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Emma Jane Hellsbane always knew she was different, but she had no idea she wasn’t even human. Well, at least she’s half-human. She’s half-fallen angel, too, and now dear ol’ dad wants her dead. All the Fallen angels want all their troublesome offspring removed from the mortal coil so she’s trying not to take it personally. Besides, she wants him dead just as much. Her father’s death is the only way she’ll be forgiven for his sin, stop those pesky demons from trying to hack off her head, and have any hope at all of getting back to a normal life as a wicked slick Intuitive Consciousness Explorer.

Of course, first she’ll have to figure out which fallen angel is her father, avoid accidentally seducing her angelic mentor, help an old friend conquer his own fallen sperm donor, and basically save the world from a cataclysmic divine smack down.

No problem. With a last name like Hellsbane, Emma Jane was definitely born for the job

352 pages, ebook

First published November 30, 2011

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About the author

Paige Cuccaro

14 books95 followers
Wife, Mother, tax payer, writer.

Read the complete series from the beginning...

I live in Ohio, with my husband, three daughters, three dogs, and three cats, in an ever shrinking house. When I'm not writing I'm doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and for me, the best way to stimulate my imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.

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5 stars
137 (26%)
4 stars
188 (36%)
3 stars
139 (27%)
2 stars
34 (6%)
1 star
16 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 85 reviews
December 5, 2011
Emma Hellsbane thinks she is just a little abnormal as a psychic. Little does she know that when she opens her door, that the truth about how abnormal she is, is about to come out. As a half angel warrior, an illorum, her only job is to destroy the Fallen who rapped human women to produce the nephiliams. With the help of Tommy, another half angel, and Eli, her "handler" angel, she must face the truth about angels, demons, and God.

Wow! I loved this book!

Emma has always felt different, but when she finds out why she is different, she is kind of skeptical. But then again, who wouldn't be? Worse, before she had never really believed in God, and now (of all things), she is given a big flashing, sword welding sign that, yep, God exists. I loved reading her struggle with accepting angels, demons, and God. People can say all they want that they believe or don't believe, but when the real proof comes to light, who can actually say that they wouldn't handle it with the same amount of disbelief?

Tommy and Eli were great characters on different ends of the spectrum. Tommy is a guy stuck as a illorum until he can kill his Fallen father. He wants to go back to his normal life, and doesn't believe everything that Eli tells him. He thinks that the angels are just using them, and he can't help but feel helpless and used. Eli, on the other hand, truly believes in the good of the missions of the illorums. He has been on earth for centuries, and he has seen the good and the bad of all the world, and yet he still works towards keeping himself pure. Though in the case of Emma, it seems to be harder for him.

I will say that my one irritation with this whole book was the amount of sexual tension. I mean, the sexual tension between Emma and Tommy (which was allowed, I mean, he hadn't had a girlfriend in 5 years... Gotta be stressful), the HUGE amount of sexual tension between Emma and Eli. Oh my goodness, I wanted her to just shove him on her bed, stripe him down and have her way with him, whether he would turn into the Fallen or not. I mean that is how much tension I read!

I did love the cliff hanger of this novel. One of the Fallen seems to know something special about her, but he is killed by Emma before revealing the information. You really want to know what it is about her that makes her so special. I REALLY WANT TO KNOW!! But I guess this is another reason to read the next book!
Profile Image for Aislynn.
236 reviews48 followers
December 19, 2011
When Emma Jane finished with her last client of the she had no idea that the next person to knock on her door was about to change her life and there was no looking back. She had no idea when high school acquaintance Tommy swept across her threshold he was being tracked by deadly demons who wanted nothing more then to kill him and her.

After picking up Tommy's sword to help in the fight against a mailman/demon she inadvertently invited into her home - she is marked. After Tommy explains just what the painful marks on her arm are she embarks on an adventure that will either kill her or make her stronger.

This was a very unique story - filled with Fallen Angels, Demons, Nephilim (half angel/half human), Illorum (marked warrior's - also Nephilim) and of course Angels/Seraphim. We meet some very interesting characters!! Each has their own 'gift' that can help or hinder Emma Jane - as well as those who are very good at disguising their true selves.

I don't want to give too much away but this book is jam packed action, great characters and witty banter. There is an interesting potential 'love' triangle with Eli, Tommy and Emma Jane. Although things are shaken up with Emma Jane meets Dan! I loved learning the back stories behind the characters, how they came to be where they are and all the information on who Nephilim, the Illorum and the Fallen are.

This book is definitely a paranormal, with some urban fantasy leanings. For those who love that genre this might be a book for you!
Profile Image for Vicky.
Author 22 books45 followers
July 29, 2016
The main character, Emma Jane Hellsbane, can sense emotions. That, along with her degree in psychology give her background she needs to be a phone-in psychic and advisor. When an old high school acquaintance, Tommy James, knocks on her door she is a little confused. They were never friends in high school. He was Mr. Popularity and she…wasn’t. He arrives sporting a gruesome wound and carrying a huge sword dripping with something black and tarry. When a demon disguised as the postman enters her home and attacks Tommy, she grabs the dropped sword and uses it to dispatch the demon. She thought she was doing a good thing in saving Tommy’s life. She had no clue she was ruining hers.

