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When demons threaten London, Lady Belinda answers the call.

Lord Gabriel Thurston returns home from war to find his fiancée is not the sweet young girl he left behind. She's grown into a mysterious woman who guards her dark secrets well. When he sees her sneaking away from a ball, he's convinced it's for a lover's rendezvous. Following her to London's slums, Gabriel watches in horror as his fiancée ruthlessly slays a man.

Lady Belinda Clayton's only concern was her dress for the next ball, until demons nearly killed her and changed everything. A lady by day, and a demon hunter by night, she knows where her duty lies. Ending her betrothal is the best way to protect Gabriel from death by a demon's hand.

Gabriel soon realizes, like him, Belinda has been fighting for her country. He joins in the fight, determined to show her that their love can endure, stronger than ever.

174 pages, ebook

First published October 6, 2014

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About the author

A.S. Fenichel

40 books735 followers
A.S. Fenichel (Andie Fenichel) gave up a successful IT career in New York City to pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She's never looked back.

Andrea adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

She is currently writing Regency romance for Kensington Publishing and you can learn more about Andrea's books at http://asfenichel.com or visit her on her Facebook page, where she spends entirely too much time. https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in Missouri with her real life hero, her wonderful husband and a fussy cat . When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 91 reviews
Profile Image for Dawn.
986 reviews215 followers
July 7, 2021
Overall it was entertaining.


I completely loved the hero whose immense love for the heroine never wavered. He was a bit of a jealous guy (for no reason) and I thought it was sweet. She was strong and independent and liked the feeling of equality she gained as a demon hunter, something she could never have in polite society. He respected her and also treated her no less than his equal. I was glad that the "no we can't be together" nonsense was brief, unlike a lot of HR where it lasts until almost the end.

So why only 3 stars?

1. Demon history/knowledge - There wasn't much said about the whole demon aspect. Where they came from, why they kill, what their purpose is etc.. but perhaps this will become clearer in the next book, which I am unsure if I will read at this point.

2. Editing issues. There were not only "typos" but wrong verb tenses. It was frequent.

3. The ending was rushed.

It did not bother me that the "propriety" matter was historically inaccurate, as it had other reviewers, and I liked that it was steamy with a nice amount of love scenes.

The pace was decent, the characters were likable and pretty developed.

If you can get it for free or low cost it is worth a read.

Content concerns for romance readers:
Profile Image for Sadie Forsythe.
Author 1 book262 followers
May 3, 2015
I will warn you in advance that this 'review' is going to be at least half rant, and not of the fangirl variety.

For me this book was a fail, fail, fail. It is so completely anachronistic as to be all but unreadable. Honestly, the only reason I made it to the end (and it was often in doubt that I would) was so that I could write a complete review of it.

Lets start with the sex, shall we, since there was so much more than the plot could reasonably support. It was a painful exercise in contradictions. You had the expected wide-eyed, innocent virgin who asked some version of 'what was that?' when she had an orgasm and inquires if a man's will too—so, essentially the cliché, child-like lack of knowledge about her own body. Gag. But she also acknowledged and was familiar with the feelings in her stomach and loins, the pooling of heat, bla, bla, bla (this tended to happen randomly and in completely non-erotic settings, such that it felt quite jarring) and she was completely without shame, embarrassment or timidity when it came to sex. I'm pretty sure a character needs to be one or the other, both doesn't jell.

Or how about the nude, outdoor anal play, instigated by her, on their second time together. Let me remind you, this was an unmarried, virginal member of the ton in Regency England. Even if she was a member of the Company and had accepted the equal status of men and women therein (which, lets face it, couldn't actually exist in Regency England, as it would require an entire unlearning and relearning of gender and class norms of the time) there was still nothing in her position and upbringing that would allow that to occur with complete aplomb.

Nor his for that matter, there was no reason to think he, who'd also been raised in the same sexually repressed era, would look at his virginal (ok, they'd had sex once) fiancé and think nothing of (and expect her to think nothing of) shoving a finger up her ass. Seriously!

And even if you remove all of the issues around the time period's insistence on avoiding temptation of all sorts (which means all of her comfort with being naked in front of him was questionable) there is still the simple human issue of doing something new and theoretically unfamiliar for the first time. Shouldn't she be nervous or uncertain in her responses or concerned with her reputation (we're both told and shown that she tries to maintain it outside of the Company)? Nope, not even once. Not even when (I assume) he broke through her hymn. (Not that that was mentioned or anything, wouldn't want any realism to interfere or anything.)

And someone explain to me how her willingness to have sex with him proved to him that she hadn't allowed herself to "be ruined" during his time in France. I don't follow the logic.

I'm sorry author, you simply can't write a novel with period costumes and setting but modern mores and expect it to fly. No, nope not at all. It's painful and off-putting, to say it nicely.

Additionally, the attempt at period dialogue simply read as stiff and overly formal. Names and endearments, such as My Dear, were used too frequently and the lack of contractions chaffed. The writing itself is simplistic and not particular engaging.

Ok, so, moving past the simple fact that this book did not settle into the time period of it's setting and thus felt arrogant and as if it was making claims moral superiority, the plot itself was weak. There was little character development and the plot basically boiled down to, 'you've been told Belinda is the best at everything, so obviously the demons want her.' All that sex and relationship talk (which is about 2/3 of the book) got in the way of what little plot progression there was. And what there was was incredibly predictable.

