It’s Halloween and Tristan Garrett is looking for a meaningful, long-term relationship, but he won’t say no to a single night of erotic fun. He attracts the attention of two men and, by accepting the pursuit of both, his once ordinary life is quickly enveloped by a wave of chaotic change.
Machidiel, an angel of Heaven, and Alastor, a demon of Hell, have been circling one another for several millennia. They have been, at times, enemies and, more often, the neutral pawns of those with greater power. Now they have fallen for the same mortal and must decide if the cost of their temptation is worth the risk to Tristan and to themselves.
As Tristan learns to balance the demands of Heaven and Hell, he must dodge the danger that seems to lurk around every corner. To survive and have a chance at a romance for the ages, Tristan may just have to make a deal with the Devil.
Between Heaven and Hell is the first in the Heavenly Sins series, which has been republished and reedited from a previous release. This first installment is full of potential, but has more than a few problems as well.
The plot is generally solid and intriguing. The challenges our trio face create a genuine sense of suspense and that serves as a real strength for the book.
The interplay between Tristan, Machidiel, and Alastor is both fascinating and frustrating. A ménage is a natural fit for these three, enough so that the idea of a relationship seems possible. We, as readers, want them to overcome each progressively more difficult hurdle and the author does a decent job of making us care about their respective fates. Yet the evolution of the relationship passes so rapidly that it suffers from a real lack of depth. There is no doubt these men are great together in the bedroom, but the hurried development of their bond detracts from any sense of realism, even when placed within the framework of a fantasy.
The characters, main and secondary, also suffer from a lack of dimension. Machidiel is of Heaven and Alastor of Hell, but save for a pair of wings and a set of horns, I was left wondering what it meant to be either angel or demon in the world the author was trying to portray. Tristan suffers most from this broad rather than deep rendering. He lacks personality for most the book and many of his reactions do not read as believable. It leaves his character only half-formed and not as engaging as either Machidiel or Alastor. The secondary characters are caricatures rather than integral additions to the story and seem jarringly inserted rather than smoothly melding with the plot.
My initial impression of Between Heaven and Hell was not particularly kind, but upon re-reading I realized it does possess a bit more merit than I first realized. There are plenty of problems, yet the path these men have been placed upon does stir the imagination. Given this is the first in a series, the author may more fully realize the characters and give the pacing a chance to build more naturally in further volumes. Doing so would greatly improve my interest in further reading the series.
Sue works in a soul crushing civil service job, but she has a menagerie of cats, dogs, rats and guinea pigs that make it all worth while. Most evenings she can be found curled up with a good book, read in between chasing after the aforementioned menagerie. Her dream is to have a goat farm but no one will give her one and apparently you can’t just order them online. So for now, she enjoys the occasional road trip, hanging out with friends and family and reading as much as she can.