Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - HELL BENT by DEVON MONK - BROKEN MAGIC # 1 - ADULT URBAN FANTASY - ROC BOOKS

By: Devon Monk
Published By: Roc 
Released : Available Now
Details : Paperback from library, 357 Pages

RATING: 5 HELL. YEAH! STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

Instead of the deadly force it once was, magic is now a useless novelty. But not for Shame Flynn and Terric Conley, “breakers” who have the gift for reverting magic back to its full-throttle power. In the magic-dense city of Portland, Oregon, keeping a low profile means keeping their gifts quiet. After three years of dealing with disgruntled magic users, Shame and Terric have had enough of politics, petty magic, and, frankly, each other. It’s time to call it quits.

When the government discovers the breakers’ secret—and its potential as a weapon—Shame and Terric suddenly become wanted men, the only ones who can stop the deadly gift from landing in the wrong hands. If only a pair of those wrong hands didn’t belong to a drop-dead-gorgeous assassin Shame is falling for as if it were the end of the world. And if he gets too close to her, it very well could be....


BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

How much do I love Shamus Flynn?

HUGE!

Love him. Crazy about his character in Allie Beckstrom series.

How much did I love this first installment in Broken Magic.

Shiz loads! Devon is the woman, when it comes to urban fantasy. Such a rich story line with characters we can't seem to get enough of.

Sure, you don’t have to have read the Allie Beckstrom series to read Shamus and Terric’s spinoff series, Broken Magic, but, I highly recommend reading Allie Beckstrom first. I believe you will miss far, far, far too much of Shamus and Terric’s complicated relationship by jumping straight to Hell Bent. You will miss far, far, far too much about all the sub characters development.


8 of the books in the 9 books Allie Beckstrom series.


“What was that text?” I asked.

“Personal.”

“And?”

“Do you really want to know what’s going on in my personal life?”

“Well, no. Not really. But that text made you stop talking. And I am always interested in ways of accomplishing that.”

Faint smile. He sat back, fork left behind in the mashed potatoes. “I’m dating someone.”

“Uh-huh.” I drank beer to wash down salt and grease.

He was watching me. Waiting.

“Terric, you always have a boyfriend. Don’t care.” Half the burger down, half to go. I took another bite.

“That was him on the phone.” Shrug.

“You like him?” I asked.

His eyes skittered away from mine. “Most of the time.” Eyes back on me again. Smile that faded too quickly.

I moved on to the pile of french fries. “And the rest of the time?”

“It’s complicated.” 

Broken Magic is a two book spinoff series, from Allie Beckstrom, it was written because the fans wanted more of Shamus and Terric, so Devon Monk delivered.

Giddy Up!

Terric was nearly my opposite. I had dark hair, eyes that were sometimes black and sometimes dark green, rarely bothered to shave, and lately, I’d been running a good twenty pounds under my fighting weight.

Terric was taller than me which I hated, and built like a guy who might need to jump on a jet and hit the catwalk at any moment. His hair was white-silver even though he was on one side or the other of thirty and his eyes were blue and set in a face that could knock Hollywood’s leading man off the marquee.


Boy. Did Devon deliver.

I have so many quotes from Hell Bent, I can’t possibly put them all in this review. Shamus just has a way with words. 


“Why are you always looking at me?”

“Because I know which of you won’t play by the rules.”

I gave him my best smile. “I like rules. They make that cracking sound when they break.”



Terric and Shamus have this thing they do, back and forth.


Dash looked over my shoulder through the window to see who was coming into the office. I didn’t have to look. I’d know that heart, that pulse, that life anywhere. Terric.

“You killed my ficus,” he called out across the room.

I stood. Strolled out into the main office. “They were ugly.”

“They were fragile. And hard to keep alive.”

“Took care of that. You’re welcome.”

He dragged his fingers back through his platinum white hair, grabbing at the back of his head before letting go. “It’s coming out of your paycheck.”




“Why is every conversation with you an argument?”

“Seems a waste of time, doesn’t it? Especially since I’m always right.”


 I love reading their complicated friendship. Nothing they do or say to each other is without a mini argument, or verbal fight.

“Doctors don’t work on me.”

“You’re not inhuman, Shame.”

I didn’t say anything. This was an old argument.




Terric bent, putting his mouth near my ear. “Don’t argue and make this harder,” he said. He slid one hand and arm behind my back, and the other under my knees.

