Title: Marked by Hell
Author: Erin Bedford
Review: The opening to Marked by Hell was brilliant, we meet Mary Wiles who is a private investigator/supernatural expert who is called to exorcise Father Dominic as he has been possessed by a demon. The demon tries to subdue Mary but we learn she isn’t human but rather she is a fallen angel. Mary as a protagonist is witty, sarcastic and very funny at times despite carrying the burden of her own personal demons.
As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel we see Mary and her assistant Trisha get called in one a police case because a very unusual body has been found. While working with the police Mary learns this is no normal occult practise but a demon raising demons ritual, this girl is the 3rd of 5 virgins that need to be sacrificed for the demon’s work to be completed. Mary begins to investigate the recent death by heading to the one place they all had in common, The Night Owl bar. At the bar Mary comes across a demon who was finding the virgins but not killing them and this only make her more determined to find out the truth. Sid the barman was a very interesting character although he was prone to mood swings but this could be due to something else as he constantly wear a rosary and even makes the comment “you wouldn’t like me without it” which made me think he could be more than he seems despite being human.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel we see Mary offered up as bait for the demons as they are finding the girls through a dating site and she is the only one that can draw the demons out long enough to get the information they need. After signing up for the dating site there isn’t much Mary can do other than wait, during the interview for the dating site Mary doesn’t really have to lie because she doesn’t understand dating really and I’d bet money on that fact that Mary is a virgin. We also see Mary get arrested with dealing with her normal cheating spouses case where Sergeant Thompson has to bail her out when she finally gets a date from the website. As we approach the halfway mark in the novel we see Mary go on her date. Her date, Dean definitely isn’t the guy they are looking for he is human and even attempts to drug Mary in the club in order to get off with her, definitely not demon material.
As we cross into the second half of the novel her second date Owen turns out to be exactly who Mary is looking but before she can get the drop on him she finds herself surrounded by demons with no gun and not enough holy power to see them all off at once. Despite being “kidnapped” by the very demons she hopes to kill and capture Mary has to play the victim – which she doesn’t do very well – until they are vulnerable enough for her to attack. While setting up the ritual one demon Dawson, catches wind that there is something very off about Mary but those thoughts are quickly vanished when the boss shows up.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel the boss is actually called Asmodeus; the master demon of lust and even Mary isn’t immune to his power but she has no other option but to get away from them as soon as she can. Mary manages to escape the demon but barely and with Sid’s help, this is the first time that Mary admits to herself that she likes Sid and it was hinted at earlier on. I loved the slightly steamy scene between Mary and Sid but something is holding Mary back, it’s the man from her past the one she would have considered starting a family with and the reason she lost her wings and is stuck on Earth but that was all before Sid.
As we cross into the final section of the novel we see Trisha get taken by the demons in Mary’s place and Mary decides to go all guns blazing to get her friend back but things may be more difficult than she first thought. When Mary faces Asmodeus for the second time we see the demon try and bargain with Mary with her beloved and his whereabouts which surprisingly doesn’t even phase Mary. The twist was so unexpected and completely took my breath away, but in the end it doesn’t matter. As Asmodeus end up dead and Mary mortally wounded everything comes together and as soon as she is well enough Mary is out for blood and vengeance.
Overall, I loved this novel and I can’t wait to get my hand on the next book or anything else by the author as soon as I can. I highly recommend this novel to all fantasy and paranormal lovers and I would also recommend it as a break in to the paranormal romance genre.
This book was sent to me for review consideration by the author
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