Friday, June 01, 2007

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot - Stephanie Rowe

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot
Stephanie Rowe
Warner Forever


The first thing you need to know about this book? It’s humor. The second? It’s the third book in a series. I wasn’t aware of either of these facts going in, and I admit, I was confused for the first few chapters, until I got to know the characters. This could very well be because I haven’t read the first two installments (DATE ME BABY, ONE MORE TIME and MUST LOVE DRAGONS.) I think if I’d read these first, my experience would have been much different.

The setup is anything but straightforward for newcomers. Nick Rawlings is, quite possibly, the last of his kind. The Markku were Satan’s personal warriors until they got tired of taking orders and revolted. As you might expect, Satan didn’t like that, and managed to wipe out virtually all of them. In their place, he created the Rivka, minions that are inextricably tied to his own lifeforce, and, thus, slaves.

One of those slaves is Becca Gibbs, Satan’s favorite Rivka. But Becca, who has been harvesting souls for centuries, is more than tired of slavery and is looking for a way to gain her freedom. It’s not looking too good until she meets up with Nick, who is searching for his sister’s kidnapper. The kidnapper wants Nick to kill Satan by the end of the week, or Dani, his sister, dies. Nick is fine with killing Satan, except for that pesky no-retribution promise he made his father and grandfather. And there’s the slight complication that if Satan dies, so does Becca.

Becca is only interested in Nick because he may hold the key to existing outside of Hell and separate from Satan’s lifeforce. That’s what she tells herself, anyway. Complicating Becca’s existence is Paige, an apprentice and spy sent by Satan. So, Becca wants her freedom, Nick wants his sister, and Paige wants to be the best Rivka she can be. What could possibly go wrong?

The book starts out strong, with a good bit of action, followed by some exposition necessary to new readers like me. The story really takes off when Becca, Nick, and Paige all get together. If you’re looking for supernatural-lite, this is it. There’s just nothing scary about a Satan who dresses in designer clothes, speaks in broken English, and needs advice on his love life. For readers used to urban fantasy and darker stories, this may be a bit disconcerting. The ending lacked a bit of punch, but, again, that might be because I missed the first two installments. However, I enjoyed this one enough that I’d be interested in reading them. Unique characters and an interesting plot make this an entertaining trip to the softer side of Hell.

Rating: 7
May 2007
ISBN# 0-446-61901-9 (paperback)


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