Tuesday, January 3, 2012

4 Stars for Zoe Archer's Devil's Kiss

Devil's Kiss by Zoe Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a unique historical paranormal book and a new to me author.

In Devil’s Kiss we meet James Sherbourne and Zora Grey, who are from England in the year 1762. James who is known as Whit to his friends, is the Earl of Whitney and is what the gypsies like to dub as gorgios. Zora Grey is a Romani girl from the Gypsy encampment.

Whit and his four friends heard news of the Gypsies in the neighborhood and decided to go pay liberal amounts of money to be entertained by the Gypsies that night with music, dancing, fortune-telling, wine and cards. White and his four friends are also known as the Hellraisers and are frequently looking for more trouble to get into. Whit is thirty-one but only gains excitement by gambling excessively and feeding his addiction.

Zora plays cards extremely well and also tells fortunes. She travels with her people but she’s pretty doubtful about her heritage and superstitions. She does not believe in those things, but she hasn’t had any real proof for her to think they are real either. Her family does however believe in the superstitions that they pass on to her.

Zora and Whit gamble and Whit is intrigued with Zora and curious because she keeps winning at cards. Being an expert card player himself he’s convinced she’s cheating but he can’t prove it. He’s not angry about losing money but he’s extremely curious about how she’s pulling it off. Whit and his friends discover from a Gypsy man that there is a Roman ruin close by to where one of the Hellraisers lives. He’s never heard of the place even though its been there for hundreds of years. They want to go explore the ruin even when the man warns them that it’s a place of Dark Magic and the haunt of Wafodu guero aka the Devil. None of the men seem concerned about this and boast that their names are the Hellraisers after all. They decide to leave and go explore, even though Whit is intrigued by Zora and wants to get to know her better.

After the men leave Zora is extremely uneasy and paces for hours after the men have left. She decides to use her tarot cards to tell her fortune, she doesn’t really believe but laying out the spread of cards soothes her. After she spreads the ten card spread for the first time she sees one of the cards about Evil coming. She’s a bit freaked out and decides to lay out the cards again. The 2nd time she lays out the cards they are the same exact cards. She convinces herself that she’s imagining things and it’s just a coincidence and decides to lay them out for a third time. The 3rd and final time she realizes they are the same cards again and she reads them all this time and realizes that the cards are telling her that “A great Evil is coming, unleashed by the five.” Zora is not really believing, but after seeing the cards 3 times, and watching the 5 men leave the encampment, she’s terrified. She runs to her family to tell them and they are also freaked out because they know Zora isn’t a believer in fortune telling and if she says the cards say that, then it must be true. Everyone is too terrified to do anything at all and Zora decides to take matters into her own hand and try to go after the men to keep them from unleashing this evil upon the world.

What Zora doesn’t realize is that she’s too late and the Hellraisers have already discovered the ruin and unleashed the Devil. It seems they don’t really believe he’s the devil and he introduces himself as Mr. Holiday. He professes gratitude to the 5 men and offers them each their greatest desire, whether its luck at the gambling table or to get in with political figures etc. All he asks them is if they’ll give him something, doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be as insignificant as a button. They all agree readily but they don’t realize that they’ve given up something infinitely more precious than just a button.

There are a lot of trials that Zora and Whit must face and luckily Zora helps pull Whit out of some of it and he realizes the grave error that he’s made. He does lose his friends in the process as they are blinded by their lusts and desires and they think Zora is a bad influence on him and they end up on a long journey together, running from it all and trying to find answers. If you need an enticing new historical paranormal read I suggest you give Zoe a try.

Reviewed by Paranormal Addicts

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