Try As I Smite Cover
Title: Try As I Smite
Author: Heat: Re
Genre(s): Romance Paranormal
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers Forced Proximity Fated Mates
Tags: Christmas demons angels witches time travel memories strained parental relationships history of trauma
Where to Buy or Read:

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Synopsis from the Creator:

Alasdair Blakesley is the head of the Covens Syndicate. He shouldn't need to look beyond the witches and warlocks he governs, or his own abilities, to solve any problem. But a demon infestation means he can’t trust anyone who may be possessed. The last person he wants to ask for help is also the only person who can fix this, so he sucks up his pride and storms into her office.
And she turns him down cold.
As the owner of Brimstone Inc., Delilah’s passion is helping others with their supernatural problems. But Alasdair is the last man Delilah wants to tangle with. The infuriating man sees too much and demands even more. And did she mention the way he sets her body on fire?
Not that it matters—demons are the only things with which she cannot interfere. Too bad a higher power steps in and sends them both on a crash course of each others' pasts, presents, and futures.
How is a Christmas Carol nightmare supposed to solve his demon problem without breaking the rules she’s bound by?

Review: Try As I Smite, by Abigail Owen

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 16, 2020 10:31:35 AM / by Suzanne

 The fourth (or fifth, if you count a short story) novella-length book in Owen's Brimstone, Inc. series follows, at long last, the woman matchmaking everyone in the prior books, Delilah. There are some things I can't tell you about her because they're spoilers, but let's just say that her arc is The Most.

This is an enemies-to-lovers romance between Delilah and Alasdair, the head of the witches (The Coven Syndicate). They've been at odds this whole time, especially when Delilah helped a fugitive witch go undercover as a nanny in a witchhunter's house in the last book, Bait 'N Witch. In some ways, Delilah reminds me of the meddling head Valkyrie, Nix, from the Immortals After Dark series. She helps people in unexpected ways, putting them in situations they'd never choose for themselves. And then they find love, save the world, etc. It's fun to see her get her comeuppance and HEA all at once.

However, this is also a Christmas story. I didn't realize that before picking it up and was pleasantly surprised when I got to the bits that felt like A Christmas Carol. (Read the blurb, Suzanne!) Delilah is magically prevented from helping Alasdair with a demon problem, so she sends him to her mother... who sends them traveling through their memories together. Rather traumatic memories, a few of which are confusing to the protagonists and sometimes to the reader. For example, there's a scene in which they're making out against a wall and then everything goes dark and they're suddenly in a different memory. Awkward.

The plotting, as over-the-top as it may be, is tighter in Try As I Smite than in the earlier stories. It's not perfect, but it doesn't sag in the middle like the second and third. Overall, another quick, sexy paranormal romance with just a touch of Christmas magic.

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Content Warnings: mass murder, demon possession, past: parent murdered family (while possessed), past: protagonist murdered father (while father was possessed), possible apocalypse, parental abandonment? IDK, lots of weird family stuff

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.