Instead of the deadly force it once was, magic is now a useless novelty. But not for Shame Flynn and Terric Conley, “breakers” who have the gift for reverting magic back to its full-throttle power. In the magic-dense city of Portland, Oregon, keeping a low profile means keeping their gifts quiet. After three years of dealing with disgruntled magic users, Shame and Terric have had enough of politics, petty magic, and, frankly, each other. It’s time to call it quits.
When the government discovers the breakers’ secret—and its potential as a weapon—Shame and Terric suddenly become wanted men, the only ones who can stop the deadly gift from landing in the wrong hands. If only a pair of those wrong hands didn’t belong to a drop-dead-gorgeous assassin Shame is falling for as if it were the end of the world. And if he gets too close to her, it very well could be.
Hell Bent is the first novel in a two-part series called Broken Magic. The stories are set in the same universe that the Allie Beckstrom series was but three years from the ending of Magic on the Line when Allie and Crew stopped the apocalypse in its tracks and changed magic for the better.
According to Devon's notes, you can most likely read this series without having to read the Allie Beckstrom series since she does a fairly decent job of summarizing the previous series events. However, I would like to point out that the main characters, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley, are directly related to the Allie's series and Allie, Zayvion, Maeve, Hayden, Cody Miller, Stone, and Davy Silvers all make appearances in various situations throughout the book.
Hell Bent is told in the first POV by Shame but Terric is not that far away and more than makes his appearance felt. He and Terric were named co-heads of the Authority in Magic on the Line, but Shame is still dealing very badly with his death magic and the fact that he has a ghost tied to him and therefore often finds himself deep into alcohol and forgetting his responsibilities. Shame literally goes through the ringer in Hell Bent. There are some awful moments, some amazing moments, and some moments that you want to pump your fist and yell HELLS YEAH!, and a tender moment when Maeve returns home to Portland after a most devastating moment that leaves Shame vulnerable and looking for major payback.
I don't remember having read that Shame ever had a steady girlfriend over the course of the 9 books in the Allie series. In Hell Bent, he meets Dessa Leeds who has come to Portland searching for her dead brothers killer. Dessa is a fun character. She's determined. She's lethal. She knows who Shame and Terric are and isn't all that afraid of either one of them. She's also a former covert government operative who knows that trouble is heading for Shame and the Soul Complements like Allie and Zay. I would say that Shame definitely had his heart in the right place where Dessa is concerned.
I will not tell you who the antagonists are in Hell Bent but will say that it is not hard to figure out. I am pretty sure that once he is introduced, readers from the Allie series will immediately pick up on it and get anxious and nervous about your favorite characters health and wonder whether or not they will survive until the end of this series. This story is quite bloody at times. There are a whole lot of dead bodies thanks to Shame. It has to in order to understand how much the Death magic and Shame are linked and if anyone hurts someone Shame loves, they become expendable. Monk definitely does not hold back in the body count.
I will say that I was a bit eager and a bit hesitant to read this series since I loved Shame and Terric in the Allie series. I appreciate the fact that they can become friends, and brothers, and not be forced into a situation where they become lovers or soul mates, as it were. Personally, I think there are enough series that feature M/M characters and I just want a break from all the PC nonsense. I don't see a problem with men just wanting to be best friends who look out for each other, and would stop the world if anyone hurt the other.
I am definitely eager to read Stone Cold now that the ending left me eager for more Shame, Terric, and some major payback on the antagonists.
Part II, Stone Cold, releases April 1, 2014 by Roc
Author - Devon Monk
Title - Hell Bent (Broken Magic # 1)
Publisher - Penguin/ROC
Releases - November 5, 2013
Genre - Urban Fantasy
Recvd via Netgalley from Publisher