Review: Cold As Hell by Rhett Bruno and Jaime Castle

☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

In the West, there are worse things to fear than bandits and outlaws.

Demons. Monsters. Witches. James Crowley’s sacred duty as a Black Badge is to hunt them down and send them packing, banish them from the mortal realm for good.

He didn’t choose this life. No. He didn’t choose life at all.

Shot dead in a gunfight many years ago, now he’s stuck in purgatory, serving the whims of the White Throne to avoid falling to hell. Not quite undead, though not alive either, the best he can hope for is to work off his penance and fade away.

This time, the White Throne has sent him to investigate a strange bank robbery in Lonely Hill. An outlaw with the ability to conjure ice has frozen and shattered open the bank vault and is now on a spree, robbing the region for all it’s worth.

In his quest to track down the ice-wielder and suss out which demon is behind granting a mortal such power, Crowley finds himself face-to-face with hellish beasts, shapeshifters, and, worse … temptation. But the truth behind the attacks is worse than he ever imagined …

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/cold-as-hell-black-badge-series-book-1-by-rhett-c-bruno-and-jaime-castle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59102153-cold-as-hell

Guest Reviewer Frannie’s Thoughts:

Cold as Hell is a combination of adventure and horror.  Our protagonist James Crowley is often deceitful until you understand his entire story and eventually you realize that his circumstances are not of his own doing.   

Bringing in a spiritual side, we understand from the beginning that Crowley has chosen purgatory over Hell.  He has been selected for the sacred duty of the Black Badge which allows him to hunt demons, monsters and witches in an attempt to banish them from the mortal realm for eternity.  Crowley reports directly to the angel Shargrafein, his spiritual handler, who reports and serves the whims of the White Throne.  Their objective is to capture evil on earth.  To avoid going to Hell, this former outlaw and repugnant human, needs to find redemption.    

The story is set in the Wild West with gunslingers, shootouts, bandits, outlaws, and bounty hunters.  These cowboys are looking for justice in a brutal environment.  Then our authors bring in werewolves, shapeshifters and the supernatural.  The story is imaginative, fun, and often exciting.  The mood they create provides room for romance that is rich and mystical.  But, at times, it is confusing when our hero is shot, does not die, and feels no pain.  In contrast, he has the ability to feel empathy for another person in love and sorrow.   These emotions are addressed and interwoven with blood and gore. Even though at times it is very unrealistic, it is a fast-paced novel with many twists and turns.  The ending is spectacular!       

If you love westerns, well-worn and much loved genre, you will wholeheartedly enjoy this book.  It provides a beautiful description of the wild west in all its gritty glory.    

About the Authors: Rhett C. Buno is a USA Today and Washing Post bestselling and Nebula Award- nominated author of the Circuit Saga, the Children of Titan series.  He is currently a full-time author and publisher living in Delaware with his wife and daughter. 

Jaime Castle is a Washing Post writer and the number one audible bestselling author of the Luna Missile Crisis, the Buried Goddess Saga, which includes the IPPY Award-winning Web of Eyes.  He lives with his wife and two children in Texas.    

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