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Posted December 30, 2013
A Review from Reading Books Like a Boss
"My name is Sage Knightly. One of the few surviving members of the metal band, Hybrid. I'm about to embark on my first solo tour, to be the rock star I was always supposed to be.
But something tells me I'm not coming out of this alive.
And neither is she."
The Devil's Reprise is the long-awaited follow up with last year's spooky and sexy, The Devil's Metal. In the first book, we met Dawn Emerson, a rock lover and aspiring music journalist. She gets the job of her dreams and lands a gig with Cream magazine. Her assignment is to follow around her favorite band, Hybrid, on their American tour. Set during the 1970s during the height of the sex, drugs, and rock and roll era, you're taken on a journey back in time to where peace was the name and chilling was the game. However, there was something evil lurking around Hybrid and Dawn was set on finding out what it was and it was all Sage Knightly's fault.
At the end of book one, Sage and Dawn parted ways. Dawn went back to her dad and brother in Washington and Sage went back to his life of rock and roll, but without his former band, Hybrid. Sage is flying solo and about to embark on his own European tour. But he needs two things - a music journalist and a photographer to document the tour. Who better to fill those shoes than Dawn Emerson and Maximus Jacobs? (Experiment in Terror fans, did you catch that? MAXIMUS!)
The Devil's Reprise, picks up several months after Sage got out of his deal with the devil. Since the emotional demise of Hybrid, Sage carries around a lot of guilt. Sage's version of therapy is of the sexual nature - sex and lots of drugs. Karina Halle is the master at drawing you in from the very first chapter. Let me tell you, chapter one of Reprise will having you sweating, panting, and blushing all at the same time. Threesomes anyone?
Dawn has her own issues to work through in this book. Okay, maybe "issues" a bit of an understatement when we're talking about Satan himself coming after her. Suddenly, her home life turned around for the better without explanation. Her dad quit drinking cold turkey and her brother's Tourette's Syndrome mysteriously disappeared. What's more, Dawn has a chilling encounter with something evil in the pasture during her going away party. Could Dawn have made a deal with the devil like Sage did? The bad omens don't end there. It gets much, much worse.
I've read a lot of other rock star books, but Sage Knightly is easily one of the sexiest and most alluring fictional rock gods. Not only is he incredibly talented (in more ways than one), he will go to hell and back to protect the woman he loves. In this book, you learn a lot more about the man behind the music, as it's told in both his and Dawn's POV. For most of book one, you (and Dawn) were left wondering what was going on in that gorgeous head of his. What we find out in The Devil's Reprise is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Sage missed Dawn (though you wouldn't know it from all the chicks he banged). Sage has a rough rock and roll exterior, but on the inside he's just as insecure as Dawn is about where they lie as friends and as a couple.
"I tried to dream of Dawn, her beautiful face that pulled me out from so many buses, sun through so many clouds. Innocence, passion, life...even after everything she'd seen. Faith. In me.
I tried to dream of Dawn but dreams don't work that way, especially when you fall asleep with an empty bottle of whisky in your clammy hands."
Sage and Dawn are an insanely hot couple. They have a crazy amount of chemistry and just click. The Devil's Reprise delivered a good dose of romantic tension and angst without it being over the top. After they finally got together, the steam factor was off the charts.
"I made sure I kept eye contact with him, no matter how intimate was, and dug my fingers into his waist, driving him forward into me. His body never lost the rhythm that was so deeply engrained in him, always on beat, always in time."
When crazy and demonic things start to worsen and Sage realizes Dawn is in danger, he transforms in this amazingly protective man. I loved that seeing that side of him come out unashamed.
"[Eff] the tour! [Eff] all of this. I'm not doing anything until we deal with Dawn." He looked at me with wide-eyes. "I am not going to lose you."
We meet some new characters, including Tricky and Garth, members of Sage's band. Tricky was a little on the vile side, but I still really liked him. He's does a lot of drugs and a lot of chicks - mostly both at the same time. He's a multitasker. ;) Right as Sage and company land in Paris, we meet Angeline. I didn't like her from the beginning simply because she was coming on to Sage. But also, Jacob didn't seem like a fan of her either. She's was too perky and too nice.
One of the BEST parts of The Devil's Reprise (aside from the steamy sex scenes) was the bone-chilling, spooky scenes. This book contains the scariest imagery Karina Halle has ever written. I've read her entire Experiment in Terror series, which is classified as romantic horror, and this tops any of the scary scenes in those novels. What made these scenes so terrifying were the way in which Halle describes them. Through her vivid descriptions, I could feel the sense of dread in those scenes. It was so palpable. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck and got heeby geebies. I don't know what Karina Halle has against bathrooms, but I'm here to tell you that I have a newfound fear of bathrooms after this book. The bathroom scenes (yes, plural) were unsettling to say the least.
"`Sage!' I shrieked as fire-hot hands grabbed the back of shirt and started pulling me backward, keeping me out of reaching from the door handle. I tried to turn and kick but only fell to the ground that was now filling up with blood. The taps in the sink and in the bathtub kicked on by themselves, blood gushing out of them, the air filling with a copper tang."
