New Release Review: DESCENT by Tara Fuller (Inbetween #3)

Easton’s book! At last!

Descent
by Tara A. Fuller

Blurb:

Easton doesn’t believe in love. He believes in Death. Darkness. Sin. As a reaper for Hell, it’s all he’s known for over four hundred years. When he gets slapped with the job of training the boss’s daughter, an angel who knows nothing but joy, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble.

Though he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her outside of work, Gwen would do anything to get closer to the dark and wounded reaper—even taint her angelic image and join the ranks of her father’s team of reapers. But in all her planning, she forgot to factor in one thing—how far the demons Easton doomed to hell would go to get revenge.

When the dangers of the Hell threaten Gwen, Easton will do whatever it takes to save her. But as the darkness closes in on them both, will he be able to save himself?

Review:

It’s felt like ages since I’d read the first two books in the series (Inbetween and Blurred)–really, not quite two years–and as I read the long-awaited third book, I found myself wishing I’d had time to re-read the first two first. Not because I needed their details in my mind to enjoy or understand Descent–it absolutely worked fine as a standalone; Finn and Emma and Cash and Anya are mentioned a few times and make brief appearances toward/at the end–but just because I wanted their stories and them fresher in my mind as I read. I remembered loving Easton in those books, but couldn’t remember the details.

Too many books under the bridge, I guess.

It didn’t keep me from loving him again here, or from enjoying his story–I just wanted to remember more from before for me. Which I guess makes my point become that this works fine on its own, but if you’re going to read the series anyway, do it all at once or at least with less than two years Inbetween titles. (See what I did there?)

Easton’s story literally drags the reader to hell and back–he’s a reaper for hell. He’s jaded. He’s breaking in a new partner, and he’s less than thrilled about it. He’s still missing his best friend (Inbetween‘s Finn) and now he’s feeling a degree of resentment, having to do much of Anya’s (Blurred) job as well.

Not to mention he’s dealing with a tad bit of jealousy.

Not that he acknowledges it, really. Or that he believes he deserves even a sliver of the happiness that his friend(s) and former co-workers have. He’s firmly in the Easton-has-made-his-horrible-bed-and-now-he’s-going-to-lie-in-it-for-another-470 something-years-plus camp.

Until he meets Gwen.

She’s an angel. She’s a do-gooder. She’s the boss’s (Balthazar’s) daughter. She somehow inspires him to make a promise–which he never does–and when his partner accidentally delivers a soul that Gwen’s been working with to the wrong final destination, he becomes saddled with the pain-in-the-butt, too-gorgeous-for-her-own-good and definitely too-good-for-the-likes-of-him angel as a temporary “recruit”.

Really, her father expects Easton to keep Gwen in one piece while giving her a brief taste of hell that will quickly scare her back to her safe existence of (literal) rainbows and (not-so-literal, sadly) sparkly unicorns.

What Balthazar doesn’t expect is Gwen’s determination to save the lost soul. What Easton doesn’t expect is her ability to blackmail him into helping her do it. Or the amazing strength she’ll show as they descend into the pits of hell and back.

Or how much he’ll come to love her in the process.

Because Gwen’s the first person to see the essential core of goodness that the readers suspected Easton had all along…and it draws her to him like a moth to flame. Or an angel to shimmery light, as it were.

Their journey will keep you on the edge of your seat, and what you’ll learn about Easton’s past will make your heart hurt just a bit. He’ll have to confront a (again, literal) demon from his past, and, even worse, his boss after realizing that he’d fallen in love with his only daughter.

That confrontation with Balthazar? So. Good.

Everything wraps up nicely–and rather quickly–in the end, but given the wretchedness of Easton’s first almost-five-hundred years and all the hellish scenes the two had already gone through up to that point, it was a relief to finally have everything settled. A nice and tidy HEA was definitely deserved by both.

And, yay! An HEA for Easton–at last!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Release Day Spotlight and Review: Entangled Teen’s New 7-Novel Paranormal Bundle (including INBETWEEN by Tara Fuller and CONJURE by Lea Nolan)

 This really is a steal at 99 cents! Get it quick!

