By Cora Kenborn
Phoenix kept me up all night…again.
The Devil’s Beauty takes place in the same underground crime world as Phoenix’s previous book, Transcending Darkness. For that fact alone, I went into this novel with slight trepidation. Transcending Darkness ranks among one of my “Top Three” favorite novels, and I have found few sequels live up to my expectations. I began The Devil’s Beauty with that thought in mind; not expecting to find a rival for a spot in my “Top Three.”
Airicka Phoenix loves to prove she can do several things at once:
1) Make me eat my own words
2) Make me stay awake for 48 hours straight to power read a novel
3) Leave me speechless, wondering if I’ll ever recover from the emotional blender
The Devil’s Beauty stole my attention, pulse, and sleep away from the first chapter. With the opening sentence, Phoenix throws the reader into the world of heroine, Ava, at her birthday party. The story immediately pulls the reader into her world and her mind. They want to know why she’s unhappy with her life when it seems that she has it all; money, power, beauty, a devoted best friend, and boyfriend. Then all hell breaks loose, and the reader finds out the root of her sorrow.
Enter Dimitri. Her weakness. Her lost-love. The Devil.
After eight years, he whispers into her life again as quickly as he vanished and turns it upside down. The reader feels the push and pull within Ava as she fights the undeniable chemistry and bond between them, yet struggles right beside her as she fights with the pain of his abandonment. All of this is made even more complicated by the fact that Ava’s loyalties lie torn between two of the highest ranking crime families in the Canadian Mafia Syndicate. Because she’s in the direct line of fire, her life takes an unimaginable turn toward horrors one can’t fathom surviving.
But Ava does. Because Dimitri refuses to lose her twice in a lifetime.
Ava and Dimitri share a kinship and over a decade of history. They share secrets they’ve never breathed a word of to anyone. Ava knows the biggest one Dimitri is hiding. One he would die for.
Phoenix has succeeded in creating a tortured love story even more captivating than that of Killian and Juliette in Transcending Darkness. Ava and Dimitri are electrifying and heart wrenching. Their story ran me through the gauntlet of emotions: shock, horror, love, tears, sighs, jealousy, pain, and relief; I experienced it all right along with them. That is Phoenix’s gift – she has the unique power to make you feel—even when you swear you can’t possibly ride the emotional rollercoaster anymore—you stay up all night just to find out what test Ava and Dimitri’s love will endure next. In the end, I turned off my Kindle satisfied, wrung out, emotionally exhausted, and in awe of some of the most spectacular writing I’ve ever read.
The Devil’s Beauty is a dark and twisted suspense novel, not for the weak at heart. If you’re looking for a lighthearted romance, this isn’t it. But if you seek an intricate woven plot with twist and turns you’ll never see coming, a love story that will live in your mind long after the last page is turned, and imaginative storytelling that puts you right in the very gray moral area of the underground, this is the book for you. It can be read as standalone, previous knowledge of Transcending Darkness is not needed, but I highly recommend reading it after you finish this book. Actually, you’ll want to. You’ll need to. You’ll have no choice.
Just say The Devil made you do it.