In using the sword, she’s now been marked as an illorum, half angel and half human. As a Chosen, she receives a few new gifts – not aging, the ability to heal and move faster, fight, read emotions and sense the Fallen. She's joined in a new battle of good vs. evil.

I really liked Emma Jane. She’s witty, stubborn, and a survivalist. Tommy is her perfect partner and Eli, the angel who is her mentor, is…interesting. What I didn’t like were the constant references to God and faith, almost to the point of being a religious novel. I understand they were necessary to some point, but they seemed to go overboard, especially in the beginning. I get the whole “sins of the father” aspect, but there were times when I had to stop and say “really?” I also did not like…(please do not read the spoiler if you don’t want to know)

Hellsbane is an interesting urban fantasy. The world building is well done, the characters well crafted. The story is unique and different. As pointed out above, there were things I liked (the characters and world building) and things I didn’t (almost overboard on the religious aspects), but beyond that, it was a decent story. If you like urban fantasies with angels and good vs. evil story lines, then pick this one up and give it a try.
December 13, 2011
Today's review is on Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro

Though Hellsbane is not technically a YA novel; the character's are not in their teens, the amount of romance was more that speed, but the fantasy portion was fantastic. My only gripe is that Thomas was removed from the love triangle to early.

Emma Jane Hellsbane has been living her life as best as she can. Living in the house her grandmother left her and working as a "psychic". She's not really psychic though. She's not even human! She doesn't know this however, she just knows that she can feel the emotions of the people around her and she uses that to her advantage. When there's a knock on her door and her school crush Thomas "Tommy" Saint James is there, her life is thrown into chaos.

Tommy is bleeding and is badly beaten. She lets him in and the next thing you know, there is a cloven-hoofed demon attacking him right in her living room. When it seems that Tommy is about to lose the fight, Emma grabs the sword Tommy was using and ends the demon's life and by doing so, marking herself as a fighter against the Fallen.

Tommy and Emma are both half angles. They are the children of the Fallen angles and human women. They are charged with killing all of the Fallen until they end the life of their father's. This "calling" however will not be easy and lives will be lost. They do have an angel on their side though, Eli. His hands are tied though. If he interferes he could start a war. If he Falls, he will have to be killed.

All in all Hellsbane is a pretty good book. I would have liked to see more of a romance between Emma and Tommy and was a bit annoyed that he was killed so soon in the series. I'm curious as to how Cuccaro is going to develop Emma and Eli's relationship too. I guess I will have to keep reading the series to see how everything ultimately pans out.

3 of 5 stars

Profile Image for A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol).
1,943 reviews1 follower
August 23, 2013

*Book source ~ Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Emma Jane Hellsbane has always known she was different from other people. She can sense and experience their emotions as if they were her own and it took some serious practice to block them out. Though there are times she doesn’t always succeed. When former schoolmate, Tommy Saint James, shows up unexpectedly on her doorstep and he’s wielding a sword, wounded and jumpy she wonders what the heck is going on. Tommy had disappeared his Senior year, eight years ago and yet here he is not looking a day over 18. With a big ass sword. I mentioned that, right? And when Emma lets in the mailman who’s not a mailman, but a demon Tommy uses the sword to defend himself, but when he’s disarmed by the demon, Emma picks up the sword to protect him and in that very moment her life is changed. Emma thought her life was weird before. She ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Emma is a nephilim, part human, part angel and when she picks up Tommy’s sword against a demon she becomes an illorum, or warrior for God. Her mission now is to kill demons and the Fallen, but if she can kill her own Fallen father then her life can go back to normal. Easy, right? Um, not so much. In addition to Tommy we’re introduced to Tommy’s and now Emma’s magister, Elizal (or Eli), another illorum named Liam and Officer Dan. Mihir, Emma’s friend from Commencement is not in this book and I was disappointed by that fact. For a first full book in the series it does a good job of bringing everyone up to speed about Seraphim, Fallen, angels and other things that Emma needs to know in order to survive her new life. All-in-all a great book with lots of action involving swords. I love swords.
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books696 followers
December 8, 2011
Emma Jane has never really been what you would call normal. She's always been able to read the emotions of others... she's even made a career of it, as a psychic of sorts. But it never occurred to her that she may be anything other than human. Until Tommy came back into her life, dripping blood, with a demon on his heels. He nearly lost his fight with the monster in front of her eyes. He would have been killed -- if Emma hadn't picked up his sword to help him. Those were the actions that triggered her dormant nephalim blood.

It turns out that, like Tommy, Emma is half angel. And once her nephalim side is activated, she becomes a magnet for demon attacks. She'll serve as a warrior against the Fallen, until she finds her own father and kills him.

She has an angel to guide her. But Eli is as much of a temptation as he is a tutor. There's a definite attraction there and it's not one-sided. Unfortunately, if the two of them ever succumb to their desires, it would be disastrous --and Eli would Fall.

Despite some warm and fuzzy moments, there is no sex in the book. And at times, it had an almost YA feel. The heroine is 23, but she comes across as pretty innocent. There's attraction, but there is no more action than a kiss or two... and the language is pretty tame.

