I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review."Bond of Destiny" by Larissa Ione
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by 1001 Dark Nights Press on August 24, 2021
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Bound by Night, Reaver, Revenant, Snowbound, "Z", "Azagoth", "Revenant's Epilogue", "Hades", "Razr", "Hawkyn", "Cipher"
A novella, 19.5 in the Demonica paranormal romance series, that revolves around the friends and family of three brothers, incubus demons by birth, human in appearance (mostly), who have pulled together to make the most of the healing skills common to their species. This story revolves the friend of a human and her mate, one of the Four Horsemen.
Poor Tracker. Used and abused by his own family?! Sold into slavery? Yep. That boy is gonna have one heckuva character arc!
Ooh, snowed in! I love being snowed in! Well, provided you still have water, electricity, heat, and food . . . I know, spoiled *grin*.
It’s a cute start with that blizzard trapping Stacey and her choosing to show Tracker how to cook different dishes and experience new things. We learn how attracted Tracker is to Stacey through that third person dual protagonist point-of-view as we hear all his thoughts . . . he’s too terrified to actually make a move. Stacey, of course, is the other perspective, so we hear her thoughts and fears about moving too fast.
Jillian provides yet another angle to Stacey’s concerns when she tells her friend that Tracker is not available. Nor is Stacey happy about slavery, which leads to all sorts of misinterpretations.
Ione does make me laugh when Stacey talks about how weird her world has grown with a werewolf slave, the Grim Reaper’s daughter popping over to cook, and one of the Four Horseman as a neighbor.
Stacey’s mom wasn’t all that helpful when she was growing up; some of her advice is downright nasty. They’re pretty religious and think Reseph is a history professor from Europe. *Snicker*
It’s an opportunity for Tracker to expand his experiences, and you have to root for him. No, you really do, as Tracker relates his past and its horrors as he struggles to get past those childhood traumas and take a chance at a real life, at discovering the truth. It’s a scary balance as there are some rules Tracker CAN NOT break.
Some nasty, nasty rules.
And Tracker learns that eavesdropping isn’t the best way to learn.
Sold into slavery mere hours after his birth, Tracker spent decades in service to cruel underworlders. Then the fallen angel Harvester transferred his ownership to a human woman who gave him as much freedom as the unbreakable bond would allow.
Still, thanks to his traumatic past, he’s afraid to trust, let alone feel love. But when an acquaintance shows up at his door, injured and in need of help, he finds himself longing for a connection. For someone to touch. For someone to care.
Stacey Markham has had it bad for Tracker since the day her best friend, Jillian, was forced to hold his unbreakable slave bond.
At first, the fact that he’s a werewolf seemed weird to Stacey, but hey, her best friend was married to one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so weird is definitely a matter of perspective. Yet Stacey knows the depths of Tracker’s trauma, and she longs to help him even as he helps her, but breaking through his walls isn’t easy.
And it only gets harder when the only blood family he has, the pack that gave him away, lays claim to him . . . and everything he loves.
Stacey Markham used to be a sheriff’s deputy and is now an agent for the Demonic Activity Response Team.
Tracker, known as Whine in Sheoul, is an enslaved werewolf and now the resident caretaker for Jillian and the animals still in residence. Rick and Evie are the two brown pygmy Nubian goats and Sam and Dean are the donkey brothers.
Jillian Cardiff is Stacey’s best friend and married to one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Reseph, a.k.a. Pestilence (Rogue Rider, 9), who taught Tracker about the BOBS (Box of Bad Shit). Jillian is also the new lessee of Tracker’s slave bond.
The other Horsemen include Thanatos (Death), Ares (War), and their sister, Limos (Famine).
Harvester, a.k.a. Verrine, is the angel who transferred Tracker’s bond to Jillian when she became a Heavenly angel. Reaver, a battle angel and the most powerful angel in existence, is her mate (Reaver, 10); he’s also the father of the Four Horsemen. Um, Harvester’s dad is Satan. Harvester’s chef had been a Ramreel demon. Suzanne, Azagoth’s daughter, has a popular cooking channel on YouTube.
The Demonic Activity Response Team (DART) investigates . . .
. . . demon activity. Kynan Morgan (he’s also Eidolon’s brother-in-law) is in charge.
The Aegis is . . .
. . . an ages-old demon-slaying organization, a rival of DART.
Underworld General Hospital (UGH) is . . .
. . . a demon hospital run by Dr Eidolon, his brothers, and his sister, Sin (an infectious disease expert) — all Seminus demons. Tayla is Eidolon’s mate (Pleasure Unbound, 1).
Sheoul is . . .
. . . known by us as Hell. Hagfrun, a mine owner, had been one of Tracker’s owners. Azagoth, a.k.a. Grim Reaper, destroyed Sheoul-gra, releasing billions of demon souls. Whole countries are being evacuated!
Tracker’s parents, of the Volgy bloodline, had been the Alphas of the pack. Hunter had been one of Tracker’s brothers. Victoria, who works as a dental assistant, wants to be the Alpha of the pack. Ludwig “Lud” is the head enforcer; Jack is Ludwig’s lieutenant. More packmates include Vandal, Andris, the grizzled John, Brynn, Nils, and Sienna.
Werewolves, a.k.a. wargs, come in two flavors: Pricolici are born werewolves while the Vârcolac are turned werewolves. Tracker belongs to the Neethul Slaver Guild, the malibites.
Stacey had had a feud with Gina Perini, head cheerleader and mean girl extraordinaire, in high school. Vickie had been part of Gina’s pack. Old boyfriends of Stacey’s include Matthew, Kevin who narrated everything in a DJ voice, and Joel.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a black background with gold pierced medallions bright at the bottom and fading out as they rise up, forming an informal border. What grabs your attention is the gradated royal blue publisher’s information with Tracker’s head emerging from the first “0” and a wolf howling at the moon in the second “0”. The title is in a pale blue below the publisher info with the series info below it in the same pale blue. The author’s name is at the bottom in a gradated gold with a demonic caduceus forming the “i” in her first name. At the very, very bottom is an info blurb in gradated gold.
The title is what holds Tracker, his “Bond of Destiny”.