On the Rugged Hills (The Serpent's Throne #2) by Dan Ackerman
Lucifer is Hell's sweetest bureacrat and Ira is his boyfriend, a grey demon. They got together in the first installment of the series, and this is where shit hits the fan, neither quite sure what to do with their relationship or with love. Ira is not only trying to get used to having control over his life of his own but trying to navigate a relationship with the Devil. There's politics here and, of course, political rivals vying for the throne of Hell. The fact that Ira works at Marius's, a brothel in the ninth precinct, makes him feel a little insecure and doubt his self-worth. He has a habit of running away, getting in trouble, and apologizing. Ira is rather whiny at times and gets mad at Lucifer for the strangest reasons, unaccustomed to being with someone of their own free will. But Lucifer seems to have infinite patience, and he's romantic to the point of sometimes seeming like a doormat to Ira's mood shifts. Lucifer peeling potatoes? That's not something you see every day. The Devil's character is a soft, mushy pushover I adored. Don't get me wrong, when wronged he can be a force to reckon with. But at heart he's a sweetheart, and he sure melted mine. Plus, he's a daddy with an infant son, Felix, hidden on Earth. He's lost his queen, Tabitha, too--but she'll be back. Lucifer was melancholy and lonely before meeting Ira, and he has fainting spells. Much of what happens in Hell, such as souls escaping or malcontents building their own city across the plains, is kept from him. People think he's weak, and the threat of a coup is imminent. Final word of warning: This ends in the worst effing cliffhanger I've read in ages. Can't wait to read the sequel, the last in the trilogy. Literally nail-biting anticipation!
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