I liked the story. And I liked the dynamic between Emma and Eli --though where it could go, I have no idea. It's clear there is more to Emma than meets the eye and I'm interested to see how that will play out later in the series. It has potential. 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley
215 reviews11 followers
January 3, 2012
Hellsbane Book Review
Emma Jane is the new and unsuspecting Illorum on the scene. From a mystic psychic to God’s power on earth this certainly gave this tough cookie a fright. When delivered in the package of your high school crush and his sword, no his actual honest to God Touch-me- and-awaken-new-powers, sword no good can come from that especially when you’re told you’re half angel your mom was raped and you’ve gotta cut off your family so they don’t get killed. There is SO much was going on in the book.

The reader is thrust on an emotional rollercoaster from “what? There’s a God?” to Tommy and her ever so hot angelic mentor Eli. Emma Jane takes on her new role with a passion, but there is a way out. Kill the man who impregnated your mother, after speaking to her mother leads to dead ends Ms Jane is soon set on another path filled with action, adventure, mystery, drama and oh so delicious romance.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Emma Jane seems like a trouble magnet her snarky sense of humour and that little I-have-to-fall-for-you
LITERALLY to be with you Mentor Eli, is hot!
Profile Image for Tiffany.
153 reviews4 followers
March 18, 2015
I've started like 5 or so books, but I really wasn't feeling any of them. With Hellsbane I was HOOKED before the first page was over! I admit, I haven't read many books about angels/demons, but I felt the story was very original and I couldn't put it down.

I love Emma, she's strong but not unbelievably so....I never really believe the heroine's who are all mouthy from the start. Emma is real. She's funny and fun to read :)
Profile Image for Talina Perkins.
Author 22 books56 followers
February 24, 2012
( 4.5 star Top Pick Review for Night Owl Reviews | Read & Reviewed by Talina Perkins)

First Line:

I couldn’t breathe. My heart slammed in my chest like a caged animal and sweat chilled down my back. Muscles all over my body tensed, and instinct screamed through my mind, telling me to run. Run. RUN!


Then it was gone. Darkness engulfed us, with only the distant stars twinkling in the vast emptiness. My hands leached around Eli’s neck, brought us cheek to cheek. “You’re safe in my arms, Emma Jane. Always,” he said, his lips brushing my ear. A shudder traveled straight down to my center with the sweet sound of his words. The man had an orgasmic voice.

Half human and half Angel the illorum remain dormant, living out their lives as normal humans unaware of the demons and Fallen Angels who control them mingling among them. Though if unlucky (depending on your outlook) and their destiny activated by touching a sword made in the fire pits of Heaven to banish the evil from Earth, they must pay for the sins of their fathers-the Fallen Angels-and slay all escaped demons and send their father back to the abyss in order to have those sins forgiven and be allowed into Heaven.

Hellsbane was a challenge to read. It pushed my boundaries, forced me to set aside my own personal beliefs and to let my guard down. This book showed me how to enjoy a book without judgment and I loved it! It is not to often that I am challenged in such a way that I want to put down a book because I happen to not agree with the a plot point or character's point of view, but NOT put it down for the same exact reasons. Ms. Cuccaro has written a story that uses so many of the known stories and references in the Bible, slightly bent them in a way that made Hellsbane unique all the while exploring the 'possibilities' hidden right under our noses. Brilliant!

After the first few chapters my understanding of the story the author was telling through her main character, Emma Jame Hellsbane grew vastly and I found myself actually high-lightening words, small references hidden within the action scenes and throw downs between the Fallen and the illorum. I think that is why it took me four days to read instead of my normal two days. It was like a big egg hunt-exciting, thrilling when you found a delicious hint or clue and then you're on to the next hoping to find something else just as tasty.

The story itself, beyond the references that I spoke of above, was tight and strong. The plot and characters so intricately woven that every action of Emma Jane, Tommy, the one who brought her into the world of the illorum and the Angel Magester Eli, sent to guide them, flowed seamlessly from chapter to chapter. This story occupied my complete attention the whole time and had me holding my breath waiting to see if Eli would take risks for Emma, though against all laws set by the Angel council that received direction for the Big Man Himself. Of course, there were moments that I dreaded reading but I understood the reasoning behind all outcomes and as much as I would like to give all the juicy details away I find it best to let you read the story for yourself. Not fair, I know but if you want to experience a unique story filled with consuming emotions, action, suspense, and engaging dialogue then read Hellsbane. I know I am glad it did! The ending was nicely wrapped up without a dramatic cliff hanger but at the same token I can't help but want to know what is so different and alluring about the main character. A mystery to piece together in the next installment for sure!

This makes three books I have read by Paige Cuccaro. Her talent has increased with each book and has left me really wanting to get my hands on the second installment of Hellsbane. Her flow of words and descriptive abilities are note worthy to readers because she doesn't allow you to read a scene and not feel what the characters are going through. You are right there when swords clank and bullets whiz by within a hairs width from your head, or make that the character's head. Either way you feel the need to dodge!

