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My Wicked Enemy    by Carolyn Jewel order for
My Wicked Enemy
by Carolyn Jewel
Order:  USA  Can
Forever, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Carson Philips has been held captive by a powerful mage, Alvaro Magellan, since childhood. While the man is more interested in acquiring old relics than in guaranteeing the welfare of his ward, he has managed to ensure Carson receives a good education as well as medication to control her debilitating migraines. Other than that, he has little or no contact with his ward, keeping her isolated and under constant supervision at his sprawling estate - until the day Carson witnesses Magellan committing a gruesome murder.

Terrified and desperate to get away from the man she's come to loathe, Carson finds a way to escape the mansion. On her way out she steals a recently acquired stone talisman of great power. She heads to San Francisco wearing stolen clothing, with a few dollars in her pocket and no absolutely no idea how to function in the outside world - until a shadowy man named Nikodemus comes to her rescue.

Nikodemus is a powerful demon who's taken human form. His goal is to kill all mages and those who serve them. He recognises Carson as the powerful witch who serves Alvaro Magellan - who, as it happens, is at the very top of Nikodemus's hit list. At first, he doesn't believe Carson's vehement denials about being a witch under Magellan's control. After psychically linking with her however, Nikodemus realises that the drugs she's been taking have suppressed her magic, making it easy for Magellan to feed on her power in order to bolster his own.

Determined to put a stop to Magellan's growing hunger to control the few remaining demon fiends that still roam the Earth, Nikodemus guides Carson in unleashing her full potential. But will the last remaining fiends who've sworn fealty to Nikodemus trust a woman with whom their leader has fallen in love and who they believe could very well turn on them and unleash their final destruction?

Despite relying rather heavily on the popular cool and edgy brotherhood trend that seems to be all the rage in many of the paranormals right now, Jewel has given Nikodemus and his fellow fiends a very intriguing mythology reminiscent of a high fantasy novel, making the story eminently readable. Leads Carson and Nikodemus are well suited and their romance certainly sizzles once they recognise their mutual attraction. Nikodemus's fellow demons also display equally intriguing if shadowy backgrounds, a few of which will certainly be revealed in upcoming books. Carolyn Jewel debuts an appealing, nicely paced, and well-written introductory instalment in My Wicked Enemy.

Note to those readers who do not care for edgier paranormals liberally laced with strong language and erotica - you may want to re-think adding this one to your summer reading list.

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