A Match Made in Hell (Nicki Styx Series #2)

A Match Made in Hell (Nicki Styx Series #2)

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by Terri Garey
     
 

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A brush with death and a brief trip to the hereafter left vintage clothing store owner Nicki Styx an unwilling ghoulfriend to the dead. She can see and hear spirits, and boy, do they want to be heard! Luckily, her new boyfriend, sexy doc Joe Bascombe, is there to help, especially when Nicki faces her latest ghost, a woman in pink sequins who holds the key to some

Overview

A brush with death and a brief trip to the hereafter left vintage clothing store owner Nicki Styx an unwilling ghoulfriend to the dead. She can see and hear spirits, and boy, do they want to be heard! Luckily, her new boyfriend, sexy doc Joe Bascombe, is there to help, especially when Nicki faces her latest ghost, a woman in pink sequins who holds the key to some family secrets.

Unfortunately for Nicki, it turns out that there are more skeletons in the family closet than she thought, including a twin sister and a mysterious house full of spirits and surprises. Things go from bad to worse when the devil himself shows up, determined to lure Nicki from Joe's side. Will she give in to temptation and sell her soul (or someone else's) for one incredible night?

Demons may be a ghoul's best friend, but with this particular hottie, it could be amatch made in hell!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061983399
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Series:
Nicki Styx Series , #2
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
158,715
File size:
789 KB

Read an Excerpt

A Match Made in Hell

Chapter One

"Too many freaks, not enough circuses."

The fat old man in sandals and socks didn't seem to care if I heard his rude comment. The old woman with him craned her neck to check out the pink streaks in my hair, widening her eyes at my heavy eyeliner and Midnight Blue lipstick.

Okay, so maybe the lipstick was a bit much, but I'd been feeling funkier than usual this morning. A little outrageousness never hurt anybody.

Besides, in Little Five Points, Georgia, I fit right in.

I gave the old man and the old woman a cheerful smile as I finished unlocking the door to my shop, Handbags and Gladrags. There was nothing freakish about my outfit?white vintage ruffled blouse with a vee neck, worn with jeans, cute sandals, and some clunky jewelry.

Let the old couple eat fashion cake.

I stood for a moment on Moreland Street, taking in the laid-back scents and sounds that defined Little Five Points. Tourist trap by day, party place by night, surrounded by picket fence neighborhoods full of quaint old homes. The smell of coffee drifted out the open door of Moonbeans...most of their sidewalk tables were already filled. Dreadlocked rastas chatted in the sun with tattooed punks, while freaks and stoners rubbed elbows with pudgy tourists in socks and sandals.

It was all good.

Unlocking the front door to the shop, I propped it open to the street, then flipped on the overhead lights with my usual thrill of pride.

Every item in the store had been handpicked, of course. My friend and business partner Evan and I love nothing more than finding timeless fashion gems among the dross of thrift stores andestate sales, cleaning them up and sharing them with those cool enough to appreciate them. The gorgeous gowns of the thirties and forties, the sparkling jewelry of the forties and fifties, the funky jeans and tie-dyed T-shirts of the sixties and seventies...Handbags and Gladrags stocked them all.

Five minutes later I had the register open and coffee brewing. I was busy giving the display cases a quick wipe-down, when I glanced up to see the second "looky-loo" of the day; a middle-aged woman was staring at me through the front window.

I gave her a friendly smile and went back to my counter polishing; we'd had a gaggle of teenage girls come in yesterday and they were all over the glass of the jewelry section. When I looked up again, the woman had entered the store."Good morning." It never hurt to be friendly with the customers. "Let me know if you need any help."

She didn't answer, and she was still staring.

Whatever. I turned away to stash the cleaning supplies and find my favorite coffee mug, certain the pot was ready by now. When I turned back, she was standing on the other side of the counter, two feet away. Late forties maybe, unnaturally black hair, carefully styled and hair-sprayed into place. Her pink sequined blouse was a bit gaudy, but to each her own.

"Can I help you?" The way she was looking at me was starting to creep me out.

She finally spoke. "You can see me?"

My heart sank.

"You can, can't you?" The woman smiled in relief, pressing a hand to her chest. Her nails were long, painted bright red. "You can see me. Thank goodness."Oh, I could see her. I could hear her, too. She had a broad Southern accent?the word "can" was stretched into two syllables. I could even smell the scent she used . . . a mixture of fruit and flowers, like peaches.

"I've been at my wit's end," the woman said, with a flutter of fingers. "I didn't know what to do, but the good Lord hasn't abandoned me, after all. I need your help."

"Oh, crap," I muttered, flattening my hands on the counter.It was déjà vu all over again; I'd been here before, and it always started the same way.

I need your help, Nicki.

The old man on the sidewalk had been right...I was a freak, because I knew something most people didn't; despite the red fingernails, the pink sequins, and the smell of peach body lotion, the woman on the other side of the counter was not a living, breathing human being.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Nicki.Double crap. My unexpected trip to the Light may have been canceled, but here I was, still paying the cost of the return ticket. And yet . . . being allowed to survive heart failure was no small favor, even if survival came with strings attached.

As if reading my mind, the woman blurted, "In spite of everything I've done, the Lord has put you here to help me. You're a good person. I just know it."

I had no idea what she'd done, and I could hardly argue with her about what kind of person I was, but I wished I had her certainty. Having had run-ins with at least four spirits in the past month, all with varying degrees of intensity, the only thing I knew for certain about seeing the dead was that it sucked.

The only question left was whether this lost soul was going to go gently into the Light, or be an undead pain in the ass.

"My daughter is hurt." The woman's statement took me by surprise. "But I don't know where she is."

I eyed her narrowly, hoping against hope she was just a crazy person. Of course I'd do my best to help a troubled spirit move on, but I'd much rather let the cops handle the loonies.

"We were in an accident," she said. "The car went off the road and down a hill . . . "

Yep. Dead. She was dead." . . . I could hear my daughter screaming and glass breaking . . . "

Goose bumps rose on my arms, and my guilt level rose along with them. Why did I always have to be such a smartass, even to myself?

" . . . and when I woke up I was wandering the streets." The woman gestured toward the front window. "I've tried to talk to people, to get help for my daughter, but everybody acts like I'm invisible."

Damn. My perfect morning had been perfectly ruined, but this lady had an even bigger problem than she thought she did.

She didn't know she was dead.

How was I supposed to tell her?

I sighed, feeling sorry for her and sorry for me at the same time.

One of the hardest parts about dealing with spirits was that there were no manuals for this type of stuff. I had to dance on the head of a pin, every time.

Hard enough for an angel, and I was no angel.

"Um . . . maybe we should call the police." I was stalling, of course. The local police would never buy the "I see dead people" routine. "What's your name?"

"Lila," she answered. "Lila Boudreaux."

I picked up the phone. "Where should I tell them to look for your daughter?"Lila made an impatient noise. "I don't know! That's the problem! I've never been here before . . . I'm not even sure where I am!" She was clasping her hands now, long nails crossing and uncrossing. She wore a big opal on her right index finger, a pinky ring with a dangle on the left.

"You're in Little Five Points, near downtown Atlanta."

A Match Made in Hell
. Copyright © by Terri Garey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

A Southern girl with an overactive imagination, RITA® and PRISM Award winner Terri Garey lives in Florida, where anything weird is considered normal. A former computer analyst, she left the dry world of logic behind in order to write novels filled with fantasy, romance, and happily-ever-afters.

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Match Made in Hell 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of all the books in this series, I think this was my favorite. I love Sammy. The twists are well written and keep you turning the pages. Again a super fun summer read. Sammy is a great addition to the character list and who can forget Bijiou and Odessa and my new favorite store owner Evan. A super book
Kaoden39 More than 1 year ago
This book was a wild roller coaster ride for me. I love Nicky Styx, she has just enough spunk to make her fun, just enough sensitivity to make her lovable and just enough vulnerability to make her human. And what a human she is, Ms Garey proves it with everything she writes about Nicky. Nicky has faults and has faults like the rest of us. I was at a quandary through the whole story about whether I liked her sister Kelly, and then about her boyfriend Joe. The introduction of her sister and mother to the story is interesting. I have to tell you she threw me a real monkey wrench over the grandma. Do I recommend this book? Oh yes!! And I really recommend the series. The only regret that I have is that I don’t have the next book in the series. But that is easily corrected. I will be getting for my Nook today. I have to know what is going to happen next!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it even better than the first. Great writer. The story has a real flow to it. Hard to put down. Just don't read it night. LOL.
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ILgirl82 More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book in the series and it was just as good as the first! After battling voodoo in the first book Niki is now having to deal with Sammy aka the Devil! Who just happens to have the hots for her. It keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if Niki will give in to the dark prince or not. I'd recommend this series to anyone who likes supernatural thrillers!
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Chelsea_Nicoll More than 1 year ago
I love theses books. This is the second book and it is just as good. I could hardly put it down. If your looking for a fun book to read this is definaly one to pick up