The Demon in Me (Living in Eden, #1) by Michelle Rowen

Published May 4th 2010 by Berkley, Paperback, 336 pages, ISBN-13: 9780425234686

Hell hath no fury…

Fate has led Eden Riley to become a “psychic consultant” to the police, even though her abilities are unreliable at best. Those paranormal powers are about to get her into a jam she couldn’t have predicted: After her hunky police detective partner guns down a serial killer in front of her, Eden realizes that she’s quite literally no longer alone. A voice in her head introduces himself as Darrak. He’s a demon. But not in a bad way!

…Like a woman possessed.

Darrak lost his original body three hundred years ago, thanks to a witch’s curse. This is the first time he’s been able to speak directly to a host, plus there’s a bonus: Eden’s psychic energy helps him to take form during daylight hours. He wants to use this chance to find a way to break his curse – finally. Otherwise, Eden’s going to have to learn to live with this sexy demon … like it or not.

But she thinks she might like it.

Review: Eden Riley has psychic abilities. Sometimes, she just knows things. Let me repeat that. Sometimes she knows things. Images or thoughts just come to her. And it was during one of these sometimes episodes where she caught the attention of Toronto’s chief of police. His wife’s dog had gone missing, and after calling her faithful psychic, Eden, the dog was found. And now the chief of police wants her help in finding a serial killer.

Going to the house of the last murder, along with the lead detective, Ben Hanson, she has this sudden weird vibe, a pull towards a coat closet. Sure enough, the killer had returned to the scene of the crime. When her life is threatened, Ben shoots the killer dead, and Eden watches as this black smoke rises from the corpse, hesitates, and makes a bee-line directly at her. No one else sees this black smoke.

Then she hears a voice; a male’s voice. At first, she believes there’s someone nearby. Then she realizes … the voice is coming from inside herself. Terrific – she’s been possessed – by a demon, no less.

Over three hundred years ago, Darrak’s body was destroyed, his spirit cursed, and has been living in humans bodies ever since. This is the first time one of his hosts can actually hear him and communicate with him. Not only that, but her psychic ability manages to help him take form during the daylight hours.

Now that he has a host who can not only hear him but can communicate with him, he asks for her help in finding the witch that cursed him. Once she desolves the curse, Darrak will be free, and will be able to leave Eden alone.

And now Eden is learning that the “bump in the night” beings are actually real. She pays for an exorcism that she doesn’t go through with, and now the Malleus, a group of people hell-bent (pardon the expression) on eradicating evil, won’t leave her alone. Finding the witch is beginning to look impossible, and she learns that if Darrak isn’t set free within a year, he will drain her energy dry, resulting in killing her. Oh, and as any demon, while he didn’t totally lie to her, he didn’t tell her the whole truth, either. He’s not just any demon, but an archdemon, and one of the worst kind.

What ever happened to her boring and monotonous life?

** A cute story, but not quite a paranormal romance.

Personally, I think this one should have just been put in the paranormal genre. While I saw the possibilities between Eden and Ben, the hot detective, I didn’t feel a spark between them. However, with Darrak, I could feel the pull, the attraction between them. And yet, it’s forbidden, for he can completely drain her energy if he’s not careful. And she can do worse without meaning to.

I found Eden to have a level head, even though she’s a “sometimes” psychic who completely doubts her own abilities. Can’t blame the girl – her abilities never worked when she wanted them to – they worked eradically at best. Even with all the paranormal information thrown at her, she kept her head, pushing aside her panic in order to deal with the problem at hand.

Darrak, although an archdemon, spent so many centuries possessing humans that humanity seems to have burned itself in him. He’s no longer the cruel, heartless, evil demon that he was. And he’s fallen in love with Eden. Now, more than ever, it’s important that they find someone to dissolve the curse.

At first, I found the story to be on the corny-cutesy side. Seemed it was a plot I’ve read before. But about halfway through the book, there’s a twist that takes the story in a new direction, and it improved from there. The characters are colorful, action scenes well played out, and the romance has just enough ‘zing’ to it that the reader can feel it. I may have rated it 3 stars (Goodreads does not have a half-star system), but it’s a 3.5’er for me.

Rating: .5

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