Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Gay Heat Index m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Opposites attract Paranormal Politics Riptide Publishing Shifter

Wet Heat by RD Hero

release day review

Riptide Presents  

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/wet-heat

WetHeat_600x900Blurb

Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.

After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.

Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.

Review

Lee is an aging omega wolf shifter. In his world only young, fertile omegas gain the attention of alphas. Lee has never wanted to settle down and actually mate any of the alphas, he just likes the chase. Now that he doesn’t make his own pheromones, he uses an artificial pheromone to attract the alphas.

When he loses his job he goes to the factory itself for the fake pheromones, Wet Heat, and gets samples as part of a mated couple tester. Though he never brings in his other half, he continues to fake the research for two years. When Cain, his research leader, finally finds out he’s been cheating all this time, the stuff really hits the fan.

**

Oh, how I wanted to like this. It was so unique and had such an opportunity to create a new shifter world, to give us this new chemical addition to spice up the traditional alpha/omega storyline, it had some very charismatic characters…

But it was just all over the place and I felt like it never found it’s footing.

First, Lee is not likable. That’s romance 101 – make your MCs (at least ultimately) likable. He’s just a whiny, bratty, slut who uses people to get what he wants. I didn’t care if he found happiness.

Second, I loved Cain but he confused me. I’d see these odd bursts of Alpha in him followed by what – is he secretly submissive? I wasn’t sure. If the story had been longer then we could have explored this further. Where it was left was just confusing.

Third, we get a little sub plot with Lee’s nephew and the maker of Wet Heat. This, too, could have really been a fascinating part of the story. It started to make a statement about stereotypes and societal expectations and the almost dystopian idea of manipulating that chemically – but then stopped before anything really happened. As a result it just drew attention away from the already rather anemic relationship storyline between Cain and Lee.

So… all in all I just can’t really say I recommend this. The romantic in me was absolutely horrified by Lee – I can’t really say if this was even an HFN based on how it ended. The shifter-story-lover in me loved the unique spin and found the possibilities in this world endless – but inchoate here.

One other thing that drives me crazy is when shifter stories have shifters who never shift.  This is one of those.  The alpha/omega thing was utilized excessively but never did anybody ever become a wolf.

So I give this a mixed bag of 2.75 of 5 stars but with a warning to the romantics in the room that it might be more like a 2.

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Categories
2 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Fade to black/No Steam Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Older MCs Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter Teacher

Daily Dose Short Story: Putting Down Roots by Tam MacNeil

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/putting-down-roots-by-tam-macneil-7160-b

putting-down-rootsBlurb

At twenty-nine, Mark is lonely and unhappy. With his teaching degree, he never expected to be scraping by at a dead-end job in a bookstore. So when he’s given the opportunity to do the work he’s always dreamed of, he jumps on it.

But there’s a catch. Mark has just agreed to spend the summer teaching a recalcitrant student at a lonely manor outside the most haunted village in the UK. It doesn’t take Mark long to figure out there’s something strange, really strange, about Thomas, his host and the father of his pupil. They say the village changes people, and it turns out Thomas is living proof. Now Mark has to decide if he should run like hell or stay and become part of the family.

Category: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shifters, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 29

Review

Mark, a lonely teacher, moves to a “haunted village” to teach one of the town’s oldest family’s daughter English. Her father, Thomas, is an older but still quite attractive, man who appears as lonely as Mark.

Yes, strange things do appear to happen both around town and in the old home Thomas owns, but Mark can’t help but being attracted to Thomas anyway.

When tourists inadvertently threaten Thomas and his family his secret is exposed and Mark has to decide if he can handle the strangeness and put down some roots of his own.

**

Though this was a very interesting story with great world building, I didn’t feel the romance at all. The characters barely speak two words to one another and the situation Thomas is in feels particularly hopeless.

So, even though I thought it was an interesting story and a unique twist on the shifter theme, as a romance it failed for me.

2 of 5 stars

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Categories
2.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Virgin

A Bouquet for Adam by AJ Marcus and KT Spence

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7847

BouquetforAdam[A]FSBlurb

Adam Stephens’s simple life working in Denver as a computer programmer is turned upside down when his mother suddenly dies. His crazy relatives in Virginia want him to move in with them because they believe his autism makes it impossible for him to care for himself. But life improves, at least for a time. One day while wandering through the botanical gardens, he runs into struggling wildlife photographer Trent Osborn.

