<— Reaver (Demonica) is here!! I was THRILLED to find out that Larissa was returning to the series that I fell in love with, back when I was a paranormal-only romance addict.
These books are clever, intense, suuuuuuuuper-steamy and loaded in alpha-males (and often, first impression “alpha-jerks”). So fun (and a bit scary since the alphas in this are weres, vampires, demons and all sorts of sexy-freaky things). And while each one focused on a specific couple, the underlying paranormal issues and enemies they had to contend with was continuous and the “world-building” practically seamless throughout the series.
So what’s this one about?
The Demonica series returns….
WARRIOR OF HEAVEN
Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he’s agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before . . . to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.
ANGEL OF HELL
Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she’s doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan’s lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld’s darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel’s blood . . .
Ready for that excerpt? I dunno if those that haven’t read this series yet should read this part, so… you know. 😉
Note from Larissa Ione:
REAVER deleted scene: This scene was removed from the book because it’s a repeat of information the reader already knows. I’d written it to show the reactions of characters who didn’t know what Metatron (archangel) is about to reveal. If I’d left this scene in the book, it would fall in Chapter 12 between the two existing scenes.
This was the day Metatron had seen in his dreams. The day heavenly historians would say began the war between Heaven and Hell.
Or the day the war was prevented.
He didn’t know the outcome. He only knew that it was time to address the other archangels who headed the Sheoulic Activity Task Force.
He strode into Archangel Chamber, an opulent room decorated in crisp, colorful tapestries and long, flowing velvet drapes. The floor tiles had been fashioned from pure gold with precious gem inlays, and against the far wall, a crystal fountain ran with honeyed nectar.
Uriel and Raphael were standing near the fountain with Michael and Gabriel, and when they saw Metatron enter, they took their seats at the round table. Kezef and Haniel, who’d had their heads together near the pedestal that held the Book of Angels, were slower to sit, which wasn’t a surprise. Those two had always been difficult.
“What’s this about?” Raphael braced his forearms on the table and waited, but his patience was an illusion.
He, of all the hundred archangels, was the most hot-headed and first to leap into action without thinking. Metatron had always thought it was ironic that he criticized Reaver for that very thing.
Metatron met each of his brothers’ gazes before focusing on the bowl of fruit in the center of the table. “I’ve just received a word from a reliable source that someone has stolen Harvester from Satan’s clutches.”
Everyone but Uriel and Raphael exchanged baffled glances.
“Why do we care what happens to a fallen angel?” Gabriel asked. “Or to Satan, for that matter?”
This was not going to go over well. “Because Harvester didn’t fall. She went willingly into Sheoul to become an agent for us.”
Michael’s eyebrows shot up. “Say again?”
Metatron pinched the bridge of his nose, but the coming headache was going to lay him out. The skull-splitting pain always accompanied a conversation with the other archangels who made up the Sheoulic Activity Task Force, which was why they rarely met.
“Raphael and I arranged for Harvester to fall. She’s spent the last five thousand years working to circumvent the Daemonica’s apocalyptic prophecy. When it was over and Pestilence was sent back to the prison of Reseph’s mind, Gethel betrayed Harvester to Satan.”
Gabriel slammed his fist on the table, making the petrified olivewood shudder under his power. “I don’t care about Gethel. She’s a walking death warrant anyway.” He shook his head, his long, curly locks of multi-colored golds, browns, and reds sweeping around his broad shoulders. “What I care about is how you—” he glowered first at Raphael and next at Metatron “—failed to tell us, for thousands of years, mind you, that Harvester was on our side.”
Uriel sheepishly raised his hand. “I was aware, as well.”
“Well, aren’t you special,” Kezef said.
Raphael leaned back in his chair. “Uriel came upon us while Harvester was volunteering to fall from grace. We wouldn’t have let him in on the truth if not for that.”
Uriel folded his arms over his chest and pouted like a petulant child. Metatron ignored him. Uriel was the youngest of them, and while he was still ancient by human standards, he hadn’t grown out of toddler tantrums.