The book was also repetitive. The reader is told the same thing multiple times and I swear Gabriel and Belinda had the marriage talk about 30 times. Lastly, the editing could use some attention.

Just about the only praise I have for this book is that Gabriel was really sweet and the author was obviously trying to create a strong female character (a fact that I appreciate).
Profile Image for Alicia.
218 reviews18 followers
September 27, 2014
I received an ARC copy of Ascension for an honest review and I am SO glad I did because I loved it!

For some perspective, my absolute favorite series is the Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason. That series, six books in total, is about a Victorian-era female Vampire Slayer. I *love* that series. Just love.

Ascension is about a female Demon Hunter set in the early 1800's. Lady Belinda was left behind by her childhood sweetheart and new fiance while he went to fight in the war. Rather than pining for him or taking up more mundane hobbies like knitting, she picks up demon hunting after barely surviving a demon attack.

I had two fears going into Ascension:
1. It wouldn't be as good as the Gardella Vampire Chronical's first story, The Rest Fall Away.
2. It would be too similar to The Rest Fall Away.

Neither fear was realized. Ascension was wonderfully unique in every way, and every bit as good.

Lady Belinda is the perfect balance between strong and feminine. Her response to surviving an attack by demons? Train, work, and learn how to beat them to prevent other innocents from being attacked. Her experience made her stronger and while she did have some emotional hang-ups or two, she faced them head-on and remained committed to slaying demons.

However, she also remembered and maintained her responsibilities to her family. Though often torn in different directions, she managed to find ways to placate her mother by going to balls and teas, covering her unfashionably toned arms, and otherwise keeping up appearances. Fortunately her fiance, upon returning from the war, was not quite so easy to fool.

Gabriel is a great leading man. He comes back from war wishing that he were the same man that left, and immediately realizing that Belinda has changed in his absence. He's calm and methodical in his pursuit of pinpointing what she's up to, and when he finds out he takes it about as well as he can.

Then he joins her in demon hunting and the action really picks up. I mean, decorated war hero + well-trained athletic demon hunter who are in love and determined to rid their country of demons = win! At least for me.

I will say there were LOTS of sexy-times in this Ascension. This is, first and foremost, a historical romance. But it's supernatural fiction as an incredibly close second.

There are subplots and supporting characters aplenty, two of whom I hope get their own sequel or spin-off. If you're into more action than ballroom scenery, and don't mind a brief foray into the highlands of Scotland, then you will really dig Ascension.

This book likely won't be for everyone but I absolutely adored it.
Profile Image for Juliette Cross.
Author 35 books2,338 followers
April 15, 2015
For those who know me, it's no mystery that my favorite genres are urban fantasy, paranormal, and historical romance. To have all of those rolled into one was quite a treat. (Regency London with its dark alleys and bustling streets still counts as "urban" in my book.) The paranormal aspect of demons made the story even more tantalizing.

Fenichel weaves a fascinating and sensual tale. The heroine, Belinda, is no dainty flower, and our hero, Gabriel, is more than a dashing rake. Their love grows deeper as the stakes become dangerous with the threat of a growing demon population and a sinister mystery, luring the reader deeper into the story.

If you enjoy hot historical romance with the action-packed adventure of the paranormal genre, you'll love this one. A definite must read!
Profile Image for Ren Puspita.
1,053 reviews908 followers
October 14, 2014
4 stars

Set aside the fugly cover, I end up like Ascension a lot! :).

This is the first time I read Ms Fenichel's work and I'm glad I request this on NetGalley. The story start with a bang, with Lady Belinda Clayton confronted by her fiance, Lord Gabriel Thurston, Earl of Tullering, in her garden. Okay, nothing special, except that they meet at almost dawn, a improper time for a lady wandering outside her home, right? Gabriel doesn't know why once sweet and shy girl that he loved before he sent to France to war with Napoleon become a cold lady. Without Gabriel knowing, Belinda just out from hunting demon that roam on the London street!

Belinda hide this fact for some time from Gabriel, but her fiancee determine to pursue her, afraid that she might be caught up in an affair. Gabriel was shocked after discover Belinda kill a man in cold blooded manner, but become more surprised when Belinda told him that she is a demon hunter. He doesn't approved at first of course, but he can't help himself to be proud for his Bella, his nickname for Belinda. No need a long time for Gabriel to accept this fact and together with Belinda, they hunt the demons that sacrifices so many Londoners in purpose to ascend their master.

Ascension is a fast paced paranormal historical romance with awesome h/H (which seems very, very rare in my Romancelandia now). Both Belinda and Gabriel are likable characters, their chemistry is sizzling hot but also tender in the heart. I like that Belinda is strong, yet she show her feminine side. Her reason to doesn't want to trap Gabriel into loveless marriage and her view for how women should be treated make me like her more. I love how acceptable Gabriel to Belinda, how supportive he was. I want to shout to all romance authors that please, please, make a hero that more like Gabriel! We need a mix of alpha and beta hero, a man who respect and understand his woman, without pulling to much "I'm Tarzan,hear me roar!!" nonsense. Without act like jerk and abuse their women.

Beside Belinda and Gabriel, the secondary character like Reece Foxjhon and Lillian (both are Belinda's comrades) then Thor, Gabriel's driver (and somehow have appearance like Chris Hemsworth *cough2) and Belinda's parent make the story rich. Even Belinda's maid and butler have important roles, and there will be a chance for some characters to get their own story. Finger crossed for Reece and Lillian, for I want to know more about them.

