Monday, February 18, 2013

Temping Is Hell (Necessary Evil #1) by Cathy Yardley

Release Date: January 20, 2013
Published by: Entangled Edge
Source: Provided by author


Kate O'Hara can't wait until this temp assignment is over. The woman who hired her is a psychotic pageant queen, her coworkers are convicts-turned-clerks, and it's so boringly corporate it makes her skin crawl. Even her sexy-as-sin boss, famed billionaire Thomas Kestrel, isn't enticement enough to keep her there. Once she makes enough to pay off her bills, she's out. Or so she thinks...


Next thing she knows, she's accidentally signed over her soul. Literally. And she's discovered Thomas's real mission: to kill thirteen bad guys in one year, in order to get his—now his and Kate’s—souls back.


From learning to boost the morale of some paper-pushing demons to navigating her way through blood-red tape, Kate has to work closely with her super-hot supervisor and get her flaky act together, before somebody clocks her out—p permanently!

Temping Is Hell is a unique urban fantasy debut with a dark mystery, a likable protagonist, and just the right amount of humor.

The story begins with Kate O'Hara's first day as a temp at Fiendish Enterprises. She's not a fan of 'big corporate', but she's stuck living with her parents after losing her last job and is in desperate need of an income. 

Her first day at Fiendish, a company that has earned the nickname "Hell", doesn't go smoothly. She's given no specific details as to what tasks she should be completing and has a diva supervisor with an Angry Birds obsession. To make matters worse, Kate decides to take some initiative and volunteers herself for additional assignments which only manages to backfire and puts her job at risk.

Luckily for Kate she meets Thomas Kestrel, the owner of Fiendish Enterprises. Despite not being the type of woman he is typically attracted to, Thomas finds that he is drawn to Kate because of her refreshing honesty, or what I call her lack of a verbal filter. But he quickly learns how much trouble one fiery red-headed temp can be when Kate is reassigned to 'Contracts' in the basement.

She stumbles into a secret world where demons exist and are brought over to the human realm to do the bidding of those who call on them. But what makes this aspect of the story so interesting is that Kate doesn't immediately realize what she's gotten herself into. She believes the demons, who are seemingly normal men, are the equivalent to slaves and are forced to work in the Contracts department with no food or breaks. She makes it a personal goal to take care of these mistreated workers. This was comical at times and causes a lot of trouble for Kestrel.

Kestrel's character is a determined man with many secrets who has allowed one goal to become the single focus of his life. He wants to kill the demon who has a contract on his soul. In order to do that, he must kill the 12 men that protect him. But first he has to find them.

Kate becomes deeply entangled in Kestrel's operation and there is plenty of lying, deceiving, and manipulating involved. But Kate proves to be a clever, competent protagonist and I love that she held her own despite being thrown into an intimidating situation that seemed impossible to believe. 

While I enjoyed both Kate and Thomas' characters, I'm glad that the story only hinted at a potential romance. I was more intent on learning about Kate's involvement with the demons and learning about the mystery of Thomas' contracts and how he would accomplish his goals. I wouldn't have enjoyed this as much if it were weighed down by Kate and Thomas' pining for one another.

Overall, I thought Temping Is Hell was a refreshing urban fantasy debut in a series that I look forward to continuing. 


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