Review – Boyfriend from Hell by Jamie Quaid

Publisher: Pocket
Publish Date: Sep. 25th
How I got this book: ARC from publisher

They say justice is blind. But Justine isn’t.Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore’s radioactive Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn’t believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and it’s exactly where he ends up.

Much to her surprise, Tina is apparently one of Saturn’s daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn’t deserve to go up in flames, even if he did almost run her over with her own car. Tina’s convinced someone cut the brakes—and now a relentless nemesis is stalking her through the Zone’s back alleys, where buildings glow, statues move, and chemical waste exposure comes with interesting consequences. Tina’s usually a loner, but now she needs a posse like no other: a shape-shifting kitten, an invisible thief, a biker gang, a snake-charming private detective, a well-meaning cop, and her sleazy, sexy boss. But in between freeing Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her newfound friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?
*Blurb from Goodreads*


I’m always on the lookout for new urban fantasy books. It’s one of my favorite genres, with some of my favorite authors. While a lot of people have criticised the cover of the first Saturn’s Daughter book, it actually caught my eye. Not just the uncomfortable positioning of the woman’s body, but the fact that she is holding a tire iron next to a Harley, instead of a sword or gun in some faraway land. It’s something I’d never seen before, and knew I was in for a heroine who wouldn’t mind getting down and dirty.

Tina has been working in the Zone for a few years now, trying to make ends meet while finishing up her law degree. She never expected the Zone to change her life, but instead of offering her a regular paycheck, she developed some weird supernatural powers. She accidently sent her boyfriend to hell when he tried to kill her, she caused a freak tornado, sprinkler systems to randomly go off, and who knows what else.

Tina just wants to graduate law school and find out who terrorized a group of kids in the Zone. But the secrets of the area are quickly unraveling, and Tina will have to do things she never imagined possible in order to keep herself and her newfound Zone friends safe from danger. But will she be able to do so without damning herself?

I have to admit that when I put this book down, I had some mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I really liked that Quaid set up her paranormal world in a way I don’t ever remember reading before. Instead of your standard things that go bump in the night, a chemical spill has contaminated a poor area of Baltimore known as the Zone. People from the area are beginning to notice weird things, special abilities and that basis for her world building was unique enough to keep me engaged and wondering. However, the book progressed SO SLOWLY from start to finish that I found myself getting bored and wanting to skip ahead. Never a good sign.

Despite her ability to deny, deny, deny, I really liked Tina. She had spunk and character and was an all around good character. She struggled a bit with the paranormal super powers, and although she walked into a bar daily where the Lady Justice over the door winked and flirted with her, she seemed to have a hard time accepting that the supernatural could take over people as well as objects. I thought it was a good mix of acceptance and struggle on her part though, as I can imagine finding out you can literally curse people to hell isn’t exactly something to toy with.

One of the things I hope Quaid does NOT do in this series is start an on-going and never ending love triangle. Sure, Max seems like a nice guy, and despite the whole ‘being sent to hell’ thing, he tried to prove time and again that he really did love Tina, regardless of how their relationship started out. At the same time, Tina’s boss Andre makes his big play for the girl he loves to fight with. I personally had a soft spot for Andre, because I love my heroes to be absolutely Alpha in everything they do. But Tina waffled between the two of them, never seeming to make a commitment to one or the other. Like I said, I hope this doesn’t become a recurring theme in the series.

All in all I thought this was a decent debut UF novel. There were some major pacing issues for me in the first half, and I felt as if the story dragged horribly. However, Tina and her battle with gaining super powers, trying to figure out how to get her ex-boyfriend out of hell, and keeping the secrets of the Zone were enough to keep me reading. I will definitely be willing to give the next book in the series a shot, especially if we get to see some more romance time between Tina and Andre.
I give Boyfriend from Hell a C

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3 thoughts on “Review – Boyfriend from Hell by Jamie Quaid”

  1. Still on the fence about this one, but your review is swaying me towards a yes. Thanks. Is the heroine as thin as the cover model? Or a bit more “normal”.

  2. @aurian: She is actually nothing like the cover model. In the beginning, she actually has problems with her leg, and through the mystery of her “gift” she changes. It’s really interesting actually. 🙂

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