Desiree is a human with the ability to hear thoughts, but she can not turn it off. Because of this, she chose to live in Colorado and work for the Forestry Service. She is trained as a police officer, but found the thoughts of criminals to be too distressing. Being a Forestry worker allowed her to live a life of relative solitude.
Desiree can also hear animals during the time that she is drifting between sleep and wakefulness. This is how she first experiences communicating with Hamish.
Wife to Hamish Berrin
Sanctus Matris of the gargoyle race
LocationEditDesiree lived and worked in Colorado until the events of A Wolf's Song. She then relocated to the outskirts of New Galatia, Vermont.
As noted, this section contains spoiler information for multiple books, including A Wolf's Song.
Desiree is the Sanctus Matris, or Sacred (Spiritual) Mother of the Gargoyle race. So long as she is incarnated on the planet, gargoyles can reproduce with human women--provided that they can find any willing to do so.
Desiree was previously Mayra, Hamish's first wife. When she died, it was thought that she would be unable to reincarnate.
She can hear the gargoyles as a low background murmur in her mind, not the same way that she hears humanity's thoughts. However, in Hamish's presence, so long as he is near, his pheromones suppress her ability.