14 June 2016

Damned If You Do by Marie Sexton

Hey everyone,

Today I’m reviewing Damned If You Do by Marie Sexton. I couldn’t resist requesting a book from Netgalley about a Demon and the person's soul he was trying to steal. With Damned If You Do being less than 130 pages long I was intrigued to see how Marie Sexton would introduce the concept and make me believe in the romance in such a short length of time.

The book:
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.

My thoughts:

Damned If You Do is a book that had so much potential but just fell a little short in my opinion. I loved the concept of the demon trying to steal the purest soul and instead falling in love with the person that soul belongs to. I even found the interpretation of hell being the first office-job imaginable quite enjoyable. My problem came with the delivery. The world-building in Damned If You Do felt a little rushed, almost as if Marie Sexton only wanted to give the reader the bare minimum. As the reader follows Abaddon we are exposed to both hell and the human world but neither for enough time.

I was actually abandoned at the revival as an infant. One of the women heard a baby crying in the night. She went looking and found me under the piano bench.

I wanted to know more about hell. By the end of the novel I had more questions than answers. Similarly Seth’s world with the travelling tent revival is one I’m completely unfamiliar with. I would have loved to have known more about that lifestyle. Instead it felt like a was given a taster of both but not the full cake. I would have also like to have spent more time with Seth and Abaddon. In the beginning the focus was definitely on them as individuals and how they fit into their respective worlds. Yet I never felt I really knew how they fit together as a couple.

Seth jumped when Abandon’s fingers touched his neck. But then Seth closed his eyes and held very, very still as Abaddon unwrapped the length of twisted silk.

The moment they became a couple, or admitted they had feelings for one another it became a race to stay a couple. Seth and Abaddon had so much working against them it would have been nice to seem them enjoy being together. Perhaps my enjoyment of Damned If You Do was slightly affected because of religious aspect to the story. I’m not anti-religion and have read books with characters from various religious back-grounds but in Damned If You Do it just didn’t work for me. I think it was due to the mixing of religion and paranormal elements that put me off. Again this is a fairly personal reaction and I realise for most people this won’t be an issue.

How in the world could he love Seth so much? And after finally realising it, how could he bear to let him go?

Overall I didn’t love Damned If You Do but I certainly didn’t hate it. I’ve given it a solid three star rating because it was an enjoyable read but just not the read for me.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!