THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS (Company of Angels #2) by Stephanie Chong
THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS is the second storyline in Stephanie Chong's Company of Angels series. The Company is a heirarchy of `guardian' angels under the direction of Michael, working to protect the human race. But while Satan's demons wreak havoc and hell, one Guardian will find that his latest assignment will test his honor and allegiance as an angel.
Brandon Clarkson is a guardian angel. Ten years prior, as a cop in Detroit, he was gunned down during a stake-out, only to find himself in the Company of Angels. The Angel Michael saw something good and pure in Brandon, and introduced him to a `second' life as a guardian of mankind. His latest assignment is to find and capture a rogue demoness in Venice, who has escaped the confines of the Company. Her long list of sins is a starting place, but the Company is not the only group hoping to put an end to her tyranny.
Luciana Rosetti is a rogue demoness, on the hunt for her latest sacrificial offering to the powerful being who gave her a second chance at revenge. Every year, a blood offering must be made, and Lucianna had yet to make the offer. Only now it was too late, as she found herself bound to a Guardian from the Company, and the deadline has passed. Lucianna was gifted with the ability to walk through dreams, and her only hope for escape was to ensure that she entered Brandon's dreams. Only their connection appeared to go both ways, and Brandon is able to experience the full extent of his dreams. But he must know whether or not he is awake or asleep.
As a human, Lucianna suffered horribly at the hands of many men, and in death she continues to experience the hardships and assaults by those in control. Betrayal by family and at the hands of a former lover would turn her heart cold, but the hands of an Angel would begin a melting process that would too soon end with both of them on the run.
The relationship between Angel and Demon is forbidden, but the allure of the forbidden is something neither is able to control. And it is their growing attraction to one another that will be used to bring both under control. Those hoping to destroy the Company will demand Luciana pay, and Brandon's superiors will demand that he finish his assignment. But at the end of the day, Brandon knows, that those in control have much more planned for the demoness than confinement at the compound, and as a Guardian, his duty is to protect. But betrayal by someone he once called a friend, will find an unlikely offering for Luciana and push her into a world she never thought she would cross.
THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS is a well-written story. The background information allows for a smooth transition between book one and two. Although Stephanie's characters are referenced and derived from Christianity, this is by no means a book about religious beliefs or systems. The story goes from current day, to dream state and sometimes into the past.
Character development flows throughout the novel, allowing for the mystery to build until the final reveal. Luciana believes herself condemned to walk the earth alone and unloved, but Brandon is hoping to one day show the woman that even those who have been condemned, can be forgiven once they are able to forgive themselves.
A surprising twist or two will add to the character development allowing the reader to see from `where and why' these demons and angels are who they are. Brandon is as dangerous as he is sexy, and Lucianna is the epitome of a siren looking for her next conquest. I enjoyed reading The Demoness of Waking Dreams and I am looking forward to the next instalment, because there is no HEA--only several unanswered questions.
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