USA Today Bestselling Author
The complete Infernal Descent trilogy
in one volume for the first time.
Hell just got a whole lot hotter…
The devil has taken Ciera’s sister. To save her, she has to travel through all nine circles of his domain, filled with demons, monsters and sinners.
Luckily, she’s not alone. Accompanied by a fallen angel, a werewolf and a hellhound, she ventures further into the lands of the dead than any human ever before. But there’s a reason the living are not supposed to be in Hell, and with every circle, there are more enemies to overcome.
With the devil out to stop them, Ciera and her men need to hurry before it’s too late for both her and her little sister…
I fell in Love with Skye’s Cat Assassins series and looking for some Halloweenish books I thought, what could be better than Lucifer and his ilk. It just so happens that this trilogy was coming out as one book so I knew it would be perfect.
In this first book we meet Ciera as Lucifer sort of breaks his word. She has signed a contract with ‘Luke’ for her soul so she would be able to provide for her little sister Tris. Now with Tris crying for her, she tries to fight off Luke’s messenger and ends up unconscious. When she wakes, Tris is gone and she gets some advice and direction from her elderly neighbor Noella.
This is a favorite scene.
Before I even look at the rest of the man’s face, I’m convinced that he isn’t human.
A few months ago, this would have shocked me, but I’ve been hanging out with Luke and his crowd for long enough to figure out that humans aren’t alone in this world. I’ve never had the chance or the confidence to ask what they all are, but their supernatural strength is enough to tell me that they aren’t like me. Luke of course is the devil, Lucifer, although he hates being called that name. The only thing that gives away his non-humanity are his red-rimmed eyes, but it’s not the same for the man in front of him.
His entire skin is glowing. Without the golden glow, he’d probably be pale, but the shine hides his true skin colour and any impurities there might be. His lips are curved in a small smile, his white teeth the only non-golden part of him. How does he walk around town looking like this? No wonder he’s hiding in a shed in the worst part of town where outcasts and misfits blend in. Not that he’d ever blend in.
I’m so mesmerised by his eyes and his glow that it takes me a moment to notice that he’s talking to me.
“Do you enjoy sitting on the floor?” He grins, flashing his sparkling white teeth at me.
“No? Then you better come in.” He leans out of the window, reaching out for me with one hand.
Last chance to run, Ciera, a voice in my head tells me, but I ignore it. I’m not going to run if this might be a chance to save my sister.
I take his hand, expecting him to pull me up so I can walk through the door, but he has other ideas. One second I’m outside in the backyard, the next, I’m flying through the window head-first before landing against his chest. He’s warm, I can feel his heat even through my clothes. His chest is hard with muscle, but not uncomfortable.
What the fuck? Did he just pull me through a window with enough force to prevent me from crashing against the window frame? And why am I still in his arms?
I hastily step back, ignoring how cold I suddenly feel, bereft of his warmth.
“Who are you?” I ask hastily, both to break the silence and to feel a little less awkward.
“They call me Maro,” he says in a soft but deep voice.
“And what do you call yourself?”
“Maro.” He chuckles. “Are you one of those people who take everything literally?”
I shrug. “Occasionally. What are you doing here?”
His grin grows wider. “You sneak around my house and then ask me what I’m doing here?”
I’m grasping for a snarky answer but my mind is going blank. His glow is too much, I can’t focus. How can I think when I’m looking at the most gorgeous and unusual man I’ve ever seen?
I decide not to look at him again, instead, I inspect the rough wooden floor.
“I’m looking for someone,” I say, determinedly not lifting my gaze. “Or something, maybe. Ehm…” I take a deep breath. “Do you know someone called Luke?”
Suddenly, I’m slammed against the wall behind me, something sharp pressing against my throat. Maro’s face is inches away from my own, his eyes suddenly burning with molten gold. He’s no longer smiling at me.
“Do you work for him?” he growls, the softness in his voice gone.
I try and look down to see what he’s holding against my throat, but I’m scared he might cut me if I move too much.
“No,” I reply steadily, hoping he won’t spot the lie. It’s not like I’m working for Luke voluntarily. Signing the contract with him was the only way for me and my sister to survive. It got us a permanent place in the shelter, food and enough money to occasionally buy some clothes or other necessary things for Tris. He even threw in a bus pass so I could get to my assignments without having to walk through the entire city.
“Interesting,” he mutters, still not letting me go. “You’re lying but you’re not. Explain.”
To emphasise his command, the pain on my throat increases. I’m breathing shallowly now, trying not to move my neck.
“It’s not by choice,” I reply through clenched teeth. “Let me go and I’ll tell you.”
His eyes stay fixed on mine, burning into my mind. The intensity of his gaze is making me dizzy, but I can’t even seem to blink, let alone close my eyes.
Finally, he seems satisfied and steps back, releasing me, and I get to see what was pressed against my throat.
