The Demon Spring trilogy has a few different themes that I had fun playing with. There’s Anya’s abuse-victim-breaking-free storyline. Cam’s push to get her best friend to become more than he is. And Jack’s slow reclamation of the new man he is after his wife’s death. For he and Anya, their romance after loss storyline is one that I very much enjoyed writing.
Slight spoilers for the first book (which you can buy here)
In the first Demon Spring book, Jack is pretty much a shell of himself. He’s trying, bless him, but there’s a lot he’s carrying around. Cam is doing her level best to drag him back to life, but he’s just laying there. Then Anya pops into their lives and he finds something to wake him up.
At first, he’s drawn to her because he’s curious. Here’s this creature that easily took care of powerful demons, yet she’s running scared from something. Jack, who’s always nursed a bit of a hero complex, laps that shit up. When he finds the real reason for Anya’s fear–that she’s stuck in an abusive relationship she’s unwilling to break free of–he decides to drop everything and help her.
In the second book, they do develop some attraction to each other, but it’s stilted–purposefully. Anya is terrified of anyone getting close to her because Bael will take revenge. Jack is still nursing the guilt of Sara’s death and rebuilding his life.
There’s two moments in the book where each of them change perspectives. For Anya, Jack has an opportunity to get the hell out of Dodge and leave her. Instead, he choses to stay and continue helping her for no other reason than she needs it. After that, you start to see small tokens of her affection, like watching over him while he’s off on his own for a bit and helping him get past his weapons hang-up. For her, there’s no big, sweeping “I love you!” Even when the feelings are out, it’s a timid toe in the water, followed by a retraction into her shell.
Jack’s realization comes much more slowly. It’s small things, like when he choses to stay and when he puts her over his own happiness. Unlike Anya, he’s known deep, full-throated love without bounds. But he’s fairly confident he’ll never love again–not when his emotional center has been scorched by loss and guilt. When he finally notices his feelings, it’s almost a surprise that anything could’ve taken root.
Sush’s Version of Romance
If you’re a fan of my books, you know that my romances are rarely the starry-eyed, serious, “I’ll-love-you-until-I-die” kind of romances. I prefer the realistic kind–the one where two people give each other what they need to be better humans (or whatever species). For Anya and Jack, they both need space to wade into romance. And that’s exactly what they give each other.
Now, in Book 3, Agent Camilla Macarro is going to get her own little storyline in this department. And trust me when I say, it’s a nice change from Jack and Anya’s timid inching.
Buy the first book in the Demon Spring trilogy
Demon hunter Jack Grenard’s life changed three years ago when his wife was brutally murdered by the very demons he’d been hunting. At the urging of his partner Cam Macarro, he’s starting a new life in Atlanta, hoping he’ll find the man he used to be. But on a routine hunt, they come across a new type of demon–one that saves instead of kills.
Meanwhile, demons across Atlanta are preparing for the quadrennial uprising of their Underworld brethren. Worse yet, there’s a rumor the so-called king of the demons, Bael, will appear for the first time in over a century. Jack and Cam must uncover the truth about the mystery woman before all hell–literally–breaks loose.
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