The Demon Equilibrium

by Cathy Pegau

Grace Carter is a magic “source.” Maggie Mulvaney is her “catalyst,” helping Grace harness the magic so that, together, they can take out demons. Maggie is also the love of Grace’s life and Grace has been searching for her for nine months after a forced separation. When Grace finds Maggie, Maggie doesn’t remember her or their life together in the demon-hunting Order of Saint Teresa, where they were the strongest duo the Order had seen in ages. Both women have had their memories tampered with and they don’t know why.

Thankfully Maggie trusts Grace, even if she doesn’t remember her, because they’re quickly confronted by the demon Horde and have to learn how to work together all over again. The Horde has plans for an apocalypse and it’ll take magic as big as Grace and Maggie’s to save humanity.

The story is told in two timelines: 1897, when Grace and Maggie meet and start a romantic relationship while learning how to use their magic together, and 1903 (let’s call this “the present”) when Grace finds Maggie again. It’s also a plot-driven story, so the character arcs in the present are all about Maggie and Grace coming back to themselves as individuals and as a couple.

Maggie has the farthest to come, because she doesn’t remember Grace when they meet again. Grace’s tentativeness in the present is heartbreaking, because she’s so clearly in love with Maggie, but isn’t willing to push Maggie beyond her comfort zone. By the end, their love feels deep and hard-won, since Grace has had to work so hard to find Maggie and because Maggie shows tremendous ingenuity and grit in securing their HEA in the final act.

Why were they separated? That’s the central question of The Demon Equilibrium, driving a mystery that takes Grace and Maggie from Wyoming to the Order’s headquarters in New York, for a massive showdown that had me on the edge of my seat.

TW/CW: spoiler and dubious consent
I have no complaints about the story, but I do have one minor warning: when they’re separated, Maggie is married to someone who is not who he says he is. She feels awful about this later, because she’d had sex with him without knowing who he truly was, making it a sexual assault.

The Demon Equilibrium is well worth checking out if you’re looking for a fun read. The worldbuilding is strong, showing what turn-of-the-20th-century America could look like with demons and demon hunters. Also, what could be better than historical lesbian demon hunters? I hope we get more books set in this world because it’s that good.

Tara

When the demonic Horde threatens to unleash Hell on Earth, two women must summon every bit of their shared power to save the world.

Grace Carter, a “source” of magic, has spent the last nine months searching for Maggie Mulvaney, her “catalyst.” The joy of reuniting with her partner—and her lover—is thwarted by her worst fear: Maggie doesn’t remember Grace or their life together. Grace blames the Order of Saint Teresa, the centuries-old organization that trained them to be the strongest demon-hunting duo in generations. But why has the Order done this?

As Maggie and Grace begin to piece their lives back together, they discover that their memories have been masked by someone within the Order. Should the Horde succeed in their plan, those who have committed their lives to slaying worldly demons will be relegated to little more than minions as humans are completely enslaved.

Now, Grace and Maggie must sacrifice everything, possibly even their lives, as they battle to save humanity.

LGBTQIA, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy
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