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In Zoe Archer's new series she takes us to the year 1762 and introduces us to five friends, known as the Hellraisers, for their relentless pursuit of adventure and life's pleasures.
James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney (Whit) meets a gypsy beauty named Zora at her family camp. They have an instant connection. Zora doesn't usually believe in superstitions but she has a heavy sense of foreboding as Whit leaves her camp with his friends to tour a local ruin that evening.
Zora's intuition is correct and she arrives too late to stop the longtime friends from entering a deal with the devil himself. Whit's vice is gambling. In his exchange with the devil, Whit receives the gift to control the odds unaware of just how high the cost.
"For you, my dear Lord Whitney, I shall grant you the ability to control the odds. You can make them good or bad, as you require."
Once the bargain has been sealed, Whit and Zora are tied to each other. Whit is pleased that his deal also won him his fiery gypsy but Zora will not give in to the man, no matter how attractive, until he turns his back on the devil and regains his soul.
I can't even tell you how much I loved Zora. She has got to be one of my favorite heroines in a long time. She's beautiful, confident and intelligent but most of all she has values that she will not compromise. Even in the heat of lust. You go girl!
Whit was passionate, and I loved how much he respected Zora and treated her as an equal although he didn't really stand out for me. Their declarations for each other also seemed a bit much at times.
One thing that didn't work for me is the setting. This is more a reflection of my reading preferences, not about the writing itself.Read more ›
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Whit and Zora come from opposite side of the spectrum. Whit is a wealthy and noble-born gentleman whereas Zora is a Gypsy. The only thing they have in common is that they're both gamblers. Whit is in it for the thrill and Zora, for the money. While facing off, he makes a proposition with her to spend the night together. While intrigued, Zora refuses the offer. Soon after, Whit and his friends decide to ride to a secluded and haunted place where they encounter the devil. The devil grants them their heart's deepest desire in exhange for a small token they possess. Zora tries to save Whit and his friends but, unfortunately, arrives too late. The devil, amused at her tactics to defeat him, offers her as a gift to the men and Whit accepts.
I'll admit that this story had promise. The beginning was very interesting and the chemistry between the characters palpable. However, midway through the book, Zora's attempts at escape, Whit's fight with his conscience, and the chase just got too exasperating. I found myself thinking "we get it. Now move on with the rest of the story" often.
I felt that this author has alot going for her - too bad her hero characters are losers. The "Hellraisers" are a bunch of shallow men with no remorse or depth at all. The whole way that they all became "cursed" just shows that they lack any discretion or common sense. The main male character in this book (James) doesn't seem to be reformed at the end, just suddenly aware that there actually are consequences for his actions. What's funny though is that Zoe Archer is a good writer - I just don't like her characters.
Striking out lately with paranormal romance I thought `Devil's Kiss' by Zoe Archer might be just what I needed. A little taste of something new - and I was right. Archer crafted some unique lore and put together a great start of series that has me excited to read more. The Hellraisers are a group of men in the 1700s that are of a wealthy persuasion and have the tendency to get a bit rowdy. Prone to gamble, drinking and women, the boys are always two steps away from danger. Boredom has led them to a gypsy encampment, gambling and drinking the night away, the gypsies more than willing to entertain the five men for a bit of coin. Whit, our handsome hero isn't used to being distracted from the game - but the gorgeous gypsy girl, Zora Grey is quite distracting.
Rumors of a cursed ruin and talk of evil get the Hellraisers interested to go exploring in their inebriated state and abandoning their gypsy company. But, Zora is determined to prevent them from doing harm - yet, she's too late and the men have made their deal. Now, it's a race against the clock to convince Whit that his deal was a deal with the devil - and he needs to break it or he risks more than just his soul.
A tortured hero, a willful heroine and a unique and very plot driven storyline made `Devil's Kiss' an awesome paranormal romance. I'm now smitten with Zoe Archer and hope to read more from her. Some down points did rise up in the story in the guys behavior at how easily they sold their souls and how hard it was to logically get through to Whit. But, I've never been offered my souls desire or had a vice like Whit has, so I guess I can't judge. But, it did lead to some WTFs with the behavior. But, once the pursuit to save the soul swept into full swing it was on and I completely enjoyed.Read more ›
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Zoe Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there's nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master's degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, trade off writing the books in the steampunk romance series THE ETHER CHRONICLES. June 2013 will see the launch of her new gritty Victorian romance series, NEMESIS, UNLIMITED for St. Martin's Press. Zoe and Nico live in Los Angeles. Please visit her on the Web at http://www.zoearcherbooks.com/