As a hesitant love blossoms between the two, Adam’s aunt and uncle push for him to live with them. Adam again refuses. The struggles between his desires and what everyone else wants collide. Adam disappears, and Trent is unsure if he’s run off to escape life’s pressures made worse by his autism, or if something far more sinister has happened. Trent embarks on a cross-country journey in search of Adam. What he discovers changes the course of his and Adam’s lives and the lives of everyone connected to them.

Review

Adam is autistic, but highly functioning. He works as a computer programmer in Colorado with his mother until she suddenly dies. Suddenly, he’s adrift, and unsure how to move forward – alone. While wandering around the Botanic gardens – a favorite place of his mother’s – he meets Trent – a photographer.

Trent sees something in Adam he’s been missing since the death of his lover years ago – a friend, companion and maybe something more.

Adam and Trent become friends, Trent offering Adam an anchor in a storm as well as a port of refuge from Adam’s uncle and aunt who’ve come to “help” Adam after the funeral.

When Adam and Trent’s relationship turns into a romantic one, his homophobic aunt and uncle flip out and kidnap Adam back to Virginia for conversion therapy. It’s up to Trent to rescue Adam and to help him fight back.

**

There was so much in this story I wanted to love but I just couldn’t get there. The language was stilted and awkward – and not just when used to illustrate Adam’s thought processes.

The drama felt a bit bizarre and surreal and took me from the pacing of a gentle hurt/comfort love story to a somewhat forced-to-be-angsty drama.

I definitely cared for both MCs but never quite understood Trent and felt that a bit more time spent in his head as he wrapped his mind around getting involved with the somewhat child-like Adam was called for. It felt a bit uncomfortable how easily he moved from friend to lover without more prep or discussion on either of their parts.

The uncle was a bit too “villainy” to be real, as was the aunt.

I was happy the guys got their HEA but it didn’t feel settled and instead felt more like a HFN.

All in all I wasn’t that excited about it, despite the intriguing possibilities and though it might be interesting – especially if you have an interest in Colorado or autism – it wasn’t done as well as it could have been.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying m/m Magic Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

A King and a Pawn (Leader Murders #3) by Liv Olteano

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7849

a-king-and-a-pawnBlurb

 

Bert Cooper’s life used to be great, until his sister turned out to be a traitor. Now Bert feels the whole pack looks on him with doubt and suspicion. To prove his loyalty, he volunteers to be the first ambassador at Fey Court, gathering information to finally solve the Leader Murders and punish those plotting against the Council and community. At least, that was the plan….

When Bert meets Sir William Matthew Sims, Court Interrogator, and one hell of a sexy man, life becomes a balancing act. And when the Fey King is assassinated, things become really messy.

Pack politics, fey politics, treason, suspicions of treason…. Bert has to choose between being ruled by his fears or standing up for what—and who—he believes in. And it might just break his heart.

Review

This is the third book in the series and it must be read in order as there is a lot, lot, lot going on and it’s not gonna make sense as a standalone.

We left Weiss and Tim after the conversion with Weiss’ evil ex now out of commission and the new Anti Abuse Act in place – however – there remains a boatload of trouble still to be had.

Bert is Weiss’ ex’s brother and he volunteers to help the pack with a mission to the Fey Court. He must wear a magical ring that hides his true emotions and this ends up helping and hurting him – a lot.

While on the mission he meets Sir William Sims, next in line to be the Fey King and after the assassination, he and Sir William must work together to help the pack as well as to help William leave the Fey Court behind – forever.

**

If you’ve been following along on this journey you know that Liv Olteano has given us a very complex world with imperfect characters and a rich world of magic and emotions.

This is unlike most shifter/paranormal stories in that there is no “insta-love” solution and the couples usually have to work hard to make their relationships work.

Will and Bert are no different. Bert’s self-esteem is pretty low – for a bunch of reasons – and Will’s past was pretty cold and unemotional in the Fey Court.

This is also not a book full of hot smexy times, but lots of sexual tension and some brief moments of passion.

In the end I think fans of the series will be pleased to see their old favorites again and to watch where the pack is headed today.

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Fated Mates Gargoyle Gay Heat Index Insta Love m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Mystery Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series

Romanus Audiobook by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romanus-by-mary-calmes-7179-b

61paaqZ7ZOL._SL300_Blurb

Stopping to offer help one sultry summer night, Mason James is unprepared for the change that this simple act of kindness will bring. After giving an old man a ride home, Mason discovers a new, magical, and even dangerous world he cannot hope to understand. But he also finds Luc Toussaint and is intoxicated at first sight, and even the secret Luc protects won’t be enough to keep Mason away from the truth of his heritage and their love.