I am glad I stuck with this book. It challenged me and gave me something to think about in my own life on so many levels. I highly recommend this book not only for the fabulous Urban Fantasy story, but also to enjoy a very talented author weaving magic with her words.
Profile Image for Marlene.
2,847 reviews192 followers
December 7, 2011
Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro was not quite the book I thought it would be. It didn't have near enough romance to make the mark as a paranormal, and was neither gritty enough nor did it have enough of an urban or detective-y enough feel to be an urban fantasy.

The premise was interesting enough. In Jane Hellsbane's world, there are a few people who are the offspring of human women and fallen angels. Those children are called nephilim. Our heroine, Jane, is one of those chosen few.

Jane has always been a little different. She's psychic. For real. It's not that she can see the future. It's that she can see people's emotions, especially if they are sitting in the room with her. So, she uses her gift to tell people pretty much what they want to hear, and they pay her. It's a living.

Occasionally, she feels something really, really strong in the vicinity. What she doesn't know is that it's either one of two things. If it's a good strong, it's another person like herself. If it smells like rotten eggs, it's a demon.

When Tommy Saint James knocks on her door when evening, battered and bleeding, of course she lets him in. Eight years ago, Tommy was the high school golden boy. Every girl had a crush on him, including Jane. Tommy didn't let her see how badly he was wounded until after he got inside her house.

But Jane didn't listen to Tommy when he told her not to let the mailman in. And Jane didn't listen to Tommy when he told her not to pick up his sword. But if Jane hadn't picked up that sword and chopped off the mailman's head after it turned into a demon, Tommy would be dead.

Except by picking up the sword, Jane committed the conscious act that changed her from just a nephilim into a full-fledged illorum, a fighter against the demons and their masters, the fallen angels. And it's a job that Jane isn't permitted to refuse. According to God, her act of free will committed her to the cause. If she didn't want to become an illorum, she should have let Tommy die. Now she's a soldier for the light, until the demons kill her.

Unless...There's only one way to resign and live to talk about it. She has to find the fallen angel that seduced her mother (and then wiped her mother's memories) and kill him. In other words, Jane has to kill her father.

Meanwhile, she has to keep the angel that is responsible for training both her and Tommy from falling for her. And then just falling. Period. But when Tommy is killed in the line of duty, all she and Eli have is each other.

Escape Rating C-: The description of this book was better than the execution. I wanted it to be more than it was. Either Tommy should have lived so that this was about their developing relationship while they fought evil, or there should be a way for Jane and Eli to have a relationship without him becoming a fallen angel and becoming evil. The whole thing about the "sins of the fathers being visited on the children" until they kill their sperm donors is way too melodramatic for me.

My willing suspension of disbelief started slamming the walls when it turned out that Eli's only previous female illorum was Joan of Arc, and everyone started fearing for his soul because Joan tempted him so much that he broke most of the rules for her. And there is foreshadowing all over the place that Jane is some kind of incarnation of Joan.

Jane Hellsbane can be kick-ass without channeling Joan of Arc. I think it would be a better story if she were. Or if that is a necessary plot element, let's not go there until Jane is established in her own right first.
Profile Image for Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}.
402 reviews270 followers
March 27, 2012
Emma Jane Hellsbane could easily be Buffy the Vampire Slayer's counterpart minus the vampires!

Never truly fitting in has always been part of Emma's life. As an intuitive, she makes her living as a psychic and tries to keep to herself. Her world is turned upside down when her old high school crush, Tommy St. James, shows up at her doorstep seeking refuge from a demon. Emma doesn't know what to think but gets all the proof she needs when she witnesses the battle between Tommy and the demon in her very home. Trying to save Tommy's life she reaches for his weapon, a sword that sparks a life altering change in Emma.

It seems that Emma is part Nephilim, half-human half-angel. Now that her true origin is revealed, she faces the wrath of demons. With the help of her high school crush and his protector, Eli, the very sexy angel she feels an immense attraction to, Emma will begin her journey to fulfill her destiny as an Illorum, a warrior in charge of vanquishing the Fallen...if she manages to stay alive for her training!

Hellsbane is a fantastic, lighter urban fantasy that incorporates the supernatural with humor! The story pulls you in within the first few pages with the heroine's witty voice and keeps you glued to the pages with action at every turn. Emma Jane Hellsbane is a smart and sassy heroine, you can't blame the girl for questioning the powers and world she's been introduced to. She's courageous but not a born fighter and I love her transformation throughout the book.

Emma is thrown into a world of angels and demons, in a battle of good and evil and I must say despite her she handles it all very well. Her two love interests (yes, there's somewhat of a love triangle) are total opposites, Tommy is the young spirited romantic and then there's Eli, the dark and seductive forbidden angel. I'm a huge lover of forbidden romance and Ms. Cuccaro won me over when she added this element to the story. The sexual tension between Emma and Eli is outstanding, I couldn't get enough of their chemistry.

Angels and demons are quite popular supernatural beings among books, but Paige Cuccaro effortlessly delivers a solid and original story line with a great blend of the paranormal, all while making it her own. Hellsbane is a fast paced, action filled paranormal adventure with a little sprinkle of humor and romance that will undoubtedly entertain. Emma Jane Hellsbane will leave her mark on you and have you eagerly anticipating her next thrilling adventure!

