Title: Damned if You Do
Author: Marie Sexton
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Paranormal
Page Count: 123
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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.
What an absolutely fantastic story! It’s a perfect blend of quirky, sweet, humorous and heart wrenching. I laughed, I groaned, I even got the sniffles. I love it when and author can pull all that off in a matter of 120 pages.
The story starts with Abaddon, a devil working for corporate Hell a concept which I always love to read about. Sexton brought to life the underworld through cube-ville, the subway with the snapping purses and noxious odor for the week, and the tenements with all the things that make apartment living hellish.
Abaddon’s heart just isn’t into the soul collecting business and now he’s on a two-week probation to meet his soul quota “or else”. At his friend’s urging and insults, he sets out of find the soul of all souls.
Seth is a young, blind, musician in a traveling revival band. His soul glows like a lighthouse beacon to Abaddon. In Seth, Abaddon meets one of the most sweet, gentle, honest and pure souls ever. Abaddon is envisioning promotions, a corner office, and moving to the suburbs. But what starts out as a quest to bargain and save his job, becomes oh, so much, much more.
Abaddon will move Heaven and Hell for Seth, but first he needs to fill out a few forms in triplicate and file them in Denver, Detroit and Atlanta…
I only had two sticky points in this otherwise fantastic story – one being the snakes filing in to the revival tent and coming down the aisle. Personally, I think the snakes streaming in from all directions would have had more impact.
I also had a bit of trouble with Seth’s blindness being a bit too much off/on/off/on, and not wanting to give spoilers, I shan’t elaborate.