Azagoth (1001 Dark Nights novella) (Demonica/Lords of Deliverance #10.5)
Published: June 10, 2014 (Evil Eye Concepts, Inc.)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Candace
Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
One of these days, Larissa Ione may (if we’re in an alternate universe) publish something that really sucks. But today isn’t that day, and judging by how I have devoured every single damned thing in this series, tomorrow isn’t looking too good either.
Azagoth (the story, not the character) is the latest installment in the 1001 Dark Nights, a series of shorts by various authors released all throughout the year. It fills us in on Azagoth (the character) and how he ended up creating Sheoul-gra, which is “a holding tank for demon souls.” He also was responsible for fathering the Memitim.
So basically, Azagoth is stuck on Sheoul-gra, a realm he created, and is faced with the duty of fathering more angels to watch over humanity. After 5,000 years anyone would want a change, which is when Azagoth uses a bit of the power he wields. He wants a mate.
Enter Lilliana. Here is one of the things I love about Ione’s writing. She creates one helluva Alpha. Reading about her male protagonists often leaves one in need of a cold shower. But her female leads are just as badassed as the males. Including this one. Lilliana is an angel, the characteristically clad in white and glowing kind. But she’s bent rules, broken rules and is snarky as well as beautiful. In response to Raphael, she thinks this:
Wow. What everyone said about archangels was true.
They were giant douchebags. With terrible fashion sense and taste in decor.
Raphael gives her a choice, face punishment or face Azagoth. Oh, and rob him while you’re in Sheoul-gra. No brainer, right?
Wrong. Lilliana had only heard Azagoth-related legends, but hadn’t encountered him in the flesh.
“And standing next to the monstrosity was an impossibly beautiful dark-haired male with eyes the color of vibrant emeralds.”
“Dear…God. He was both magnificent and frightening.”
Lilliana obviously hadn’t gotten the memo that Larissa Ione doesn’t create less-than-legendary bad boys. She also didn’t count on being the one that unwittingly sets Azagoth’s emotions free. She most assuredly did not count on falling in love.
The icing on this sensual, snarky cake is the softening of an angelic bad boy. Of course, after thousands and thousands of years in this place, there are going to be issues. Hiding of emotions. Casting aside wishes for more. Smiles at something as mundane as a walk in the sun. Lilliana is the one who can make a living hell better for Azagoth, but will she sacrifice her own freedom to do it?
Heads up on this one—I cried. Even though it was a novella (159 pages), Ione has the time to put her readers on an emotional roller coaster. And I enjoyed every second of it.
Sexual content: Graphic sex