Original Romancing the Darkside Review:
Profile Image for Lissette.
Author 25 books104 followers
January 24, 2012
Emma Jane has always had the ability to know what a person feels or thinks, an ability that has allowed her to make use of it as source of income. While maintaining the facade is sometimes grueling, Emma is content with the way her life is going. Granted, her family and some of her friends don't quite understand why she insists on 'pretending' to be a psychic, but she's content on letting them believe whatever they like of her as long as they let her do what she wants to do.

Her entire world is thrown into limbo when an old high school friend suddenly shows up on her very doorstep. Suspicion sets in as he tumbles inside, never once letting on as to what his true purpose for being there is. A lurking danger soon rears its ugly head, goading the pair in hopes of making a meal of them. When Tommy becomes injured, Emma's only thought is to come to his aid, never once imagining what happens next. Becoming an Illorum is not what she had in mind when she accidentally picked up his sword.

New powers and a new understanding are awakened within her, something she tries hard to deny. It doesn't help that she also finds herself attracted to Tommy's protector who further enlightens her to the task at hand. In order to be absolved of the sins their fathers, the Fallen angels, have commited, they must do all they can to bring them, and their own demons, down.

Emma soon learns that the task at hand isn't as easy as it sounds. Anything, and everything, is intent on killing her, yet she refuses to give them what they want. She loves the fact that she's still alive. Even better is the fact that Tommy is by her side. As time continues to dwindle, she knows they must do everything in their power to cull the opposing forces and restore the balance between good and evil while trying to stay alive long enough to do it.

A truly unique and quite intriguing story. I enjoyed it immensely. Set on such a historical theme, the idea of an Illorum, or the offspring of a Nephilim and a human, trying to take down the Fallen angels was quite thought-provoking.

Ironically, if you try to do a little research on what they are, you'll never find anything on them. But there's plenty on the Nephilim and all angels in general. All in all, this was quite an awesome read. The pace throughout the book was fast and consistent. The theme of the story certainly keeps the reader glued to every page. Looking forward to more of this series soon.
Profile Image for Michelle .
1,998 reviews226 followers
December 29, 2011
This book sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride! It started out so interest. I loved the concept of her being a half angel demon fighter! And things were building up so nicely. I liked all the characters, the plot was moving at a good speed- I was a happy girl. Then, right about half way through the book Paige Cuccaro did something that ripped my heart out! I was so crushed, and I thought for sure that something would miraculously happen later on to fix this incident. So I kept reading, partly because I was so invested in the characters and partly because I wanted her to undo what she had done. Now I'm not going to tell you what happened or how the book ended, but I will tell you this: read Hellsbane and finish it through to the end because I was so glad that I did! I really enjoyed this book, and while I am still not quite over the heartbreaking parts, the story line and the characters make up for it. I have to know what is going to happen next. I have to know more about Emma Jane. So much was hinted at and I want to know what it all means.

Emma Jane is a really cool character. You know she has all this power, but I really liked that she didn't just pick it all up over night like a natural. She needed help killing demons for a while and there were people there to watch her back. I like that she didn't just pick up a sword and go at it like a pro. She had to work for it. And I also like that there is still so much that we don't know about her. I can't wait to find out what other secrets Emma Jane has! Bring on book 2 please!!

Another thing, Emma has potential guys galore. Seriously, they are everywhere she goes, and I'm not sure who I like best with her. Eli is so mysterious and hot, but he is an angel so I'm not sure I would want that for him. And then the other guys have issues too. I can't wait to see what is going to develop on the love front for our pretty little Emma Jane.

So what is my final take on Hellsbane? Were there things I would have changed about the book? YES! Well, maybe only one thing. (and it might have something to do with a certain wanna be pitcher...) But I really, really liked this book! I love how everything was described, I love the character development, I love the writing, and I love Emma's last name! Overall, Hellsbane is a well written book with an awesome plot and characters that seemed so real. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Douglas Meeks.
860 reviews232 followers
February 28, 2013
Emma Jane Hellsbane has got to be one of the most entertaining heroines I have read about in a very long time. Her humor and her dedication to an ideal make her perfect for the job ahead of her.

She is much more than she appears and through an “accident” she has become much, much more than human. She is now what amounts to a Heavenly Bounty Hunter complete with magical sword.

The appeal of this story is multifaceted and includes the humor (usually at very inappropriate times), the action (a lot of it) and the strange feelings she has for her angelic benefactor/trainer are just part of it.

I usually hate love triangles but this one takes off in a new direction for a good portion of the book (this is not sexual) and watching it play out becomes a major subplot with a major surprising twist. Emma’s life has never been normal or easy and it just took a big dive to bottom but she does get a few benefits like strength, healing, speed and a few others we are still trying to figure out.

The author took a lot of Judeo-Christian trappings (not to be confused with actual religious teaching, these angels never touched the Good Book) and used them to build a world quite unlike anything I have read elsewhere. I read one review that thought this was some attempt by the author to subtly sneak some sort of religious bias into the story. I have to assume he did not read the same book I did nor any of this authors other works to come to such a conclusion.