I must mention how much I loved Jacob and Maximus in this story. Those two loveable guys and Dawn make up the Devils series' GINGER TRIFECTA. Both Jacob and Maximus are Sage and Dawn's protectors, always around with a watchful eye and some comedic relief. Jacob absolutely cracked me up. He had no problem telling Sage to straighten up and get his head out of this ass. Maximus was equally enjoyable, especially since Experiment in Terror readers already know so much about him from that series. It was hilarious to see that, like in the present, nicknames didn't escape Maximus in the '70′s. He dished the nicknames and Dawn dished them right back.
The Devil's Reprise wrapped up Dawn and Sage's story perfectly. Although, I would mind seeing a little Dawn Sage/Maximus reunion in a future Experiment in Terror book or even in Maximus's upcoming novel.
Posted December 17, 2013
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*I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Diversion Books, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*
4 1/2 stars
"You're with me now Dawn, I don't think you'll feel settled for a very long time."
Welcome back to a world filled with rock & roll and demons. In book 2 of the Devil's series we pick up a few months after The Devil's Metal left off when Dawn went back home and Sage moved on to his solo career after the fall of Hybrid. Dawn's family has never been better, her brother is no longer suffering from his disease and her dad crawled his way out of the bottle. It seems things have finally become everything she wished for. But as she finds out, you should always be careful what you wish for. After receiving a call from Sage Knightley about covering his solo tour, her brother asks her an ominous question that has her wondering if things are really what they seem. And how after everything she has seen and saved Sage from, how could she have made a deal with the devil herself?
Karina Halle is one of my favorite authors and I'm pretty sure will always be. Reading a book from a favorite author however, leads to a level of expectation and standards that far exceed what you'd put on most of the books you pick up. Luckily for me, I have yet for her to let me down. The Devil's Reprise was fast paced with a mix of romance, horror and action. Her writing comes alive and transports you back in time, bringing color and life to Europe in the 1970's. It puts you backstage at an amazing concert experiencing the thrill of live music, it makes you fall in love with a group of misfits who share a common love in music, and it puts you down the dark deep hole in your imagination where your worst fears live. It brings demons with yellow eyes and hanging entrails to life and paints a picture that can raise goose bumps on your arms. The pacing is fast enough that it keeps the action coming at you but you don't have to reread to figure out what just happened. I loved the twists and turns and never really knowing what was going to happen. I also found myself fighting tears at one point. Sage and Dawn are life like characters that could be real people you idolize or know in every day life. A crew of supporting characters bring a dimension and life all their own. Halle is really one of the best paranormal writers out there today!
Posted October 29, 2013
I have had the hardest time with this review. I read The Devil's Reprise weeks ago, and have yet to be able to put my thoughts down. I had the honor of reading this before it came out ... twice actually ... and I had the same feels the second time around. You know when you finish a book, and there is actual CLOSURE and ALL THE FEELINGS and you just kind if sit there, dumbstruck, and you can't believe all those things didn't really just happen to you? Yeah. This book.
We pick up a few months after the end of The Devil's Metal with Dawn not able to move on after the events that took place, both supernatural and between her and sexy guitarist, Sage Knightly. When Sage goes on a solo European Tour, Dawn gets the invite to cover as a Music Journalist, only this time Creem Magazine sends along a photographer, Maximus Jacobs, to help document. (YES EIT FANS - THAT IS THE SAME MAXIMUS. There are so many things that cross over ... )
Of course Dawn and Sage have some history to work through, and all the while they are trying to figure out if Dawn sold her soul, if Max has ulterior motives, and if they can make "this" work. I was rooting for them 110% from the beginning, even though Sage made some bad choices. He does make a good point about half way when they get into a bit of a scuff, but I don't want to ruin it for you. :-)
Halle is a genius when it comes to drawing you into a story, and painting such graphic images that I never want to go into a bathroom in a hotel again. Which is not good because I will be in a hotel tomorrow night. For the next week. Thanks.
But she also has a way with her characters emotions. Not just telling you how they feel, but somehow tricking your brain into thinking you are actually experiencing that demon grabbing you, or that hot rocker wrapping you up in his arms and ... well ... you know what happens next. ;-)
The Devil's Reprise is a sexy, scary, heart-wrenching read. Enter at your own risk! But you will be glad if you do.
Posted October 29, 2013
Goosebumps, that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about The Devil’s Reprise. Then I remember why. Several times throughout the book I could feel my blood slowly heating up followed by the hair on my arms standing up. Then the goosebumps would appear like a wave of fear spreading over my skin. Some might wonder why I continued to read The Devil’s Reprise when I was so freaked out. Well that’s because Karina Halle wrote a wonderful story. I fell in love with all the characters. Every part of the story is real. There is nothing far-fetched here. It’s unpredictable, suspenseful, lustful, sexy, scary and fast paced. TDR is written in a dual POV, which is great for the reader to finally get into Sage Knightly head. The Devil’s Reprise is a perfect ending in the Devil’s series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.