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I Belong


Review: Devil Without a Cause by Terri Garey

Title: Devil Without a Cause

Author: Terri Garey

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: The Devil’s Bargain (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 31, 2011

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0061986399 (HarperCollins/Avon)

ISBN-13: 978-0061986390 (HarperCollins/Avon)

Reviewed by: Sheila

Synopsis:

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

Temptation and seduction are the tricks of the Devil’s trade, and when offered the chance to regain his wings by playing guardian angel, he’s hell-bent on doing things his way…

Faith McFarland is in need of a miracle. So desperate to save her sick child, she’s willing to make a deal with the Devil: steal a ring worn by Finn Payne, the bad-boy rockstar who long ago sold his soul for rock ‘n roll. Temptation and seduction become necessary evils, yet Faith’s salvation means Finn’s damnation…because the ring is all that stands between him and Hell. Falling in love was never part of the bargain, but now that they’ve tasted heaven in each other’s arms, can they convince the Devil to give up his due?

Quick & Dirty: A new take on the fall of Satan.

Opening Sentence“You went to the wedding, didn’t you?”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I have a secret.  If you promise not to tell anyone else, I will let you in on it.  I love books about religious tales, even though I am not religious myself.  Why, you ask?  I guess it’s because I LOVE it when authors put their own particular twist on well known stories.  I will read it just for the joy of seeing something I know through another’s eyes.  Devil Without a Cause, though it reminds me of a James Dean movie title, is one such tale.  It is a story of the biblical fall of Satan.  What were his true motives and feelings of being cast out of Heaven?  Can the Devil be redeemable after all?  The Archangel Gabriel thinks so.

Gabriel seeks out the Devil, Sammy Devine, to offer him a job; be a guardian angel for Faith MacFarland.  He hopes that if Sammy can prove that he has changed for the better, then the One, their father, will accept him back into Heaven.  Of course, Sammy chooses to help but on his own terms.  Is there redemption for the Devil, or is Gabriel looking at Sammy as he would have him be and not as he is?  Does Sammy truly care about returning to his maker’s side, or is he just playing with Gabriel?

Sammy approaches Faith in a hospital chapel while she is praying for her very sick little boy, Nathan.  He has cancer and the outlook for him looks grim.  The bargain that Sammy offers is this: He cures her son in return for a favor.  Being a good mom, she agrees before learning all the details.  Remember, the devil is in the details!  She must steal a ring from a very sexy rock star, legend Finn Payne, and give it to Sammy, or her son’s cancer will end up killing him.  Her needs and the needs of her child are making it hard on Faith.  She develops feelings for Finn but believes that her son must always come first.  Can she find a middle ground that makes all parties involved happy?  Must she sacrifice her own happiness for Nathan to be happy?

Sammy also has a bargain with Finn Payne.  Finn has a magical ring, The Ring of Chaos, that aids his musical career, making him a superstar.  All he has to do is keep the ring with him and stay sane.  The spirit within the ring, Chaos, tends to be hard on its wearer’s mental stability.  If he does lose it, his career and life are over and his soul will belong to Sammy.  When he is seduced by Faith and realizes that she stole his ring, he is rightly upset.  But is he more upset that his ring is gone, or that he started to think that Faith was someone special?   He has a weekend to change her mind about giving the ring to the Devil and instead give it back to him.  Is he really willing to do whatever it takes to get his ring back, even if it hurts an innocent little boy in the process?  Does he dare allow his feelings for Faith and her son take precedent or his life and career?  Is love worth it?

Well, that’s the question isn’t it: Is love worth it?  Finn and Faith barely know each other but they are willing to defy the Devil, Sammy, for each other.  I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do think that love can start with a single glance.  But will that be enough to get them off the hook with Sammy?  Can love truly conquer all?

Sammy has his own drama going on.  Apparently, he has a nine-year-old son named Cain and now is in charge of him.  This is the part of the book I really enjoyed: The Great and Mighty Satan, raising a little boy.  This side story is what really made the entire book for me.  Sammy’s lethargy toward his own existence is the start of his change in his perspective.  Losing the mortal he loved, Nikki Styx, to another man has left him wanting a change in his life.  This is also the reason Gabriel confronted Sammy in the beginning.  With the knowledge of a son, Sammy’s life is about to change, for good or bad, just as any child changes the lives of their parents.  Can the Devil learn mercy and forgiveness?  Can a little boy’s presence have a good effect on him?  Or will he just continue on his selfish path without deviation? Will this new development in his own life affect how he deals with his “bargains?”

Ms. Garey has delivered a compelling story.  An interesting take on a well-known literary figure in literature, she strives to humanize a very inhuman being.  I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys stories about angels and their ilk.  I look forward to the rest of The Devil’s Bargain series.  Terri Garey is definitely an author I will be keeping my eye on from now on and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.  I must say that she has allowed me to feel “sympathy for the devil!”

Notable Scene:

“If you’re trying to provoke me, it’s not going to work.”

“Ah.  Lost your sense of humor somewhere in the darkness, I suppose.  ‘Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused,’ ” Gabriel quoted.  “One of the unrecorded Beatitudes.”

Not for anything would he show his amusement, so Sammy turned away, strolling toward another fresco.  Gabriel followed, for all the world as though they’d come here to offer their joint opinion on man’s conception of the heavens.

“I never took you for a Catholic,” Gabe said idly, as they perused scenes from the life of Moses.  “Yet here you are at the Vatican.  Something to confess?”

“Your sarcasm is wasted on me,” Sammy returned, though it wasn’t.  “I enjoy beauty in all its forms, whether in be in a chapel, in a field, or in the arms of a woman.  You, on the other hand, are limited by the narrowness of tunnel vision.  You see everything as black or white, good or evil, with no shades of grey.”

“I am limited by nothing,” Gabriel replied, “save my love for you.”

“Careful, Gabriel,” he mocked.  “The church frowns on such things.”

“You know exactly what I mean, and don’t pretend you don’t.”

Love,” Sammy scoffed, peering into the eyes of a painted saint, virtuous ad pure.  “How can you believe in love after all these years?”

“I needn’t experience it physically to know it exists.  I see in the wondering eyes of a new mother or the steady, peaceful gaze of a faithful spouse.  Surely you remember our early teachings, Samael.  ‘And there remain these three: faith, hope, and love… and the greatest of these is love.’ ”

The Devil’s Bargain Series:

1. Devil Without a Cause

2. A Devil Named Desire

 

FTC Advisory: HarperCollins/Avon provided me with a copy of Devil Without a Cause.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  I get paid only in hugs and kisses from my little boys.

 

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