Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro
Someone's killing angels and turning the half human, half angel illorum warriors against their angelic supporters. If the supernatural baddy behind the attacks isn't stopped soon, Heaven itself could fall victim. The Council of Seven has called in the best they've got to find the killers, and no one's more surprised than Emma Jane Hellsbane when it's her phone that rings.
But when her own angelic mentorand off-limits hottieEli is targeted, Emma takes it personally. With Emma hot on the trail of the growing army of assassins, though, hackles start to raise around her. Everyone wants to know if she's in it to protect all angels or just one in particular. The Council has their suspicions…and so does Emma's boyfriend.
Now Emma isn't just fighting off demons, rogue nephilim, and Fallen angels, but she's defending her honor as well. The problem is even Emma Jane isn't sure of her motives. One thing she does know: if she doesn't figure out the killers' identities soon, she may not live long enough to know what, or who, she really wants.
It's all in a day's work as Heaven's ultimate bounty hunter.
About the Author
Paige Cuccaro lives in Ohio where she spends her days as a wife, mother, avid reader, and obsessed writer. She loves writing everything from laugh-out-loud young adult stories to steamy hot romances with a twist of paranormal. Witches, demons, vampires, werewolves and angels, if they can fall in love, Paige will tell you their story.
Find a few of Paige's published works at Samhain Publishing and Berkley Books. You can also find novels from Paige's risqué side under her pen name, Alison Paige.
Read an Excerpt
Heaven and Hellsbane
A Hellsbane Novel
By Paige Cuccaro, Stacy Abrams
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Paige Cuccaro
All rights reserved.
"Maion's gone. Dead." It looked like Eli had popped out of thin air into the extra chair at our table.
He hadn't really. He'd simply moved at angelic speed, faster than any human could track. Same difference.
"Who's Maion?" I asked. After a year training under the angel Eli to be a kick-ass illorum, learning how to boot fallen angels and their brown-nosing demon slaves back to the abyss, I was used to Eli's sudden appearances.
"No," Dan Wysocki, my boyfriend, said to me. "We agreed no work tonight. We're off duty. For one night, one hour, I'm not a cop and you're not a half human, half angel, demon-hunting-nephilim ... woman. Whatever this is can wait. He can wait."
Eli didn't even spare Dan a glance. "Maion is ... was an angel. A magister, like me. The illorum training under him was nearly killed as well."
An icy warning crawled down my back. An illorum is a nephilim — the offspring of human and angel — who has been marked to hunt fallen angels and whose angelic power, normally dormant, has been activated. The illorum are faster, stronger, heal quicker, and are only slightly harder to kill than unmarked nephilim and vanilla humans.
"How?" I asked.
"I don't know." Worry darkened Eli's expression and chilled his voice. "There's a lot about the attack that has me concerned. We have to discover who's behind it quickly before the situation gets any worse."
"Worse?" A magister was dead. How could things get worse? Magisters are seraphim, angels still pure and without sin who had dedicated their existence to training and aiding illorum. Not all seraphim chose to take on the duties of a magister. It cost them a small amount of their power and tainted their spirit. Most weren't willing to pay such a price to help a breed of human, nephilim, they wished had never even been born. Still, nothing, as far as I knew, could kill a magister.
"So, what do you need Emma for?" Dan pushed to the edge of his seat, elbows braced on the table, shoulders tense. "Let me help you: here's what you do. Go figure out what happened and what — if anything — Emma can do about it, and then come back and interrupt our private dinner ... again."
"Dan. Careful." Sometimes I thought he forgot who and what Eli was. But he was angry, frustrated, and I got that. Dan and I had been seeing each other for months, but it'd been weeks since we'd gone on a real, uninterrupted date. Something — attacking demons, police calls, even Eli — always seemed to get in the way. Maybe it was fate, or destiny, keeping us apart. I don't know. I didn't like to think about it.
Dan glanced at me, then back to Eli, his round face reddening. I could feel his ire sizzling at the base of my neck. I clenched my fists, jaw tight, and closed my eyes. I had to fight to push his anger down as it rolled inside me and pull my true feelings to the surface.
I used to think feeling others' emotions was some sort of freakish gift. I'd even turned it into a pretty successful moneymaker as an Intuitive Consciousness Explorer — otherwise known as a psychic. I knew now it was just one of the many quirky side effects of being the bastard offspring of an angel. Yay me.
Dan turned his gaze back to Eli. He couldn't let it go. "This is a date, man. Private time. But you knew that, didn't you? You knew we'd been planning this for the past week. You knew the last time we tried this, too. And the time before that."
"Emma forfeited her private time when she picked up that sword," Eli said. "She's a warrior for our Father now. She's never off duty."
"Bullshit," Dan said, then glanced around and lowered his voice. "She'd have private time — time alone with me — if you'd stay away long enough for her to take a breath."
I followed Dan's gaze, scanning the faces at the nearby tables, worried we were drawing attention. No one looked our way. No one had even noticed Eli's sudden arrival. But humans weren't meant to notice the comings and goings of angels. As beautiful as they were, angels were like extras in a movie, part of the background and easily overlooked.
"C'mon, Dan," I said. "You know Eli's not doing it on purpose."
Dan glowered at me, frustration still tight across his face. "You sure about that?"
"Yes," I said, but I couldn't blame him for doubting it. Eli had been a near-constant presence in my life since the moment I'd met him a year ago. He'd been the magister of a dear friend, an illorum like me, Tommy Saint James. It was Tommy who'd brought me to him, introduced us. But even Tommy had been concerned about Eli and me working together.
And with good reason.
Eli was everything angels were supposed to be: tall, broad-shouldered, with a strong, athletic build. He had the looks that could steal a woman's breath, keep her speechless for seconds. His silky, black hair hung in soft waves over his forehead, enhancing his startlingly pale cloud-blue eyes.
But I'd gotten used to his looks a long time ago. It was the man inside the pretty wrapping that played havoc with my good sense. He was my friend and so much more. I trusted him with my life. But there was nothing romantic between us.
There couldn't be.
I reached across the table to touch Dan's arm. "This is my life. It sucks. Believe me, I know. But I don't have a choice, and neither does Eli. If it were up to me, nothing would get in the way of spending time with you. You believe that, right?" Dan's warm maple-brown eyes met mine, his anger softening at the corners. "Yeah. Of course I believe you. But him ...?"
Dan and I had known each other for a little less than a year, ever since he'd been the responding officer to Tommy's murder. The police, including Dan, had been fooled into believing Tommy had died of a stroke when, in reality, the angels had done some creative rewriting. The truth was Tommy's heart had been drilled through by a demon's sword and I'd barely escaped with my life.
Dan knew better, of course. He'd seen the truth when he helped me send an egotistical Fallen, Rifion, posing as a televangelist, to the abyss. Dan was aware now. He knew that angels walk the earth among us, that they fall, that they lust for human women, that they lie, manipulate, and kill. And he knew there wasn't anything he could do to stop them.
Eli leaned forward, matching Dan's tense pose, bracing on his forearms, shoulders stiff. "What are you insinuating, boy?"
"I'm not insinuating anything. I'm saying it outright. You're jealous of our relationship. You're jealous that I can be intimate with Emma and you can't. You're in love with her, and you're doing whatever you can to keep us from being together."
Awkward silence descended over our table as the two men in my life glared at each other. I cared about Dan — I did. He was brave and gentle. He genuinely cared about people and had an innate compulsion to stick up for the underdog. It's what made him such a great cop and an even better boyfriend. Plus he enjoyed smacking the cuffs on bad guys. Dan and I were a good fit, or we would be if we could ever get past all the crap that was keeping us apart.
"Dan, please," I said, giving his arm a gentle squeeze. "He's my magister. That's it. He only interrupts when he has to. Those are his brothers I'm hunting, his family. Remember? It's got nothing to do with you and me."
Dan finally blinked a half beat later. He glanced at me, then back to Eli and slowly relaxed in his chair. "I know. You're right. I'm sorry."
I had to give Dan credit. It was harder for him than most people. He was a nephilim, too — unmarked. Most nephilim go their whole lives never knowing their mothers were raped and memories erased by the Fallen. They lived normal lives just like any ordinary human: blissfully unaware.
Dan wasn't so lucky. He knew that inside him somewhere was the power to take action, to stop the Fallen from hurting anyone else, if only he could tap into it.
He toyed with the fork resting on the table. "It can't be easy for Eli and the others. And I get how this is hard for you, too, Emma. You're a sweetheart, a peacemaker. Fighting evil, chasing after the bad guys goes against the grain for you. But it's not like that for everybody. Some people are born fighters. Some people would want the chance you've been given."
I shook my head, tension filling my shoulders. We'd had this argument before. Dan wanted me to let him use my sword to trigger his illorum power — to make him one of us. But I wouldn't. I couldn't. It was a death sentence, and there was nothing he could say to change my mind. "You only want to be marked because you don't really know what it's like. As a cop, when you take off your uniform the bad guys don't know who you are. You're not a target. But I can't take off my mark — the bad guys, the demons, can feel me. They can smell me. I'm never just a normal person."
I was protecting him whether he understood or not. It was Tommy's illorum sword that had marked me a year ago when I'd picked it up to save him from a cloven-hoofed demon. It had burned a symbol on the inside of my wrist — a sword with crossed keys below the hilt on the blade. It had made me an illorum, triggered my power.
Being marked put me on the demon and fallen-angel hit list. I was under constant attack, fighting for my life until I could figure out who my angelic father was and send him to the abyss where he belonged. It didn't matter that Dan thought he could handle it. He had two kids, a boy and a girl, from a previous marriage. He was someone's dad. I wasn't going to help him paint a holy target on his back.
Dan tipped his chin, his gaze staring through the table as though he could see the sheath at the small of my back. "Put your sword on the table and let me make the choice."
"No," I said. I'd been given my own sword after picking up Tommy's. Part heavenly fire, part willpower — the illorum sword was the only thing in creation that could take down a Fallen and send him to the abyss. When it's not needed, the sword's just a hilt, the blade manifesting only by the will of an illorum.
I wore it everywhere. Had to.
"It's not really up to you, y'know?" Dan said. "If it's meant to be ..."
Maybe he was right. Maybe in the end if Dan was meant to become an illorum, it would happen no matter how much I tried to avoid it. But last year, at twenty-three, my life had stopped — literally — and turned into a kind of twisted biblical war-games reenactment. I didn't want that for Dan, for some kids' father.
"We have to go, Emma Jane," Eli said.
Dan straightened. "What? No. You don't even know if there's anything she can do."
"I have good reason to believe this incident will be of particular interest to Emma Jane," he said, though he kept his eyes on me.
"Why?" I asked.
Eli didn't answer. He didn't have to. Without warning a warm rush tickled through my mind, the press of Eli's thoughts weighing against my own. Like a memory that I hadn't earned or experienced, images flashed through my thoughts. Night darkened the edges of my vision. A streetlamp overhead cast a dim light on the brick wall before me. Graffiti glistened across the gray blocks — the words unclear at first, the paint running in long, shiny drips.
In my mind I blinked, narrowed my eyes trying to focus, to make sense of what I was seeing and why.
It's not paint, Eli said inside my head. And suddenly I knew what was written on the wall, and with what. My breath caught and the alley vanished.
"What?" Dan said.
"It was blood."
"What was?" Dan stiffened, gaze darting between Eli and me. "Whose blood?"
"The attackers used the illorum's blood to write on the alley wall where the illorum and magister were attacked," Eli said.
"What'd they write?" Dan asked.
"The coming. Where have I heard that before?" I looked at Eli.
"Last summer. David Lawrence Conference Center," Eli said.
"Richard Hubert." I remembered the battle I'd fought with Rifion, the Fallen angel, to banish him back to the abyss.
"Not possible," Dan said. "You mean the Fallen who was posing as that televangelist last year? He's dead, or whatever — locked in the abyss. I saw you slice off his head, and then he burst into a big ball of light about as bright as the sun. How's he attacking some magister and his illorum months later?"
Eli's gaze slid to Dan, his expression blank. "I don't know." He turned back to me. "We need to find out. Now."
"Right." I pushed to my feet and Dan followed a half second later. "I'm coming, too."
"No," Eli and I said together.
I sighed. "If Rifion is behind this, there's nothing the police can do. It's up to us, the illorum, to stop him. It's too dangerous for you to get involved."
"As far as the police are concerned there's been a murder. They won't know the guy's an illorum. To them he looks as human as you and me," Dan said. "They'll be on this anyway."
"Then it's best that you investigate the incident through human channels," Eli said. "Leave the angelic end to those with the power to handle it."
Dan's anger spiked through my chest, making my heart race and my fists clench just like his. But it was his humiliation that sunk like a lead weight and turned my stomach sour. I pushed the foreign emotions away, keeping my voice calm. "It would really help us out to know what the police know. That way, we can make sure people don't stumble across something, or someone, that might get them hurt."
"You mean the cops. The weak, human police," Dan said, resentment simmering.
"No. Not you, but ..."
He shook his head. "Forget it. I know what you meant. I'm just ... I'm being stupid."
"We should go," Eli said. He held out his hand to me.
"Whatever." Dan shook his head, pulling his wallet from his back pocket. "I'll go down to the station and see where they are on the murder investigation."
I stepped around the table to Dan, ignoring Eli's hand. "I'll call you. Okay? We'll try again. We'll keep trying until we've had a whole date."
He tossed a couple twenties on the table to cover the bill. "Sure."
I shifted, forcing him to meet my eyes. "I mean it. A whole date ...and everything that comes later."
"Okay." His smile was slow in coming but when it finally crinkled the corners of his eyes, my heart hiccupped. He waggled his brows. "But next time, I say we skip dinner and go straight to dessert."
My face warmed and my smile stretched wider. His sexy suggestion fluttered through my belly and made parts low in my body go hot and slick.
The guy was awesome — and built like a hard-packed pro wrestler. His bright smile, short brown-sugar hair, round cheeks, and cute button nose could make me forget all about demons, fallen angels, and holy missions.
"It's a date." I balanced with my hand on his hard chest and stretched up to kiss his lips.
Lust slammed through me, not just mine but his, too, and my whole body hummed with the rush of blood beneath my skin. Dan clamped an arm around my waist, the hand of the other cupping the side of my face. He pulled me to him, taking my mouth with his, stealing my breath.
My brain fuzzed; the feel of his muscled body pressed to mine made it hard to think of anything else. The stroke of his tongue teased the desire for him I'd been putting off for nearly a year.
Our lips parted and I blinked up to stare into his eyes. Those eyes had become safety to me — home. "We might be drawing too much attention," he said.
I stiffened, remembering Eli was watching, remembering we were standing in the middle of Houlihan's restaurant. I put a slice of space between us. "I'll, uh, call you."
He pinched my chin, smiling. "Be careful."
I nodded and shifted to step away, but he held me and I met his eyes. "I mean it, Em. Be careful. If anything happens to you, I will start shadowing you. No one's gonna be able to stop me from watching your back. Got it?"
"Got it. But I'll be fine," I said, loving his protective nature.
I walked back to Eli, took the hand he'd offered before, and let him pull me against him.
Excerpted from Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2013 Paige Cuccaro. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book, it's been almost a year since Emma Jane picked up her sword and starting fighting. She is trying to balance being a Nephilm and having a regular life when magisters and Illorum start being killed and she's on the trail of who and why while still trying to locate her angel father and get herlife back to normal. of course nothing is that easy and she finds herself being watched by the council of 7 again while trying to figure out what her role is with the murders and why the Fallen don't want her hurt. I couln't put this book down, loved it.
I loved the first book. It was refreshing, interesting and a wonderful new world to play in :) It’s only getting better, though you will actually hear me gripe a bunch about this one, just not for the reasons you may think LOL. There’s so many good things about this series that I think may just blow up soon. If you are an angel fan, you’ll either really love it, or be mad like me, because I like to think Angels are like Eli, caring and wanting the best for mankind. You’ll meet the “other” angels in this one, and I’m thinking I may have to team up with the Demons on this one :) LOL Now that’s I’ve got you intrigued, let’s talk characters. Emma Jane is growing used to the fact that her normal life is gone, maybe forever. She had some major character growth here. She is maturing, she is learning to fight better, she is willing to risk her life for others and she does it often. She is also getting her booty handed to her several times, and her interactions with the “angel council” is pretty interesting. I am still a huge fan of Emma, but I have two major complaints, and it’s nothing to do with the writing, but her crazy choices. Emma longs for normalcy more than ever. All she wants is to have the nice life, maybe settle down with Dan, maybe even have kids. YET…. She makes the choices that turn her away from this want EVERY TIME!!!! Seriously! I wanted to slap her several times. She continuously, obsessively says she wants to be normal. And then she does SOMETHING ELSE that takes her even further from that normalcy. She has two major decisions that totally blew my mind. She made her “Team” choice, and there’s no turning back, ever, on this one. AND, she gets that big chance, literally, for her normalcy, and she chose different. I absolutely cannot wait to see where book three is going to be at, because this one is a whammy hahahahaha! I am still on Emma’s side and I am rooting for her all the way! Dan is my favorite! He’s her normal cop boyfriend, and I feel bad for him. He is always left on the side and out the loop and yet he still takes up for Emma and forgives her, and gives in to her. And tolerated everything with Eli. Eli is the lovely angel. I like him, he’s sweet, for an angel that seems to be saying something. They are all in for a whirlwind ride with Emma. Those damn angels, somebody needs to shoot them with some lightning or something. If anyone called me “it” to my face, I am pretty sure you would have to kill me, as you wouldn’t be able to pry my “it” hands off your neck! There are a lot of different plot twists going on. You have Emma’s personal life, her love life, her duties with the angels, the mystery of the angels dying, not to mention trying to stay alive. And you start realizing that some angels are bad, and some demons maybe aren’t, as well as some fallen. You’ll have a fun time trying to figure out who is really a “good guy”, with their actions, not just their words and titles. I loved the writing as well. The world building and the action. I loved the plot twists and even if it wasn’t what I was hoping for, the fact that she made a choice, and now Emma and everyone around her has to live with the consequences. :) It’s a thrilling ride, with a new twist on angels, and their demon counterparts and the fallen angels who are the inbetween. I really can’t wait for more books! 5 ANGEL PRETTY PAWS! :)
Half angel/half human demon hunter, with a cop for a boyfriend (at the time) who had issues with the fact that they never got to spend any quality time together because of interruptions( his job or her new one) , her angel mentor and anything else that may pop up at the any given time. She’s a little more resigned to the fact and kind of knows what to expect from it all. Her "Angel" mentor and his “Accomplices” and other other-worldly ones can interfere in human situations, but they can let her know about them and she can do something about it. She’s also trying to find a rogue angel/demon. It’s fast pace, action packed and the couple that eventually come together are even believable and likeable and you even want to root for them. If, this is, the first book in a new series can hardly wait for the rest. Check it out.
Let me start off by saying that I loved this book. I loved the characters and the background history and how in-depth the entire story is. I love Angels and Fallen Angels and Nephilim and everything that goes with them like the battle of Heaven and Hell. I love Emma Jane (at first I was all about calling her Emma, but that quickly changed) and her sassy smart ass ways and her constant talking back. And of course I love Eli....I knew I'd like him from the first moment he interrupted Emma Jane and Dan's date. Eili is described as being "Everything angels were supposed to be; tall, broad-shouldered, with a strong, athletic build. He had the looks that could steal a woman's breath, keep her speechless for seconds. His silky, black hair hung in soft waves over his forehead, enhancing his startlingly pale cloud-blue eyes." Then we have Dan, who is half human half nephilim, but his powers are dormant because he hasn't picked up a sword yet and he is also a police detective. He knows what Emma Jane is and all about the supernatural world. Apparently Eli has this uncanny ability to always interrupt Emma Jane's time with Dan. They need to begin an investigation that will carry through most of the book about particular killings. The crime scene that Eli takes her to has writing written on the wall talking about "the coming" and we find out that magisters and their illorum charges are being killed. Now since Angel's cannot truly get involved without starting up the war again this could become a game changer. Because we find out that some illorum marks are different....dark almost. And the question becomes how can that happen? They finally get a name and are called Gibborim. And then there's the Angel council and Fred....I mean Fraseal....no crap that's not right either its Fraciel. However, that's just too much work to do so I agree with Emma Jane and he shall be called Fred. But he works with and for the council and they are made of up 7 Arc Angels. The front runner or "general speaker" is Michael, no surprise there. However, my one surprise is how much I hated Gabriel. He was always one of my favorites, but after this book, I just can't quite look at him the same. So Dan and Eli don't like each other and every time Dan and Emma Jane try and have some normalcy in their life something always comes up. To the point that it could seem like Emma Jane is always choosing Eli over Dan. Now at the same time, he is her teacher of sorts and when supernatural things happen (as they tend to do) she has to go. It's not like she's choosing Eli, but she has a "job" to do. And Dan's a cop come on he should understand this kind of thing. Anyways as the story goes on the relationship between Eli and Emma Jane does kind of change. It's kind of hard to describe, because something happens and it makes Emma Jane realize something on a different level. The question becomes will the Angels be able to step in, in time to save Eli, or are they already to late? Will he end up falling? Does he love Emma Jane more than an Angel of God should? How far will she let him go? Can she save him? There are a few plot twists in this book that keep the reader hanging on till the very end. And even when all hell is breaking loose (so to speak) I found myself cheering for certain things. Another big storyline in this book was Emma Jane locating her biological father, the Fallen Angel whom she has to kill to go back to a normal life. I had my suspicions throughout the book, but it wasn't until I was about half way through that I started piecing things together, but it was well worth the build up. Because of free will Emma Jane makes a few life changing choices and she will forever be shaped and changed by. I can't wait to see what is to come in the next book for Emma Jane, her father, Eli, Dan and both Heaven and Hell. Who will win the war this time? Is there really just a good and evil side? Or a middle ground that can be found? You'll have to read to find out these answers as well as sooo many more.
There is a little bit of everything in this book… and enough of everything to keep any reader on the edge. I was hooked from page one, I wanted to know, no I needed to know what was going on in Emma’s head. Did she want Eli or did she want Dan? Was she willing to tempt an angel to fall? There are so many things going on, but the plotline stays on target, the fight scenes are edge of your seat and you might just ponder the purpose of your existence, just kidding. Honestly, this series is enjoyable and I am just waiting for the next installment because I still need to know what Emma is going to do….
