Review: The Demon You Know by Barbara Elsborg

The Demon  You KnowRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Ezra has been in Hell since he was a child. Literally in Hell. Ezra is a demon, though he’s different than any other demon in Hell. He longs for a kindness, and does his best to stay out of the way, though there are some that would torment him and Ezra often gives in because it’s better to do that than to fight. But now he’s been chosen for the Corriendo, though he doesn’t know why, and that means that he’s going to have the chance to go to the surface. He’ll be in the mortal world, and though he’s supposed to be collecting energy from souls, Ezra instead has plans to escape Hell forever.

Roman is in charge of London, and it’s his job to police the paranormals to keep them from being discovered and running amok. Though he’s an angel, he’s not exactly a good man. He does what he needs to do to do his job successfully. Still, he’s plagued by sadness and a past that haunts him. When he learns that a Corriendo has taken place, he joins forces with others to bring in all the demons that have surfaced so they can be returned to Hell.

When Roman meets Ezra, Roman doesn’t understand why the clues point to Ezra being a demon, but the man’s demeanor and actions don’t. More than that, he doesn’t feel like a demon to Roman’s senses. In fact, all Roman wants to do is have sex with Ezra. Though they do sleep together, Roman knows that Ezra is a demon and therefore needs to be banished.

But when the truth about Ezra comes out, it’s a shock to both men. They go on the run, both determined to protect the other, and both falling harder in love. Though they would do whatever they had to in order to remain together, a sacrifice might have to be made and happily ever after might not be in the cards for Roman and Ezra.

Oh, this book was all sorts of well done, with a really interesting and engaging plot, well-crafted characters, and a few twists and turns that kept me guessing. I admit I was intrigued as soon as I read the blurb, and the story itself didn’t disappoint. There were a couple of moments where I thought the story lagged a bit and could have benefitted from some tighter writing, and a few small plot points that left me slights confused. But overall it was incredibly well done and definitely worth a read.

What we have here is a twist on the angel and demon theme, with a demon who is inherently good and an angel that can do very little right. And while that theme, in and of itself, has been done before, Elsborg crafts the tale in such a way that I was utterly drawn in and completely intrigued. There are enough twists and surprises that made this story feel fresh and interesting. And the reasoning behind Ezra being chosen for the Corriendo, as well as the machinations behind the scenes, was truly inspired.

Added to the clever plot, we have two characters who are very well drawn.  Ezra is a complete sweetheart with a huge heart and he’s been living in a horrible situation for as long as he can remember. He doesn’t know what he did to deserve being in Hell, and up until the day before he leaves for the surface, he thinks he was born there. He’s made the best of a horrible situation, he is a survivor, and we clearly see his heart and his mettle. I loved him from beginning to end.

Roman’s situation is so vastly different, and he’s in a tough spot  It’s his job to police London, and that sometimes means he has to kill offenders. It’s taken its toll on him, and combined with the things that have happened in his recent past, Roman is broken. Who would have guessed that it would take a demon to heal him? Ezra is exactly what Roman needs. And though they form a connection fast, these guys work together.

Yes, there’s a bit of instalove going on here. For the most part it works though. I would have liked to see a bit more of their connection outside of sex, but I totally got why these guys worked together. And seeing as how the last third of the book or so hinges on their connection, I figure that’s a good thing. Would I have liked a bit more?  Yes, but what’s there works really well and if you’re willing to take the leap, it’s more than enough.

Guys, I can recommend this one without reservation. Especially if you’re looking for a different twist on a paranormal book. The Demon You Know is a satisfying read filled with interesting plot twists and well-drawn characters.

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