Review: The Demon You Know by Barbara Elsborg

A good demon?

Ezra is a timekeeper in Hell, responsible for building and maintaining the clocks that tick away eternal torment. He’s never believed he deserves to be in Hell, and when the reason he’s there is revealed, he’s horrified...yet filled with hope. But is this just another form of torture? When Ezra’s given a chance to go to the surface, he’s determined to uncover the truth, but his fellow demons seem just as determined he won’t survive the journey.

A bad angel?

Roman doesn’t understand why an angel who failed his training the first time round has been given the job of policing paranormals in the UK’s capital city. He’s consumed by unhappiness. He might not be in Hell, but sometimes it damn well feels like it.

When Roman meets Ezra his failings come back to haunt him. Ezra makes him want to break the rules, but an angel protecting a demon? Discovery would bring an eternity of suffering, and with a boss none other than the archangel Michael, it'll take more than a miracle for the lovers to stand together.

This was one of the most anticipated books of the year for me.  

I was blown away with Bloodline (#2 of this unnamed London PNR series) Loved the characters and a certain stalwart, sort of dark angel Roman, Micah's boss. You don't need to read the series in order but I'd suggest starting with Bloodline first.

I had expectations for Roman. I wondered who would be the man to open him up (mind out the gutter) because he kept secrets and you could tell he had a few inner demons. 

Ezra couldn't have been a finer partner for Roman. 

Poor Ezra. The Hell timekeeper has had a horrible life. Not only does he live in hell, but he is tormented, beaten, bullied and raped nearly every day. He's so used to the abuse, I could help feeling wishing it could change. Because he was such a good person. He's a demon...or is he? How can he be if he willingly wants to be a good demon? Something isn't right, he can feel it in his bones but no one in Hell can be trusted. When he gets an opportunity to visit modern London on a demon quest, he does everything in his power not to miss it. 

When he gets topside, he faces obstacles and learns somethings about himself. Angels were meant to send demons back to Hell. But he's not an ordinary demon. This burning question drives a majority of the story. And when Roman is also intrigued and can't seem to hurt Ezra, this also adds to the mystery. 

Roman is in charge of London, he heads & polices the paranormal society with his squad to form a task force unit.  Angels are supposed to be superior beings...but Roman has a masochistic side. Roman wasn't what I considered an "bad" or fallen angel. He was more human. He admitted his sins, hard a hard time coming to terms which his acceptance of a few of them. (Not lust - because he embraced insta-lust for Ezra) Roman lies to his superior, keeps Ezra a secret as he gets to learn more about him. Watching them fall for one another was hot and fun!

"I like things to be hard."
"Good." Because Roman had something hard for him to deal with.
There are scorching sex scenes, it is Elsborg we're talking about here. And the mystery and action (hiding Ezra from the bad guy angels) added to the pace. I had a theory about Ezra and I as only half right, I love when that happens.  There were a few unanswered questions for me. A few things were a little unresolved so I can't fully give all the Hearts like who was the homeless guy Ezra helped? He seemed other. Also that taste of Roman's kinky side is introduced and falls to the wayside. He's cured now because he has a HEA?

The world, agency, paranormal being groups are still as interesting as I've read last year. I like that it's not only based in London but in Hell too. I love reading about demons and enjoy different author's take on Hell, angel vs. demon, etc. I think this book was interesting enough. It could have went deeper but it mainly focused on Ezra, who was the star of this book so I was a happy camper.

I've been spoiled by evil angels in "Clipped" by D. McCormack so anytime I read about "bad" angels it seems like child's play. The antagonist of the story? I wished there was on page punishment for me. He was an ass and he deserved to get flayed.  I like the villain and jerks to get what's coming *pounds fists* And that jerk has been long overdue. I can't believe Roman's boss just turned the other cheek like that.

I do hope there will be more of this series. And my hope it stars one of the brothers we see together in Hell. Won't name them because it'll spoil the surprise.

Enjoyable urban fantasy with erotic moments and some action. Recommended.
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