What a wonderful mix of historic, paranormal and contemporary this book is!

THE_MUSE_SMALLThe Muse by Emma Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, this book is clever.

Not only is it a beautiful romance, filled with all the multitude of emotions that drive it, but it also uses a couple of famous historical events to centre its exploration of the demonic doubts and fears which drive people into despair and self-defeating behaviour.

The author’s note is profoundly moving (it comes at the end) and that itself also delivers its own message, that of unbelievable loss but also of incredible strength and tenacity.

I didn’t read the first in the series as it was an MF romance but I didn’t find myself lost at any time. There’s a glossary which explains the who’s who of the ‘Other Side’, Emma’s version of the space occupied by both the denizens of Hell and also the angels of Heaven.

She uses the trope of the struggling artist to perfection here and in Cole, has created a wonderfully compelling man who legitimately has a heart the size of the ocean just waiting to pour out his love to someone who will treasure it.

Ambri, oh my lord, Ambrosius Edward Meade-Finch is sinful perfection. A demon of want and need who’s seen his ‘best friend’ in so much as a demonic entity can have them, break free of his immortal life and return to the woman he loved and lost centuries earlier.

But that’s brought a whole host of pressures on his shoulders, resulting in the need to corrupt a human and drive them into the arms of one of the Dukes of Hell.

With a very deft hand, Emma draws the two together and then lets the narrative unfold as each discovers the small things about the other which leads to feelings developing.

I think the thing I loved most about this book was that I honestly couldn’t see how it was going to work out. There seemed to be an obvious way, but then that was canned emphatically and I was racing my way to the end to get satisfaction.

And satisfied I was, more than in fact, because the ending is a brilliant way to draw these two fractured lives together and I was impressed with the use of some dramatic license that felt completely earned.

I’m not sure if there will be any more in this series, but I truly hope writing it helped Emma put some of her own demons into submission.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Valentine PR. I’m voluntarily leaving a review.

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