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Posted November 3, 2013
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Straight to Hell is a terrific paranormal fantasy and an exciting introduction to the world of Lilith Straight and William Benedict.
When I saw that this book was published by Carina, I expected it to be a paranormal romance. While there is a budding romance, which I expect is developed further in Straight to Heaven and Straight by the Rules, the focus of Straight to Hell is how Lilith, a recently divorced woman responsible for her daughter, niece, and step-sister, handles a very difficult new reality: she, and all of the other women in her line, were bargained away to the Devil by an ancestor persecuted during the Salem witch trials. I liked the historical connection; I also liked the way in which this set-up raised a variety of moral issues. Figuring out where to draw the line between selflessness and selfishness, between good and evil, is difficult enough for normal humans. I can truly empathize with Lilith's struggles to walk this thin line, when the choices made by her evil, selfish succubus paradoxically seem like the right choices because they enable her to take care of those she loves. The dilemma I face every day, balancing my faith with the practical realities of life, is more than an intellectual exercise for Lilith; her choices have immediate, and in some cases very unpleasant, consequences.
I promptly tried to buy the next two books in the series, only to discover that they are not currently available in ebook form. I hope Scott and her publisher will remedy this quickly, so that I can find out more about William's story and see how, or if, Lilith is able to extricate herself from the bargain to which she never agreed.
I received a free copy of Straight to Hell from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Posted May 23, 2012
Back when I first started my blog in October I signed up for this tour not even thinking that I would still have a blog by the time this tour rolled around let alone having a Kindle to read it on but I'm still here and I did get a Kindle to read it on and I'm extremely glad to have been a part of the blog tour.
Thinking back, what first made me sign up for the tour was the cover. I don't know about you but I really did covers like this. I think that in the midst of really steamy covers there is a need for a more simplistic and flirty (did I just use the word flirty? Yep) cover just to set things a part a bit more and I think that the covers are so vibrant that they really do work and get more people interested.
When I read the book I thought it started off on a pretty high note. I like how Lilith and the side characters like her daughter, niece, half-sister etc. were introduced to the story line and I enjoyed how the author didn't really jump into the paranormal aspect of the book right away and let the story build up a bit.
But I'm sad to say that there were several parts of the book did not appeal to me. I had a very difficult time connecting to the characters because I wish that Lilith had been a stronger character. She seemed rather timid to me for most of the whole book and her inner monologues grew rather tiresome. I thought that she let everyone walk all over her even when she had her demon working for her. I wish she had shown more of a backbone and that she was a lot stronger because she just didn't work for me.
However, there were some things I did like about the book. I enjoyed the way that Michelle wrote about Lilith becoming a succubus. I thought it was a really unique twist on it and that the book was a lighter take on the paranormal side of fiction which was refreshing because a lot of them are intense.
Overall I wasn't really that impressed with the book. I liked it but it could have been better. The writing was really good but like I said I was unable to connect to any of the characters because I thought they were irksome. However, I will be continuing the series by reading the next book because I do believe Michelle has a talent for writing. I would probably recommend this book to those who want a quick easy paranormal read.
Posted May 12, 2012
Straight to Hell is a witty, engrossing read that grabs your attention from the beginning. The book is about Lilith Straight, a down on her luck divorcee, who is struggling to balance the strains of being a single parent plus the additional stress of an immature adult sister and a troubled niece living with her. Right after we are introduced to Lilith and have been given a chance to get to know her, she dies. Lilith knows she was not perfect during her short life, but she was not prepared for where she ended up.
I loved Lilith's witty, sarcastic personality. It was so much fun to be inside her head. Throughout the book we watch her struggle with what she knows is right and what she feels she must do. The tough decisions she makes are always for what she feels is the greater good…her daughter. This is not a story of good versus evil, but more like bad versus worse, and Lilith does the best she can with what she has to work with.
Posted March 10, 2012
(I was given this book for free on a read-to-review basis)
Lilith Straight had it all, a husband with a massive salary, a beautiful daughter, and a big house, but now everything has just gone to pot.
Recently divorced from said highly paid, orthodontist husband (who was having an affair), living in a town house because the ex-husbands niece burned down the big house, and struggling for money, Lilith’s life in no joke. So far she’s got one young daughter, one step-niece (yes the same one that burned down the house), and one stepsister and her latest crush all living in her house, and now the washing machine is broken as well.
Lilith doesn’t think that things can get much worse, when it turns out that they can, and she winds up dead. What’s worse though is that it turns out that a distant ancestor signed a contract with the devil – she gets her life back, but only if she becomes a succubus. As it turns out this deal was for all of the woman’s female ancestors too, and now, if Lilith wants to return to earth and continue to raise her daughter, she must now become the succubus in the family, as her mother has just died.