On sale today for just $.99!

SEVEN NEVER-BEFORE-BUNDLED NOVELS FROM SEVEN FABULOUS YA AUTHORS FOR ONE LOW PRICE!
Fans of teen paranormal romance won’t want to miss these seven full-length novels. Whether falling for the boy next door, a reaper out for souls, or a genetically engineered superhuman, these romances keep readers turning the pages and swooning until the very end.
The Marked Son by Shea BerkleyWhen Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. Only he can save her world from an evil lord—a world full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…
Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe JacobsFour years ago, Greta fell through a portal to a world where humans are the enemy. Now a bounty hunter, she’s caught the attention of the darkly enticing young Goblin King, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape. But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena…
Conjure by Lea NolanTwins Emma and Jack Guthrie hope for a little summer adventure when they find an eighteenth-century message in a bottle revealing a hidden pirate treasure. But when it unleashes an ancient curse, Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex on her secret crush, Cooper, all before the last days of summer—and her friends—are lost forever.
Luminosity by Stephanie ThomasBeatrice had her first vision at the age of twelve, and now the Institution depends on her to keep the City safe from the Dreamcatchers. But Beatrice has a secret that could put everyone in danger. A secret that could kill her and everyone she loves. The enemy has been coming to her in her dreams, and she might be falling in love with him.
Chosen Ones by Tiffany TruittThe government, faced with humanity’s extinction, created the genetically engineered Chosen Ones. When Tess begins work at a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?
Prophecy Girl by Cecily WhiteAmelie Bennett was born to slay Crossworld demons. Until her new trainer, Jackson, shows up, and the chemistry between them explodes. Now she’s trying to thwart the pesky prophecy that foretells his death by her hand. Shouldn’t be too difficult. Getting it done without falling in love…that might take a miracle. 

Inbetween by Tara Fuller

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with Emma, a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Review:
I was about halfway through with Blurred, book two in the Kissed by Death series (reviewed here), when I realized that I already had Inbetween on my Kindle. Bonus! Naturally I had to read it as soon as I was finished with #2. It absolutely did not disappoint. I read it in less than 24 hours total, and only told my daughter about ten times during that 24 hours that she HAD to read it. But not until I was done, of course.So far, this is definitely the best reaper/death and human romance series I’ve read, and for paranormal/fantasy YA series, it’s right up there with my faves. This series is definitely going to go on my classroom library shelves–I must share. I’m really enjoying the world that Tara Fuller has created here, with characters who have been “Kissed by Death”. I loved both Finn (WWII pilot! What’s not to love?) and Emma (she bakes! Made me want to throw together some cookies, but then I would have had to stop reading), I just didn’t love them *quite* as much as I loved Anaya and Cash from book two 😉 I think I might have actually appreciated their story more, though, knowing how they’d be adapting to its aftermath in Blurred.

I’m really, really hoping Ms. Fuller is giving us Easton’s story next. I’m seriously loving that guy.

 

Don’t miss this steal!

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Blurred by Tara Fuller (Book two of the Kissed by Death series)

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Title: Blurred
Author: Tara Fuller
Series: Kissed by Death
Genre: Paranormal YA romance
Published: 2013
Rating: 5 stars

Tara Fuller’s Kissed by Death series is about reapers–it focuses on teen/young adult aged ones (I’m not sure if there are adult ones or not, I haven’t seen any, anyway)–who are charged with taking souls to their final destination. Or at least, their final destination for now. In this world, reapers are assigned to specific  geographic regions, and each reaper usually is only responsible for souls bound for a specific destination (Heaven, Hell, or Inbetween, a kind of limbo), unless he or she is filling in for or assisting another reaper. They’re not supposed to get too involved in human life–their jobs don’t begin until those lives are pretty much over, after all. But of course, the reapers in this series didn’t get where they are because of their stellar rule-following abilities.

