Devil’s Kiss (Hellraisers #1)
Zebra, $6.99/$4.79 digital, Dec. 6, 2011
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.
Devil’s Kiss is the first book in Zoe Archer’s new Hellraisers series. The book focuses on five friends who call themselves Hellraisers: Privileged, wealthy handsome men who engage in risky behavior. The Hellraisers are men who have everything—but having everything is not enough.
“You and I, the others. We carve the world to suit our needs. Almost nothing stopped us before, and with our gifts, nothing can ever stand in our way.”
While carousing at a gypsy camp, Whit becomes interested in Zora. Whit, a great card player, is amazed that Zora is able to best him at piquet. Ever the gambler, Whit asks Zora to show him the tricks of her trade. In order to further entice her, he offers her a lot of money in exchange for her knowledge. Zora sees immediately the type of man that Whit is and is not willing to oblige him.
“No. It would be too dangerous to give those skills to a man such as you.”
“A man such as me? Pray, madam, what sort of man am I?”
“Handsome of face and form. Wealthy. Privileged. Bored. Throwing years of your life upon rubbish heap because you seek something, anything to engage your restless, weary heart and prove you are still alive.”
The fact that Zora sees so clearly through the façade that Whit puts forth has him on edge; as a man of wealth and privilege, why does he constantly seek out risk?
Ready to move onto a new adventure, Whit and his friends learn about a Roman ruin. What they discover there will make all of their deepest desires come true. The Hellraisers encounter The Devil and he offers them something they cannot refuse. Whit and his friends give up their souls to be able to have power over chance, money, love, and knowledge. The Hellraisers are close friends, but the power The Devil gives them threatens to tear them apart.
Throughout Devil’s Kiss, there are hints of Whit fighting the spell that the Devil has him under. There’s nothing that he wants more than Zora. But as long as his soul belongs to the Devil, she will never be his. Whit doesn’t fully give in to the Devil’s power—throughout the book, he learns that his ability does not come without a price and it is a price that he is not willing to pay.
Seeing his friends succumb to the The Devil’s influence makes Whit realize that what he has is enough. The greed that controlled him is no longer there. He must make his friends realize that the price for their abilities is too high. But when Whit tries to appeal to his friends, they rebuff him, and see him as an enemy.
Devil’s Kiss is about what Whit and his friends are willing to do to have it all—and Whit’s eventual realization that with Zora, he does have it all.
Marquetta: Reader, Blogger, Smut Lover.