Kiss & Hell
Berkley, Jun 2009, $15.00
Fifteen years ago Delaney Markham met the devil and sort of survived with her soul intact. Since that hellish encounter, Delaney has been able to communicate with spirits at the cost of friendships and boyfriends as everyone who meets her assumes she is playing electronic hearts with herself. Her only pal is Marcella the kindhearted demon.
Of course there is Clyde Atwell, a rookie demon, who the devil has sent to harass Delaney. Though she feels sorry for the tyro, she wishes he would return to whence he came. However, he refuses and not because his superior vows to burn him for eternity if he fails at his mission; ironically he has fallen in love. For that matter Delaney is beginning to realize there is more to Clyde than meets the devil’s eye and decides his contention that he does not belong in hell or a hand-basket might actually be true; so how the hell did he end up there.
Delaney with her amusing sarcastic asides makes for an entertaining romantic fantasy with a wonderful mystery subplot. The story line is breezy from the opening chime and never slows down as Markham knows the world is in a hand basket traveling to hell. She never slows down even when she is passionately kissing her significant other, which has quite a meaning in this fun tale. Readers will relish this lighthearted jocular frolic while humming "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band even though the heroine’s herb store is in Manhattan’s East Village.