Review
(book reviewed here previously)

So – you know how much I love Mary. Well, this is quintessential Mary. Mason is that perfect guy – clueless about how perfect he is – who stumbles into something that should be terrifying, but instead he does everything right and manages to win everyone over – all while having no idea he’s doing it.

He “rescues” an elder on the side of the road, and in turn proves that he’s got something special in his DNA that makes him revered by the people he meets next.

There is only a small amount of angst in this short story and we get a solid HFN by the end.

My only complaint is the length and the lack of more stories from this as a series! I loved it! Wished we could see more from this “world” and wish we could learn more about the creatures and their Romanus.

If you haven’t read this and you’re a Mary fan – go – read it – it’s wonderful!

4.5 of 5 stars

(Loved the old cover but this one is AMAZING!)

Audio

Greg Tremblay – he always manages to make the book come alive for me. He taught me how to properly saw “Romanus” – I was glad that Mason said it like I thought it, too! – and made the accents subtle but tangible. His voice is like honey – smooth and rich – he’s so very easy to listen to and he always adds to my enjoyment of the book.

(Audible put this in the EROTICA section but not the Gay/Lesbian section – SHEESH!  Get it right Audible!!!!!)

Narration 6 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Humor Insta Love m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Mystery Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Daily Dose Short Story: Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage by CS Poe

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-marriage-and-a-baby-carriage-by-cs-poe-7129-b

love-marriage-and-a-baby-carriageBlurb

Theodore Reinhart is a young man looking for love. In San Diego. At a convention. For penguin shifters. WaddleCon is the go-to event of the year when looking for your life partner, but Theodore isn’t comfortable with the game they’ve turned dating into, nor does the convention provide for the gay community. A mistake in speed dating table assignments puts Theodore in front of Wesley O’Neill, a handsome and confident model who lets it slip that he’s definitely noticed the spark of attraction between them.
A perfect date ends prematurely when Theodore finds an abandoned egg in a bathroom trash can. Unable to leave it behind, Theodore and Wesley play a mad game of cat and mouse across the resort trying to keep it safe, all while growing closer to one another. Wesley may be the forever partner Theodore came looking for, but their relationship won’t work if they don’t make room for a little addition to the family.

Category: Paranormal, Werewolf/Shifter
Pages: 32

Review

OMG – PENGUINS! imgres-1This is a GREAT short story. It’s full of humor a tiny bit of sexy times and an adorable pair of PENGUINS! Once you throw in the egg they find discarded in a bathroom, you have the makings of a fantastically funny and engaging short story.

Theodore ends up at WaddleCon by mistake – he doesn’t realize it’s for straight couples – BUT he manages to find the one? bi-sexual penguin shifter and luckily it’s lust at first sight.

But that’s not all – they manage to find an egg abandoned by someone trying to cheat on her husband and end up rescuing the egg but nearly losing their lives at the hands of the enraged spouse.

I really enjoyed this. The writing was crisp and effortlessly flowed. There’s a bit of humor, sweetness, adventure and a nice bit of world building as well – all in 32 pages!

5 of 5 stars

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2.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Homophobia m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Daily Dose Short Story: Alpaca Lies by Elizabeth Coldwell

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/alpaca-lies-by-elizabeth-coldwell-7173-b

alpaca-liesBlurb

Alpaca shifter Alfie dreams of a life beyond the petting zoo at stately Mattock Hall. He can’t explore his crush on Simon Mattock, heir to the estate and caretaker to the animals, for two reasons. One, he’s never shifted into human form, and two, Simon is saddled with a boyfriend who’s exploiting him for his wealth. But when a fire threatens both the zoo and Simon, Alfie knows the time has come to put his fears aside, make his first shift, and save them. He just hopes Simon will like what he sees.

Category: Paranormal, Werewolf/Shifter
Pages: 23

 

Review

If you absolutely ignore some pretty big plot holes, this is a cute and somewhat unique shifter story.

Alfie the Alpaca is hiding out in his animal form (for unknown reasons) on a petting farm and in lust with his keeper, Simon, a lord in training. When Simon is put in danger Alfie has to make a tough decision.

Once revealed the question remains – what will happen now? And so… most of the story is spent pondering the wonders of Simon and a brief moment of passion is shared between the two but the story ends before it can really make the reader either really care about the MCs or even know much about them.

I liked where the story was headed but it was far too short to feel complete or satisfying.

2.5 of 5 stars

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4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Humor Insta Love Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series

Undercover Boyfriend by Jacob Flores

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/one-fine-day-7036-s

undercover-boyfriendBlurb

Two men, one lie, and a whole bunch of trouble.