He’s got bloody wings.
Skye MacKinnon; Bea Paige. Infernal Descent: The Complete Trilogy (Kindle Locations 276-313).
After Maro kind of introduces himself and ascertains her reasons for wanting to descend to Hell. He agrees to help her, and the adventure begins.
We meet some of the usual folks such as Charon at the river Acheron, as Ciera gets her first visual of Hell. Then and a surprising one, seeing Homer at the first circle. She will have to make it through the ten circles of Hell to get to the center where Lucifer aka Luke is holding her sister.
At the second circle there is Minos, but it is at the third circle that things get even more interesting as we meet Cerberus, the three-headed hellhound who is the gatekeeper for this circle. Who just happens to turn into a very sexy male. At this point Ciera has started thinking of Maro as ‘Her angel’ which in itself is intriguing. It’s her reaction to Cerberus that starts confusing her a bit, she’s on a quest to free her sister not get the hots over an angel and a hellhound, who just happens to turn into a very sexy male.
It’s there that Plutus, a werewolf, joins the crew, his is the fourth circle and even though there appears to be a feud between him and Maro they need him get across the river Styx. There is The City of Dis, the fifth circle, guarded by fallen angels and the Furies on the other side of the river Styx.
I’m not going to continue naming folks since at this point we have the ones important to this book. Ciera has the angel, the hellhound and the werewolf on her side, and they are both distracting and needed.
I couldn’t stop reading and the descriptions of the circles are Hell indeed. I am just going to continue reading as I need to know what happens next.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye and Bea!
Now this book opens with quite the surprise as the gate to the sixth circle opens and the dead swarm through. Ciera also notices that the closer to the center they get the more the glow of Maro fades.
Led into an ambush by a centaur named Oumy who has rainbow hair, it looks like Ciera’s journey might come to an end here. It’s quite the battle.
This is a favorite scene.
Of the three, I feel most comfortable around Ceb, which is pretty ridiculous given he’s a three-headed hellhound with the ability to reduce a hoard of people to ash in a matter of seconds.
“See, even Ciera agrees,” Ceb says, winking at me.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself,” I say with a glare, trying to hide the warm glow his attention gives me.
There’s something so alluring about Ceb. He’s snarky and spiky, powerful and attractive, all of those things, but there is a mystery to him. Despite his outward appearance, there’s something light about him. Something pure and, not for the first time, I wonder why he’s here. Why he’s in Hell. In fact, when I look at Plutus by his side, I feel the same way about him too. Despite the angry facade, there’s more to him than meets the eye. I felt it in his kiss, I feel it now when I look at him.
“Where is that traitorous little prick anyway?” Maro cuts in, interrupting my thoughts.
When I turn to look at him, he’s scowling at the three of us, not in the least bit amused by our gentle ribbing.
“That fucker needs to pay,” he adds, casting his gaze around the now empty warehouse, looking for the rainbow-haired centaur.
I frown, the light in him that was so obvious when I first met him in his ramshackle home in the grounds of the Dark Woods pub is almost non-existent now. Where Ceb and Plutus seem to be glowing brighter, he seems to be dimming. It scares me if I’m honest.
“That fucker has a companion,” Ceb says, pointing to the other side of the warehouse.
“Well, look who it is!” Plutus snarls, his long dark hair falling over his shoulders.
“You traitorous piece of shit!” Maro shouts, striding towards the pair.
The fat little man next to him holds his hand up and Maro is suddenly flying backwards in the air. We all watch as he lands in a heap amongst the charred remains of the dead.
“Fucking hell,” Ceb exclaims, as shocked as Maro at the power of Oumy’s companion.
This must be Anastasius, the leader of the heretics, or he would be if they weren’t all dead.
Maro gets to his feet, shaking out his wings, but the ash of the dead stick to them leaving them a dull grey colour. My heart squeezes at that. I have the sudden urge to rip off my top and wipe him down. I don’t like to see his glow so dulled. Not at all.
I step forward, rage filling my chest. Who the fuck does he think he is? Lifting my bow, I slide an arrow against the notch. I could kill both of them in an instant. I will kill them both. If they think they’re getting out of here alive, they’re very much mistaken.
Anastasius holds his hand up, Oumy sliding behind him. The centaur looks at me warily through a veil of multicoloured hair. He even has the audacity to smile, as though that’s enough to counteract all the shit he’s caused.
“What the fuck are you smiling at, you lying, traitorous bastard!” I shout.
“It wasn’t me. I had nothing to do with it,” Oumy stutters, looking like butter wouldn’t melt.
“Nothing to do with it? You lured us into a trap with your lies!”
“I didn’t mean it,” he whinnies.
“You didn’t mean to lure us here so a thousand heretics could attack us, or you didn’t mean to betray us?” Plutus snarls.
