About the Story: Jayne Hamilton was exceedingly good at her job, but not good at tooting her own horn. She’d headed more account teams than she could count and had always delivered award-winning campaigns and service. She quietly did her job, helped others in theirs, and was forever overlooked by management. Her boss Tyson Tanner says this.
“If you ever want to be more than an account monkey, you’ve gotta bring in the big fish, Hamilton! Bring in someone new and land us millions, and I’ll let you punch your own ticket, kiddo.”
She left the office one afternoon to get some air stifled with the size of her cubicle and frustrated with work. Rather than finding the usual ma and pa shop as she was walking, there stood in its place, a huge, dark skyscraper.
“She glanced around, mentally mapping her location and setting the familiar landmarks down to get her bearings. Yup, there’s the Transamerica Building and the good ol’ Millennium Tower, and yup, the rest of San Francisco’s biggies just the way they should be. So where the hell did you come from?”
She made her way into the building, noting the company name was H.E., LLc. From this moment forward Jayne’s life changes. She fears she has either gone insane or those within the building belong in a mental institute.
Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness and overlord of Hell, better known as Luke to his friends, saw this woman enter his domain. He couldn’t fathom how she had gotten into the building. Humans NEVER were able to enter the building let alone see it.
When Jayne decided she better escape this strange building and the man at the concierge desk, she dared not turn her back on him, but edged backward, ending up backing into a person. Screaming, for her nerves were that frayed, she through her purse at the apparent attacker. Unfortunately her purse strap broke and all contents were strewn all over the black marble floor. Embarrassed she began collecting her things off the floor.
“Ms. Hamilton?” he asked, holding out her purse to drop in her lipstick. “Here, let me help you up.” He held out one hand and waited.
“I’m fine. I just…” But as illogical as it was, she found it easy to ignore the mess and took his hand to stand to face him. He really has golden eyes. The electric warmth of his touch was like sweet honey across her skin. “I really should pick all this up before someone does a Chevy Chase on a ballpoint pen.”
He smiled and her knees turned to rubber. “You’re kind to worry about others.”
“I’m just imagining a lawsuit would top my morning so perfectly, that I’d best not leave anything to chance.”
He laughed, and Jayne decided she was as infatuated as any girl could be. “I love your humor.” He politely returned her purse to her. “There, all restored and as it should be.”
She felt the familiar heft of it and a small twinge of confusion at the sensation. “Well, yes, but…” The strap was fixed and a single glance inside assumed her that everything was back in place. She looked around the lobby and was amazed that not a single object littered its floor. “How did you do that?”
He smiled and shook his head. “I can’t see allowing a lawsuit to ruin the rest of your day.”
My purse strap broke. My stuff went everywhere. He never moved from that spot. Who is he? David Copperfield?
“Thanks, Mr…?” she fished for a name.
“Morningstar. But please call me Luke.”
Where Jayne seemed to be drawn to Luke, he too, was drawn to her. But the Devil being an Angel was not allowed to coerce, seduce or interfere with a human unless he receives Sanction from Upper Management. Nor could he lie about his nature and who he was. But it appeared that Upper Management had Sanctioned Jayne because she had seen the building and had entered it.
My Thoughts: I have read Renee Bernard’s books in the Black Rose Trilogy. It amazed me the same author had written both books. What a talented writer. She is adept in both genre. This story was enchanting! Truly I will never look at Heaven, Hell, Lucifer and other Angels of the realm quite the same again.
This book is chock-full of humor. Jayne’s mind concocts laughable thoughts while she is trying to deal with meeting the Devil. It takes her some time to wrap her mind around the fact that she wants to spend time with him. All she sees is politeness, kindness and just plain sweet. Since Lucifer can tell no lies they discuss ‘all the elephants in the room’ so she can understand him and his job better. When his driver comes to pick her up from her apartment and tells her he’s a Demon, she seems to begin taking things in stride. She only hopes he knows how to drive!
I was enchanted with the interaction between all the Angels, the angel of wisdom, the angel of death, Angel Gabriel, etc. They actually play poker together, bantering back and forth. It is apparent that Upper Management had planned wisely when these angels were created because they were a team, although representing different aspects of realm, light and darkness.
Lucifer hated his job, but he had applied for it and found that Upper Management was quite happy with the way he ran things. He suffered for all the evil that happened in the world. He spent most of his time monitoring and looking at review reports. So in Renee Bernard’s story, Lucifer was really just doing his job, he had no choice. As the other angels did theirs.
It’s comical, and romantic and being the softy I am, I cried. Of course, there is a happy ever after ending with just enough thread for us to know that Malcolm, the assistant to Lucifer will be having his own story.
Irreverent to some, I suppose, but extremely entertaining, a page-turner and just plain funny. I absolutely loved, loved, loved it!
About the Author: Renee Bernard is an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance and recently, contemporary romantic comedy. She won RT’s Reviewer’s Choice award for “Best Debut Historical” in 2006 and never slowed down (she missed the memo). By the end of 2014, she will have fifteen books out there in the world. She has published with Simon & Schuster and Berkley as well as branching out into independent publishing, audio books and comic books. For over four years she has been the host of “The Romance Bookmark” (formerly “Canned Laughter and Coffee”), a weekly internet radio show with between 80-100K registered listeners via Readers Entertainment. From wine wrangling to stand-up comedy and public speaking, there’s nothing off the table. (No really. Nothing. Except anything involving a pole. She’s past that now.)
Renee lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains with her husband and daughters, and an adequate number of cats to qualify as a romance writer.