When evil stirs in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, heroes come in both ordinary and extraordinary packages.
Ignatius Faber knows a few things for absolute certain. He’s half-demon, his father is the unequivocal prince of darkness, and demons want to destroy his city. And if he doesn’t make the first move on his crush, they’re never going to be anything more than a teenage fantasy that’s lasted into his thirties.
Lalo Pavia grew up hard and fast, orphaned at a young age. As an autistic, he’s learned to approach life cautiously. He throws his energy into gardening and photography—allowing both to provide a buffer between himself and the rest of the world.
Except for Iggy.
Can they find triumph, life, and even love in the middle of a city in flames?
Their fight for the mile-high city has just begun.
“Ignatius Faber – Failed Jesuit. Demon hunter. Gay son of Lucifer, the Devil.
That line pretty much had me. Dahlia’s strong opening has formula one pacing and pulled me right into the life of Iggy and his secret or maybe not-so-secret crush? The chapters are relatively short and move like a well-crafted half-hour RomCom. The relationships between the characters is well thought out and drives the story. Check out the excerpt below.
This is the first book by Dahlia Donovan I’ve read and now I’m curious to read more.”
~ Aaron Yeagle
An Excerpt from “Here Comes the Son”
Stowing both the journal and pen into his backpack, Iggy focused on the YouTube video playing on the library computer. The Siren. She was a beautiful, sultry vlogger who’d rapidly gained a cult-like following on her channel. No name, no history, no previous website. She’d sprung up from nowhere and catapulted to viral infamy.
Iggy hadn’t needed a cryptic dream warning him of another demonic invasion in his beloved city or the strange shiver up his spine to immediately put her onto his list.
The whir of the printer behind him drew Iggy away from the video as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. His dark-brown eyes scanned the library slowly. He’d apparently run out of time for research; somewhere in the city, a demon had come out to play.
Time to hunt.
Strapping on his bag, Iggy dragged a hand roughly through his short black hair. He winked at the librarian who grumbled at him when he leaped over a book cart in his path on the way toward the front entrance. She blushed, a response he was used to with his inherited looks and charm.
As one of his best friends from high school used to say, he had wickedly devilish good looks. He told her to stop reading Regency romances. From his jet-black hair to his deep-brown eyes, he knew his face balanced the angelic with the roguish.
I’d do me.
Blinded by the bright sunshine, Iggy took a moment to adjust after stepping outside. Denver’s Central Library had always been a favorite of his for research, with its massive collection. Plus, he always thought the building seemed almost like a grouping of castle turrets.
He paused on the corner of Broadway and Thirteenth Avenue. Spring was supposed to have sprung in the Mile High City. Not that the weather had noticed; they’d only just thawed out from winter.
And judging by the crisp air and gathering clouds on the mountains, they’d be inundated with another blizzard before the end of the day.
Jogging down Thirteenth, Iggy skidded to a halt on Lincoln. He tilted his head, trusting his finely honed instincts. Half a block down, he spotted an alley between a parking lot and the Art Institute that was shadowed more than it should’ve been in the bright early afternoon sun.
One step into the gap between the buildings, and he’d plunged into nighttime. The smell of sulfur swirled around him. He slipped his bag around his body, reaching inside for a spray can.
“Ah, Son of the Morning Star. Half-breed. I hoped you’d sense my presence.” Rastran stood at the end of the unnaturally dark alley. He leaned casually against the industrial air conditioner with one foot resting on a body, completely disregarding the dirt now staining his designer suit. Demons always enjoyed life’s luxuries. “Ignatius Faber, we’ve saved you for last. Your father’s brightest light. A beautiful irony. All of his hopes pinned on the one offspring who matched him most in appearance and strength. Pity he can’t see the monster he created.”
With a hard kick, Rastran sent the body rolling along the filthy ground to land barely a foot away from Iggy. Titus. One of his many half-siblings. Iggy hadn’t seen his brother in weeks. They’d all assumed Titus was on a hunt.
They generally kept in close contact, particularly since hundreds of other half-siblings had been culled over the past eight years. Titus and Iggy were the only ones left. Rage erupted deep inside him.
“I’m the monster?” Iggy calmly stepped over Titus, shoving grief and anger viciously down to remain focused. He had a demon to deal with. His fingers wrapped tightly around the canister of compressed holy water in his pocket. It resembled pepper spray but worked to stun creatures of Hell long enough for him to send them home. “You should’ve stayed away from my city.”
Kicking a piece of brick at the demon, Iggy charged toward him, leaping over a dumpster. He caught Rastran in the chest with a kick, then doused him with the holy water. With the demon stunned, he swiftly dug the lighter from his bag and set fire to the expensive suit.
“Fuck off back to Hell.” Iggy stared intently at the brilliantly red flames rapidly burning the demon into nothing.
Flashy, fiery piece of shit.
Demons, as a species, seemed drawn to anything expensive or shiny. Titus had joked about their being the Kardashian brand of hellspawn. Iggy swallowed down his desire to both laugh and sob uncontrollably.
When the last bits of ash disappeared on a sudden brisk breeze, Iggy twisted toward Titus. With Rastran banished, light had returned to the alley. He didn’t have time to process his brother’s death.
His shoulders dropped with the weight of sorrow. A dead man in the middle of the city would draw attention Iggy didn’t need. He had no real explanation for how Titus had died.
Demons tended to kill without leaving a trace of evidence of their presence or method. Of their army of siblings, Titus had been the most dedicated to demon hunting. More than Iggy. Ironic, given fighting came a little too easily to Iggy.
With no way to transport Titus, Iggy gently removed the rosary from his brother’s neck and fled the alley. He left no clues to his presence, making sure to avoid any cameras in the area. Catching a bus on Lincoln allowed him to quickly return to where he’d parked his vehicle earlier.
An Interview with Dahlia Donovan
When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
I knew I wanted to write really young. I started writing short stories around the age of eight, and then poetry as a teenager. My adoptive parents were dismissive about my writing so I gave up for many years. It wasn’t until my late twenties/early thirties that I picked up the pen again to give it another try.
What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
That I’d written the most honest depiction of an autistic character in a romance. It might not be the most heartfelt, but to me, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever been told about my writing.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part of writing Here Comes The Son was everything. It’s probably the most difficult story to finish that I’ve ever had.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a long time, I wanted to be a teacher. I taught English in a school in the Dominican Republic for years when I was in my early twenties and realized teaching definitely wasn’t for me.
If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose, and why?
None, not even one of the good ones. I firmly believe in things happening for a reason. I try not to have regrets. Each year has had good and bad events so I think I’d go for a year in the future as opposed to the past.
If you were stuck on a desert island all alone with only three things, what would they be?
Bear Grylls, attractive and useful.
A boat, because I’m not staying there forever.
What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
I just wrapped up a fun novella called Pure Dumb Luck. I’m in the editing stage right now, and I believe it’s due out in September. As far as the actual writing, I’m diving into a holiday novella (even though I promised myself I wouldn’t write holiday stories in July again, sigh), it features a beloved couple from The Sin Bin, and I expect it to be out in November or December.
About Dahlia Donovan
Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humor and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.
Visit Dahlia Donovan’s website.