Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Devil at the Crossroads by Cornelia Grey
Author: Cornelia Grey
Buy at Riptide
Buy at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Jared Rackler
Length: 72 pages, 19k words
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf, html
The devil covets more than his soul ...
Six years ago, Logan Hart sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest bluesman of all time—and now the devil has come to collect.
The irony is that Logan squandered his gift. High on fame, money, and drugs, he ignored his muse and neglected his music. And despite escaping showbiz in a moment of clarity, it’s too late to redeem himself. All that’s left is to try to go out with some dignity. Alas, the prospect of an eternity in Hell isn’t helping much with that goal.
But Farfarello, the devil who bought Logan’s soul, isn’t ready to drag him down to Hell quite yet. He’s just spent six years working his ass off to whip a bluesman into shape, and he refuses to let that—or the opportunity for more sinful pleasures with Logan—go to waste.
Ah, another taste of Cornelia Grey’s lovely, atmospheric prose: she can create such a scene with words you can practically reach in and pick things up. Here she’s using the language of despair, because Logan’s at the moment of reckoning.
Logan, desperate to escape his grimy coal town, makes a Faustian bargain with the devil he summons. Starting with nothing but a guitar and otherworldly help, he’s bought six years of what he wants most, or what he thinks he wants most. Staring down into red, red eyes at the moment of collection can make a man rethink his priorities.
The story is well contained in the blurb, so it’s the execution that makes the tale. Ms. Grey’s writing might as well be chocolate, sinfully rich and very smooth, so this story is all about how she drapes detail on that framework and brings Logan into some sort of redemption in his own eyes. Farfarello, of course, knows more than he’s saying.
This isn’t a romance, nor are the players equals, but there is understanding, there is hot sex, and there is the whiff of hope. The initial grimness has both a purpose and beauty, and the end has all the promise of sunrise.
Let’s just say that Dan’l Webster wouldn’t have come to this sort of resolution with Old Scratch, nor would Mephistopheles have said or done what Farfarello accomplishes here, but then, neither of those old devils ever heard Logan play the blues. 5 marbles