Dani Fayel’s backbreaking job as a stable hand at The Freaks’ Fair isn’t glamorous, but for someone looking to keep to the shadows? It’s perfect. Neither paranormal freaks nor human norms ever notice her. But when Dani is forced to either let a child die in order to maintain her anonymity or choose to save him and risk being discovered, she finds herself unwillingly thrust into the spotlight.
Cain, Hell’s premier assassin and a predatory incubus, is close to fulfilling his final contract and earning his freedom. Hired by the Archangel of Death to find his daughter, Cain follows her trail to the Fair. He works undercover, certain his mark is inside one of the portable canopies or traveling cages. Dead or alive, she equals his ticket to freedom.
When Cain’s objective is divulged, Dani realizes she can’t outrun her destiny. As the fabled Key—the one soul with absolute free will who is tied to the three realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell—only she is capable of opening the gates for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Whoever frees the Horsemen allegedly commands them. Now both Heaven and Hell are vying for her allegiance, and there are no limits as to how dirty they’ll fight to obtain it. With Hell raining indiscriminate chaos as Heaven maneuvers its players around her, Dani realizes her would-be assassin may be the only man capable of helping her survive.
Dani is working in the Freaks Fair and it's honest to say her job as a stable hand is far from glamorous; but that's fine with her because the last thing Dani wants is to be noticed. An unfortunate incident sees her using her own secret talent but it draws unwanted attention to her and now Dani is not sure just how safe she is any more. She ends up coerced by her boss into acting as the Fair's psychic but Dani is far from stupid and demands a bodyguard but what she gets is a whole lot of trouble!
Cain is a Demon and an Incubus to boot and he has been sent from Sheol to locate the fabled Key. It's is foretold the prophecised Key can control the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so the battle is on to locate it. Believing the Key to be the missing daughter of the Archangel of Death, Cain goes undercover searching but what he finds will change not just his but Dani's life forever. Those defending Sheol are not the only players in town and pretty soon Dani finds herself a pawn with a choice to make and the fate of the world within her hands!
Okay, I have to start by saying I loved the first half of this book. Fast paced, great world building, and characters that although fantastical, were capable of inciting strong feelings within me. Yes, I liked Dani and I'm sure some readers will think "meh" but for me, she may not be kick ass and seems to fall down a lot but I enjoy imperfect heroines.
Now we come to that titular male Cain! Oh boy, what a confused guy he is. He is an Incubus and yet there's no sex here, he is a hired Assassin and now he is so close to an almost perfect existence but there's just the teeny tiny matter of that Key to sort out first.
I mentioned I really enjoyed the first half but will admit (without spoilers, if possible) that when the action moved to Montana, it just seemed to stagnate a bit. What was previously a fast paced story just seemed to lose momentum and although we needed more information without a doubt, it just felt a little like too much navel gazing for me. Characters are introduced and are they good or bad for Dani? I would have liked a few less words here and perhaps a different editor would have tightened it up a little. Do not misunderstand, it's wasn't badly written and certain scenes are essential to the plot, but everything just seemed to grind to a halt for a while as the heroine fully realised just what and who she was dealing with.
There is a lot of potential in Raising Cain and it seems to be more urban fantasy than paranormal romance, in spite of having an Incubus in it. Far from over, Dani's journey is just beginning and I hope we see a lot more of Cain in it because they really do spark off each other. Quite violent at times but a really interesting beginning and I'm looking forward to more from Ms Ireland.
This was gifted to be in exchange for an honest review.