Author: Erin Quinn
Series: THE BEYOND SERIES
Plot Type: Soul Mate Romance (SMR)
Ratings: Violence-4; Sensuality-4; Humor-2
Publisher and Titles: Pocket
The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love (8/2013)
"The Forbidden Love of Alex Moore" in Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Fiction
The Three Fates of Ryan Love (1/2015)
The Seven Sins of Ruby Love (coming in 2016)
Others who break God's laws are consigned to Abaddon (from the Book of Revelation, 9), which is comparable to Hell, but much worse. Abaddon is named after its fallen-angel leader (aka King of the Abyss, Angel of Death, the Destroyer), who can command hordes of locusts and flocks of giant ravens to do his bidding. "Scavenger demons took delight in killing, in the terror that consumed their victims, but Abaddon had bathed in their blood. He'd been so cruel, so vicious that he'd been locked away, named for the place of destruction where he'd been banished." (p. 28) To enter mortal Earth, Others must come through portals, and the demons are always trying to break through so that they can cause trouble on Earth.
Set in Tempe, Arizona, the series follows the adventures and romances of the siblings in the Love family: Ryan, Ruby, and twins Roxanne and Reece. Each has a magical connection or power, and in each book one of them finds a supernatural mate.
BOOK 1: The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love
The point of view is always third person, but from several viewpoints: primarily Roxanne, Santo, and Reece. This pays off nicely as we are able to get inside each one's mind and watch how each character develops as various events occur and as each has some eye-opening epiphanies. Luckily for the reader, Quinn does a great job of avoiding the usual overload of repetitive angst found in so many paranormal romances. Roxanne has spent her life feeling like a freak because her multiple resurrections have created a storm of publicity and a mob of stalkers. She doesn't know why she keeps coming back, but she does know that each time she dies, someone—an unseen male presence—comforts her and makes her feel safe while she's in the Beyond. Reece, on the other hand, comes back from his death trips screaming and panicked; no one is comforting him. Roxanne has always said that she just wants a normal life, but she eventually realizes that, "She was a polite, lonely woman who guarded every word and locked every door behind her. She said that she wanted to be normal, but inside she knew that wasn't possible...She was the woman who tried to jump into a pack of ravenous creatures to save someone she'd never met but was too afraid to reach out to someone she wanted to know. Wanted to know very badly. Wasn't that the opposite of normal?" (p. 187)
The reaper unexpectedly absorbs all of Santo's memories, emotions, and skills. He can drive a car (and hot-wire one), speak both Spanish and English, and remember every moment of Santo's grief. He even begins to think of himself as Santo rather than as a reaper. As Santo, he also feels lust for the first time in his very long existence. Very soon, the reaper senses that "his identity, already abraded by Santo's, roiled and twisted in the flotsam until even he couldn't determine where one ended and the other began. The line of demarcation between the two vanished in the torrent." (p. 114) In the beginning, the reaper's sole purpose is to discover the secret of Roxanne's immortality and then kill both her and his Santo self by fire, but when he meets her face to face (and body to body), he changes his mind. "Each time Roxanne died and returned to life, he collected a sliver of her soul and those small shards made him yearn for more of her. Always more. It's what had pulled him from the Beyond to take the rest." (p. 62) Santo's biggest fear is that if he tells Roxanne the whole truth about himself, she will hate him.
This is a well-written paranormal romance, with plenty of compelling action, lots of emotional depth, and excellent character development. The next book will tell big brother Ryan's story. Click HERE to read an excerpt from The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love.