A gritty, fast-talking mercenary teams up with the last of the Demon Enforcers to defeat her own family…a cabal of one-percenter psychics threatening to take over the world.
As the castoff, unmagical daughter of one of the most powerful psychic families on earth, I learned a long time ago to make my own path, becoming a discreet and brutally effective operative-for-hire for the Shadow Court.
Little do those elitist assholes know, I’m this close to taking them out for good.
Then I get tangled up with Raum of the Syx, who also has the Shadow Court in his sights. He’s not like any knuckle-dragging, goop-drooling demon I’ve ever met. He’s got the voice of an angel, the body of a Greek god, and a mystical voodoo eye trick that mesmerizes everyone who looks at him. He also thinks I shouldn’t shoot quite so many people. I mean, fair.
I don’t trust Raum, and I can’t—especially since, despite our synced-up missions, he’s also destined to kill me. Good thing I definitely won’t be falling for him…much.
Your heart will only destroy you when you face a Demon Beloved.
Demon Beloved is book 6 of 6, and concludes the Demon Enforcers paranormal romance series. Set in the same world as Immortal Vegas and Wilde Justice, it’s perfect for fans of urban fantasy, high-adventure supernatural suspense, slow-burn romance, and wise-cracking humor.
Read an Excerpt
Everything in Vegas was bigger, brighter, harsher, and impossible to ignore. Especially this hangover.
Zee Markham stalked through the clattering, chattering casino, gritting her teeth against the tinny beeps, the canned laughter, the clackety-clack of spinning wheels and the thunk of old-time slot machine bars being pulled back and released, though people could just as easily push the soft cushy buttons that made no sound. It was as if everyone around her was deliberately trying to add to the pounding in her head, eager to see if they would be the one to hit the jackpot of her brain spontaneously exploding.
It wasn’t like she’d been drinking the night before, either. Not much, anyway. But with every step, she felt like she was trying to surf a tugboat across a constantly churning sea. Zee took a deep breath, steadied herself, and kept moving.
Las Vegas was always manic, but the energy that had swept through the city since the previous week’s solar flare had taken everything to the next level. Not just in Vegas, either. Zee knew that every major city across the US and deep into Europe, as far south as Johannesburg and as far north as Moscow, felt it too.
Some of the reactions came from people just happy to be alive, with conversations streaming over social media about a new beginning, a new hope.
Another segment of the population went in the complete opposite direction, proclaiming the need for prepping, bunkers, and guns—while predicting the full-on collapse of civilization.
And then there were the people who’d hired Zee. The money of the arcane world. The one-percenter Connecteds who knew damned well that there had been no random solar flare that had shut down the world for three full hours a week ago. Instead, a carefully orchestrated psychic bomb had been dropped that had left the planet completely fucked for everyone, from the most pitiful, anonymous street-corner magician to the full-on Shadow Court sorcerers in their gilded halls.
The high rollers of the arcane black market usually only needed Zee for a pair of skills she had honed to razor-sharp precision—theft and death—and for her unique access to and understanding of a target-rich environment. They paid her well for her work, and she was good at it: win-win.
But after the clusterfuck bomb drop last week, her job requests had gotten a lot more interesting.
She exited LINQ, scanning Las Vegas Boulevard. A pool of green smoke billowed out of the Trevi-inspired fountain just past the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace. From what she could tell, that goopy haze extended down the Strip to encompass nearly all the real estate in front of the casino, including a hefty parking lot and the formal gardens. No one seemed to be paying much attention to it, but Zee had come to realize they couldn’t see these hell blocks of green smoke and fire. It was an arcane construct, another by-product of last week’s magical bomb blast, and visible only to true psychics.
Ordinarily, that meant that Zee wouldn’t have been able to see the creepy smoke either—or any creatures that skulked within it. But that was why she had her fancy magic decoder toys. What nature hadn’t seen fit to give her in terms of natural psychic abilities, it had made up for with access to cash, connections to the Connected in all the right places, and an endless supply of work that kept her ahead of the assholes, most days. She’d take it.
She moved forward again, crossing the street in front of the statue of Julius Caesar and angling south down the boulevard. She kept her cell phone-like device level in front of her face and moved her lips as if she was talking to her bestie half a world away. The gloves she wore, despite the warm, sunny day, might normally catch the eye of passersby, but this was Vegas. All eyes were glazed over by the relentless march of casinos, crowds, and faux showgirls strutting in feathers, pasties, and nosebleed-high boots.
“You got anything for me?” she subvocalized, and her earpiece crackled.
“We’ve got a lot of disturbance at the pools in front of Caesars Palace, but no sightings yet. Stay away from the parking lot directly beside those pools if you can, though. The smoke is denser there—construction trucks are blocking the entrance, so there won’t be anyone coming in or out anyway—but it just feels wrong.”
“Got it.” Once again, her security team had her back—and front and sides. The small coalition of psychic tech geeks—the best and brightest she could hire away from the arcane black market—occupied a nondescript bunker of an office nestled near Bryce Canyon, Utah. The canyon was said to be sacred, the long-ago home of dark-hearted gods on earth. Now it was the present-day residence of Zee’s own Connected team of dark-hearted tech-gods on earth, hidden in plain sight and working in the shadows. She’d wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible, but it appeared her time was running out.
Zee glanced to the right toward the parking lot as she came upon it, and saw what her tech security guy meant. The amplifier in her hand showed the green smoke was as dense as pea soup here. However, if she dropped the device even a foot, it just looked like yet another piece of Vegas real estate undergoing a massive overhaul to accommodate ever-larger crowds.
What was in that green smoke? She’d been getting regular updates from her security team over the past several days, including the name of the smoke-filled sectors: hell blocks. No one seemed to know who’d coined that term, but it was apt enough. These strange sectors of smoke seemed to be artifacts of the psychic bomb drop, screwed-up sections of wavering reality that were somehow connected to each other via passageways that no one seemed able to map. At least no one Zee knew. But the hell blocks had already swallowed up dozens of Connecteds—psychics who’d shown up in other parts of the world moments later, completely nonsensical with shock, while other psychics had vanished without a trace. Those people had to have gone somewhere.
There were also unsubstantiated reports of large, hulking creatures in the smoke—maybe demons, maybe something far worse—but Zee would use this hell block for today’s job if she needed to. Bagging Lainie Grant might require additional cover, if her client Will Simmons was right. According to Will, the young Vegas researcher was either an amateur seer of no great import…or a key underling of one of the most powerful magical syndicates on earth.
And Will was betting this potential Arcana Council flunky—if she was an Arcana Council flunky—would have a lot to say about the state of the magical world, given the events of the past week. According to their best intel, the Arcana Council had damned near destroyed itself to protect the world’s psychics from being blown to bits by the Shadow Court.
The Council had won, sort of…but only sort of. And now everyone was trying to take charge of the mess that was left.