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Guest Review: Kiss and Hell by Dakota Cassidy

Posted June 11, 2009 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 3 Comments

Publisher: Berkley, PenguinGenres: Paranormal Romance

Nath‘s review of Kiss and Hell by Dakota Cassidy

She’s never seen a sexier ghost.

Delaney Markham doesn’t just see dead people, she hears them too. And FYI-communicating with tortured souls all day can really wreak havoc on your love life. After all, no one wants to date the crazy chick that talks to herself. Sans boyfriend, Delaney makes the best of her gift by holding séances and earns a pretty penny for them too, that is until one incredibly annoying ghost just won’t go away.

Now, if she could only get her hands on him.

When he materializes wearing nothing, Delaney knows something’s up. Besides being sinfully hot-in a college professor sort of way-all signs point to Clyde Atwell being much more than the ordinary spirit. In fact, he’s a newbie demon whose first assignment is to take Delaney back down to hell with him. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen on the first date. If Delaney’s old nemesis Lucifer thinks she’s going down without one hell of a fight, he’s got another thing coming…

Hmmm, lately, it seems I’ve read a lot of okay-meh books. I don’t know if it’s a case of: “It’s not you, it’s me” or if it’s the book. So here is my opinion of Kiss and Hell by Dakota Cassidy. I’d say, if you read her books previously and loved them, then don’t pay any attention to my review. This is the third book by Ms Cassidy that I’m reading and so far, none of them I’ve really loved… so I think it’s a case of incompatibility.

The story is about Delaney Markham who is a medium. Yes, she can truly see and hear ghosts. She is conducting a séance in the hope of earning money to pay her rent and feed her 6 dogs (Dog #1 to #6 is their name :P), when Clyde Atwell makes his apparition and basically ruin all of her hard work… One little problem though, Clyde is not a ghost, but a demon who was sent to bring Delaney’s soul down to hell!

Clyde died three months ago in an explosion and somehow, found himself in hell. He didn’t even get the choice, he simply woke up there. Convinced that there is mistake somewhere – because although he was focused on his work and a bit arrogant, he never did anything that bad to deserve to be in hell. Now, he has a month to rectify the error and he isn’t above using his new demonic powers to threaten and blackmail Delaney.

I’m going to start by saying that the storyline had a lot of potential and could have been very interesting. I also liked the hero a lot, nerds are cute and Clyde was definitively yummy 🙂 I can imagine him wearing the pink bathrobe and trying to pull it down LOL. Unfortunately, there were also some severe drawbacks.

First, I didn’t like Delaney’s character. I’m glad that she wasn’t the meek medium heroine who’s scared and scarred by all of the ghosts she’s encountered. She seemed well adapted to her powers, but resigned to a lonely life. Kudos for doing some good and helping ghosts finding the light. My problem though was her attitude. I didn’t quite like it, she was somehow rough and the way she treated Clyde at first, as if he was an irritating bug… that bugged me ^_^; Okay, so he ruined her seance and she’s in a pinch… Still, if you’ve decided to dedicate your life at helping ghosts… you could be a tad nicer. So I found her irritating, although she did get a little bit better. I think if this book wasn’t at the first POV and I didn’t know everything she was thinking, I wouldn’t have minded her that much.

I said earlier that the storyline has potential, but I think that the pacing ruined it. The story was very slow-building, it took a lot of time before the action started. Actually, just having Delaney finally listening to what Clyde had to say took forever… and then, another while before she believed him. The storyline seemed to go nowhere for a long time and then, it finally picked up, but by that time, it was a bit too late to catch my attention.

Finally, the slang. It’s one thing to hear it, listen to it, but another to “read” it. Reading sistah, brotah, playah throughout the book is annoying. I think that I even read: You thung? as in you think (although I read an ARC, so it could be a spelling mistake). I understand that the author is trying to give a certain characteristic to her characters… make them stand out a little, be their own. However, I think that the author tried too hard. Did anyone ever hear of having sex being referred as “boffing”? Some common slang slipped here and there, readers will overlook it… but when, there’s too much, it’s distracting and laughable. Best example is the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.

The world building could have used some more information, it wasn’t totally clear to me. Overall, Kiss and Hell kind of reminded me of Stephanie Rowe’s Immortally Sexy series. I would really have liked to enjoy this book more and I really did try. Like I said, the story had potential and Clyde was yummy 🙂 I think I’m definitively crushing on nerds lately 😛 Unfortunately, there were some aspects that I didn’t like which prevented me from being totally absorbed in the book and enjoying it 🙁

Grade: 2.5/5

This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here .


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