Saturday, June 27, 2015

Review: Ascension (The Demon Hunters #1) by A S Fenichel

Book coverAscension (The Demon Hunters #1) by A S Fenichel
Purchase link: Amazon

My rating: star star star star

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame  Flame

When demons threaten London, Lady Belinda answers the call.

Lord Gabriel Thurston returns home from war to find his fiancée is not the sweet young girl he left behind. She's grown into a mysterious woman who guards her dark secrets well. When he sees her sneaking away from a ball, he's convinced it's for a lover's rendezvous. Following her to London's slums, Gabriel watches in horror as his fiancée ruthlessly slay a man.

Lady Belinda Clayton's only concern was her dress for the next ball--until demons nearly killed her and changed everything. A lady by day, and a demon hunter by night, she knows where her duty lies. Ending her betrothal is the best way to protect Gabriel from death by a demon's hand.

Gabriel soon realizes, like him, Belinda has been fighting for her country. He joins in the fight, determined to show her that their love can endure, stronger than ever.

It seems to be my time for non-traditional Regencies at the moment, right after I posted that I was looking for non-traditional Regencies to read. This one is a paranormal Regency romance with a very unusual heroine and demons in the midst of London planning to take over the world.

The story opens with Gabriel returning to London after 4 years at war with France to find that his fiancee Belinda no longer seems to be interested in being married to him and is pushing away. As Gabriel looks for answers he enters a world and a side of London he never imagined possible.

Belinda is an extremely unusual heroine for Regency London. Right after Gabriel went off to war, she was abducted by demons. After her rescue, she trains to become a demon hunter and this is the woman that Gabriel comes home to.
I thought the pacing at the beginning of story was a bit slow as we go through the dance of whether or not Gabriel finds out about Belinda's nocturnal activities and it drags somewhat going back and forth between Gabriel and Belinda till about 30% of the book. I say this because once you get past this point, it is non stop action, so if you feel as though the story could move along a little faster, don't give up on it.

Belinda is a survivor. After her abduction and rescue, rather than cower away in the drawing rooms of London, she chooses to train as a demon hunter and becomes very good at it. She is bold, honest and in the beginning tries desperately to protect Gabriel from this terrible world she is in by pushing him away.

Gabriel on the other hand is also a changed man after 4 years at war, and he comes to realise that neither of them know the people they have become. He remains incredibly steadfast and persistent in his pursuit of Belinda and his unwavering love for her. He has loved her since they were children and he was not going to give up on her, instead he fights to be part of the world Belinda is in, and grows to love her even more after seeing her strength and her skill in battle.

The thing which stood out for me besides an exciting story is the fact that Belinda and Gabriel love each other, have for a very long time. They find themselves changed people after 4 years apart and must learn to love the new people they have become. This is a lovely journey to travel with them, to see their love grow and deepen, peeling away the layers imposed upon them by society and upbringing to show the people they really are. I loved the fact that instead of running away, they ran towards each other, vowing to love, support each other, to see through the fight together, coming out stronger as a couple than they could be as individuals.

I also love this alternate Regency world that Ms Fenichel has built. It is refreshing in its differences and comforting in its familiarity.

I'm looking forward to the next books in the series.

View all my reviews

The other book in the series:


About the author

authorA.S. Fenichel gave up a successful IT career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She's never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in paranormal, contemporary and historical romance with Ellora's Cave Publishing. You can learn more about her books at website or visit her on her Facebook page, where she spends entirely too much time.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

Author links: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads

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