“We didn’t tell any of you because the fate of all of us rested on secrecy,” Metatron said. “I trust you…but I once trusted Satan and Lucifer, as well.”
Michael, who had been sitting in silence, his expression contemplative, addressed the group. “I think,” he said evenly, “that we’re concentrating on the wrong information here.” His eyes glowed as he swung his head around to Metatron. “You called us here to break a thousands’ year-old confidence. Harvester was taken from Satan. Clearly, this is a problem of epic proportions.”
“It is,” Metatron agreed. “We don’t yet know who aided her in the escape, but if the person or persons was one of ours, Satan will know that we were aware of her spy status, something we have denied.”
Raphael nodded. “He can never know that we arranged for two agents of Heaven to be the Horsemens’ Watchers. If an angel rescued Harvester, Satan will take it as an admission of guilt, and we’ll be looking at war.”
“Do we know who rescued her?” Gabriel asked.
Storm clouds brewed in Raphael’s eyes. “I’d wager my halo that it’s Reaver.”
“Reaver?” Haniel scowled. “But why?”
“Because I told him she was a spy,” Raphael muttered. “Not my finest moment.”
Uriel shoved his cup of nectar aside, splashing some on the table. “No one has seen him for weeks, and he petitioned us for a flight of battle angels to use in the rescue.”
In Metatron’s mind, there really was no doubt that Reaver was responsible. With the exception of Harvester — back when she’d been Verrine — nothing and no one had ever been able to keep that angel in check, and no punishments had ever made a difference.
Metatron had hoped that taking away his memory and his wings would have given the angel some discipline, but no, the stubborn male had only grown more rebellious. Less dangerous, granted, but more impulsive and inclined to challenge orders and defy authority. When Reaver got his wings back a few years ago, things had improved, but still, Metatron would be hard pressed to find a rule the angel hadn’t broken.
“There’s still something not quite matching up.” Leave it to Michael to find the chinks in any armor. “I think everyone in Heaven would want to rescue Harvester, if what you’re saying is true. But no one in their right mind would risk their own lives to do it, especially knowing their actions could cause a war. So what’s Reaver’s angle? Why is he taking this huge risk?”
Metatron traded glances with Raphael and Uriel. This could get tricky, but it was going to come out eventually, and it might as well come from him.
“If he’s the one who got Harvester away from Satan, it’s because he feels he owes her,” Metatron said.
“Wait.” Kezef leaned forward. “Why would he owe her?”
“Verrine had another motive for infiltrating Sheoul,” Raphael explained. “She swore, before the Horsemen were Horsemen, to watch over them. After they were cursed to be Horsemen, the best way to do that was to do it from the evil side.”
Gabriel tapped his fingers on the table. “So? What does that have to do with Reaver?”
This should be good. “Reaver is the Horsemen’s father.”
“Yenrieth is their father,” Kezef said slowly, as if Metatron had lost his mind.
“Yes, he is.” Metatron inclined his head. “And Reaver is Yenrieth.”
Silence fell. A long, dead, tense silence. Then, in a flurry of anger, everyone except Raphael and Uriel erupted in shouts and accusations.
Yenrieth is dead.
Yenrieth is being held in the Heophonic Dungeon.
Have our memories have been altered? Who kept this from us?
Metatron waited until the voices died down to speak. “Yenrieth is, indeed, Reaver. And yes, memories have been altered for reasons I can’t go into.”
“Can’t,” Gabriel snapped, “or won’t.”
“My orders come from the very top,” Metatron said coldly, “so if you have a problem with them, you know where you can go. And I mean that in all the ways you think it does.”
That shut Gabby down real fast, and he sat back in his chair, contrite and pulling a sulky pout that should impress even Uriel.
Michael stood slowly, his massive height and frame rising above them and casting them in shadow. “What happened in the past isn’t important right now. We need to stop Reaver and Harvester from passing through the membrane between Sheoul and Earth.”
“Agreed,” Gabriel and Raphael said in unison. After a moment, everyone nodded in full agreement with Michael.
It was as Metatron had feared. Finally, Reaver had gotten himself into a mess Metatron couldn’t clean up.
This time, Reaver was on his own.