Review of THE ROAD TO HELL by Jackie Kessler (see her website)
HELL ON EARTH, Book 2
Zebra, November 2007
Jesse (formerly Jezebel) may have a human body and a soul now, but her succubus inclinations haven't gone away. Sure she has a boyfriend, Paul, but she loves her job as an exotic dancer and she can't quite get over her feelings for incubus Daunuan. Still, she's made her choices, she's left Hell behind. Which is especially lucky considering that Hell is going to, well, hell, what with Lucifer being replaced and all. Jesse won't even change her mind when her former friend's sister begs her to return--after all, her former friend did betray her.
When Lillith steals Paul's soul, though, Jesse has no choice but to return to Hell herself and do what she can to get it back. What she finds there, though, is a lot more complicated, and a good bit more sexy, than she'd anticipated. Being a 4th level succubus is one thing, messing with the Kings and Archangels of Hell itself is something else--something incredibly dangerous. Still, although she and Paul had a fight and she doesn't even know if they're still together, Jesse doesn't really have any choice. No matter how the rules are changing, Paul doesn't belong in Hell and she's going to get him out.
Author Jackie Kessler spins an enjoyable story from an intriguing mix of sex and paranormal magic. Jesse struggles with being a one-man woman and fondly remembers her centuries of leading men into sin. Paul is appropriately skeptical of Jesse's claims to be a demon, jealous of the attentions she gets at her dance club. For me, the story really took off once Jesse descended into Hell. The first half the book, serving mosly as setup, could have been trimmed a bit.
THE ROAD TO HELL is second in a series and some of the setup served to bring those who didn't read the first book up to speed. This novel does, however, largely stand alone. If you're looking for a sexy paranormal read, and one that hides a bit of serious thought behind clever banter and steamy sex, you'll want to check out THE ROAD TO HELL.
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