Familiar Stranger-Michele Hauf
Silhouette Nocturne, Aug 2007, $5.25
When he was a child, Jack Harris received a glass gazing ball filled with magic; next he saw a cat turn into a pregnant woman who was about to be killed by a demon. Finally he threw the ball at the demon saving the woman.
Twenty-four years later he works in M-15. Recently a demon murdered his partner; Jack stopped believing demons existed years ago; now he knows first hand the truth. He is recruited by P-Cell, a division of M-15, to kill demons. While on a hunt, he meets Mersey Banes, a demon hunter too. However, unlike Jack she incarcerates them instead of slaying them as her organization, the Cadre, wants to know what and why this species is crossing into the human plane. They agree about many things, but neither wants to admit how much they care about the other although Jack feels queasy when he learns Mercy is a familliar, a bridge that enables the demons to enter our world and can shapeshift into a cat. One demon has dark plans for Jack and Mercy; however, each of his chosen ones is willing to give up eternity for the other to live.
This superb romantic urban fantasy will remind readers of a paranormal modernization of the “Gift of the Magi” as the lead couple is ready to sacrifice what they hold dear so that the other lives. Michele Hauf has an inventive take on demons in which some are good and others are evil. There are many interesting characters who should have their own story, but FAMILIAR STRANGER is owned by the lead couple.