- Series: Hellraisers
- Mass Market Paperback: 370 pages
- Publisher: Zebra; Original edition (December 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1420122274
- ISBN-13: 978-1420122275
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,580,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Devil s Kiss (Hellraisers) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2011
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Author: Zoe Archer
Standalone or Series: Book 1 in The Hellraisers series
Genre: Paranormal romance
Basic Blurb: Archer follows her beloved Blades of the Rose series with a dark paranormal series about five men, the Hellraisers, who make a deal with the devil. In exchange for their souls, they each receive a power of sorts . . . but love is their only chance at redemption and saving themselves from hell.
I was completely enamored by this book in the beginning. I loved the details the author had gone into to set the scene as the late 1700s. I loved the language she'd chosen, especially when she described Whit as sharply elegant as a rapier. The author had such a way with words that it really conveyed certain scenes clearly in my mind. Here were some of my favorites:
For a moment, he simply knelt there like a pagan about to perform a holy ritual, his gaze on her devouring, possessive.
The terror frosted around his heart, piercing that muscle with spikes of ice.
She prayed that he was not so far gone, that the muscles of his conscience had not withered after probable years of disuse...
Then there was Zora, the heroine of the story, and a feisty gypsy woman who refused to be shackled by the rules of her society. I remember smiling as soon as she was introduced as a gypsy woman, as my nickname is actually gypsy girl (even though I don't have an ounce of gypsy blood).
I was intrigued by Whit (whose real name is James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney) and the whole concept of these friends who were little more than naughty boys who refused to grow up.
I found myself spellbound when Whit and his Hellraisers inadvertently unleashed the Devil - or Mr Halliday as he referred to himself - from the box he'd been held captive in.
Baddabing, badaboom, Halliday grants the men their heart's desire in return for their souls, and the men are reckless and foolish enough to agree. Halliday even throws Zora in as a tempting little carrot, trapping her on one of Whit's playing cards and making her completely beholden to him, a scene I was not expecting at all.
Nor was I expecting the fine-print of the Devil's entrapment - that only Whit could see and communicate with Zora. That led to some pretty funny scenes where the servants were sent in to prepare a room for what they thought was a ghost.
That's where things started to fall apart for me. The minute Zora escaped Whit's room, I somehow lost interest. Sure, Whit chased her down and they paired up to restore Whit's soul. But for some reason, that wasn't a big enough incentive to hold my interest.
This book is really a tale of three parts. The beginning, which was beyond excellent and completely enthralled me. The middle, which I found almost impossible to force myself to read. And then the end, which picked up pace enough to at least entice me to finish.
So what went wrong in the middle?
That's a difficult thing to pinpoint because there was nothing essentially wrong with the story. The book was thankfully free of the spelling and grammar errors I've had to suffer through in some books lately. There were a couple of minor technical flaws I picked out, but they were more personal opinion than anything detrimental. Repetition was a big factor, especially the constant use of foreign or Rom words instead of English. Gorgio (which basically just means non-gypsy) was used 73 times - 63 of those in the first 200 pages! Geminus was another overused word - used 222 times! And Wafodu guero a further 56 times. In the end, even Whit was referring to them by their Rom names.
I'm not sure exactly when the author lost me, but I noticed it when I could barely keep my eyes open during the battle with the demons at the gypsy camp. The scene should have been exciting. It should have had me enthralled but instead, I had to force myself to keep reading. That continued on for quite some time.
Even the first semi-love scene was a let down. The author ruined the whole build up by having Zora be half asleep and turned on by a random body beside her (she didn't remember it was Whit). It took away any pay off that should have come from them getting physical together. It was almost like - "oh, I'm so horny while I sleep. I'll just start touching up this random man next to me. Oh, it's you Whit! I never would have touched you had I known!"
Another thing about the love scenes that didn't gel was the modern terminology. It kind of weakened the painstaking effort the author had gone to earlier to set the period tone of the book.
Then there was the whole back and forward between Zora and Whit loving each other and hating each other, with huge sections of unrequited lust in between. It got really old and almost made me stop caring whether they ever got together.
In a nutshell, that's probably what I didn't like about the middle because, predominantly it was completely taken up with the love story between Zora and Whit, which unfortunately was not my favourite part of the book. I wanted to see far more of the Devil and what he was up to. I would also have liked to see Whit battle the evil growing inside him just a little bit more. I didn't really buy the conflict he supposedly faced.
Don't get me wrong. The middle wasn't all bad. There were a few good bits in the middle that drew me in. Like when the flames of the Devil's brand starting travelling across Whit's body. It was a clever way to add in a ticking time bomb, as when the flames covered him, his soul would be lost. However, having said that, the author didn't capitalize on that time bomb towards the end of the book, which would have definitely added pace.
I just preferred the start and the finish.
Overall a solid paranormal story that doesn't involve any of the normal paranormal characters. No vampires, werewolves, faeries, witches or the likes. Just a healthy dose of the Devil and his demons.
James and his degenerate friends leave a night of debauchery at a gypsy camp to prove a mockery of an old legend surrounding ruins. They inadvertently end up making a deal with the devil. In return for releasing the devil from his prison, they are all granted their deepest desire and the amazing power that goes along with it. Zora, a gypsy woman trying to warn them, gets kidnapped and sucked into their world.
There was a good bit of inner monologue in the beginning, but then the action picks up nicely and keeps going. The ghost that only comes out when people are getting it on is funnily creepy. I'm glad I have the next to start soon.
Most recent customer reviews
Really good action from beginning to end. I highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed.