*WARNING* – it’s best not to read this review if you haven’t yet read the series, in *case* of slight spoilers. I try not to give away the good (or important) parts, but some just HAD to be highlighted here, I just couldn’t resist. Too too good!
And now for the review of my favorite book in the Nicki Styx series. This is the one. I was upside down and beside myself from the getgo, and I’m still not over it. Like book three, this one grabbed me from the start, and I read it straight through.
Ok quick-quick for those of you who are unfamiliar with the series or haven’t read my past reviews (*gasp* - well I never!) hehe
I was very lucky, although getting kicked out of the afterlife definitely came with some strings attached; the restless dead, the ones who weren’t so lucky, keep popping up with unfinished business, expecting me to finish it for them.
Which I do, if I can.
Even if it gets me in trouble, which it frequently does.
Wow. I couldn’t have said it any better myself.
It’s Christmas time, so all should be calm and peaceful, right? HA! Nicki gets a run for her money in the jealousy department this time, and I guess you could say “Joe got his”. Sorta. Well you know…cause of all the times ”Sammy” intruded upon their love life, so I guess it’s only fair…
And despite the relationship drama, and emotional turmoil, Nicki still had to deal with the paranormal world that really couldn’t care less about her “feelings”. ‘Cept for Sammy, of course. He cares. But considering he’s the Devil, are his warm and fuzzy feelings for Nicki worth all the trouble?
So one night, Nicki wakes up to see three floating female heads talking above her (ewwww creepy!). A gorgeous (model-esque) woman (Selene), a little girl (Kate), and a much older lady (Mary). As they chatter above her, she realizes they are scheming to ruin her life, and take her man (well the gorgeous woman wants him, anyway).
Terrified, I tried to scream, to leap from the bed, but I was frozen in place, completely unable to move. To my right lay my boyfriend, Joe, warm and solid, and snoring faintly.
“He’s quite handsome, isn’t he?” the brunette said to the others. “This will be no hardship.”
The following morning, Nicki ponders whether it was a nightmare or a visit from ghosts. Nicki’s world quickly turns upside down when all three of them (in HUMAN form) walk right into her life. Yup everyone can see ‘em. Of course, just as Joe comes to visit Nicki, the elderly woman has a heart attack, and he springs into action to save the day (with Nicki frozen in place despite Joe’s insistence that she help him).
As the woman is loaded into an ambulance, Joe comforts the crying mother (Selene) and child, and Nicki’s biggest fears are confirmed. These women are much more then they appear, and Nicki’s life just took a turn for the worse.
Staring at Joe, Selene, and Kate, clustered together on the sidewalk like some perverted version of a family I wasn’t a part of, I somehow knew my life was the one at risk. There was menace here – I could feel it.
While Joe tends to Selene’s mother, Selene (the gorgeous “daughter”) and Joe end up spending much time together (even more so than Joe’s usual patient/family/doctor relationships). Nicki tells Joe about her suspicions (and her “nightmare”), but he shrugs it off insisting he has proof that these are human women. Her jealousy and his exasperation with her “irrational” behavior ends up putting quite a wedge between them.
So while Nicki’s dealing with this soul-sucking b*tch/man-stealing ho she’s also confronted with the “Dark”. When trying to aid a soul in need and lead her into the “Light” Nicki and the ghost run for their lives as the “Dark” comes to take the soul, instead. And could it be, that since she’s butting into the fate of the souls, that fate is now out to get her?
So here’s the thing about Joe… I LOVED him in the entire series. Didn’t matter to me that he was just a simple mortal. He’s gorgeous, smart, sexy, deals well enough with Nicki’s “issues” and well…he’s a doctor! HOTNESS!
My feelings for him had deepened since we’d first met, but today it really hit me: Joe had qualities a lot of men didn’t. His quiet self-confidence, his ”take charge” attitude, combined with that dark hair, those intense eyes that saw straight into your soul…
It was (and still is) very hard for me to choose between Joe and “Sammy” (you know…the Devil himself that keeps trying to steal my…I mean, Nicki’s heart).
To be entirely accurate, Sammy wasn’t just a devil…he was the Devil. A blonde fallen angel with a lust for the flesh, he was hotter than Hell, and loved there too.
Whoa boy! Where’s my whip? Time for some self-flagellation again. Apparently I still haven’t learned my lesson (probably why I still have a crush on the Devil). No I mean…”Sammy” – wait – ACK! Help! Am I possessed??! Did my head just spin?
Tee hee!! So anyway… Joe totally TOTALLY broke my heart in this one.
“You’re insatiable,” he murmured sleepily, kissing the top of my head. “But I need a chance to recover.”
My growing daze of pleasure was pierced by a brush of ice down my spine.
Joe stayed slack beneath my hand, his body boneless in relaxation as he nuzzled his nose in my hair. “So good, Selene,” he mumbled. “That was so good.”
I sat bolt upright, pushing off his groin and chest with a little more force than necessary.
“Hey!” he protested my rude handling, coming fully awake.
“Are you awake now? Good. Because my name is Nicki, not Selene!”
I’m not saying why, how, or what the hell that was just above, and I’m of course not going to say whether it ends well or not. I’m not even gonna give you the reasons (cause maybe he deserves to break hearts in this one…or…maybe he doesn’t). Doesn’t matter. Either way, he did. The author knows how to write relationship angst and uses her talent to the fullest in this one.
And does Sammy steal the show in this one too? What do you think?
“Torment.” He laughed. “What do you know of torment, Nicki?”
I didn’t answer.
“Torment is wanting something very badly, yet knowing you can’t have it,” he said. “Torment is loving someone, knowing you can never be together.”
I LOVED this book! LOVED it! The whole series ROCKS!
Check out the entire series reading order here ——> Terri Garey – Nicki Styx Series Reading Order