I would expect the next book in this series to heat up a bit more but there are all sorts of problems associated with those ideas that I can’t begin to explain here but the author handles it quite well and unless you are needing erotica to enjoy a novel you won’t be disappointed in this well told story.

I am giving it 5 Stars because when it ended I had a good closing for the book while desperately wanting more of Emma’s story and seeing how her future plays out. This is storytelling at its best and I loved it, I have to believe you will also unless you have no love of a great story. I can’t wait for the sequel Heaven and Hellsbane.

Profile Image for Natalie.
71 reviews26 followers
December 31, 2011
I wasn't too sure what to expect going into a novel that was about a half angel demon fighter who has the ability to feel others emotions a psychic if you will, who has made a living with this ability, but I am so glad I read this book, wow, Right from the very first chapter this book caught my attention right to the very last page. Paige Cuccaro created a cast of characters I really enjoyed and felt connected with. Tommy the ever high school dreamy guy everyone wishes to have as a boyfriend, I really liked Tommy. Eli, the hottest Angel I've seen yet, Emma just doesn't know what to feel around him, but yet he is also her trainer. Emma, she is hot in her own right and has guys falling for her all over the place. Emma is having a hard time adjusting to her new life, one day she is just an ordinary psychic living her life day to day in her Grandmothers house, until the day when Tommy bursts through the door and brings with him a mailman demon, talk about going postal lol. So when Emma picks up Tommy's sword to help him cause the demon's kicking his butt, she has now been branded and can only be released when she kills her real father a Fallen Angel. Liam is introduced at the start of the book, I really liked his character, he was very funny.
The story is well played out, it was action packed all the way through the book, I was so sad when Eli was telling the story of his past love to Emma Jane, it makes you wish it had of turned out a different way. I love it when a book takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride, which is exactally what Hellsbane did to me. I was absolutely crushed when something happened that I can't reveal, NO Spoilers, you must read this one for yourself. Emma Jane's character is awesome, I loved her character, I can't wait to read more in the next book of this incredible series.

I recommend this most awesome book to all and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!!! Enjoy!!!
Profile Image for Daphne.
430 reviews50 followers
December 18, 2012
read my review here: Gone Pecan

In the process of helping an old friend fight off a demon, Emma Jane becomes marked as a soldier in the fight against the Fallen, Angels who’ve been cast out of heaven for sinning (seducing/raping women, who then bear their children, but don’t remember it at all). The only way she can get out of it is to kill her Fallen father, but she has no idea who he is.

So, Emma comes out swinging. She has these new superpowers that help her heal quickly, move faster, and generally kick butt. Emma’s friend and fellow nepilim, Tommy, is working right along side of her and he helps her to assimilate into the lifestyle. Their mentor, Eli, is an angel on Earth, meant to be a guide, but he cannot interfere. As an angel, he is unbelievably hot and there’s a simmering chemistry between them, but he cannot act on that attraction or he will become fallen himself. But, Emma has chemistry with almost all the men in the book, I think she just needs a little loving and then maybe she won’t be trying to jump every nearby man.

Angel stories have been told before. Like vampire stories, each one is tweaked slightly to fit the author’s world. In fact, I’m in the middle of rereading the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, which also centers around Nephilim warriors, and it could not be more different than this story. This book is far more lighthearted and, though I love the MI books, doesn’t take itself quite as seriously. There are a lot of fights between Emma and the demons and peeks into possible romances, plus all the supernaturl elements, which combine to make a very entertaining book. It’s the first in a series and I will be reading the next one.


Profile Image for Rebecca.
241 reviews26 followers
December 15, 2011
Emma Jane is minding her own business, living her normal life when fate comes knocking at her door…literally. Now Emma Jane has to learn all about being a sword carrying half angel. I enjoyed Emma Jane’s character so much. She is one of those kick butt heroin's that you get to watch grow into their gifts. I loved that she battled with who she was and where her power came from, it made her seem more real to me.

Emma Jane has help figuring out all these new angelic changes: Tommy, a half angel warrior like Emma Jane. Also there is Eli an angel who is charged with training half angels and watching what goes on on earth. LOVED Tommy and Eli!!! Tommy has that boyish charm, but he was deadly when he needed to be. I really felt for him, because before Emma Jane he has been fighting alone for a long time. Eli is the man everyone would want but no one could have, because the moment Eli slips he will turn into a fallen angel, and that is what Tommy and Emma Jane hunt.

I loved Paige Cuccaro’s style of writing! I love Urban Fantasy anyway but Hellsbane was very visual. Cuccarro has this way of pulling you into a scene--I was smelling the brimstone, and feeling the black goo that at one time was a demon. I never felt like the pace wavered, there was a constant flow to the story.

My only problem with Helsbane is that I have to wait for the sequel to come out. I have to find out what the secret is about Emma Jane! The end of the book isn’t a cliffhanger parse, but the fallen angel that Emma Jane fights at the end of Hellsbane opens up a lot of questions that I need answers to ASAP!!!