Marty Valdez is in serious trouble. His sister’s wedding is around the corner, and everyone expects to meet Marty’s super-successful underwear model boyfriend—whom Marty invented. Now Marty has to produce a half-naked hottie or suffer the worst humiliation of his life.

FBI agent Luke Myers is in serious trouble. He’s been working undercover to take down a dangerous drug cartel, but his cover’s blown and he needs to disappear. Luckily, a geeky yet intriguing comic book artist gives him the perfect opportunity. Luke just has to pretend to be his boyfriend, and pretending is what he does best. But between Marty’s mother and his ex, Luke might’ve bitten off more than he can chew, and Marty’s knack for finding trouble might ruin more than just his sister’s wedding.

Review

Poor skinny Marty is always making up pretend friends, family members and now – boyfriends – to help him avoid confrontation. After breaking up with his sister’s fiance’s best friend – who is now the best man at their wedding – Marty invents a boyfriend – Tim, the underwear model – to retaliate.

When push comes to shove, Marty’s Mami wants to meet this Tim, so Marty goes to a club hoping to convince some guy to give it a try. Instead he finds Luke trying to break into his car. Marty tells Luke that if he’ll just be his pretend boyfriend for a couple of hours and meet his mother he won’t call the cops. Luke agrees – but not because he’s afraid of the cops.

Luke is an FBI agent about to crack a major drug lord case. He’s meeting an informant when someone from the gang shows up knowing his real name! He has to go in hiding and now because this means someone on the inside is a mole. His attempt to find a car ends as we see above with Marty – but it’s not all bad. The suburbs might be the best place to hide.

Of course, life is not simple and there’s even more drama – more than I want to tell you about here – that involves Marty and drug dealers and moles and dirty FBI agents – Oh My!

**

Jacob Flores – who I just read is an English professor – I’d have LOVED any class he taught – wouldn’t you??? – is an amazing writer. I’ve enjoyed his P-town series as well as his supernatural series. This was very well written and edited, flowed nicely and had just enough believability to keep me from rolling my eyes out of my head.

Sure, he bends the laws of co-incidence here and there – but really – that stuff does happen now and then.

There’s only one smexy times scene but it’s pretty hot. The rest of the story is a lot of action/adventure and drama but liberally laced with humor and tenderness.

I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it.

4.5 of 5 stars

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4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Audiobook Book Dreamspinner Established Couple Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying m/m Magic Merpeople Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series second chance at love Shifter

Running with the Wind (Mermen of Ea Book 3) Audiobook by Shira Anthony Narrated by Michael Stellman

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7474

RunningWithTheWindAUDLGBlurb

Sequel to Into the Wind
Mermen of Ea Trilogy: Book Three

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using the stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

Review

(Previous two book reviews found here http://kimichanexperience.com/?s=mermen+of+ea)

WOW. What a conclusion! This is book three in the series and it MUST be read in order. It’s a far too complex story to jump in without the previous books as background.

In a nutshell Taren was a slave who was kidnapped by a pirate who held and sort of loved by the man who took him from a previous slave owner who wasn’t as kind. He’s rescued by Ian and the two begin their relationship – part of which is showing to Taren that he shares his body and soul with that of a merman of the people Ea. Through many trials and tribulations he also learns that his soul is bound to another’s (Treande) and that he and Ian (Owyn) shared a love in an earlier incarnation.

At the end of the last book we’d just learned about Owyn and Treande and met a whole other bevy of new characters including Sebastian and Odhrán and they have an epic battle in the end wherein Sebastian loses his lover Rider and kills himself in battle but is reborn because he’s a dragon! Now Sebastian is young again and attaching himself to Odhrán and their story continues…

The bulk of the story is Taren and Ian battling with the witch Seria and moving forward towards a new role in the government of their people. But it’s also about laying groundwork for (what I hope?!) is more story from Sebastian and Odhrán.

There’s far too much involved in this story to “summarize” and if you haven’t been following along it won’t make any sense but if you’re a fan and you haven’t read this yet – HOLD ON TO YOUR PANTS! There is SO much going on – action, adventure, battles, government building, way cool powers, destiny taking effect, past lives, future loves… it’s packed … every page is full, full, full. (The ending… so bittersweet – totally crying!)

**

I think for fans of fantasy this must be what heaven is like. For me, one of the things that makes me avoid the genre, is that I have to work so hard to enjoy it.  What I mean is, though Shira is amazing at world building, because it is all new, every bit of it takes some brain power for me to keep up with and follow.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, but it’s work.  And all the new names and exotic sounds and places takes a bit of brain energy and sometimes I just want to easily float instead of doing the hard rowing.  Shira’s world is very complex and I had to go back and forth between books one and two and three since it’d been so long since I’d been in this world.  So… while my efforts are FULLY REWARDED… for me I have to work a bit and that detracts it from a perfect read just a bit.

