A SOUL SO WICKED – Sharie Kohler
The Moon Chasers Series , Book 7
Pocket Books
ISBN-13:  978-1-4516-1142-7
January 2013
Paranormal Romance

Alaska; San Vista, California  -  Present Day

Back in 70 A.D. Tresa was married to Michel and her Grandme're lived with them, until the day Lord Marshan came to their dwelling and tried to force himself on her.  When she denied him, he and his men beat up Michel and Grandme're and torched their house.  The heat of hatred went through her and the power in her body threw the knight trying to remove her across the room.  Tresa always had a strange sort of power she was told never to let anyone know about, but now Lord Marshan is determined to drown the witch.  As her mouth fills with water, a demon tempts retribution for Lord Marshan in exchange for her soul.  Just before she dies, she accepts his offer of revenge.

Tresa now lives in Alaska, the demon who owns her soul, Balthazar, hates the cold, and has left her alone for about a year.  When the demon overtakes her, she must do what he wants.  She has been watching television and hearing about the newest serial killer in San Vista, the Rose Petal Killer, who spreads rose petals around the three people that have been murdered.  Surely a sad story, except in Tresa's dreams she's seen what the serial killer does, and knows it is another witch whom Balthazar has complete control of doing these awful things.  Tresa must go to San Vista and set the police in the right direction without giving away she's a witch, and hope Balthazar doesn't then come after her.

Darius is a lycan, and roams the earth looking for the witch who made lycans and therefore brought the suffering he has inflicted on mankind all these years until he learned to control his baser instincts.  As a computer expert for the FBI, he finds the witch behind the creation of lycans living in Alaska, and after many years has his first lead on salvation.  While Darius is in Tresa's house he is almost killed by the hunters who have followed him.  Only Tresa's powers save him, and when he finds out where she has gone he is hot on her trail, as the story of a serial killer somewhere is nothing compared to what he wants from her.

As Darius and Tresa try to find out who the serial killer is, Darius always has his eye on what is surely a witch with a demon inside and no redeeming qualities.  He soon learns Tresa has tried to keep herself separate from civilization, determined that Balthazar will maybe forget about her and his possession of her.  Both Tresa and Darius are positive no one could love, let alone care for them, after all the evil they have left behind in this world.

Sharie Kohler has penned a novel full of witches, demons, lycans, and how they interact.  Tresa lives alone, hating how her immortal body can be possessed by Balthazar whenever he wants and do what he commands.  Darius must also live with his desire for human blood during the full moon each month; he locks himself up so he isn't like the others.  He also longs to set all lycans free, and the death of the witch who made them lycan has been his goal for a long time.  Tresa and Darius each hate what they have become, and live with the awful things in their pasts.  Told from each of their points of view, learning to trust each other takes a great deal of compromise, especially on Darius's part, as it has been his only goal to escape the bonds of his nature and to become free.  Tresa is immortal, knowing she has a thousand more years of always watching for Balthazar, which is what she gets for giving him her soul.

The secondary characters include all the suspects of the Rose Petal Killer, and the police who come to realize Tresa has some knowledge of the crimes; is she the killer or can she truly see inside the head of the killer?  Detectives Flannery and Simpson can't deny some of the information Tresa has of the killers; can she truly know what is happening, or is she covering up her own misdeeds?  Carson and Erin are friends of the last college student who was killed; could it be one of them, or the girl who said he raped her and no one believed her story?

A SOUL SO WICKED is book seven (or sixth if an anthology novella is not counted) in The Moon Chasers series, and though I have not read any others, they seem to be mostly about lycans and how they take control of innocent victims.  This is a standalone story, although knowledge of demon possession and lycans would help you enjoy it more.  It was fascinating to see a lycan sworn to kill the witch and free all from their curse getting into a relationship with that which he hates.  But still, stranger things have happened….

Carolyn Crisher