Blurred  is the second book in the series, though I read it first. (And then I immediately had to read Inbetween, book one. I did not pass GO. I did not collect two hundred dollars. I didn’t even take a bathroom break. I actually already had it on my Kindle–though I’m not sure when I purchased it, it was a pleasant surprise that I discovered by accident when I was about halfway done with Blurred–so all I had to do was switch files. My Goodreads review of Inbetween is here.) I was able to quickly pick on up the “rules” of the world even though I hadn’t read the first one yet, but if this one sounds interesting to you I’d suggest starting with book one if you’re able. They’re both fantastic reads, and if you’ve already read Inbetween then what you’ll see of Finn and Emma (the H/h of the first book) in Inbetween will be that much more meaningful.

Trying hard not to spoil anything here, but…*something* happens to Cash, Emma’s best friend, toward the end of Inbetween. If you haven’t read the first book, Tara Fuller shows you the pertinent scene in this book’s opener, so no worries. It’s pretty easy to follow. As a result, he’s having a rough time. He’s alive, but not quite. And he’s seeing things. Awful, hideous things that no one else is aware of. He’s also got some issues with Emma’s new relationship with Finn–he doesn’t quite trust the guy (knowing what Finn is/was, and especially once he finds out about something Finn had used him for in the last book) and he’s always kind of thought that Emma and he might eventually end up together.

Anaya, a thousand-year-old reaper for Heaven, is implicated in Cash’s current condition, though not exactly by choice. In book one she seemed somewhat fascinated by him, but now her feelings are compounded by the guilt she feels for the part she played in making him what he currently is. She’s also supposed to keep an eye on him for her boss, Balthazar, because he’s got big plans for Cash–just not quite yet. The other side is interested in him as well, though, and they’re doing their best to recruit him away from Anaya’s side whenever the she has other commitments to take care of.

I LOVED this book. I loved Cash. I loved Anaya. Even though I was meeting them for the first time, I loved Finn and Emma too. (And Easton; don’t even get me started on Easton. PLEASE tell me his book is coming out, and soon!) I loved the world that Fuller built here…although I think I’d rather read about it safely from a distance, thank you. I’d rather not personally experience *any* of it myself. For all the drama and danger that Emma and Finn had to deal with in Inbetween–and they did have a lot of drama and danger to deal with–everything felt like it was twice as much in this one. Cash has to deal with his physical and mental state; his changing relationship with Emma, who also no longer lives next door; his new-found knowledge of the existence of reapers and other, scarier entities…and that’s all on top of the normal, high-school senior things, like school and his often-antagonistic relationship with his dad. Anaya, on the other hand, has been doing her job for a thousand years, all along believing that she was eventually going to be rewarded for her efforts. She finds out in this book, though, that her boss might have been a little less-than forthcoming in that department, and she suddenly doesn’t know what to do or who to believe. Drama and danger ensue all around.

In a nutshell: 5 shining stars, even if you haven’t read the first in the series–though I can pretty much guarantee you’ll want to afterwards. I can’t wait to see what this series has in store for us next.

(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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Vacay!

On vacation, finally! We’re staying in a gorgeous A-frame cabin in Indian Lake. I’ve got the loft bedroom, and here’s the view I can see from my couch:

loft view

It looks even better from the back porch. See?

view from porch

The only *teensy* problem is that it’s still raining on and off and it doesn’t look like it will be totally clear and sunny for any significant part of the week. It’s pouring right now, as a matter of fact. This will not be a huge problem, though, because I brought books!

This week, I’m starting with Nicole Jordan’s Lover Be Mine, because I won it through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program, and I want to get my review for it up as soon as possible. Mini-Moe #2 finally wore me down and we’re listening to Mark of Athena while in the car even though I wanted to wait until closer to the release of the next book to start it–my students all assure me it’s a real “cliffhanger” ending. (Sigh.) I’ve got about a bazillion NetGalley books to read, and am not even sure where to start, but probably Kristen Ashley’s Fire Inside (because I’ve heard so much about her books and it’s about time I read one) and RaeAnne Thayne’s Willowleaf Lane (because I read the first one of that series on vacation two years ago, so it seems fitting) are as good a place as any.

Now I’ve got to go post my reviews for Blurred by Tara Fuller (loved it!) and get back to work–er, reading. Here’s the chair I’m going to do it in:

reading chair Ah, vacation.

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