Oumy mutters under his breath, backing further behind Anastasius.
“It was all him!” he says, throwing Anastasius under the bus. ‘Loyalty’ clearly isn’t a word in his vocabulary.
Anastasius steps forward, ignoring Oumy completely now. He looks far too at ease for my liking. I keep my bow and arrow fixed on him. One false move and he’s dead.
“Lucifer has a message for you, Ciera,” he says, looking directly at me.
I feel Ceb, Maro and Plutus edge closer.
“And what’s that?” I ask, trying not to feel afraid. Trying not to worry about what he’s doing with Tris.
Anastasius smiles slowly. His puffy face splitting like a ripe peach as the skin parts along the centre of his face. Out of the skin and bone, another face appears, that of a horned creature covered in boils and weeping blisters. The skull of Anastasius falls against his shoulders as this demonic head wriggles upwards, its obsidian eyes turn to me and the men around me step ever closer.
The demon opens his mouth, but it’s Lucifer’s voice I hear.
“Your journey is futile, Ciera, but if it is a journey you’re intent on making know this: Tris is mine, I will never give her up. I will reign hellfire on your attempts to get her back. You’re not strong enough. There are no weapons powerful enough to kill me.”
“Fuck you! I will never give up. I will find her,” I whisper, tears pricking at my eyes.
The demonic creature laughs. “You’re too late, she’s already lost.”
Lucifer’s voice rings in my head as his words cut right through skin, bone and muscle. I feel them reverberate around the room. My heart shatters.
“Ciera, we should leave,” Maro murmurs, resting his hand against my back. The way he says it makes me think he’s talking about Hell and not this warehouse.
“I will never give up,” I whisper, blinking back the tears.
Oumy starts to laugh alongside the twisted demon that now shreds the skin of Anastasius.
“I WILL NEVER GIVE UP!” I roar, firing off an arrow.
It rips through the demon’s eyeball and straight through Oumy’s chest. Their laughter dies as my rage erupts. But even their deaths don’t appease the despair within me. Nothing but the thought of Tris in my arms can do that. “Ciera…” Plutus calls as I stride towards the exit.
But I don’t turn around. I won’t.
Skye MacKinnon; Bea Paige. Infernal Descent: The Complete Trilogy (Kindle Locations 2002-2048).
Next up is the centaur Chiron who just happens to be Cerberus’ brother. Not a calm reunion at all. But it’s the questioning that has Ciera wondering even more about her angel Maro. At least until he clarifies his answer to her.
Then the forest of the seventh circle, followed by rains of hellfire. It’s here that things really heat up (pun intended) between Ciera and her guys as they are trapped waiting for the firestorm to end.
Of course things just get worse and there are many surprises here. I did some laughing, some crying and needed to hydrate a bit too. Definitely plenty of heat in more than one way.
I’m just going to move on to the final book in this trilogy, I really have to finish, I am hoping for a happy ending here.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye and Bea!
After the events in the second book, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I began this one. we still have three more circles to navigate, and I’m still sniffling. Plutus isn’t with them, their experiment seems to have failed, but a voice tells Ciera that he lives at least for now, but she needs to hurry to the center.
The eighth circle has 10 bolgias, and you have to know by now that everything is hellish, yes I meant that pun. Thanks to, and I’m still giggling, ‘Papa Smurf’, Ciera has a unique way to find their way through after they fall into a place that appears to be under the eighth bolgia. Unfortunately that little gift also makes her very sick and there are plenty of dangers here as well.
The ninth circle holds a surprising cold and more as this tale brings us closer to the center.
This is a favorite scene.
Ceb is by my side in an instant as I start pounding on the ice wall. “It’s Plutus! It’s Plutus! Get him out. GET HIM OUT NOW!” I shout, my voice cracking with emotion.
Maro rests a hand on my shoulder.
“Plutus is dead, Cookie. We saw him die. It can’t be him,” he says gently.
I shrug him off. “He’s alive. She said he was alive, and here he is! GET HIM OUT!”
“The girl you mentioned before?” Ceb asks, taking my face in his hands and forcing me to look at him. I strain to look at Plutus, desperate to get him out. Can’t they see it’s him? It’s him!
“Yes, her. The girl with the fiery hair. I already told you! She said he was alive, that we had to be quick. Here he is! Now get him the fuck out of that ice, Ceb!”
“Are you certain? I can’t see his face, the ice is too thick,” Maro asks.
“It’s him, it’s him! I know it is. GET HIM OUT!” I roar, my voice hoarse.
My body knows, my heart, my fucking soul. It’s Plutus. I know it.
Ceb doesn’t hesitate further, nudging me gently aside he places his hands on the ice wall. “Take her to the centre of the room, Maro.” He glances up at the thin ceiling. “I’m going to try this in my human form, it’ll take me longer, but it’s safer. If this place starts to collapse, then you’re better off over there on that platform away from the walls. I’ll try to ease him out gently.”