I was about to be manhandled. It was as physically close to him as I’d been in years. I shut my mouth and stared at the ceiling, trying not to say anything, trying not to think anything while he half lifted, half slid me into a prone position.


“Don’t say that.”

“What? Don’t tell you the truth?” I lowered my voice. “You are a piece of work, Conley. You say you want to talk, but you don’t want to listen. I like it. I like killing.”



Shamus is snarky, witty, but under all that, there is a guy who is looking for something more in his life.


She was my air, my sensation, my world.

And, for the first time in a very long time, I wondered if this was what love felt like.



“Oooh. I like it when you talk dirty.”

She stood. Stepped up close to me.

I thought maybe I ought to kiss her. Maybe I ought to talk her into seeing things my way, Shamus-style.

“You stil haven’t given my boyish charms a chance,” I said.

“To seduce me?” she said.

“To make you never want to be with any other man as long as you live.”

She laughed, truly laughed. It was musical sort of thing that filled the silent places in me.

“You think very highly of yourself, don’t you?”

“Not at all. I am painfully humble.”


Ok, so let's back this truck up a bit, people!

Now, it is true for the Allie Beckstrom series, that Shame wasn't gay, but we didn't see him hanging with any chicks doing the funky chicken, either. There was always this tension between Terric and Shame, which left us readers bouncing up and down in wonder. We knew where Terric stood, but we didn't know where Shame stood. It always felt to me like he was on the fence. There was all this clever tension between the two of them.

This was always a part of their complicated relationship I enjoyed.

She nodded. “He’s...more than a friend, isn’t he? The look on his face when he opened his door and saw you there the other night, Shame. He loves you, doesn’t he?”

“I think so,” I heard myself saying. Apparently, one truth tonight wasn’t going to be enough.

“But you don’t love him?”

I took a deep breath.



From Allie B, we know Terric is gay and he's Shamus’s Soul Complement. Normally, Soul Complements are male and female.

Terric Conley is Life magic and Shamus Flynn is Death magic. I absolutely adore how Devon writes these two in this book. I really felt for both the characters. They have a lot to deal with when they draw on their particular magic. I think Shame drew the shorter straw.


Life magic.

“No,” I said. “Not happening. Not here. I told you to keep your hands off --“

Terric called on Life magic.

Here’s what happens when he does that -- he goes all white-light angelic looking, which the chicks, and I guess some of the dudes, really like. Then the magic inside him devours his humanity. His eyes go silver, no pupils, no white. Any shred of heart, soul, or mind of that man is wiped away. Replaced with a cold, alien thing that looks out from behind his eyes. Life magic. It was not human. It was not Terric. And one of these days when he called on it, Life magic was going to take over for good and Terric wasn’t going to come back to being Terric.


Jesus. He knew. How much I wanted to consume. That I barely held it in check. I hadn’t ever talked to him about it.

Well, maybe just that one time when I was really drunk.

“Want me to pinkie-swear I won’t kill you, mate? Worried that I’ll lose control of Death magic and squeeze the pulse out of your ticker?”

It is so hard to put into words how the reader watches Terric and Shamus play off each other, so I might just use quotes and let the lads show you. 


Terric was on the phone. Pacing. Couldn’t tell who he was talking to.

I started looking for my shoes. Remembered I’d come over barefoot. Crap.

Terric stoppped pacing. Glanced over at me. One look at me and he paused a second in his good-bye, which made me grin.

Damn straight I was worth looking at.

He pocketed his phone. “I know it’s only brown, but damn, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you in a color. Shame. You should wear colours more often.”

“I do wear colors: black, coal, ebony.”


A couple of minutes ticked by in silence.

“So, if you don’t need anything,” I started.

“Just.” Terric turned, held my gaze. Blue eyes darkened by sorrow. “Would you shut up and sit here for a few minutes?”

I opened my mouth.

“Please.”

I closed my mouth. Handed him the bottle. He took another drink and handed it back, swiveling his chair so he could stare out the window.

I watched him for a minute. Thought about things I could say. Thought about things I probably should have said a long time ago.

Decided to just do what he asked and kept quiet. I even remembered to wipe the taste of him off the bottle before I took another gulping swallow.



I love all the other characters getting some sort of mention in this book. I felt like I was home again with Allie Beckstrom series.

Zayvion and Allie make an appearance or three.

