Let me start off by saying that I love the Demonica series. But Desire Unchained was my least favorite. This 2nd book in the series, features Shade, a paramedic and a Seminus demon. Like all Seminus demons, Shade is a man whore. He can’t really help it. For him, frequent sex is a biological imperative.
The book starts off with Shade and his sister kidnapped. He wakes from his attack, chained up in a dungeon. Among the prisoners there, is his ex-girlfriend Runa. Back when they dated, Runa was human, but now she’s a warg (werewolf). Their relationship ended badly… Runa had walked in on Shade in bed with two other women. His response was to invite her to join them. It was when she ran out of the apartment in tears, she was attacked by a warg and infected with lycanthropy.
It turns out that the kidnapper is (spoiler) Roag, Shade’s brother, who he thought to be dead. Roag’s alive, but badly burned and has serious metal problems. He wants revenge against the brothers he blames for his condition. And he wants to harvest body parts to reconstruct himself. (Gross.)
Anyway, Shade has a curse on him that says if he ever falls in love, he’ll turn into, well, a shade. He will no longer be corporeal, alive only to feel unrelenting hunger and solitude for the rest of his existence. So clearly, Shade isn’t looking for love. But Roag figures if he sets up Shade and Runa as mates, Shade will eventually fall.
All that is pretty interesting and I like Runa. Shade, not so much. It also seems that Shade has a “gift” where he can draw out a woman’s deep pain with some BDSM. This is where they lost me. I’m all for people getting their jollies however they like them. Live and let live. But this did not appeal to me. The whole concept was a turnoff and the scene where Shade “helped” Runa made me cringe. I felt like Runa was testing her growing empowerment throughout the whole book. We saw her grow from a weak woman to this strong warg –and then all of a sudden, Shade needs to whip her to help her get over her mommy and daddy issues?
Moving on. It was cool to see Kynan our former demon-hunter, working with the guys at Underworld General. I want so much for him to return Gem’s feelings. And I want to kick him in the man-jewels for how he has treated her. But I am captivated by their scenes and they are a great secondary story.
Roag is a great bad guy. The story is unique and intelligent. And the world building manages to be both clear and complex.
If you like the Demonica books, you can’t skip this one. Despite the parts I didn’t like, there are plenty of parts that really did work that make it a good read. 3 1/2 stars.