Icarus is a courtesan who finds himself being blackmailed by a mobster and the mage under his thrall. They are forcing Icarus to track down Adam Devlin, aka “the Devil,” and set the man up for their attack. Icarus figures it will be an easy task and he doesn’t have much choice in the matter anyway. But not only does Icarus find Adam surprisingly intriguing, he learns there is much more happening with this whole situation than he even realized.
When Icarus learns the truth behind what Adam and his team are really up to, he knows there is no way he is leading the man to his death. The only other option seems to be getting on board and helping. The choice is made much more palatable by the fact that Icarus can’t help but be drawn to Adam and unexpectedly want more between them. But Adam is still grieving his lost loves and he is on a quest for vengeance. Even if they can stop the men who want to see Adam dead, his willingness to sacrifice his own life in the process means that things may be over between Adam and Icarus before they really start.
Icarus and the Devil kicks off the new Soul to Find series from Layla Reyne. I love Reyne’s style with romantic suspense, so I was really excited to check out this series, which also adds in an urban fantasy and paranormal element. The set up here gives us a quasi-apocalyptic world after the Rift, which caused desolation, unstable land, and much danger. This is also a world of magic and shifters and other paranormals and I think Reyne blends all of these elements together well. I think some of the big picture world building could have used more fleshing out with regard to the Rift and what actually happened, as well as the state of things now. For example, I was unclear how far this devastation spreads (just this region? The whole country? The world?). There is also mention that most people can’t afford gas-powered cars of whiskey, but not a lot of explanation about how people live aside from those in the group that we meet here. But I do think the set up is interesting and I liked the foray into the urban fantasy world.
I enjoyed the dynamic a lot between Adam and Icarus. It starts out sort of adversarial in the sense that Icarus needs to lead Adam into danger, but these guys are on the same side pretty quickly. Adam is dealing with a lot of grief over his deceased partners, and he is looking for vengeance. But there is something about Icarus that just sparks for him and the two are a good fit. Icarus is sassy and fun and his personality brings some lightness to Adam. The pair have nice chemistry together and we get some heated scenes between them. I also liked how their journeys intertwine here and they end up joining together against the bad guys. We also meet others from Adam’s team and it is an interesting group. It appears we will get new couples as the series continues and I am finding the side characters to be intriguing, which should lead nicely into future books. The main thread here does tie up with this story, but there is a bigger series arc that continues into the next book.
Over the course of the story, we do learn more about Adam and Icarus and just what kind of beings they are, as well as more of their past (so don’t read the post tags if you don’t want to be spoiled). Some of what we learn connects to other characters as well, so I’ll be curious to find out more as the series progresses. I found this one to be a really nice start to the series and I am eager to see what more there is to come for these characters.