The pace of the story is fast and full of action, I end up reading this in one sitting. You will not get bored when read this one, since the pace will make you want to know what happen next. The sex scenes are steamy! And the seduction began from the first chapter! *fanning myself*. While Belinda is virgin, I assume that Gabriel was too, because he love Belinda too much. My complaint maybe just they have sex before they married. But I will put aside this one.

Why I don't give a full 5 stars, even I want to is for some paragraph the writing feel amateurish. It's like one paragraph just contain one sentence, and repeat for many times. But another paragraph consist for more than one sentences. This is more like writing technique, but it kinda annoyed me. The ending also a little bit anti climax and somehow too rushed.

Despite the flaws, I will still recommend Ascension if you love your historical romance with a dash of supernatural and plenty of action! Add it with ass kickin heroine and a hero to die for, you will regret it if you miss this one.

e-ARC provided by Kensington and NetGalley for honest review
Profile Image for Angie.
2,332 reviews227 followers
December 15, 2014
I received an ARC through NetGalley.

I kind of loved Ascension! It's super fun, quite exciting, and a bit sexy. Plus it's a wonderful mix of Regency Romance and Urban Fantasy! Lady Belinda has been a demon hunter for the past two years without her fiance knowing. Gabriel is recently back from the war in France, and he's understandably confused about the changes in her. She keeps pushing him away, and she sneaks about at night, coming home dirty and disheveled. Then one evening, Gabriel hires a hack and follows her, where he witnesses his beloved murder a man! At least, he believes it's a man, until Belinda takes him hunting the following night to prove her sanity after revealing that demons roam the streets. From there, the two work side by side to rid London of evil, while also trying to stop the so-called "master" from entering their world.

Ascension is very enjoyable from page one! It did start to lose me a bit near the end, but by that point, my mind was already made up, so it didn't matter too much. I loved how Belinda and Gabriel weren't the typical lady and gentlemen, and not just because they fight demons. Belinda has gotten a taste of gender equality within the Company, and the life the ton expects her to live is no longer appealing. She cannot just sit back sewing when she can be helping. Gabriel is completely devoted to Belinda, and is willing to put aside his fears to let her do what she loves. Sure, he'd love to have her safe at home, but he knows their marriage won't be a happy one if that was the case. I adored them together! I loved that they fought (like, physically, but not to harm) and they had some great chemistry!

The plot of Ascension was also pretty good. It's nothing too new or special, but I enjoyed it. There's been news of large gatherings of demons and disappearing humans, so this is what Belinda and her partners are investigating. Belinda herself is nearly kidnapped (for the second time) and they have to wonder why she's been targeted. Of course there's some huge event coming up and they need to stop it. Like I said, not terribly original, but I was into it.

In the end, I really liked Ascension. Paranormal plus Historical is a combination that continues to work really well for me, and I'm eager for the next installment! Hopefully it's about Lilian and Reece, but I'd also be happy with Serena and Douglass!

Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.
Profile Image for Kahea.
2,014 reviews105 followers
October 8, 2014
I received an ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.

Returning home after four years away at war Gabriel expected to have a very warm reception from his fiance, Belinda, a woman he had known since they were children, but instead all of his expectations are turned upside down when he discovers that she is a warrior in her own right and decides that their engagement needs to be nullified.

I loved the fact that it was Belinda who was the demon hunter, not Gabriel, and that it was Gabriel who needed to come to terms with it, not the other way around, in order to win her. The interesting part was that it wasn’t her heart that he needed to win, since he already had it, but he needed to prove that he was a man who could accept her for who was now, not the woman he’d known four years ago. He did stumble a few times, though anyone finding out that demons are real and your intended hunts them would make anyone dizzy, and some of the things he did in the beginning did not endear me to him, but towards the middle and end, he proved that he loved Belinda, not the idea of her. Belinda drove me a little crazy. I loved how she stood her ground about what her purpose in life was and that no man would change the course of her decision, something that definitely went against her upbringing, but when it came to Gabriel, on a personal level, she tended to say one thing but do another and some of her choices surprised me, but the battle between the head and the heart is never an easy one, and in the end both do come together to give them what they both want and need.

But what really caught my interest were the supporting cast of characters on both sides of Belinda’s and Gabriel’s lives. They all had depth and I wanted to find out more about them. Reece and Lillian, both demon hunters, captured my interest the most and I’m dying to know more about what is going with each of them as well as if anything is going on between.

Overall I liked Ascension. There were parts that dragged a little for me, but it is a first in series so I felt that in the end it added to the overall story arc. And while the idea of a secret society battling evil isn’t new, the characters as a whole made the story for me, as well as seeing if I could figure out the little mysteries that popped up along the way.
Profile Image for Rhenna Morgan.
Author 27 books1,058 followers
July 4, 2015
I have to say that I've never read a book with both historical and paranormal plots, so I wasn't sure what to except diving into Ms. Fenichel's world. The result was very refreshing and enjoyable. Gabriel as a hero was lovely. I truly enjoyed the way he bucked convention and not only accepted his heroine's path in life, but worked alongside her. Belinda was a beautiful combination of strength and softness, which I found to be a lovely blend for such an interesting read. The plot, too, was intriguing and kept me engaged from the beginning to the end.

