In her acclaimed Women of the Otherworld series, Kelley Armstrong has created a scintillating realm where the supernatural and the human coexist on the edge of darkness, romance, and eternity. Now Armstrong tells the captivating tale of a young woman with an insatiable lust for danger. She can't help it. It's in her blood.
Tabloid reporter Hope Adams appears to live the life of an ordinary working girl. But in addition to possessing the beauty of a Bollywood princess, Hope has other unique traits. For she is a half demon--a human fathered by a demon. And she's inherited not only a gift for seeing the past but a hunger for chaos--along with a talent for finding it wherever she can. Naturally, when she's chosen by a very dangerous group for a very dangerous mission, she jumps at the chance....
The head of the powerful Cortez Cabal--a family that makes the mob look like amateurs--has a little problem in Miami: a gang of wealthy, bored offspring of supernaturals is getting out of hand, and Hope is needed to infiltrate. As spells, astral projections, and pheromones soar across South Beach, Hope weaves her way through its elite hot spots, posing as upscale eye candy and reading the auras of the clientele--and potential marks.
As it turns out, Hope is a little too good at this job. And soon she's in a little too deep, needing to be bailed out by her jewel-thief werewolf ex-boyfriend and by the Cortez heir himself. And when a killer goes to work, Hope is among many targets at the pinnacle of Cabal rule. For a woman who didn't know what she was getting into, there's only one way out: it's time for Hope to unleash her most potent primal instincts--and open herself, mind and body, to everything she most fears . . . and desires.
Sexy and suspenseful, Personal Demon is a thrill ride through a world on the wild side of our own.
Chaos rules in Armstrong's complex eighth Women of the Otherworld installment (after 2007's No Humans Involved). The formidable Benicio Cortez once helped "tabloid-reporting, gun-toting, chaos demon spy girl" Hope Adams out of a jam, so she agrees to go undercover and join a supernatural youth gang that's been causing problems for Cortez's multinational corporation. Assuming the persona of bratty rich co-ed Faith Edmonds, Hope works her way into the gang, participates in heists and soon finds herself dangerously attracted to one of the other members, cute Jasper "Jaz" Haig. All too soon, Jaz's diabolical plans lead to a shocking tragedy. Armstrong excels in depicting Hope's transformations, but new readers might want to read earlier books to get context for all the mayhem. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 23, 2008
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Excerpt from Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong
There was a time in my life when the prospect of watching a man die would have filled me with horror. Now, as I shivered beside the cenotaph, knowing death was coming, what I felt was very different.
Only knowing it was too late to stop what was about to happen kept me from screaming a warning as I clutched the cold marble.
"Did you bring the money?" the first man asked, his voice tight with an anxiety that strummed through the air. He wore dress slacks an inch too long, hems pooling around scuffed department store loafers. His old leather jacket was done up against the bitter March night, but misbuttoned. I could picture his fingers trembling as he'd hurried out to this midnight meeting.
The other man was a decade older, his jogging suit hood pulled tight around his red-cheeked face. Beside him, a Chow panted, the chuff-chuff filling the silence, black tongue lolling as the dog strained the confines of its short leash.
"Did you bring the money?" the younger man asked again as he glanced around the park, his anxiety sharp against the cold rage blowing off the other man.
"Did you really think I'd pay?"
The older man lunged. A blast of fear, so intense my eyelids quivered. Then a gasp, rich with shock and pain. Chaos rolled over me and moonlight sparked red against the knife blade. The stink of voided bowels filled the air as the younger man staggered back into a spindly maple. He tottered for a moment, propped against it, then slumped at its base.
The killer pulled his dog closer. The Chow danced, its chaos fluttering past me, confusion warring with hunger. The man shoved its head to the wound, steaming blood pumping. The dog took a tentative lick, then-
The vision broke and I reeled, grabbing the cenotaph. A moment's pause, eyes squeezed shut. Then I straightened and blinked against the bright morning sun.
At the foot of the cenotaph, a shrine had started, with plucked daffodils and scraps of paper scrawled with "We'll Miss You, Brian" and "Rest in Peace, Ryan." Anyone who knew Bryan Mills well enough to spell his name was still at home, in shock. The people hugging and sobbing around the shrine were only hoping to catch the eye of a roving TV camera, say a few words about what a great guy "Ryan" had been.
As I circled the crime scene tape, I passed the fake mourners, and their sobbing rose . . . until they noticed I wasn't carrying a camera, and fell back to sipping steaming coffees and huddling against the icy morning.
They might not have made me for a reporter, but the closest cop guarding the scene did, his glower telling me not to bother asking for a statement. I'm sure "Hey, I know what happened to your dead guy" would have been a guaranteed conversation opener. But then what would I say?
"How do I know? Um, I had a vision. Psychic? No. I can only see the past-a talent I inherited from my father. More of a curse, really, though I'm sure he thinks otherwise. Maybe you've heard of him? Lucifer? No, not Satan-that's a whole different guy. I'm what they call a half-demon, a human fathered by a demon. Most of us get a special power, like fire, telekinesis or teleportation, without a demon's need for chaos. But that chaos hunger is all I get, plus a few special powers to help me find it. Like visions of past trauma, which is why I know how your victim died. And I can read chaotic thoughts, like the one going through your head right now, Officer. You're wondering whether you should quietly call for the ambulance or pin me to the ground first, in case my psychotic break turns violent."
So I stuck to my job: reporting the news, not becoming it. I found a likely target-the youngest officer, buttons gleaming, gaze following the news cameras, shoulders straightening each time one promised to swing his way, then slumping when it moved elsewhere.
As I approached, his gaze traveled over me and his chin lifted to showcase a square jaw. A smile tweaked his lips. When I took out my notebook, the smile ignited, and he stepped forward to intercept me, lest I change my mind.