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Passion Unleashed: A Demonica Novel    by Larissa Ione order for
Passion Unleashed
by Larissa Ione
Order:  USA  Can
Forever, 2009 (2009)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

As the most psychologically damaged and violent of the three Seminus demon brothers, Wraith (who's also part vampire) has gone through life without caring for much of anything other than doing his assigned part in keeping his elder brother Eidolon's dream (Underworld General Hospital) running smoothly - at least until such time as Wraith reaches full maturity and devolves to his true demon form where nothing matters but procreation. When an old enemy fatally poisons Wraith, he suddenly finds himself desperate to hold onto his life, such as it is. There is an antidote, but procuring it means sacrificing the life of the human female sworn to guard it.

Wraith figures retrieving the antidote will be a cakewalk; he has after all seduced countless females since his maturation and never experienced any emotional attachment once they parted ways. Why should this time be any different? But the moment he sets eyes on archaeologist Serena Kelley, Wraith's apathy vanishes. The situation immediately becomes even more complicated when Serena is targeted by the demon Byzamoth, whose own agenda involves stealing Serena's charm and opening Hell's portals to demon invasion. Wraith has other ideas though, and if protecting Serena's life and stopping Byzamoth's invasion means his own destruction, then he's more than up to the challenge.

Wraith's lifelong nihilistic proclivities, his violent upbringing and his ongoing battle to come to terms with his dual nature, left me somewhat sceptical that Ione could make his and Serena's pairing work, but she does so with flying colours. She adds plenty of situations, some of them humorous, that show what extreme opposites they are. In Wraith's case, he must work extra hard to reign himself in and figure out how to gently woo rather than simply overpower Serena. And she, while able to hold her own against Wraith, is also an innocent in so many ways.

As in the previous two instalments, there are plenty of steamy love scenes, but again they're nicely balanced with a high-octane plot that takes the characters to the edge of world annihilation. Larissa Ione is fast becoming a master at telling dark, edgy and highly complex paranormal tales. Let's hope she has more Demonica episodes waiting in the wings!

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