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Lynn Rush
EXILED (Eternal Light Book 1)
Lynn Rush, author

Adult; Romance; (Market)

Salvation comes with a price. Bound by the blood contract his human mother signed four centuries ago, half-demon, David Sadler, must obey his demonic Master’s order to capture fifteen-year-old Jessica Hanks. But as he learns more about who, and what Jessica is, he realizes she may be the key to freedom from his enslavement. The only obstacle—Jessica’s distractingly beautiful Guardian, Rebeka Abbott. He must not give in to their steamy chemistry, or he will lose his humanity. But fresh off a quarter millennia of sensory deprivation as punishment for not retrieving his last target, he may not be able to resist temptation long enough to save what’s left of his human soul
Rush kicks off her Eternal Light series with a supernatural romance that blends the tropes of fated love and opposites attract. David Sadler, the world’s only half-demon, has been released from his centuries-long sensory deprivation punishment for failing to collect his last Mark for his infernal Master, and tossed into a contemporary nightclub to look for his new one, teenager Jessica Hanks. But two Guardians have also been sent to find Jessica, because of her unique importance as a conduit for good. David soon realizes that he could use Jessica to bargain for his own soul, but that if he can’t resist his attraction to his adversary Guardian Rebeka while capturing Jessica, he will transform, irreversibly, to full demon. (An additional novella, also supernatural but not in the same setting, is included in the volume.)

Rush’s grand depiction of the battle between good and evil and her relatable main characters will please supernatural fans with a mix of the familiar and unexpected. Rush establishes the basics of the conflict clearly in the initial chapters, but although the framing is clever, the focus on binary rules, regulations, and prophecy can feel rigid. There’s rich narrative possibilities in centuries-old supernatural beings navigating the modern world, and the social relationships between characters here suggest that history and complexity. Giant street battles offer hosts of angels and demons, inviting readers to revel in the epic, ancient scope, while Rush never loses sight of the urgently personal intrigue at the novel’s heart.

There’s real depth to the relationship between Rebeka and her protective “brother” Russell, which grounds the spy vs. spy aspect of the search for Jessica and serves as a secondary barrier to her budding relationship with David, possibly more so, at this point, than in the romance itself. Rush understands her genre, challenging and honoring its expectations, and offering delights for readers who find appeal in supernatural transformations, as both Rebeka and David gain their literal wings and come into their spiritual own at the story’s peak. The arc of the novel both completes cleanly and leads directly into the next entry.

Takeaway: Rush’s relatable leads and grand clash between good and evil will please supernatural fans.

Great for fans of: Ilona Andrews, D.G. Whiskey’s Fallen.

Production grades
Cover: N/A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B