Guest Review: Temping is Hell by Cathy Yardley (Necessary Evil #1)
Received from publisher
Yummy Man – Thomas Kestrel
Kick Ass Chick – Kate O’Hara
From Goodreads –
WORST. JOB. EVER.
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…
WHAT THE HELL?
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.
IT’S NOT JUST A JOB. IT’S A MISADVENTURE.
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!
My favorite part about reading is the sense of escapism a great story can give me. There’s something to be said about reading a fun story full of twists and turns and not to mention a shot of paranormal shenanigans to put it way out there. Now I have to admit that I’m not too savvy with this genre of books so my review and synopsis will be from a pretty clean slate as far as expectations are concerned which is probably a good thing as I had no idea what to expect when I started to turn the pages. However, I can tell you that there were many things I didn’t expect and many things that I was pleasantly surprised to discover.
Temping is Hell is the work of Cathy Yardley and is the first book in her Necessary Evil series. Boy is that title appropriate! I’ve never had to work for a temp agency but did work with a few guys that were on contract when I was a fraud investigator back in the day. These guys were alright but were the first casualties when the bank downsized so yeah, I can see how hellish that kind of job security / uncertainty can be. Cathy takes on a different approach placing our “kick ass chick” Kate in an over the top corporate megalith called “Fiendish” in a temp role reporting to a witch of a woman who’s only employing the temps as fodder for when she gets put on the hook for something negative. She can then pin the screw up on one of the temps and get rid of them. From the get go Kate is a fish out of water. Refusing to be a corporate lemming, her quick wit, unfiltered honesty and girl next door charm set the stage for all kinds of amusement and intrigue. It doesn’t take long for Kate to piss off her immediate boss with displays of efficiency and initiative and to attract the attention of the man in charge of the whole operation, Multimillion heartthrob Thomas who’s in the business of soul searching on the side. No really. He’s looking for souls!
Thomas is man shrouded by mystery. Here is a guy who has everything money can buy but finds himself in a heap of trouble trying to desperately regain claim to his soul by employing a heap of demons in the basement looking for contracts to help him get at the person who signed his soul in the first place. Think of it like a pyramid scheme in some respects. To further complicate things, Thomas gains a soft spot in his heart for Kate and does what he can to keep her close to him. After all, a big powerful man like him would naturally be attracted to the natural non corporate beauty that Kate just gushes from her personality. It doesn’t take long before Kate figures out what Thomas is really all about and what follows is a whirlwind of betrayal, demons, soul signing, romance, death… The list could go on and on.
What did I like about this book? Well, the characters are great. From the major characters to the supporting cast, Cathy takes the time to give them distinct quirks and canvases to really latch onto. Kate’s dialogue is awesome and I found myself smiling often in response to her behavior and conversations. A great moment was when Kate was befriending a demon that was working for Thomas in the office basement. Cathy was able to give this demon a sliver of humanity which made me feel empathetic to the demons situation and really illustrated Kate’s “mother hen” demeanor which just furthered my love for that character. Kate and Thomas have a complicated relationship and the two of them are very different. I like how Cathy doesn’t compromise Kate’s personality for the sake of a budding romance at the same time keeping Thomas affectionate yet still in control of his somewhat hidden agenda. Their connection is cute and open to many different avenues of development. The story also flowed very well. There were no times where I was left struggling to get through a chapter or times where I felt that the story was disjointed. As a rookie to this genre of books I was grateful that I didn’t have to reference the dictionary or a history book to figure out what was going on, or worse have to ask my wife to explain a WTF moment or two. Flow is important to me and Cathy wove her tale like a 10,000 thread count Egyptian bed sheet. Very comfy.
About ¾ of the way through the book I asked Julie if there were others in the series and was glad when she said that there were. I’m not going to sugar coat it when I say that there is A LOT of things going on in this book and at times I wished that there was more content to back up some of the things that were happening. I found that the introduction of the paranormal aspects of the book was a little hurried and could have used a bit of pretext to ease the reader in. Again, this might be because I’m new to the genre but I felt that a little back story to the soul signing, contract searching and demons would have helped me jump into that stuff a little easier. Then again, this is the first book in a series and I expect that a lot of the questions that had my head spinning when things were being first introduced will be answered in due time. The same could be said for a few of the supporting characters. I found that some of them roared into the book, did their thing and were shelved for lack of a better word. Of course the book doesn’t need to be 500 pages long but a little more meat to these characters would have spiked my enjoyment level.
If there’s a moral to be learned from this book it’s that if you work for a temp agency and you’re placed at a corporation called “Fiendish” there’s a good chance you’ll end up being a demon’s mid afternoon snack or if you’re cut from the same cloth as Kate you’re in for a tilt-a-whirl adventure. Temping is Hell is a fun read and left me wanting more; in a good way of course. I think Cathy has laid out a good foundation for future books in the series and I for one will be anxiously awaiting the next one.