Shira Anthony always amazes me with the width and breadth of her work. From the contemporary Blue Notes series, to the meremen of Ea to the Blood series – each so different and yet she dives so completely into the world and immerses her readers with her. She’s a gifted writer and storyteller and I think her characters are her best asset. Even the secondary characters are amazingly well thought out and three dimensional.

For fans of the series this is a sad but beautiful ending to a great series and I know many of us are hopeful there will be a spin-off with Sebastian and Odhrán!

Audio

Micahel Stellman does all the books in this series and it must take work figuring out an entire new world and giving it a voice. He does an excellent job with it and since I’ve only experienced this series through him, he defines it for me and Taren’s voice is his interoperation. I’ve really enjoyed listening to this and highly recommend it.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary DA Demons Enemies to Lovers Fade to black/No Steam Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan NetGalley New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Samhain Publishing Virgin

Damned If You Do by Marie Sexton

release day review

Samhain Publishing Presents

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5813/damned-if-you-do

damned-if-you-doBlurb

The path to temptation is paved with a hellish amount of paperwork.

Soul acquisition is a drag, but if Abaddon doesn’t catch up on his quota, he could be demoted to scooping poop for the Hounds of Hell. With a deadline hanging over him, he heads for the Bible Belt, looking for the perfect combination of sweetness and challenge.

Seth is a blind musician, part of a traveling tent revival. He’s cute, mystically talented, and quotes the Bible at every turn. His soul is pure enough to fill Abaddon’s quota for months to come, and Abaddon is determined to claim it.

The problem? There’s the revival foreman who watches Abaddon’s every move. Then there’s the mystery of Seth’s many unusual talents. Lastly, there’s Abaddon himself. He’s beginning to like Seth a bit too much. Maybe Seth deserves something better than damnation.

But Hell’s agenda isn’t negotiable, and time is running out. If Abaddon doesn’t play his cards right, he could condemn both of them to the worst fate of all—an eternity apart.

Warning: Contains a Bible-quoting twink and an irreverent devil who’ll do anything to avoid going “back to the office”. Also, snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.

Review

Abaddon is one of the many devils whose task it is to persuade humans to give up their souls to the devil through any means of temptation. He’s not very good at it. In fact, he’s behind on his quota and about to be demoted.

He has only 2 weeks to “catch up” so he decides to go for quality versus quantity. Certain souls are “worth more” in that they are harder to tempt to the dark side.

When Abaddon goes to the human realm in search of his soul he finds one so bright it’s nearly blinding, Seth. In addition to being blind, Seth also plays every musical instrument like a pro, travels with his brother in a tent revival and happens to perform healings as well.

There’s no soul more pure than Seth.

The problem is, Abaddon begins to like Seth and not only doesn’t he want Seth to be just another soul haunting Hell, he wants to BE with Seth… but that’s impossible…

**

Wow! This was so surprising! It was hysterical – first off. Sure, I’ve seen bits of humor in Marie’s writing in the past –but this was a whole new level of humor. It’s funny left and right and very, very clever.

Marie’s version of Hell is pretty hysterical:

            “…rows of cubicles. They stretched as far as the eye could see. Anybody who lost their soul in a wager or an ill-taken deal with a devil wound up here. There were no computers, but plenty of old-fashioned manual typewriters- always with stuck keys and worn-out ribbons – and a never-ending streams of forms to be filled out in triplicated and filed away.”

Each soul has a relative value and some as some are more easily attained:

            “A politician’s soul isn’t worth the paperwork that comes with it. Besides, we already own them all.”

“All of them?”

“Ninety percent of lobbyists, plus every congressman, senator, and president since the fifties.” Baphomet shrugged. “Except Carter.”

As far as the other side goes, Seth is chock full of Biblical quotes. If I had a complaint at all it’d be the quotes. I had to skim them after awhile there are quite a few. They’re used to make a point and never to really preach so much as to show the opposite side of Abaddon’s arguments, but the language and all grew a bit tedious.

That being said, I still really loved this – so much! But… I’ll warn you right now, I cried reading this. OMG. There are parts of this that just sucker punch you into the ugly cry. It’s a very, very heartwarming story as well.

There is almost no “heat” – it’s almost a fade to black but there are still moments of beautiful passion.

I ADORED the ending – it was a bit predictable (at least the what but not the how).

All in all this is a funny, sweet, witty, surprisingly moving story about finding true love and being true to yourself at the same time.

Highly recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review