Maro nods his head, dragging me away whilst tears cascade down my cheeks. “Are we too late, Maro?” I whisper.
Maro hauls me back up against him whilst we stand on the stone platform. “Fuck knows how he’s alive, Cookie, but he is. We just need to get him out of that wall and warm him up.”
“I told you. She said he was alive, and he is. How did he end up here? We saw him turn to ash, Maro…”
“So many questions that I don’t have the answers to. Perhaps he’ll enlighten us when Ceb gets him out.”
“Oh, God!” I exclaim, distracted by Ceb’s hands sinking into the ice wall. A loud crack sounds as the ice wall splinters. Ceb withdraws his hands for a moment. He glances over his shoulder at us both. I catch a glimpse of fear before he winks.
“It’ll be alright, Firecracker. Trust me,” he reassures.
And I do. I do.
Maro wraps his arms tighter around my waist, resting his chin atop my shoulder. “This time we won’t lose him, Cookie,” he murmurs.
For the next hour, Ceb slowly melts the ice encasing Plutus, stopping every now and then when he thinks he’s in danger of bringing the whole place down. Inch by inch Plutus is uncovered until finally, Ceb is able to pull him out of the ice wall. The air leaves my throat in a rush as Ceb picks Plutus up and strides over to us. He’s stiff, his body still frozen through. The expression on his face has a small sob escaping from my mouth.
He’s so afraid, terrified. The fear, loss, and grief are too much to bear.
“I’m going to warm him up now, but I can’t do it in my hellhound form as my fire will be too hot. Take him for a moment whilst I strip off,” Ceb says, handing the frozen Plutus to Maro who’s released me from his arms.
Maro takes Plutus from Ceb, holding him against his body as though hugging him. I tentatively touch Plutus’s cheek, tears streaming down my face. “Plutus, we’re right here. We’re right here. Just hold on.”
“Right, all ready. Hand him to me,” Ceb says stepping up onto the stone platform beside us. He wasn’t kidding when he said he was going to strip off. He’s completely, gloriously naked.
“Christ, Berus, the pants too? Is that really necessary?” Maro frowns, but there’s laughter in his eyes.
“Yep, abso-bloody-lutely! Imagine what he’ll say when he wakes up.” He grins, winking, before wrapping his arms around Plutus and hugging him against his chest.
Maro and I watch as ever so slowly, the blue tinge to Plutus’s skin starts to pink up.
“Ooooh, it’s getting nice and toasty now, wanna join?” Ceb asks, holding his arm out.
I hesitate and Ceb clucks his tongue like a mother hen. It’s quite adorable.
“You need warming too,” Maro says, urging me forward. “But let’s lie down, that will be more comfortable for all of us.”
Maro spreads Ceb’s discarded clothes on the floor to create a makeshift blanket. Once most of the stone tiles are covered, Ceb lowers Plutus to the ground and lies down behind him, his chest pressed against Plutus’s back.
I join them, hugging Plutus, and despite his cold skin, I can feel Ceb’s warmth seep into me from behind the wolf.
“Come on angel, there’s room enough for you. Stop being a pussy, we’re all friends here,” Ceb says over my head.
Maro watches us, a hint of a smile pulling up his lips. “Fine. But don’t get any funny ideas, hound. I’m a one woman kinda man, alright?”
Ceb laughs. “Just get in and cuddle, you dick.”
Maro lies down on his side behind me, effectively pushing me into Plutus’s chest so that Plutus and I are somehow huddled between them both. Snuggling against him, I cup Plutus’s face in my hands. His skin doesn’t feel ice-cold any longer, but it isn’t at a normal body temperature just yet. I don’t even know if his heart is beating, but I know he’s alive. He just needs to thaw out. Well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway.
“Come back to me, Plutus. Come back to us all,” I whisper, pressing my lips against his mouth and wishing with every single part of me, that he wakes up soon.
Skye MacKinnon; Bea Paige. Infernal Descent: The Complete Trilogy (Kindle Locations 4240-4287).
As Ceb thaws Plutus and warms both Ciera and Maro.I confess to more sniffles, and a Hell yeah as Ciera decides she’s had enough and calls out to Lucifer and Maro’s fallen brother Marbas answers.
Lots of hold your breath action, a not so pleasant revelation for Ciera and so much more had me turning the pages.
I loved every page of this trilogy. Don’t miss it!
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Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.
She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.
When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.
Bea Paige lives a very secretive life in London… she likes red wine and Haribo’s (preferably together) and occasionally swings around poles when the mood takes her.
Bea loves to write about love and all the diﬀerent facets of such a powerful emotion. When she’s not writing about love and passion, you’ll ﬁnd her reading it and ugly crying.