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The Demon's Wife    by Rick Hautala order for
Demon's Wife
by Rick Hautala
Order:  USA  Can
JournalStone, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Claire McMullen's been on the hunt for Mister Right but thus far the singles scene in Portland, Maine has been slim pickings - until the fateful evening she meets Samael. Tall, dark, handsome, and filthy rich, he soon sweeps Claire off her feet, fulfilling her every whim and desire. She's certain she's hit the relationship jackpot and can't wait to march into her boss's office and quit her humdrum job. Why not let a man take care of her? Surely she deserves it after one too many bad dates. But her niggling suspicions that there's something off about her dream man keeps her awake at night.

Once they're a couple, Claire pushes her lover for the truth and when Samael comes clean, the truth's a doozy. He informs her that he's a demon, a fallen angel whose sole task is to collect souls and send them screaming to Hell. Claire is horrified. Had their whirlwind courtship been nothing but a lie - a ploy to collect her soul?

Samael admits that at first he couldn't help himself - it's what does did after all - corrupt humans and collect their souls. Claire had been such an easy mark. He also admits that he's horrified that he's fallen in love and is beginning to experience real feelings again. He's willing to forego his demonic life, to step back to the side of the angels and find redemption, if only Claire will support and marry him.

But Satan isn't about to let one of his best soul collectors go, and before long the couple's love is put to the test by demonic minions sent to destroy them.

Rick Hautala puts a twist on modern day romance with style and humour. Samael is genuine, despite his bad boy proclivities, and Claire is steadfast in her love for him despite plenty of obstacles, both emotional and demonic. My only quibble is that Hautala dampens too many plot twists with heavy-handed foreshadowing; the ending was also rather rushed. Even so, The Demon's Wife is a compelling and often clever story, perfect for a chilly October night as the trick or treaters come knocking.

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