I think any reader who has an interest in both historical and paranormal romance genres would greatly enjoy this read.
Profile Image for Gemma Brocato.
Author 38 books285 followers
March 30, 2015
I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this novel. The characters are well developed and cleverly balanced in this fast read. Feinted showed great creativity in building a world you can find yourself lost in. From the ballroom of society homes to the seamy underbelly of London to a wild and very scary castle in Scotland, I found myself transported. I'm excited to learn there is another title in this series coming soon. I'm hoping for either Lillian's or Reece's story, but I'll take anything I can get. You will not be sorry you picked up this book.
Profile Image for JoAn.
2,060 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2020
Ascension by A.S. Fenichel is a dark paranormal story that is both dramatic and sensual. Belinda has become a demon hunter after being abducted. Gabriel was fighting in France when this happened and has just returned home. Their reunion is not a happy one until Gabriel realizes that the "impossible" is factual and he joins the fight with Belinda and "The Company" to save their world.
Profile Image for Beth.
3,127 reviews261 followers
September 18, 2014
Ascension is a highly entertaining historical romance with a marvelous paranormal twist.

In this world, demons exist and are trying to take over our historical world. Few know of their existence and fewer are willing to fight the war. Lady Belinda is just such a warrior but when her finance' returns from the war in France he doesn't know what to make of the new Lady Belinda.

Gabriel has survived war by focusing on his return and marrying Lady Belinda his social perfect finance'. What he finds when he returns leaves him quite bewildered and unsure of Belinda's faithfulness.

The chemistry between these characters is delightfully strong. Watching Gabriel's attempt to recapture his lost love was quite entertaining.

I really enjoyed Ascension. Right from the start I was glued to the pages but I did loose a little interest toward the end. The story is filled with strong, independent characters, a steamy romance and wonderful world building. If you enjoy historical paranormal romances, you will really enjoy Ascension.

I received this ARC copy of Ascension from Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication October 6, 2014.

@KensingtonBooks #klover

Written by: A. S. Fenichel
Series: Demon Hunters
Sequence in Series: 1
ISBN-13: 9781616505592
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 10/6/2014
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Find this book on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.comhttp://tometender.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for October.
105 reviews42 followers
October 4, 2018
The hero came off really creepy. Not even 3% in and he breaks into the heroine's bedroom at night and this happens:
“What are you doing in my bedroom, my lord? How did you get in here?”

He stood up so suddenly, she gasped and pulled the sheet up around her neck. In two steps, he’d crossed the room and loomed over her bed.

“Why don’t you scream?” he asked.

“I…I am not afraid of you, my lord.” She could have kicked herself for showing any sign of fear.

“You should be.” He touched her cheek so lightly she might have dreamt it.


Maybe if I knew the characters better, this would've been more palatable. I've read many HRs where the hero breaks into the heroine's room, so the scene can be funny or romantic if done right. But this is not a good way to introduce the hero. He just felt like a creep.

I thought I'd give this another chance, so I skipped the entire scene and continued reading in the hopes that the story would improve. Then I came across this monstrosity:

Juices pooled between her legs.

Yuck. That's just so exaggerated. Like, where is this coming from? They were not having sex, they were just sitting on a bench talking. What sort of lunatic would have "juices" "pooling" between their legs when someone kisses their hand? Gross.
Profile Image for Lail.
271 reviews22 followers
August 25, 2019
Ascension (The Demon Hunters Book 1) by A.S. Fenichel.
This is a fast-paced historical paranormal romance, filled with action, adventure, mystery, love and red hot passion. After years of war Gabriel comes home to convince his long time love Belinda, it’s time to end their long engagement and get married. But, because Belinda appears to be avoiding him he decides to follow her to find out what’s been keeping her out all night. What he discovers will change both their lives forever! This is a book for all you historical and paranormal fans who love explicit fight and steamy erotic romance scenes! This is adult rated.
Profile Image for Patty McKenna Van Hulle.
473 reviews14 followers
October 5, 2014
Grab emergency lights, crawl up with a handy knife & open this tale of Supernatural mayhem starring a knife welding heroine & a hero who CRAVES her warrior moves!

Lady Belinda Carlisle is the a proper lady by day, but at night she has a unique pastime as an a$$ kicking & taken names demon hunter! It all started 3 1/2 years ago, when she was kidnapped & almost sacrificed by London's demon society. Lillian & Reece rescued her, help to heal her, explained about the demon world & planted a seed inside her to never be taken again, so the Company (demon a$$ kicking academy) had a trainer from Scotland to train her. Now she wears breeches, strapped on knives, a sword & covers it all with dresses that has a handy drawstring waist, for easy access because you never know when a demon needs his bootie kicked back to hell. Her fiancé is back from war & she has to find a way to protect him from her new life, so she MUST push him away forever!

Lord Gabriel Thurston, the Earl of Tullering, is so glad the war is over & he can finally marry Belinda, who he has known since their childhood. Before he left to fight, they both spoke of their love for one another, but she is so mysterious now & will not talk with him about it. He awaits her in her family's garden, she waltzes thru the back gate at 3 am, he demands to know where she was & she just pushes him away more.

Since she will not tell him what she is hiding, he follows her, with a little help from Thor (a handy hackney driver), to London's slums, sees her pull a knife from under her skirt & slice a small man's neck, ear to ear. When he confronts her in the light of day, she tries to deny it ever happened, but the next he knows Belinda attacks him, flies over furniture, he fights back & he lands on top, literally, & realizes that this new Belinda is totally a turn on! Gabriel goes demon hunting with her & her partners, Lillian & Reece, & goes toe to toe with demons, shoots on the run, swords are unsheathed & is in awe of his beautiful, amazing, Xenia Princess warrior Belinda! Later that night, it all about the tangles, with tongues, lips, legs & sheets, as they detonate like gasoline & an open flame!

