Jake Hawkins is a novice Guardian whose gift is teleportation. He doesn’t seem to have complete control over his gift as every time he gets scared, he teleports. Still, he’s working on it and feels he’s almost there.
Alice Gray is also a Guardian. Her gift is being able to communicate and work with spiders. She’s known to the novice Guardians as the Black Widow and she delights in scaring them with her spider friends. She has a big problem though and it involves a bargain with a demon.
Guardians are humans that have been transformed into powerful beings that try to destroy demons. Not all humans can become Guardians. They have to have died so another can live while facing a demon or something a demon did. Not everyone agrees to be a Guardian and those that don’t ascend.
Jake is not exactly afraid of Alice, he just doesn’t really want to have anything to do with her. They both love to explore and research ancient temples which brings them together. Alice is trying to find a solution to getting out of her bargain and Jake just enjoys discovering these temples. While exploring a temple, several demons come in to do a ritual causing Jake and Alice to hide in very close quarters. Jake never had looked at Alice in a sexual way but now he has fantasies with Alice in a starring role. Alice never looks at men in a sexual way. She was born and raised during Victorian times. This just wasn’t done. So when she starts thinking sexual thoughts about Jake, she’s appalled.
As Jake and Alice’s story evolves, there is more in play than just their attraction to each other. Jake accidentally teleports to his house when he was human. There his great granddaughter makes his acquaintance and Jake meets the daughter that was born after he died. It also comes out that Michael, the leader of the Guardians, is half demon and that there were more to the wars with the demons that was previously known.
This book is part of a series of books about the Guardians. It can be read alone with no problem. Several characters from previous books are in this one but they are secondary characters and do not greatly affect Jake and Alice’s story.
The characters are well defined. Alice, being use to repealing advances from everyone wanting to get close to her, uses illusions of large spiders to get them to leave her alone. When Jake kisses Alice for the first time, she has a spider crawl out of her mouth. Jake, being scared, instantly teleports away. Both of these things are well within their characters. Even secondary characters are well developed and their actions are within their roles.
The storyline is well laid out and interesting. Alice wants to get rid of her bargain with the demon. If she doesn’t fulfill it, she will spend her life in hell. To fulfill her bargain, she needs to give the demon Michael’s heart. Alice is searching for a way out of this bargain and Jake decides to help her. Michael is aware of the bargain but allows Alice to figure out what she wants to do. Alice has friends who want to help, sometimes too much. In the end, it comes down to someone has to die and the only question is who.