Have you ever seen a movie where the heroine hears a strange noise in the basement and feels compelled to open the door to investigate what’s going on? As you’re watching you’re certain she’s about to be swallowed by something unholy. The music becomes eerie and the tension is so thick your Thanksgiving carving knife wouldn’t be able to cut it. Those are the moments when I yell at the screen, “DON’T GO DOWN THE STAIRS!” Let’s be real, there’s evil lurking down there. You want to yell at the heroine, “turn around quickly; run out of the house; jump in your car; and dial 911 on your cell while you’re driving like there’s a 75% sale at Saks!”
Well, last week I had my very first Don’t-Go-Down-the-Stairs reading experience—and I found it immensely pleasurable. Huh? Say what? Okay, here’s what happened: As I sat in my reading chair turning the pages, I was mysteriously transported to a place I’d never been. And although an uneasy feeling washed over me, I could not and would not put down the book. The author had my attention, and I was in, all in. Hell Fire is the second book in the Corine Solomon series. Corine needs to move forward with her life, but in order to do that, she must take a trip to her hometown of Kilmer, Georgia, and solve her mother’s mysterious death. Kilmer is anything but picturesque—quite the opposite—and secrets and unidentified phenomenon abound. Between her ex-lover, Chance, who is hoping to re-spark what they once had, and a town that’s shrouded in evil, solving the mystery of her mother’s death could lead to Corine's own demise.
This series is filled with interesting paranormal folks who wield some wish-I-had-them abilities. Corine’s ability is being able to touch any object and know its history. Chance is “lucky” the way most people breathe—he just is. And then there’s Jesse, an empath, with the ability to feel what other’s feel (think Mel Gibson in What Women Want). Corine, Chance, and Jesse form a love triangle that adds another layer of tension to a murder mystery in a town you wouldn’t stop in if your car ran out of gas.
As I sat chewing my nails, I wondered what keeps Kilmer shrouded in mystery and evil. Why doesn’t anyone else know about this town? And how will Corine solve the mystery, avoid death, and choose between Chance and Jesse?
Well dear reader, you’ll have to get Hell Fire and find out. And if you haven’t read Ann Aguirre before, I recommend you make the purchase. She writes with all five senses. Her character and scene descriptions are so vivid it’s as though you're standing in the middle of the action—you can smell the air, see the colors, and feel the emotions. You are there.
I have read many books where the happy ending was delayed, but it’s the story telling I’m after, so if it takes a book or two to give me a happy ending, I’m okay with that.
What about you: do you need to have a happy ending at the end of each book?
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer.