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Book Reviews by Lynn

I am a copy editor and proofreader and an avid reader. Some would call me a bookworm. My favourite genres are: Romance, Romantic Erotica, Mystery, Thrillers, YA, Paranormal, Supernatural, Science Fiction, General Fiction and Children's Books. I also have a Facebook page where I put all my reviews: Book Reviews by Lynn. You are welcome to join me there too. You are welcome to follow, comment and enquire.

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Book Review of Hell & Back: Volume 2 (The Heckmasters) by Allison Merritt

Hell & Back - Allison Merritt

Eban Heckmaster has always been grateful his mother's human blood cooled the dark thoughts being the son of a demon can bring. He's tried to lead as normal a life as possible by attending medical school and setting up his own practice in New Mexico Territory. But it's no longer enough. After being rejected by a woman he was sure could complete his life, he's counting the days until he can get out of town. That will happen, just as soon as he figures out how to rid a close friend of a demon that's wreaking havoc inside her head. Beryl Brookshier's past only comes in splotchy memories. What she can remember is nothing to be proud of, but there's something more worrisome going on. Long dark moments and passages of time when she can't remember who she's been with or what she's done. She knows that Eban knows what's causing it, but the half-demon doctor isn't telling. And unfortunately for her, he's so distracted by the secret and his desire to leave Berner, he doesn't even see that she's falling in love with him...or is she? When she discovers the lust demon living inside her mind, she begins to wonder if she's in love, or if the demon only wants Eban for her own purposes.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the second book in The Heckmaster's series. I loved it!

 

First off, I absolutely love the new cover! It fits the story wonderfully, although the original cover did too. Initially published as Eban, the author received her rights back from the publisher when it closed, and she had a new cover made and re-published it herself. I have noticed this series is no longer available in Kindle format, so not sure if this book is going through another round of edits to be re-published in the near future through another publisher.

 

Eban Heckmaster is a fantastic character. I liked him from the first time I met him in Hell & A Hard Place, the first book in the series. He is the middle sibling of the three Heckmasters' and is the doctor of the family. He has always wanted to get away from Berner, the demon-riddled town that he and his two half-demon brothers protect from "The Pit", a portal to and from Hell. But after meeting Beryl Brookshier, who arrived with Rhia and Sylvie Duke, he knows that the war with evil is far from over.

 

Beryl Brookshier is a character that I liked but didn't know much about when I first met her in the first book of the series. She is extremely ill and under the care of Eban. But, she has no idea that she has a demon imp, who also happens to be a lust demon, attached to her brain like a parasite. Can she overcome its hold, or will she be doomed to die?

 

This story is a fantastic supernatural/paranormal romance! The book, set in the late 1800’s, quickly swept me up and carried me away. The story told from various points of view, made it very interesting. There is excitement, danger, mystery, and suspense mixed in with the hot romance. The three Heckmasters make a formidable team as they tackle the evil escaping from hell.

 

This story continues from the end of Hell & A Hard Place but follows Eban and Beryl as they struggle to come to terms with events after the battle with Noem, though Wystan and Rhia are now married and on their honeymoon. I also loved meeting Wystan and Tell again, as well as Rhia and Sylvie. I also found it interesting to see things through the eyes of the lust demon, Rosmar. She brings a sense of fun mixed with deadly poison to the tale. I did like her because, although she is a demon, she is trying to atone for her sins by working with the Grey Side (demons who oppose total dominion of Earth by Astaroth - the deadly demon trapped in The Pit by the Heckmasters' father). But, she also has her own agenda and is hoping to tempt Eban into unleashing his demon side to help her. But Eban is not a pushover, though he does do something rather dangerous and sets off a chain of events that could mean the end of Berner, if not Earth; this introduces us to another character, who happens to be an angel called Eliakim. What his role is or will be, remains a bit of a mystery, but I liked this enigmatic angel. He brings the might of Heaven with him and is definitely a warrior to avoid if you're a demon.

 

The story is full of twists and turns, with one that I didn't see coming and I felt sorry for the Heckmaster brothers as they had to make a difficult decision regarding a loved one. I did find humour in the tale, especially where Eban threatens to speak Tell's real name. Okay, having a curse on your spoken name is not meant to be funny, but the way Eban taunted his brother with it reminded me of how, when my sisters and I was younger, we would call each other names to get a rise out of them. Siblings can be cruel, and I felt sorry for Tell. However, it made me curious to find out what his real name is!

 

The end of the story doesn't finish on a cliff-hanger, but it made me feel sad because I wanted to keep reading about Berner and her inhabitants. This series has taken me on an unexpected journey, but I love the roller coaster ride. I guess I shall have to read Tell's story now.

 

Allison Merritt has written a wonderful paranormal/supernatural romance. Her characters come alive on the page, and her descriptions of the scenes made me see them in my mind's eye with ease. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. I also enjoyed the flow of the story; the scenes flowed seamlessly from one to another. I think this author has found another fan! I would like to read more of her books in the future.

 

Due to scenes of an explicit nature, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love erotic wild west type supernatural romances filled with sexy half-demons, or paranormal romances with strong, likeable characters. - Lynn Worton