This series opener from Cross (Soulfire) starts out with a bang. As Genevieve is celebrating her 20th birthday at a club, she is attacked. Soon after, she witnesses a demon ripped out of her attacker by her savior, Jude the demon hunter. It turns out that Genevieve is a “Vessel,” a magical being who can be used for good or ill. There follows a steep learning curve by which Genevieve discovers that she has supernatural powers, she will live forever, and she is desperately in love with Jude. The drawback is that she cannot immediately have sex with Jude as this will make her “impure” and more prone to possession by evil. Dante, one of an assortment of demon lords, almost corrupts Genevieve, but Jude comes to the rescue just in time.
Verdict The element of enforced chastity makes the romance here somewhat more poignant, though also somewhat less satisfying. The story takes pains to depict Genevieve as more than just a vessel for another's use. To that end, it is only partially successful, though the book leaves plenty of room for development in the remainder of the series. Recommended for fans of action-based paranormal romance.Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA
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