He is submerged into the Company as he, Belinda & Reece hunt the demons, helps to find clues about the Master (the demon leader), encounter new demons, rescues human sacrifices & then Lillian brings an untold secrets back from Scotland. Soon everything evil converges in Scotland, untruths are revealed, new members of the Company are gathered, more kidnappings happen, daring rescues are planned & the Master will need a special sacrifice to come to England. Will Belinda sacrifice herself to keep Gabriel safe? Can Gabriel accept Belinda's decision to always be a hunter? Who runs he Company? When will Belinda patent her breeches & drawstring waist dresses? Will their kids be hunters too?

This is my 1st Ms. Fenichel read & she combined my 2 favorites romance genres, historical & paranormal! She spun her Demon World with life like, creepy, crawling, hideous, stinky & gruesome demons. They slithered out of my kindle, totally freaked me out, & had my furry reading buddy hissed, hunker down, sprung into attack mode & defended my honor (no me, no DinDin for him) & then licked his claws clean! I love a historical heroine who are strong, independent, ballsy & if she can hand a male his cojones on a platter, all the better. Belinda was that kind of heroine (like Lara Croft & Selena from Underworld all rolled into her character) & she was fearless & NEVER ask for what she wanted, she took it, whether it was fighting or making love! A hero of the 1800s that could embrace & accept females, including his wife, who could go toe to toe with any male was extraordinary. Gabriel mot only welcomed the changed Belinda, but she made him hotter, harder & made him CRAVE her more! Ms. Fenichel didn't forget about the steam & sparks of a romance, with scenes that should have a label WARNING: FIRE EXTINGUISHER REQUIRED or WEAR FLAME RESISTANT UNDIES! I also want to give Ms. Fenichel PROPS for all the action scenes that I had to dodge flying knives, demon guts, black oozy blood & learn to breath thru my mouth because those demon were RANK! I must give her my top score of 5 fingers up & 10 toes, plus furry hairballs galore, for this adrenaline filled paranormal ride that was suspense filled pages, many UNEXPECTED moments, NAUGHTINESS, a ballsy & gutsy heroine & a hero that loved her more that way!

NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.
Profile Image for Farrah.
1,249 reviews208 followers
October 2, 2014
A thrilling and romantic read, Ascension was a fantastic historical/paranormal romance. Sweet and enjoyable, it was definitely a great book and I really liked it.

Belinda was an awesome character. She was both a perfect lady and a total kick-ass demon hunter. A lot of characters can't seem to strike that balance, but she did. She kept up the appearance of a respectable lady while going out to kill demons every night. She was strong and formidable, as well as kind and truly likable. My only problem with her was that she tended to underestimate Gabriel a lot. For being so in love with him, she assumed the worst about how he was going to react to her new lifestyle several times. I just wish she had given a little more credit to the man she loved. But, otherwise, I thought she was a wonderful character.

Gabriel was great as well. He might have been surprised by how much Belinda had changed but he was, first and foremost, in love with the woman, no matter how much she had changed. He was accepting of her wishes and loved her simply as she was. Not to mention he could also hold his own in a fight, both in a normal war and a demon war. I thought he was perfect.

The romance was very sweet. Despite how both Belinda and Gabriel had changed in their time apart, they were still perfect for each other. It was clear that nothing would stop them from loving each other and I really liked that. And there was certainly a lot of chemistry between them. Enough to turn the heat level way up and add some steaminess to the romance. I thought they were a lovely couple.

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. Towards the end, though, things got a little confusing with all the demon stuff going on and it took me a little bit before I caught up again. Other than than, though, I really enjoyed the story and the ending was great.

Ascension was a wonderful historical/paranormal romance that I really liked. It was thrilling, sweet, and delightfully romantic. Romance lovers, this is a book worth checking out.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for JoRead.
365 reviews35 followers
September 11, 2015
My favorite genres are historical and paranormal romance and it’s actually quite a pleasure to discover a new author that provides my favorite readings combined into one.
Belinda is reluctant to allow Gabriel back into her life. She is afraid he’ll not survive the evils that lurk in the dark alleys of London. She barely survived and attacked and had to train hard to become the skilled hunter she is now. What she doesn’t know is that while she was becoming a hunter, her beloved Gabriel was already a fighter and a survivor. He’d already seen the horrors of war and wasn’t going to let a few demons take her away from him. A new struggle arises from this situation though, how will they make their marriage work if indeed they go ahead with their wedding?

“I cannot give you a world where no evils exist, Bella. I can only promise you that I will face every one with you.” ~ Lord Gabriel Thurston

Gabriel had been in love with Belinda since childhood and when he found out what she was up to he decided to back her up if that made her happy. That in my book is called partnership, and that deserves a medal, particularly if we’re talking about men in centuries past. It was truly a joy to read a man like him, so patient and loving. Belinda is painted as a fierce warrior that is not afraid to back away from a fight, with humans or demons. That’s one of my favorite traits in heroines however I will say there were moments that made me think if she truly love him she should be able to make some sacrifices and it seemed like she wasn’t willing to give up anything for Gabriel. In the end you know something had to happen for them to realize they either made it work or they would loose each other.
The rest of the story gives us lots of action and that other-worldly feeling. Also, great interaction with the second characters; I can see where they all could be going from here and I think I’m going to like it.

