Do you know that feeling when you encounter something that is just beyond your scope of description? That’s sort of how I feel about this book so bear with me here as I try to sort it out. I’m not going to give much of a book summary because there are just too many fun surprises and I don’t want to spoil it for someone.
This was a refreshing and innovative take on demon lore, but it was also the story of a snap-judgment making, smack-talking, mess of a heroine who stumbles and bumbles her way through personal and large-scale disasters. I kept picturing Erkel from ‘Family Matters’ with hand to mouth in horror saying, ‘Did I do that?’ Thing is she is also a tender, compassionate, funny woman who just wants to make the world a better and brighter place around her. Too bad nobody told her that the phrase ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ was literal and not figurative language. Such a fun, exciting and sassy read from start to finish.
Kate O’Hara puts a moratorium on her principles, swallows her pride and takes the only temp job she has been offered. She hates corporate businesses and here she is working for one of the biggest of them all. Trouble is her manager is a red dragon lady who cares little about the job and fires the pool of temps working for her arbitrarily. Kate needs this job so she puts herself out there to Ms. Maggie tooting her own horn about what a great worker she is. The fiendish Ms. Maggie pauses her game of Angry Birds on her iPhone long enough to lay down a near impossible task and an ultimatum that will have Kate fired if she doesn’t pull it off.
Kate works through the night only to be discovered by the owner and CEO of the company. Her lack of verbal filter and genuine honesty are a refreshing change to Thomas so the next time he encounters Kate he is pleased to see her and keeps Maggie from firing her. Ms. Maggie has a thing for her boss so she resents even the hint of competition real or imagined so this earns Kate a new task that takes her down into the basement to work with an odd and dangerous bunch of rabble sorting ‘contracts’.
Thomas finds himself stuck in a soul contract to a man that he only has a year to fulfill or his soul belongs to another. He will do whatever it takes to get to the other guy first- whatever it takes!
And cue the mayhem! This plot was the most singular and creative one I have read in some time. It was a little bit of everything when it came to genres: paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery and romance. This worked so well. I found the dual perspectives of Kate and Thomas a good choice. They both had their own agendas and separate story lines at times, but there were many places where they came together. The sparks really fly between these two and I loved it. There is an immediate attraction between Kate and Thomas, but they let it simmer until quite a ways into the book. Like an Urban Fantasy, this is a ‘happy for now ominous clouds gathering on the horizon’ type of story.
I think the biggest reason this book is an abso-must read is due almost entirely to the superbly written character, Kate O’Hara. She is this book in so many ways. She gets into no end of trouble, but she is no ditz and is actually quite a competent woman who just hasn’t gotten a break in life. Bad things happen, but she is no pitiful creature. She’s a survivor (okay, cockroaches are survivors too, but that’s more a description of Ms. Maggie’s character). She may need to pause, have a good cry, take responsibility for her actions and catch her breath, but she is always determined to set things right.
Great start to a new series and I am eager for the next installment. Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy lovers should definitely give this one a try.