Happy Reading,
Profile Image for Chrystal.
393 reviews109 followers
January 1, 2012
Emma Jane is one tough cookie who is already living a crazy life as a psychic, when her life takes a drastic change after meeting up with an old high school friend, Tommy. Suddenly her life becomes something you only read about, but kind of explains her emotionally psychic abilities. She has never really believed in God, but she has been sort of thrust into his world after her angelic half awakens.

I loved that Emma Jane takes on this new role of Illorum with a passion. She is a little hesitant to start, but considering her other abilities she accepts it easier than most people would. Plus she has help from Tommy, her high school crush.

I like that the story is about the Illorum hunting down the Fallen and trying to make everything right with the world again. There is action, adventure, mystery and a touch of romance. There are a few twists here and there that I quite enjoyed. And there are a few things I picked up on that I hope will be explained in the coming novels.

There is a bit of a love triangle involving Emma Jane, Tommy and their Angel mentor Eli. Emma and Tommy have this adorable, first love type thing happening, but at the same time she has this undeniable attraction to Eli. What a hard decision: blond, blue eyed boy next door versus dark, sexy angel.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series to see what kind of trouble Emma Jane can get herself into and to see where her heart ends up taking her. Oh and I'm off to look up more on Angels and their hierarchy. I had no idea there was such a vast array of angels with different abilities/positions - very fascinating.
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,074 reviews314 followers
December 22, 2011
I wasn't really sure if this was going to be a book that I would enjoy. I'm generally not one for angel books, but I was surprised by this one.

I liked Emma. She's young and somewhat naive, but she has a snarky sense of humor that I could appreciate. She had a lot thrown at her once she found out she was a naphilim, but she took it much better than I know I would.

Eli was a bit of a surprise. He has the superior quality that one would expect an angel to have, but he was also down to earth. Chalk that up to spending so much time amongst humans I guess, but that quality made him much more likeable than I'm sure he would have been otherwise.

The entire Fallen / Naphilim storyline still has me a bit confused. So we have fallen angels running around impregnating unsuspecting women and then if that unlucky soul should touch the sword of another naphilim warrior they become marked and forced into service to kill the Fallen and the demons they have released before they kill more naphilim. It was a vicious circle of WTF, but it did keep your attention. Throw into the mix the weird behavior of some of Eli's fellow angels and your head will be spinning while you're hoping Emma can figure out who is out to kill her.

While I hate the Tommy storyline (boo hiss!!), I'm hoping by then of the series Emma gets her happily ever after (I'm assured by my interview with Paige Cuccaro that she will). That said, I enjoyed this first installment and look forward to the next book to see what awaits Emma Jane.
Profile Image for Wendy Hines.
1,322 reviews257 followers
February 8, 2012
Emma Jane has the unique gift of sensing and feeling emotions. After her grandmother died, she inherited her house and from there, she's set up a home-based business of telling customers of what they want to hear. By feeling their emotions, she can get a sense of what is troubling them or what they desire.

When an old high school chum, Tommy James, comes knocking on her door she is a little confused. They were never friends in high school. He was the football quarterback and she wasn't exactly Ms. Popularity. When he comes in with a gruesome wound caring a bloody knife, she is a little concerned. When a demon enters her home though and she uses Tommy's knife to lop off its head, her concern rises to a whole new level.
By using the knife, it's marked her. Tommy fills in the blanks for her; she's an illorum, half angel and half human. She's been Chosen and with that responsibility comes a few new gifts; the ability to heal and move faster, fight, read emotions and sense the Fallen. She's joined in a new battle of good vs. evil. She's learning fast but the demons aren't ready for Emma Jane and her feistiness... or are they?

Hellsbane is a thoroughly entertaining paranormal romp from start to finish. Emma Jane is a fresh new heroine with wit, stubbornness and determined to survive. Tommy is the perfect partner for her and Eli, an angel, an unsuspecting mentor, gives Emma just the push she needs to survive in a whole new world. Action-packed and seamless writing, paranormal fans won't want to miss this one!
Profile Image for Ana.
1,247 reviews35 followers
March 25, 2015
You know when you start reading a book and immediately know it's not your cup of tea? That's what happened with this book after a couple of sentences. The plot is not necessarily bad. I mean, it didn't captivate me nearly enough, but the premise sounded good and I didn't want to DNF so I kept going. Honestly? I want my time back. Again, it's not terrible but it could've been so much better. I didn't care for Emma's love life. I'm sorry but if something major happens in someone's life I seriously doubt their 1st thoughts are about how hot the guy looking at her is. Or how awesome his eyes are. In this book this happens every time Tommy or Eli talk to her. It's ridiculous. Not to mention insane to get involved with either of them...so she obviously gets involved with both. Why the hell not? It's not like you have demons after your head or anything...I'm sure they'll wait until you're done. Then Tommy dies. Not exactly a surprise and she goes all ballistic for what? 30 seconds? Okay...maybe half an hour. But I think I'm being generous here. Her master plan is of course to hunt down Tommy's father. For once we agree. I guess it was just too much to ask for her to actually plan something but...By this point I didn't even care about what happened next. I was bored out of my mind, couldn't make myself like Emma, Eli or any other character and the plot was going downhill. The ending turned out not be as awful as I was expecting but I don't think I'll be following the story anyway.

