Stained was a wild ride, that I savored, because I didn't want Julia and Cayne's story to end. I fell hard for this unlikely couple - the girl who was more than she seemed, and the half-demon with a good heart. While the beginning was a bit shaky, by the time I finished this paranormal thriller, I had grown to like both of the main characters, and felt invested in their struggles and in their quest.
Author Ella James has a talent at telling an engrossing story that is layered, and definitely more than it seems. I enjoyed the way she worked in Julia's talents, Cayne's history, and the various angel-vs-demon mythology - all without making any of it feel tired, or like too much was going on. There was a real sense of danger, and the character treatment was such that I felt enough of a connection to these characters to care what happened to them next, and to want to know more about the greater dangers they faced.
Carried by two strong characters from very different lives, Stained is a breathless read. Despite a few issues I had with how fast the relationship between the mysterious, sexy Cayne, and bruised Julia developed, ultimately there was a depth of feeling between them that I could believe in, and enough of a enigma left as Stained wound down to make me want to read more, and know more: about Julia's healing, about Cayne's past, about who is hunting down people like Julia.