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Monday, August 15, 2011

The Devil To Pay by Maria Zannini

The Devil To Pay by Maria Zannini
Second Chances Series
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (57 Pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Jasmine

Careful what you ask for. Shannon McKee is in ruin and she sees no way out of her living hell. Swearing an oath on a bottle of tequila, she offers her soul to whoever can get her out of overwhelming debt. Heaven and Hell have accepted the offer and each has sent a Harvester to collect their fee. Payment is due upon receipt, and no matter who gets her soul, Shannon's not getting out of this alive.

Have you ever thrown an offhand comment out that went something like “Oh, I would sell my soul for...”? Next time you'd better think twice! At the very least make sure you specify whichever entity rules whatever afterlife world you would like to enter. Because that's what Shannon forgot to do when, in a drunken moment, she pleaded for help with her soul as the bargaining chip. As a result, she had agents from both Heaven and Hell after her soul. I do have to say that if this is what the agents for both places are like, I might have had a good time sitting back and letting them fight over my soul. Because Michael and Liam are both...well, I guess “heavenly” wouldn't work in this case, would it? Okay, they are both yummy!

This was such an interesting, fun and unique take on Heaven, angels and demons that it immediately grabbed me and sucked me in. Ms. Zannini packed so much into fifty-seven pages that it seemed longer but also ended much too soon. The author's description of Heaven is both captivating and imaginative (watch for the little girl). The different types of jobs that the angels are given is an interesting concept, especially considering that Liam doesn't feel like he's suited for his job. You'd think the ones assigning jobs in Heaven could get it right, wouldn't you?

All of the main characters are dynamic and full of personality. Shannon is a likable, sweet person that had the misfortune of misjudging a man. Who hasn't done that? She got taken advantage of and now is stuck trying to figure out her life. Michael and Liam are devastatingly sexy with that old school gentlemanly charm. Even the secondary characters are fun, with little Evie, Liam's assistant, and the butler, Wilson, nearly stealing the show. The portrayal of Gabriel was a little surprising though and not what I expected.

This book is packed with so much humor, steamy hot love scenes, sexy angelic (and devilish) men and even some whimsy that I couldn't put it down. I'm very happy to see that this is to be part of a series and will be eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to revisit these characters.

This is a well written, fast paced, steamy tale that is sure to get your attention from page one. It reminded me somewhat of watching the movie “What Dreams May Come”, where it was fascinating and delightful to see that version of Heaven. This author will be going on my list to check out her other books – you should check her out too!


jackie b central texas said...

I have had the extreme pleasure of reading all the books Maria has published, including this one and it is by far for me the best thing she has written yet! So happy to see such a wonderfully thoughtful and on target review of the novella. Maria Zannini is indeed an author who should be checked out and her books read!

Angela Brown said...

I read this short story and totally agree with this review...especially the part about seeing if I can get the kind of Heavenly or Hellish soul-reaping agents Shannon received for her misguided plea.

I can't wait until the next installment :-)