** I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review **
Profile Image for Mara.
2,468 reviews233 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
October 4, 2014
There are some mild spoilers. I'm not tagging the full review, as you'll get them if you sample the book (First two chapters).

No rating as I did little more than sampling the book (15%). If this hadn't been an Arc, I wouldn't had bought it. So any rating would be really unfair.

The reason I could not be engaged were mostly the beginning and the setting. The story begins with a scene of seduction. Unfortunately I don't know the characters, I'm not invested in them, so I found it jarring. All more because the book is set in Victorian England, so I expect a few rules. One of which is that sex happens after a marriage and no fiancee would even think of making love with her intended (cutting it short here).

So you are telling me this is a "puritan" setting, but the heroine and hero thinks nothing of making out (all the way except "slotting it in").

I might believe something like this AFTER the author describes to me the difference between the historical version and this world. Otherwise I get a WTF vibe. Yes, I'm told a few pages after that there are demons in this world (and that they kidnapped her). But it still doesn't explain the rule breaking to me. You are still talking of ton, of reputations, of arranged marriages. I'm asked to suspend my belief without the author trusting me with her world. (I don't know if I can explain...)

The following scenes depicting a demon hunt weren't enough to catch my attention, the dialogue seemed stilted and fake (like her inability to cut him short). But I can't swear it's not my impression due to my initial reaction.

I thank the publisher for the gifting of the Arc. But I'm sorry to say this is not the book for me.

Arc via Netgalley
Profile Image for Erin Fanning.
Author 10 books81 followers
February 4, 2015
When Lord Gabriel Thurston, the Earl of Tullering—his formidable title is equaled by his handsome, powerful bearing—returns from a French battleground, he finds his fiancée, Lady Belinda Clayton, greatly changed. Gone is the sweet, innocent debutante he knew before leaving for war, replaced by a strong, secretive beauty with a bravery to match and a tendency to explore London’s seamier neighborhoods late at night.

So begins A.S. Fenichel’s adventurous novel—the first in the Demon Hunters series—and what follows is a page-turning blend of historical romance, fantasy, and mystery, mixed with steamy passion.

Soon Gabriel discovers that Belinda has joined forces with an army of demon hunters to battle the evil hordes overtaking Great Britain. He enlists on the effort, and together they confront a force that might tear them apart. The combat takes them to Scotland, where Belinda unearths a dark family secret, and risks her life to destroy a demon sect.

I strongly recommend this novel. Hidden below the intrigue and bloodshed is a deeper message, connecting the shadowy demons lurking in Belinda’s England to the evil hidden in our own world. Its heart-pounding action, romantic hero, stereotype-breaking heroine--stronger and more adept at fighting than most men--will have you looking forward to the next installment in the series.
Profile Image for Eden Ashe.
Author 11 books142 followers
May 4, 2015
Different and Fun

I really enjoyed this. It's been a while since I've been this engrossed in a historical romance, but it was hard not to be sucked into Belinda and Gabriel's story. I'm a huge fan of hot and steamy paranormal romance, and Ms Fenichel didn't disappoint.

I love that Belinda wasn't the typical sheltered heroine, but could hold her own and kick some a$$. With so many heroines lately, I walk away from the story wishing the hero had someone who fit him better, but Belinda was determined to protect him from the beginning and I live that.

Five stars!
Profile Image for Sabine Priestley.
Author 16 books56 followers
March 16, 2015
This was a terrific story and a fun read. I love a strong heroine and Belinda fits the bill. It was also nice to see a male main character that wasn’t the usual Mr. Macho and in your face. High heat level and great action. Highly recommend the book.
Profile Image for Alison.
693 reviews6 followers
March 27, 2021
The Demon Hunters #1
A.S. Fenichel

Lord Gabriel Thurston has returned home after 4 years at war to find that his fiancée is not the same young girl that he left behind. She has grown into a mysterious woman who goes out in the evening to come home in the early morning hours. She hides her secrets well and will not explain where she has been or what she was doing. Then one night by chance he sees her sneaking away from a ball, and follows her convinced that it's got something to do with a lovers rendezvous. He follows her to London's slums and watches in shock as she ruthlessly slays another man. He can not believe what he saw and feels physically sick from it. The Bella could do such a thing just proves she is different now.

Lady Belinda Clayton used to only have one concern and that was what dress to wear to the next ball, until she was kidnapped and nearly killed by demons. She learned how to fight and joined the cause where men and women are equal. Now she is a lady by day, and a tough demon hunter when the sun goes down. There is only one thing left to do and that is end her betrothal so she can protect Gabriel from death by a demons hand, but things don't quite go as planned because she loves him.

Gabriel soon understands that Belinda has been fighting for her country just like him, and instead of turning away from her he joins in the fight against the demons. He is determined to prove to her that they can still be together, and that their love can endure what ever comes next.

A.S. Fenichel just wrote a book that literally blew my mind. Fabulous doesn't even come close to how good it was. This book has all of my favourite elements rolled into one. It had me from the get go and I savored every word as one would savor a fine wine. I lived and breathed this book. Gabriel is such a perfect hero. He loved Bella so much that he stayed and fought. Belinda was the bad ass heroine that you couldn't help but love. The details were so incredibly descriptive that I had no problem seeing myself in the book like I was right there. Ms. Fenichel you wrote one heck of a book and I tip my hat to you.
Profile Image for E.G. Manetti.
Author 14 books134 followers
June 1, 2021
I really liked the premise of a regency-era 'buffy the demon slayer' and her attempting to keep her slaying secret from her noble fiancé. It starts strong but really breaks down in the details. . I just could not get past the anachronisms. For other readers, where that is not a problem, it is a fun read.

