The Netherworld Series, 1
Alex Chandler has devoted her life to hunting the demonic. When she catches the attention of Erielnael, one of the most badass demons in the Netherworld, he plans on using her to rip the seams between this realm and the Netherworld. He also wants her as his familiar and everything else in between.
Demons aren’t the only ones after Alex. A secretive group of demon hunters has learned of her talents as well. Given a choice between assisting them or death, she agrees to help and her life is turned upside down. To make matters worse she falls for the group’s leader, Cole Murrough, who is moody and sometimes difficult to get along with.
Cole has a dark secret of his own, but can she accept it? Alex finds herself dealing with demons, a forbidden love, dark secrets and a betrayal so shocking; it could destroy everything she’s worked toward.
Cole’s hair had begun to dry, forming curly wisps around his head. He was still shirtless, and she couldn’t tear her gaze away. She wanted, no, needed, to lick each and every water droplet off his body. Fingers at his waistband, she curled them against his hip bones.
He drove her backward, firmly planting her butt on the end of the bed. Then he retreated to the table in the corner and sat down. He snatched up the phone book and thumbed through it though he didn’t seem to be looking at anything in particular. “Are you hungry?”
“No.” That was a lie. She was starving, but it wasn’t for nourishment. She licked her lips and watched his muscles flex each time he leaned back in the chair. He said something about finding a place that delivered, but she barely registered his words. All she knew for certain was that accent of his was damn sexy.
A jolt of awareness zipped through her each time he moved. Heat danced low in her abdomen and made her heartbeat race. She clenched her legs in an effort to quell the desires smoldering within. She attempted to sit perfectly still, but now that she was aware of it, she couldn’t ignore it. Damn that demon and its stupid curse!
Focus, Alex, focus! “So what you said back at the diner, was any of it true?”
He arched a brow. “Which part?”
“Something about a key.”
“You are the key.” He lowered his gaze back to the book. “That demon of yours wants to use you to split the seams between this realm and the Netherworld.”
“He said he wanted me to be his familiar.” The room had grown awfully warm. Alex scooted to the edge of the bed and struggled to shuck the socks from her feet.
“Once he has control of you, he can use you however he likes.” Cole sighed, obviously peeved that he had to talk to his prisoner. “He will use you to open the portal, and you’ll think nothing of it because you’ll be under his control.”
“No way. I won’t let that happen.”
“You will because that’s what he’ll command. You’ll be powerless to stop him.” He glared at her, seeming to dare her to argue further. “Doesn’t matter though. We won’t allow it.”
“Are you really going to kill me?” She lifted her hands in a helpless gesture.
His gaze followed the movement. “That’s up to the Council.”
Her fingers traced the gentle curve of her collarbone, seeming to have a mind of their own. “It’s so hot in here. Can’t you remove the cuffs to get this damned sweater off me?”
The book slipped from Cole’s fingers, and he cleared his throat. “Stop that.”
“Just be still. Go to sleep.”
“I’m not sleepy.” Tracing along the swell of her right breast, she imagined his tongue tracing the same contour. The cuff dragged across the sensitive bud, and a rush of sensation overwhelmed her. Though the feeling was muted beneath her bra and sweater, she couldn’t ignore the craving it brought forth.
“Damned Desmoedea,” he cursed beneath his breath. “You’ve really got to stop that, Alex.”
Cole’s gaze never wavered from hers. The book lay forgotten on the table as he sat up. He licked his lips, and Alex relished the idea that she had his full attention. She was getting to him. Maybe she could seduce him into freeing her hands. As soon as he did, she’d hit him with a jolt of energy and knock his cute butt out. Then she’d get the hell out of there and never look back. Only, she’d have to break the curse first. Otherwise, she’d be mad with sexual frustration and not thinking all too clearly. Things were just too complicated.
Her fingers trailed down to the waistband of her jeans. The button popped open easily enough, followed by the growl of the zipper.
He was beside her in an instant. Lust smoldered in his green eyes, but he did not touch her.
“This is your fault.” Her hands were on him again, tracing the graceful line of the mermaid’s tail on his bicep. The handcuffs rattled and jangled with each movement.
