Ella Wilkins only wants one thing out of life--to graduate from high school and escape her hometown where everyone knows her and the dark cloud surrounding her family.
Everything is going according to plan until two new students show up at her school. Asher and Cain, identical twin brothers, take an interest in her, and she can't help but wonder why two gorgeous brothers would want anything to do with a social outcast like her.
As she gets closer to the brothers, she's torn between the two. Asher's kindness pulls her in and comforts her while Cain both tempts and infuriates her with his sarcastic and devious ways.
When she learns who they truly are--or rather, what they are--things start to get a little tricky.
Ella might not know it, but she is the key to winning the ultimate battle between heaven and hell. Both realms want her, and neither is willing to let her go.
She's torn between the ultimate temptations of heaven and hell. Which side will she choose?
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I watched as Asher hurried over to where I was standing. Cain rolled his eyes before joining the opposite team. I made room as Asher crowded between me and the boy standing next to me.
“What are we playing?” he asked.
“Dodgeball,” I said.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Seriously? You’ve never played dodgeball before?”
He shook his head.
“Basically, everyone attacks each other with those balls in the center of the gym. The goal is to hit as many people as you can without getting hit yourself. Once you’re hit, you’re out.”
“Seems simple enough,” he said.
I glanced at the muscles in his arms. I had no doubt that hurtling balls at innocent students would be easy for him. “Just don’t hurt anyone.”
He grinned when he noticed me staring at his arms. “I wouldn’t.”
Mr. Reynolds blew the whistle, and everyone took off at a full sprint toward the balls—that is, everyone, except for Amanda and me. We were both smart enough to stay against the wall as balls started flying.
Over half of both teams were hit within the first five minutes. After they were gone, things got harder for me. Without as many bodies to aim for, I soon became a target. I ducked and jumped out of the way as several students tossed balls at me. One hit right beside my head, and I winced.
Whoever had thrown that one meant business.
I looked up just in time to dodge another ball flying right at me. It hit the wall just as hard as the other one. I glanced at the opposing team and noticed Jenny glaring at me. Of course it had been her.
She grabbed another ball and threw it. I dropped to the ground just in time.
The next few minutes passed in a blur as I dodged ball after ball. Almost all of them were from Jenny. Finally, she managed to hit me. Luckily for me, it was in the chest instead of the face. I glared at her before walking toward the bleachers to sit down with Amanda. I winced as another ball hit me in the back.
“Whoops. Sorry, Ella. I didn’t realize you were already out!” Jenny shouted sweetly.
“Skank,” I muttered under my breath as I sat down.
Two seconds later, I heard Jenny shriek in protest. I looked up just in time to see a ball nailing her in the chest. She frowned across the room at Asher before walking to the bleachers. Asher shot me a smile before turning his attention back to the game. I couldn’t help but smile back. He’d seen what she did to me, and he’d gone after her. I was really starting to like Asher.
For the rest of the game, my attention was split between Asher and Cain. I whistled under my breath as Cain nailed another guy hard enough to knock him down. The boy didn’t mess around. I counted my blessings that it was Jenny who’d hit me instead of him.
Finally, it was just Asher and Cain still standing. I looked back and forth between the brothers. They both openly glared at each other.
“This should be entertaining,” Amanda said from beside me.
“My money’s on Asher,” I muttered.
From across the room, Asher turned and grinned at me like he’d heard what I just said.
I rolled my eyes at myself. That’s ridiculous. He was twenty feet away from me in a roomful of noisy seniors, and I hadn’t spoken very loud.
“Quit standing there, looking at each other, and throw the balls!” Mr. Reynolds shouted at the brothers.
Cain’s glare disappeared, and his trademark smirk returned. He grabbed a ball off the floor and threw it in Asher’s direction. Asher jumped out of the way just in time and grabbed a ball of his own. He threw it at Cain, and I tensed as it bounced off the wall. He’d thrown it with a lot more force than necessary.
“Come on, brother. That all you got?” Cain taunted as he tossed a ball at Asher.
On and on it went.
Both boys were throwing their balls without holding back in the slightest. The class went silent as we watched the epic dodgeball battle in front of us. My mouth dropped open when Cain did a flip in midair to avoid Asher’s ball. As soon as his feet touched the ground, he tossed a ball at Asher. It missed by inches and hit the wall next to the mats. I was only a few feet away, and my eyes widened in disbelief when I noticed the indent in the wall.
There was no way he could have thrown the ball hard enough to dent the wall. I was pretty sure the walls were made of concrete.
Cain growled in frustration when he saw that the ball had missed. Asher smirked as he picked up two balls at once. I watched in awe as he launched both of them at Cain. Cain dodged the first one, but the second made contact. It hit his lower stomach with enough force that he flew backward several feet.
Damn. That’s going to leave one heck of a bruise.
“Now, that’s how you play dodgeball!” Mr. Reynolds shouted.
Cain stood back up. Neither brother paid any attention to the teacher.
Both were locked in a glaring contest.
Finally, Asher broke it. He glanced over at me and then back at Cain. “That all you got, brother?”
Review - 3.5 Stars!
The story concept was something I was dying to read. Admittedly, YA isn’t my usual genre, but I still journey into it occasionally. So I was thrilled to start this new series by K.A. Robinson. The idea of being torn between two twins, as well as heaven and hell? Yummy! Love triangles are nothing new but the idea of twins is a bit interesting. Especially as those twins are so very different in everything but looks.
This novel was a quick, easy read that I enjoyed. After a slow start, it ended up fast-paced and entertaining. I do want to warn it did leave off on a cliffhanger though!
The characterization was a little lacking, but not terribly missing or anything. Both Asher and Cain were distinctly different from each other and it made things interesting. Who wouldn’t love twin hot guys after your body? Ella, on the other hand, was not my favorite protagonist. I might have enjoyed this book a lot more if I had really liked Ella, but sadly, this was not the case.
There was a bit of inconsistency in regards to Asher and Cain’s abilities. Like the fact Asher seemed to hear something Ella said that shouldn’t have been possible, so he (and I assume Cain) have sensitive hearing. Okay, I get that. But then how come Ella could sneak up on the twins, not once, but twice? Hmm, something to ponder.
The actually writing was well-done, if a little over-explanatory. There were a lot of instances of things written out that weren’t needed. Like the process of changing clothes, classes, etc. where it wasn’t needed to enhance or advance the story. Other than that, it was well-written.
Lastly, despite the fact I felt the story lacked a certain depth to really move me - as in, right now, I don’t have a twin preference, really - it DID keep me going and I did enjoy how the story played out. It was a tad slow in the beginning to introduce the supernatural element to the novel, but otherwise, I am definitely looking forward to book two!
K.A. Robinson is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of several New Adult and Contemporary Romance novels. She is both self-published and traditionally published through Atria Books (Torn and Twisted). She lives in West Virginia with her toddler son and husband. Her addictions include books, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, coffee, and Rock Music.