At the end of the previous novel in Deanna Chase’s Jade Calhoun series, the Angel Council blackmailed Jade Calhoun and Kane Rouquette into becoming shadow walker agents for the council. Jade’s fractured half-soul, a condition caused by the Council itself, was in imminent danger of being completely possessed by the ghost of a murdered sex witch and needed to be healed. Since Jade possesses angel blood, only the Angel Council could approve and conduct such a procedure.
So a very nasty version of quid pro quo is demanded. The Angel Council agrees to heal Jade’s soul if she and Kane will commit to eternal servitude to the Council. Since her only other choice is death, Jade and Kane agree and are transformed into eternal mates and shadow walkers.
As I read this ending, I was perplexed as to why the Council wanted Kane, who is only a dreamwalker, as part of the deal. Well, in this novel, we find out exactly why they want Kane. We learn what they deliberately chose not to tell Jade and Kane prior to the healing and bonding. And we come to know that the angels in this series are not the kinfolk of those spirits rife in the Debbie Macomber books. As Jade and the reader finally realize, the physical, ethical and moral boundaries between Chase’s angels and their demon counterparts are thinner than a hair’s breadth.
As this novel begins, several weeks have passed since the bonding procedure. It is Jade’s and Kane’s wedding day, with honeymoon to Italy planned, and shadow walker training to begin shortly thereafter. Just as the minister asks the age-old question of whether anyone has an objection to the marriage, Chessandra and Drake, from the Angel Council, blast into the ceremony. And, just like that, the wedding is aborted and our principle characters are spirited into another dimension.
It seems that Chessandra’s sister, Matisse, is a witch working for the Council and Matisse has been caught in a shadow realm by a failed spell. No other shadow walkers have been able to retrieve her and she is near death. Wedding day or not, Jade and Kane are ordered into the breach.
Needless to say, this early into the book, the rescue attempt fails. In fact, only Jade makes it into where Matisse is located. Kane is thrown back into the real world because Matisse is not in the shadows. She is in a different plane of existence altogether, not Hell, not Purgatory, but a void. And dreamwalkers cannot travel between the different realms.
When even Jade is unable to return Matisse to the present, she and Kane begin asking some serious questions as to why Matisse is really there. They learn that Matisse is not only Chessandra’s sister, she is also the niece of the coven leader for the Coven Pointe witches in New Orleans. Now, Jade has never heard of this coven, a group literally in her own backyard. No one in her own coven has ever mentioned the slightest word about the existence of other witches in the area.
When Jade and Kane approach Dayla, the other coven’s leader, to get information on Matisse, Dayla, without warning, brutally attacks Jade with potentially lethal spells. Barely surviving the attack, Jade realizes why her coven has shunned these other witches. The Coven Pointe members are sex witches, a type of witch who derives her power, not from the earth, but from successful sexual congress. And Jade quickly discovers that this group will use anybody in any manner to get their power and they will use that power in any way they see fit to achieve their goals, regardless of who it hurts. They are not black witches, but they are not the nicest souls in the universe either.
Before Jade can get the answers she needs, Dayla puts a binding spell on her powers and captures Kane into a trance. What Dayla knows – and what Chessandra has failed to tell Kane – is that dreamwalking is not really a psychic phenomenon, as Kane believes. Dreamwalking is actually a genetic trait possessed by a supernatural being whose true nature and consciousness lies dormant until it is unleashed by a sex witch. And Dayla unlocks Kane’s dormant creature against Kane’s will.
At this point, Deanna Chase does far more than just curve the story arc in a new direction or throw in a slight twist to capture the reader’s attention. The bombshell she levels on the reader, and on the lives of Jade and Kane, is nothing short of being literally mind-altering, body-bending and potentially lethal – particularly to Jade.
Do not expect to get much done in your daily life from this point on. Sleep is definitely out of the question. Just this one twist alone is enough to give you high blood pressure, if you don’t have it already. By the time Chase expands this new plotline and deals with several issues recurring from previous books that leech into this storyline, you will be exhausted from the non-stop tension and fear. And there are at least three characters, including Dayla, and particularly Dayla, that you will want to snatch right out of your book or reader and choke into oblivion.
By the end of the tale, you may well be looking over your own shoulder, waiting for the next attack. You will definitely be wary of calling the ending an HEA. Quite frankly, the outright lies generated, the lies of omission discovered and the change in Kane’s supernatural status do not bode well for the newly established Rouquette family. But, in any event, for better or for worse, Chase’s next novel in the series should be quite the adventure.
Cover Art From Goodreads