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

4.5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

 

 

 

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