2.5 ★
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Maghon Thomas.
1,288 reviews1 follower
March 20, 2012
I got this book to review from NetGalley- YAY FOR NETGALLEY!!! :) ok let me say I am NOT really an angel fan. I dunno why, but I rarely like that part, I like the demons lol BUT I WILL make an exception! This book had me wanting to learn how to fight and get a sword and hack things and totally made me wanna be a half angel! Fantastic! I prefer fantasy over romance anyway, and boy oh boy, the action in the book made me wanna blow something up LOL ok enough crazy talk :) and there is a little romantic side and it's a fun little twist :) This book was so well written that I didn't care if it was an angel, demon, cat, dog or tree :) I loved it!! It's got so much action and intrigue that you can't help but become involved!

Emma takes character self-talk to a whole new level, and by this I mean she has the best inner monologue of thought!! I love her! I also will say that by the end I was very sad for her- no I won't tell you, go read it :) At first, I felt bad for her and wanted things to be normal for her, just like she wished. & even before she finds out about crazy beings, she has a power that she has accepted, but boy, she has no idea how much that could mean for the future!

I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2! Heaven and Hellsbane will release in August of 2012... Well done!! 4.5 big paws from me!
Profile Image for Nicki Markus.
Author 63 books262 followers
December 1, 2011
I was offered a review copy of this book from the publisher and on the whole I found it an enjoyable read.

This is a story that ticks all the usual paranormal romance boxes: attractive heroine thrown into a paranormal world, temptation from co-workers/allies, evil to defeat, salvation to find. However, unlike some books in the genre, this one acknowledges it's following a formula and does so with gusto.

Emma is a decent character. I found her a tad annoying on a couple of occasions, but mostly she works well in the tale with her smart-aleck attitude and clever retorts. Tommy and Eli also come across well as secondary characters and there was enough background on them to bring them to life for the reader.

The prose/writing style is better than in some other paranormal romance I have read and the pacing was also pretty good, keeping me happily reading from start to finish. I felt the ending was slightly rushed, but there was enough of a conclusion to satisfy readers who hate cliff-hangers while still maintaining a few loose threads for the series to continue with. I certainly would be happy to read the next instalment when it comes out.
Profile Image for Cherie.
Author 29 books115 followers
August 22, 2013
Emma Jane Hellsbane learns who she truly is in Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro.

Like her name Hellsbane, Emma Jane strives to find who her fallen angel father is, so she can destroy him and regain a normal life. Emma is sarcastic, driven, strong, and intelligent. I just love Emma’s snark. Eli, her magister, is kind, caring, and smokin’ hot. Their temptation for each other boils just under the surface. From demons to angels and the mortals in between, Cuccaro breathes life into the characters.

The fast-paced plot speeds along in this well-written novel. I feel for the characters, especially Emma Jane as her life goes from quirky to horrific. Like her main character, Cuccaro holds back no punches when it comes to the world she’s created.

Paige Cuccaro’s Hellsbane packs a punch into the angel/demon books out there. I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Teresa.
690 reviews
July 23, 2012
Wow. This book was so good! Its been awhile since I read a good fallen angel book and I loved the twist in this one of the nephilim having to kill their angelic father in order to get entrance to heaven. Of course thats not hard for any of these nephilim since the fallen angels are basically totally evil and keep sending demons after their children. I really liked this book and everything in it was very interesting. There wasn't really a lull in the story or a boring bit for me at all. The wait for the second book is definitely too long!
Profile Image for Chanin Malley.
71 reviews6 followers
April 29, 2013
I give this book a solid 4.5. I gave this book such a high rating because i enjoyed the characters however it didnt get the full 5 stars out of me because i was upset that they killed off tommy just when i was getting used to him they had to kill him.It made so sad.However i loved Miss Hellsbane so much i will def be reading the next book in the series.I love books like these and i need to know the ending of her story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rosemary Laurey.
3 reviews9 followers
October 28, 2012
was send this to review and to be honest had mixed feelings as the 'threatened by demons must save the earth' theme isn't one of my favorites but was I glad I read it- well drawn characters- tension form the onset and enough mayhem and drama and keep me turning pages. Can't wait to read the sequel
Profile Image for Tia.
Author 6 books129 followers
December 1, 2012
This novel was a hundred times better than the novella into this series. In fact the novella into this series doesn't even fit with how this novel shaped up. I really thought this was a great read and I wish the second novel was already out. I was super impressed!
Profile Image for Molly .
4 reviews1 follower
February 10, 2013
From the very first page Hellsbane had my attention! With an amazing plot that keeps you turning the pages and non-stop action; this is a book that I could see as a movie. If you're looking for a book that you won't be able to put down, Hellsbane is the book to read!
Profile Image for Vicki Edwards.
122 reviews10 followers
September 14, 2016
I was very disappointed, the action scenes were shortened to make room for what was essentially repetitive fluff. The characters did develop personality but it seemed false they seemed more of a description than actual people.
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