One of the great romantic themes is the redemption romance, or how someone who has been very, very good saves someone who has been very, very bad, all through the power of true love. In Regency romances, this was the “reformation of a rake” story. In paranormal romance, a vampire has been the hero of choice. After all, who could be badder than an immortal, undead, blood-sucker?
A demon, that’s who!
Demons are the baddest of the bad. We know they’ve given themselves completely to darkness and evil. But what if one of them could be saved? Then you have a sinfully dark hero with a tiny smidgen of light, just waiting for the right person to save them from their own evil nature.
In Demonfire by Kate Douglas, a fallen demon is given 7 days and a borrowed human body to save the world from his demon ex-buddies. A fallen demon is one who has been punished for “good behavior” and is sent to the empty void. This mission is his one chance to earn paradise. Instead, he finds something even better on Earth, while he chases down demons with the help of a small-town reporter who can take out demon-possessed garden gnomes all by herself. (I’ve always wondered about those lawn gnomes, how about you?) With a lot of help from his new-found friends, including a lost prince of Atlantis, the demon manages to turn his netherworldly powers into a fighting chance to save earth, himself, and the ones he has come to love.
Arcadia Bell is a renegade magician who just so happens to own a Tiki Bar that caters to Earthbound demons. So she serves drinks to demons and dates a rogue demonologist who definitely has something in his background besides “garden-variety human”. And that’s a good thing, because the local “other” community keeps pestering her track down the things that go even bumpier in the night than her bar patrons. Creatures like demonic serial killers and overpowered demons on a crime spree. This one has good demons, bad demons, and very, very bad demons. Start with Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett.
Goblins, after all, are just another kind of demon. In The Goblin King by Shona Husk, the titular goblin is an immortal warrior who has been cursed by an evil wizard to live, and most likely die, in the dreaded Shadowlands. His heart, like all goblin hearts, has been replaced by the love of gold. But he is still rational, and spends millennia searching for a way to end his curse, so that he and the former men who follow him can return to the world of the living, even though it has changed beyond all recognition. The only cure is for him to find his true queen in the world of humans, a woman strong enough to be his Goblin Queen, so that he can become a man again. If you like “beauty and the beast” retellings, you’ll love this one.