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Guest ARC Review: Devil’s Kiss by Zoe Archer

Liz’s Review of:
Devil’s Kiss by Zoë Archer
Historical paranormal romance released by Zebra December 6, 2011

A Handsome Devil

1762. James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney, is a gambling man. Not for the money. But for the thrill, the danger–and the company: Whit has become one of the infamous Hellraisers, losing himself in the chase for adventure and pleasure with his four closest friends.

Which was how Whit found himself in a gypsy encampment, betting against a lovely Romani girl. Zora Grey’s smoky voice and sharp tongue entrance Whit nearly as much as her clever hands–watching them handle cards inspires thoughts of another kind…

Zora can’t explain her attraction to the careless blue-eyed Whit. She also can’t stop him and his Hellraisers from a fiendish curse: the power to grant their own hearts’ desires, to chase their pleasures from the merely debauched to the truly diabolical. And if Zora can’t save Whit, she still has to escape him. . .

The Devil’s Kiss is a book that draws the reader in from the beginning with fine details about the time period, the people, and the supernatural world that the Hellraisers tangle themselves up in.  The characters are well written, from the arrogant and bored Whit to the darkly alluring Zora, and the devil himself and his demons.  Full of supernatural and magical elements, the story weaves between the human world and the place where souls are taken in exchange for promises.

Whit is a typical wealthy elite playboy, but his vice is gambling, not women.  Along with his four friends, the Hellraisers, he sets in motion events to bring about hell on earth and loses his soul in the process.  But there is light in his new darkness, and her name is Zora.  His struggle to rid himself of his demons and to save her, at any cost, is compelling.  There is no quick resolution to Whit’s salvation, and the book keeps you guessing right to the very end.

Zora is independent and feisty.  Her gypsy romani world is turned upside down by Whit’s gilded one, but no matter what evil he brings with him, she is the sort of woman to find that kernel of goodness inside and put all her hopes on it.  Her assurance that he is not completely gone to the darkness is what makes her not only a heroine, but a champion.  Because the book shifts between Whit and Zora’s point of view, the reader is treated to knowing what they both are thinking and feeling, which brings depth to the book.

This is not a classic good vs. evil story about two people trying to save the world and fall into bed in the process.  It’s a romantic suspense-filled book about faith in a person you care for, sacrificing even yourself to see them safe, and galloping head first into danger without thought for your own safety.

Overall, this book about redemption and love was well written, steamy, and full of remarkable characters.

Grade:  C+

You can read an excerpt of the book here.

Me again: One day I’ll get a proper grading scale up. If you’re interested in reviewing, or being reviewed, please feel free to contact me! (No promises on either end, but hey – nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?)