Cole grinned in a devilish manner. “How so?”
She rolled one of his small hard nipples between her fingers. “When Desmoedea came, I couldn’t protect myself. If it wasn’t for your handcuffs, I could have blasted her back to hereafter.”
It was easier to blame the demon for the covetous thoughts rushing through her. To fault Desmoedea was better than admitting she was wickedly attracted to this stranger. The same stranger who stripped her of magic, not to mention would give her over to the mysterious Council. Who knew what they had planned for her.
She leaned forward to flick his nipple with the tip of her tongue and delighted in the groan it brought from him.
His hand cupped her chin to tilt her face up to his. Then he leaned in, pressed his mouth against hers, causing an inferno to explode inside her. Cole was aroused by her. The proof of it pushed against her hip. He breathed into her, tongue sliding into her mouth, and she gave herself over completely to it.
His green eyes smoldered. “It seems only fair that I help alleviate your … discomfort.”
“Yes, please.” Alex experienced some difficulty maneuvering her hands in the cuffs. All she wanted was to touch him, feel his hot flesh against hers. Her fingers fluttered at his waist then dipped lower. “Take these cuffs off.”
Posted by Bethany-Kris on 10th Sep 2013
A summoner and banisher of demons, Alex, the heroine, has suddenly garnered the attention of not only a demon who’s a little more than he appears, but a group of demon hunters as well. When forced to work with this ragtag team of hunters under circumstances that aren’t quite as they appear at first, Alex finds herself drawn to a particular member of the team, Cole.
An Irish, mysterious man, who also has a bit more than what meets the eye, Cole not only has a past to hide, but something dark within himself that for his safety, he needs to keep hidden away, also. But, when Cole’s secrets and pasts are exposed, can Alex get over exactly what he is to overcome the grand truth that surrounds them? Maybe.
While the hero and heroine battle lines between secrecy, danger, and demons, they also find themselves battling the closeness they find dealing with one another, the ailing health of a Section leader, and the strange things happened that threaten to tear their group apart.
Can Cole and Alex make it through the demons, lies, and plots to discover the truth?
In the end, I really enjoyed Marked Souls. Written in third person, with just the right amount of heat thrown in at the appropriate times and places, it read well, and the more erotic bits didn’t take away from the story as a whole. While it’s paranormal, it’s also filled with suspense. It kept me turning the virtual pages until the very end from the time I started the book until I finished it. I had my own theories about just who and what forces were at work in this story, but Michelle kept me guessing right up to the point where all was finally revealed, and surprisingly, I was wrong in my thoughts.
I also gave a little shout of joy for a sideline character, Jacob, because he was so sweet, young, and devoted even with all his troubles and the demons he’d had to carry all on his own. It says a lot for an author who can make me feel something more than just a fleeting feeling for a secondary character, to be honest.
All in all, it was a great read. I’m excited to check out more of Michelle’s stuff, and by the ending of Marked Souls, I'm more than ready to read more about this magical, and sometimes demonic, world.
Posted by Unknown on 23rd Sep 2012
Alexandra Chandler is a demon hunter who can also banish and summon demons, a rare talent that has caught the attention of Erielnael. A high-ranking demon, Erielnael wants to have her as his familiar for both her power and body. A group of demon hunters also take notice, giving her no options. She has to agree to aid them or else, which will have her leaving everything she has known before.
Part of a group of demon hunters, Cole Murrough has a dark secret. At first, he does not trust Alex because sabotage occurs soon after she joins. He is still drawn to her, though he wonders who is behind the things that are happening. Are the problems really caused by her? Will his secret get in the way of his attraction for her?
Erielnael says he wants to use her power to open a gate between his world and hers. The Council says they want her to help them in keeping the gate closed. Everyone wants something from Alex, but who is really telling the truth? She will have to find it, including the one about Cole, the person she is beginning to be drawn to, despite his being surly and moody.
I really like this story. The outcome is unexpected. This story had demons, magic and betrayal. In addition, dealing with Cole’s dark secret throws in some suspense, too. All of the pieces tie together smoothly, which makes for a great read. This book seems a promising start to a new series, and I look forward to reading more about the world and its characters.