Zay and Allie stopped next to me. They stood there, arm in arm, Allie just an inch or two shorter than Zayvion’s six foot something. She wore a tank top that showed off those kick-ass magic-born tattoos down her arm and the bands of dusty black ringing her other wrist and elbow. Now that we weren’t on the run for our lives, both Allie and Zay had put on about ten pounds, and lost the dark circles under their eyes.

They smiled more, laughed more, and had that calm, sweet dedication to each other that meant they never walked into a room without holding hands.

Zay was always like a brother to Shame in Allie B, voice of reason.


Zay put a hand on my shoulder. Heavy. Wide. Hot.

I didn’t pull on the life in him. Not a single drop of all that gorgeous, rich life. His life.

He waited a second, then nodded. “You’re good, Shame.”

“Good? Come on, now. You know I am the best, Z.” I gave him a grin.

One eyebrow rose. “You’re all right.”

“The lies coming out of your mouth,” I pushed on the door. “I do not know how she puts up with you.”

“It’s a little thing called love,” Zayvion said so quietly I almost didn’t hear him. “Can’t run from it, can’t deny it.”

“Sure I can.”

“Now who’s lying?” he said.



Mackanie Love is a great floating character who I think gets under used. He just floats in and out every now and then.

“You still breathing, Flynn?” Cop was a huge dude from Hawaii, named Mackanie Love. We’d met back in my petty crime days. He’d never cut me slack. But then, I hadn’t deserved any.


Davy. Love Davy, he was a great character in Allie B.

Davy looked like he was barely old enough to drink, although he’d shown me his license once that said he was twenty-three. Blond, sort of an easygoing-skater-kid look, complete with a turquoise beaded necklace. Most people had no idea he was the head of the entire network of Hounds in Portland.


Stone!!! One of my fave side kick creature characters. 


There was a gargoyle on the roof. Namely, Stone.

Well, he was really an animate -- which is a construction of stone and gears powered by magic. He’d been made by Cody Miller, who had once been an incredible artist and magic user.

Even though magic shouldn’t be strong enough to keep Stone going, he was still as mostly alive as ever. He’d been Allie’s loyal companion for years now, was a good-natured doofus who liked to stack household items.

In a fight he was a deadly, ferocious brute.

He folded his wings and four-footed it to the chimney, sitting with his hands wrapped over his toes. He peered down at the police moving around, then looked out at me.

I held up a hand. “Look after Allie,”I said in a normal voice I knew he’d hear. He tipped his head, both ears rising into sharp points, and showed a little teeth.

Cody, good seeing him...back.

“You’ve become a little more blunt, I see,” Cody said as he got into the passenger’s seat.

“I tried subtle. It chafed.”


Other characters of note make an appearance too. You can find out who they are yourself.

Shamus gets his own side kick ghost, Eleanor, who you would have met in Allie B series. Sometimes I felt quite sad and lonely for Eleanor. Shamus has a good heart when it comes to Eleanor.

There is a character who we meet in Allie B series who gets a meatier role in this book, playing the part of a crazy villain. I liked what Devon did here. Mind you, what he did was... well, you will have to read to find out.

This was a fast paced read which I totally dug, full of snark, tension and two characters who keep me guessing. Will they get a HEA?

I am looking forward to Stone Cold the conclusion to this little spinoff series, I think already I am going to miss Terric and Shamus. 


Michelle


5 comments:

  1. So does this series feature a different couple every time? I love the sound of the story, the pace feels heartstopping.... I will change your button on TS on my off day & am slowly reading what you sent. Will give you feedback soon!

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    1. No worries Matey :D No Braine, Allie Beckstrom series of 9 books you read first is my recommendation and it is a continuing back story woven through with Allie and Zay mainly at the helm, but loads of brilliant sub characters....then Shamus and Terric got so popular the fans wanted more, so she gave us the spin off Broken Magic. If you jump straight to this book, then you will miss all the magic of Allie Beckstrom series. She brings some of those characters into this 2 book spinoff. You can read my reviews and I don't give spoilers?? for each book in Allie B. I think you will like this uf series. I think each book gets better in Allie B :D

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    2. Think of Mercy Thompson series where Mercy is the main character and stuff goes on around her with a bunch of sub characters, that is how Allie Beckstrom is set out. Broken Magic spinoff only happened cause Shamus ended up stealing the show a bit in the latter books of Allie B.

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  2. Where have I been, I didn't know of this series ? Added it to my list, thanks ;)

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    1. Hi Red, make sure you read Allie Beckstrom series first = 9 books or else you miss so much. :D

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