying to frame Evie for the murder. It doesn’t help that Meredith’s husband Trey is in love with Evie and the whole Town believes that Evie killed Meredith to get her out of the way, and Trey’s constant pursuing of Evie is doing nothing to quiet those rumors. When Meredith comes back as a ghost, no kinder than she was when she was alive, the crazy gets bumped up another notch. This was all great fun, and an interesting plot line, blah, blah, blah, but what I wanted to see since Book 1 was the romance between Ansgar and Evie and I not disappointed!! We end this story with lots of open plot points being tied up neatly with a bow which makes me wonder if we have made our last trip down South. But we do meet several interesting new characters that I think would make for great stories so my fingers are crossed that we will see more in this Demon Hunter series.
Hannah Alabama is a hot bed of demon activity. It takes a "Hot" Slayer and lovely bait to cleanse the place. (There may be spoilers in this review so be warned.) There is plenty of humor in this otherworldly urban fantasy romance to keep any reader interested in the series. The romance is also fiery enough to fuel the fantasy. The author's take on the whole demon vs slayer plot device is intriguing. Furthermore, there is enough of a mystery about the whole setting that the reader is pulled from one novel to the next to find out what happens in this saga. In this series it seems the author has mixed some viking norse mythology with angels to create a group of warriors whose sole purpose is to protect lesser beings from "demons". Demons are amorphous entities able to inhabit a lesser being's mortal frame. Their purpose is to indulge to extreme all of the emotions and passions that mortals are able to experience. Usually this culminates in the unfortunate demise of the possessed. The stories may be formulaic but they are still light hearted and entertaining. This style worked for Piers Anthony and his Xanth novels so don't knock it. I will definitely add this author to my watch for list.
Reviewed by April Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Demon Hunting in the Deep South by Lexi George is an amazingly excellent read! Ms. George knows how to combine sassy southern humor, sizzling sensuality, paranormal intrigue and suspense into one intoxicating ball of storytelling bliss! I had the pleasure of reading the first book in the Demon Hunting series titled Demon Hunting in Dixie and absolutely loved it. In that first story, readers learned the story of Addy Corwin and Brand. Now, delightfully, readers are treated to the story of Addy’s best friend Evie and Ansgar. Evie is a very timid and self-conscious sort of person who has always been a doormat for others. Ansgar, however, sees her beauty and strength and will do anything to make her see it herself. Unfortunately, Evie is a prime suspect in a murder that she did not commit, though all evidence shines on her. Ansgar and Brand are Demon Hunters/Dalvahni sent to Hannah to destroy the demons/djegrali that run plentiful in this little town. It is the scent of the demons that lead Ansgar and Brand, to realize that the murder was committed by evil and, for whatever reason, made to look as though Evie is the one who is guilty. The big question is why and can they figure out who the real murderer is before Evie is convicted and locked away for a very long time? In true Lexi George fashion, Demon Hunting in the Deep South is filled with sassiness, brashness and tons of laugh-out-loud humor. Mix with that, a sexy sensuousness, mind-blowingly hot alpha males, sweet and sassiness southern girls and you can’t help but love both this author and the stories that she creates. I could not help but to fall in love with Evie. She is a young woman who grew up always being teased about her weight, made fun of and made to feel lower than the low; her best friend, Addy, just the opposite and always there for her. She is like a beautiful rose that is being strangled by torturous weeds (the weeds being the cruel “perfect” females in the area). Evie does have a buried spunk and it peers out shyly from time to time and when it does, it is awesome!! Ansgar is madly in love with Evie and cannot stand the fact that she is so hard on herself and so demeaning of herself. He is a strong, powerful and beyond sizzling sexy hunter who has tried everything to keep himself away from Evie. His passion and desire for her cannot be stopped, however, and what these two have together is nothing short of combustible! I truly love Ansgar and dare anyone not to adore this man who is steadfast, compassionate, kind, loving and – did I mention – beyond hot?! With the paranormal aspect being the underlying theme of the story, I became quickly engrossed in both the characters and the writing voice of Lexi George. Ms. George personifies written entertainment in my eyes! She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she makes me yearn and she makes me fly through the pages! Though I loved Demon Hunting in Dixie, I think that I loved this one a bit more. I think it may be because I loved watching an underdog type of personality blossom and come to life before my eyes. Though Addy’s sassiness brings tons of laughs to the story! I cannot wait for the next installment in this series: Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar (January 31, 2013)!!! Also, I have to mention that I love the covers on these books! They depict what is nestled between the covers perfectly. I also want to say that though this is a series, Demon Hunting in the Deep South can easily be read as a stand-alone if desired. There are enough tidbits of info from the first book: Demon Hunting in Dixie to allow the reader to know exactly what is going on and why. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an excellent, fun, sassy and engrossing read! Quote: “Evangeline, no.” The deep, compelling voice rang out, shattering the spell. A pair of strong arms wrapped around her and jerked her away from the desk. She caught a brief whiff of an intoxicating scent, a subtle, dizzying combination of cedar with notes of lavender and bergamot. Whoever her secret savior was, he smelled divine. The spicy scent stirred a whisper of memory deep within her. It fractured and flew apart as she was lifted and sent spinning into nothingness. There was a brief, falling sensation, and then she was sitting on her front porch steps.
Why four stars? Simply because it is FUN! To boot, our heroine overcomes a lack of self confidence to grow and perhaps find true love.
Can't wait to read the rest of this series!!! Awesome in so many ways! Sexy, ethereal, and lot of fun! Laughed out loud alot!
If you want to laugh and want a time to get away and dream this is for you. just fun and easy reading.
This is second inseries. Hope there will be more. Very funny and entertaining. Loved all the supernatural creatures. Brand and Ansgar are two hot guys.!
I enjoyed both books by Lexi George.