Lots of action 3.5 *Book source ~ Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Emma Jane Hellsbane is an illorum, a warrior for God and she fights demons and Fallen angels because her own father was a Fallen. If she can find him and send him to the abyss then she can get a normal life back. At first, that’s all she wanted, but after a year of fighting demons she’s beginning to wonder, even with Officer Dan as her boyfriend, if that’s what she really wants anymore. When magisters are being killed by demons and gibborim (nephilim who fight for Fallen instead of God) Emma has to decide between searching for her father with the only lead she has or fighting the ones who are killing magisters and taking their swords. If she can send her Fallen father to the abyss she would never have to fight again. She would be off the radar. However, Emma’s own magister is at risk and since she loves him she decides to fight the gibborim instead. But is forbidden love the right reason? I had some problems with this book. First, there are two glaring mistakes. In Hellsbane, Officer Dan says he has five children, four boys and a girl, yet in this book he has only a boy and a girl. Second, the holy water necklace Emma wears is supposed to look like it did when Tommy wore it not like when Joan wore it. Emma told Eli in Hellsbane to make it look like how Tommy wore it, but in this book it looks like Joan’s necklace. There’s also a lot going on and sometimes all the terms and explanations were confusing to me. In addition, Emma acts very foolishly quite a bit in this book, always insisting that ’she can handle it’ and I consider that pure arrogance considering how little training she has in fighting. On top of that, the love that Eli and Emma feel for each other just didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t believe in it and it ended up being an annoyance. And her thoughtless disregard for others when she traipsed off to Italy, well, she lost a lot of my respect there and even more when she said she’d handle it and be back in a few hours. Really? *shakes head* She acts too much like a bratty teenager and not a 23-year old. Yeah, I’m not liking Emma too much in this book. I certainly hope she grows up in the next one. It was very interesting to learn about her father though and I would love to know more about how much different Emma is from other nephilim. All-in-all if you can buy into the Eli/Emma romance then this is an excellent book, but since I couldn’t it’s only a good book for me.
Stuck between “good” and “evil,” Emma Jane Hellsbane must fight for what is right in Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro. I just love the character Emma Jane Hellsbane. She’s smart, sexy, strong, and very sarcastic. Her snarky voice can have me chuckling one minute and in tears the next. Eli, her strong and handsome angel, wants to do the best by her, even if it isn’t the best thing for both of them. And Officer Dan’s the type of guy people can root for as well. Liam, another illorum, quickly became one of my favorite characters as well in this battle between good and evil. This novel picks up where Hellsbane left off. The danger is very real—for angels, demons, and us mere mortals. Cuccaro keeps up a fast pace for the storyline. Every turn has a twist and a new surprise. I never knew quite who to trust as the lines are getting muddied between good and evil. I enjoyed how the lines of right and wrong get blurred and the philosophical and moral ponderings add another level to this fun and sexy series. And the romance is smokin’ hot and definitely worth “falling” in love over. Paige Cuccaro’s Heaven and Hellsbane is an exciting read filled with non-stop action. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C: *eARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review I have to start by saying this is the second in a series (previous book is Hellsbane), and unfortunately I haven't yet read that one. I quickly realized that it would most definitely be a good idea to read the series in the order it was written, as I don't really feel this is a standalone novel. Emma Jane Hellsbane is the daughter of fallen angel and is a really feisty and butt kicking heroine. She has the power to sense when fallen angels are close, and heaven sent skills to vanquish both them and the demons they work with. As an Illorum, it's her duty to fight those who unlike her have already succumbed to evil and now fight as Gibborim (warriors of evil) She's under the tutelage of a very sexy angel - Eli - who is sworn to both train and protect her. Her life is further complicated by her relationship with Dan, a detective who also could be turned into an Illorum, as he's the child of a fallen angel as well but their very complicated triangle will test them all. This tale is chock full of angels in all their various guises, and initially I must admit I felt a little bogged down by all the different titles. Seraphim as the warrior angels that protect humanity were not portrayed as I expected, but that's the beauty of this story. Nothing is cut and dry! This is a book that pulls the reader in and as the story progresses tears you apart! As I previously stated, I haven't read the prequel and if honest, it took me awhile to both understand and truly enjoy this book, but when it got going... boy was it a fantastic ride. If I had to rate it initially it would have been just 4, which is a good mark for me, but the emotion that I felt in the second half as I came to both know and empathize with the characters makes this a 5 for me! Amazing story , loved the characters, surprises galore and really want to read more!