DNF @44%.
352 reviews4 followers
October 13, 2014
Ascension fills a gap in my reading repertoire that I didn't realize existed. This book answers the question "What would an erotic historical romance look like if we mated it with urban fantasy?". The result is an awesome, action-filled love child that hits some really high notes.

The book weaves together a romantic story line - will they, won't they, can he accept her? - with an urban fantasy plot - the ascension/birth of a master controlling demons who are terrorizing the countryside, all while paying respect to the historical time frame. Questions of gender roles and social class are the forefront, and while you cannot agree with the demons' methodology, they're given motivation for their actions beyond simply 'evil.' These elements give the book depths that I didn't expect and definitely enjoyed. While the story has that fast-paced feel of urban fantasy, there are many moments to stop and examine these rich details.

I loved Belinda, a woman who has embraced the opportunities that being abducted by demons have presented her. She's made the most of the unconventional lifestyle she's adopting, while still toe-ing society's line. I loved that the tension between regular life and this paranormal-aware life was really underlined. I also appreciated that she was quite concerned about how Gabriel would react to it all. They both repeatedly acknowledge that the memories they have of each other are those of children. They've both grown up so much, having borne witness to the darker side of reality, and so maturely handle the realization that they are no longer the people they were when they first fell in love.

There's no fading to black in this very sexy romance, and I enjoyed that as well. If we're going to have all the darkness of the violence, why shouldn't we get all the sweetness of a good love scene? I liked that we saw the play of adrenaline and the aftermath of battle affecting our heroine and hero. I loved that they *were* so playful with each other. Good stuff!

The only downside to this book, for me, was that there is a bit of repetition in the demon-hunting. There's a similar formula in terms of set-up that on the one hand makes sense - the demons are trying to complete a/multiple rituals, and that on the other hand, I found a little bit "okay, we've been there and done that." While the stakes are more than adequately raised each time, I think that having an entirely different scenario arise might have spiced things up a bit.

Bottom line:

Ascension was an unexpected delight. It brought together two of my favorite genres and sets the scene for what I hope will be a very entertaining series. I definitely recommend to fans of historical romance and anything paranormal.

4.5 stars

** Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Check out this and other reviews at my blog, To Each Their Own Reviews
Profile Image for Elle Christensen.
Author 66 books1,167 followers
October 9, 2014
This book definitely has a unique spin on the world of demon hunters. I can’t recall every having read one set in Victorian London. That in itself set it apart, but also, some of the author’s concepts for what the demons are and where they come from, had little twist to them.
However, that’s not to say I didn’t run into some clichés. I suppose with this type of story, they are difficult to avoid. For the most part, I was able to overlook them.
Gabriel (can I stop for a minute and just say, that Gabriel is one of the sexiest names for a guy. Swoon) is everything you could want in a historical romance hero. He is handsome, courageous, smart, wealthy, titled, and has just enough alpha to make the passion burn. However, it his kindness, his understanding, devotion, and complete adoration of Bella mixed with the other qualities that cast him in the mold of a perfect hero.
Bella, well, I had a slightly harder time with her. Gabriel had to remind her again and again and again (and did I mention again?), that he loved her, wanted to marry her, and accepted her as is. It got a little frustrating after a while. It was difficult for me to swallow that he had to prove himself to her so much.
As a couple, the passion was raging and burning up the sheets from every angle. I loved the cute banter between them and the deep respect they developed for each other.
The secondary characters in this novel really make a difference in the reading. They bring an extra color to the canvas that kept me reading when I hit moments of frustration with Belinda. Thor is a great supporting character. He is strong and brave, rough around the edges. Then the next minute he’s blushing. I enjoyed the dynamic he brought to the story. Reese and Lily are mysteries, and that alone would often keep my attention on the book, because I was always looking for clues to unravel their enigmatic backstories.
There was one aspect of the writing that took me quite a while to get used to. The author does not often use contractions. It was always “I have,” I do not,” etc. It could be that the author went with a more “proper” speech pattern because of the time period. However, as I said, it took some getting used to. After a while, I stopped noticing it, for the most part.
It is not a cliffhanger and Bella and Gabriel do seem to get their HEA, but it is clearly left open to another book.
All in all, I’d enjoyed the read. I would be open to reading a sequel, especially if it involved Reese and Lily’s story.

This book was provided to me for a fair and honest review.
October 22, 2015
* This review was originally published on book blog WillReadforFeels.com

Regency and historical are two of my top three romance genres, so when I read the blurb of A.S. Fenichel's Ascension, which is the first novel in the Demon Hunters series, and realized that it was a combination of both, I just had to buy it. I mean, demon-hunting members of the Ton? Of course I was going to read it.

There are two things the very first chapter makes clear, and in so doing has me completely hooked. The first is that there's absolutely no question that the main characters love and desire each other. Second, as the song goes, is that sometimes love just ain't enough. Why that's the case is the first mystery of this novel. Once that is solved with much badassery from both Lady Belinda "Bella" Clayton and Lord Gabriel Thurston, Earl of Tullering, more mysteries come to light, and the pair must face off demons and possibly their own families to stay together and fulfill what has become a mission for the both of them.