Struggling to adjust to her new demon, whilst in the midst of all the other craziness that is her life, Lilith must come to terms with what being a succubus means, and fast.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a light, fun read, and I’d probably describe it as chick-lit with a touch of the paranormal thrown in.
Lilith is just so normal! She really does come across as the sort of person you would be friends with in real life, and you can’t help but feel for her when she’s constantly being bombarded with such bad luck and problems. She also has amazing spirit to keep going when everything is going wrong!
I also liked the fact that while there was a religious angle to the book, choosing to go down the ‘God’ path was not an easy option. It required sacrifices just the same as anything else, which to me seems like a much more realistic view of things than expecting God to just rescue you from your life when it is going wrong. The fact that Lilith also had to do things that she didn’t want to do even when she became a demon was also refreshing, and just gave the book that extra something to make it seem realistic.
Overall I am intrigued as to what will happen next!
7.5 out of 10.
Posted March 1, 2012
Straight to Hell is about Lilith a divorcee who is caring for her daughter, a troubled niece and a adult half sister. If that is not complicated enough she dies goes to hell where she is told she is now a succubus.
This book grabbed my attention from the beginning.The characters are intriguing. Lilith is witty and sarcastic.She loves her family very much and because of that has to make some tough choices. It is not just the choice of right or wrong but sometimes the lesser of two evils.
It is a interesting book that will have you laugh, cry and sometimes scream.
Posted October 20, 2011
It's a bit chic-lit, a bit paranormal, and a whole lot of heart. There are times when it's all the heroine can do to get herself back on the straight and narrow. There's temptations and bills to pay and kids to mother-and the devil trying like hell to hook her soul.
Straight to Hell is a story of redemption, hope and romance all rolled into one. It reminds me of Holly Lisle's Sympathy for the Devil (Devil's Point).
The humor and pacing in Straight to Hell only gets better as the book goes along, -and more heart-rending the more you get to know the characters. The story takes on a little more seriousness towards the end as well.
The book comes across as light-hearted chic-lit, but it's really dealing with more serious issues of.decisions and consequences. What would you do if your child was in danger? What would you REALLY do to save her?
But I didn't even realize it until after I finished because the book is extremely well-written. It stays in a fast-paced mode and is funny in spots and throws in a touch of romance so you're distracted from the seriousness.
My only gripe is that it's one of those "to be continued." Not enough was resolved for me by the end of the book, but that kind of fits the nature of the story. Soon as you solve one problem or beat one monster in life, another one appears. Maybe bigger. Maybe it's just the monster that was there all along.
It's weird cleverness hiding behind light reading.
Recommended for chic-lit lovers looking for a story with heart, plot, romance and humor.
Posted October 7, 2011
Lillith Straight is a thirty-something divorced mother of an eight year old daughter who is struggling to make ends meet. To further complicate her life, she has her ex-husband's young niece and her stepsister living with her. And, oh, by the way, she "dies" after being hit by a car, the Devil appears to claim her soul and she now has to work for him as a reincarnated succubus.
To say Lillith struggles with her new circumstances is putting it mildly. She's pretty bad at being a succubus initially, really struggling to overcome her true nature of being at her best with the world even in the face of chaos. Lillith's life before the accident was no bed of roses, especially since she doesn't have a regular paying job, her house burned down and the insurance company isn't cooperating, her niece is acting out and having food on the table is, well, a luxury. Her stepsister, Jasmine, doesn't seem to want to work and her niece is self-destructive (and was also responsible for the house burning down). As if there weren't enough people for Lillith to support, Jasmine's boyfriend, Tommy, starts occupying the living room couch.
This isn't your typical succubus tale.no X-rated scenes here. The real substance of this story begins, however, when Lillith is faced with choices to help protect and provide for her unconventional family. Does she succumb to the allure of the Devil, who can provide for her and her family in the manner well-beyond survival or does she look to God for help, which would be a first for her. Lillith is no different from the every-day person who is just trying to provide for her family, do the right thing and have a love life in the meantime. It's a constant tug-of-war in trying to figure out not only the right path to take but who's going to be able to really deliver. There's also an interesting cast of characters, from Lillith's "handler" Miss Spry to the sexy incubus, William, who she's unwillingly drawn to, and her adopted father who raised her from the age of three following her mother's departure.
This is a well-written story, told with wry humor and realism. Identifying good versus evil isn't the issue; the circumstances may muddy the waters and it's not as easy a choice as you might think. But, you'll find yourself identifying with Lillith and her decisions, even though you know it may not be the acceptable "right" thing to do. No matter what course she selects, Lillith does what she feels is best for the people around her. There is an especially disturbing choice she makes near the end that will make you cringe. I was left wondering what she will have to deal with in the long run as a result of her actions. As disappointed as I was with Lillith, I'm invested enough in her to wait for the next installment in this series.
(I received an ARC from the author)
Posted November 7, 2011
No text was provided for this review.