Because I tend to be a character-inspired reader, I was glad to get to know the two main characters (and their supportive friends) in this novel. Belinda is everything I could want in a heroine: strong as steel, determined not to let her vulnerabilities show, and devastating with a weapon in her hands. She loves Gabriel and knows herself well enough to accept that, but what she wants to know is whether he'll accept and love her for the person she's become rather than the one he left behind when he went to fight Napoleon four years before.

Gabriel, meanwhile, has survived a war only to find an even worse one waiting for him when he gets home; yet even though he's seen more than enough of battle, he wades right in—because if there's one thing he won't lose to the carnage on either side of the English Channel, it's what he knows he and Belinda share. And while he does occasionally make a misstep when it comes to thinking he can dictate Belinda's future because of who she is to him, he finally learns to accept her as she is and everything that entails—more than that, he becomes a real partner to her too.

This novel has enough fight scenes to satisfy my bloodthirsty heart, but what I found myself really appreciating by the time I hit the last few chapters was the somewhat less than conventional course the romance between the two main characters took. I am hoping the next books in the series will keep us updated on the developments in Belinda's and Gabriel's lives.
Profile Image for Shawna.
92 reviews4 followers
May 3, 2015
Ascension is the first book in The Demon Hunters series by A.S. Fenichel . I am going to be honest, when I first heard about this book I was a bit skeptical. A paranormal historical romance, how on earth can you write a book like that and have it be good? Well I don't know how you do it but A.S. Fenichel surly does. I was hooked from the beginning and I am super excited this is a series so that there are more like this to read. Lord Gabriel Thurston & Lady Belinda have an amazing love story. She is a strong woman who knows what she wants in life and is not going to let the social norms of her time tell her any different, if that means being single for the rest of her life then so be it. Luckily the man she has loved since she was a child is not like most men and is bound and determined to show her just how much she means to him. It doesn't stop with the two main characters either, ALL the characters in this book are very well written and I can’t wait to read about them in future books. This story has almost nonstop action, super sexy love scenes and the love story that will melt your heart all of those together make this a great read you will get hooked on.

A Danielle's Domain Review: http://daniellesdomainreviews.blogspo...
Profile Image for Gloriamarie.
722 reviews
April 10, 2018
Read this because I like the paranormal but this is really rather a silly story. I found the relationship between the hero and heroine quite unbelievable.

For some reason, I had no record of having read this previously and I find my opinion upon a second read was even worse than before. Ans because I had no record of having read it already, I went and purchased the other 2 volumes and what a waste of $2 that was.

What the discerning reader needs to know is that each of these stories is the exact same story, only the names have been changed. There is no character development, there is no plot development and on top of it, as far as I can tell, none of the three have been edited. I didn't make note of every error but the vary from bad grammar to use of the incorrect word. In one instance, the author failed to keep the characters straight and referred to "Reece" when it was "Dorian"in the scene.

Disourous is not a word and why make one up when "desirable" is a perfectly good word. What is even worse is that clearly the only editing was a spellcheck which cannot distinguish between homonyms such as pale vs pail, you're/your. your/you're, duel/dual.

Truly sorry I wasted the time and money.

Profile Image for S.M. Lowry.
Author 1 book7 followers
August 26, 2015
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Ascension by A.S. Fenichel is an action-packed ride of demon hunting and romance. In a time period where women were expected to be virtually helpless and have ladylike manors, Belinda is one of the fiercest warriors in the demon-hunting Company, which made this story instantly appealing to me. At first Gabriel is not sure what to think about the changes in his fiancée. However, Gabriel is the kind of man who doesn’t just love Belinda for who and what she is but finds her muscular physique and fierce fighting skills alluring despite the fact that these are traits a lady should not possess in this time period. Gabriel’s open mind and devotion to Belinda made him a character I adored. Ascension has plenty of demon butt-kicking, hot romance, and intriguing characters in a wonderfully imagined historical setting. This is the first book of the series (book 2, Deception, is out, with book 3, Betrayal, scheduled for later this year); however, these books can be read out of order without missing anything. I definitely recommend reading this book, and I look forward to the third one.
Profile Image for Sarah Cass.
Author 41 books129 followers
October 17, 2014
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

For me, Ascension receives a good, solid four and a half stars.

Belinda is a heroine that made me happy on so many levels. She was strong, self-sufficient, and didn't take any BS from anyone. In an age when women were supposed to be soft of body and mind, she'd grown hard after an attack by demons exposed her to a world unlike any she'd known before. While her fiance was off fighting in the war, she begins fighting her own war at home & by the time he returns, neither of them are the same. She worries he'd never accept what she's become and tries to push him away...but can't deny the age-old burning attraction between them.

See more of the review here:
82 reviews3 followers
November 16, 2015
Did not finish. Life is too short.

Wants to be a Buffy the Vampire Slayer of Regency Romance. Could possibly have been readable had the author stuck to Regency and omitted the Romance. The otherwise tough, smart, skilled and beautiful (of course) heroine is madly in love with a handsome, creepy, rapey asshole fiance who comes back after years of radio silence and expects her to melt at his feet. Which she does. Even after telling him "NO", which he ignores. Instead, he offers a "deal" where he will have his way with her for 10 minutes, but leave her a virgin, and then leave.

Also, crap grammar and crap prose (crap editing?) to go along with the crap characters. Author does not understand commas, which seem to sprinkle themselves somewhat randomly between words.

All in all, too painful to continue, despite the fact that I usually finish at least 95% of the fiction I start.
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