Review: Breaking Hell's Rules by Lyssa Dering

Freedom wasn't supposed to be this dangerous...

When succubus Reth finally meets their soul quota and gains freedom from Hell, they decide to take up residence in New Orleans. Immediately they discard the body they've been wearing since 1952 and slip into something a little more virile, pleased to find they get a cozy apartment for their trouble. Too bad the apartment has a joint lease with their body's ex-boyfriend Jude.

Jude is walking around with a black eye and a bad attitude, and when Reth tries to explain things, Jude doesn't believe them. Plus, he refuses to move out. Reth doesn't want to take Jude's soul, and they really like this body. So they show him some succubus action minus the soul-grabbing, hoping to scare him off.

But they never expected for the mortal to take a liking to them. And they never could have predicted just how pure Jude's soul would be. When Reth unwittingly commits a sin against Lucifer, they'll need Jude's help to avoid an eternity of suffering... For them both.

WARNING: Contains abuse themes (but not between the main characters) and graphic content.

This was way cuter than I expected. I kinda loved this even though one thing bugged me throughout.

I’ll get this out early so the review makes sense. The only thing that bugged me about this book was Reth using the pronouns “they” and “their” when referring to themselves. I really liked that succubus are gender neutral but it got confusing when Reth was with Jude or anyone else and would say “on their hands and knees on the pavement outside Jude's apartment.” When they were now alone but had just been with someone else. So that got confusing and a bit irritating at first, but it was not enough to take me out of the story.

Okay then, let’s see if I can keep this short-ish and sweet, just like the book.

Reth is a succubus, a demon who steals the dark souls of sinners by having sex with them to fill their quota for Lilith down in hell. Reth is tired of being in servitude, they have one last soul to take and wants their freedom. When they find a tattooed man with a dark soul, they literally fuck the man into hell and then take over his form. This form comes with a name – Tyler – and this form comes with a boyfriend named Jude.
"So what are you, a gay sex demon?"
I adored Jude. He is a man after my own hopeless romantic heart. Jude is strong, but Jude is a romantic who just wants someone one to fuck him into the mattress with crazy passion and then cuddle the hell out of him after as his partner takes the weight of the world off Jude's shoulders. You see, Tyler was not a good guy or a boyfriend as the bruise on Jude's face suggests when we meet him, but when Reth sends Tyler's soul to hell and takes over his human skin... how is Jude to know the difference when Tyler comes home?

With shows like Lucifer and Supernatural in popular rotation Breaking Hell’s Rules was fun to read. You have the demon who is done with hell and just wants to live freely. You have Jude who doesn’t know the power he holds and always falls for the wrong guy and you have a cast of characters who are never what they seem. You have the total opposites attract vibe (which I LOVE) with a bit of heaven and hell tossed in and I am hooked, book and sinker!


So, back to the review at hand. Reth likes their new body, they want to keep it and when they meet Jude, they decide that Jude needs to move out but Jude ain’t having it. It’s Jude’s place and Tyler needs to get with the program…only this isn’t Tyler anymore.
After being forced to leave Heaven on the back of Lucifer's bad choice so many centuries ago, Reth was finally done with Hell, and while the future was uncertain, there was one thing that was crystal clear: they weren't going to be obligated again for anything.
It was so much fun watching Reth tell Jude who they are and the only way they can show Jude what their true form looks like is to have sex, but having sex with Reth makes you lose your soul so… yeah, I am not giving that any of that away.



I’ll stop here to not go into spoilers but this was fun. There are demons, angels, hellhounds and the fires of hell. There is flesh burning semen, salt across doorways and windows and there is an oddly but perfectly matched couple who will give up everything for the one thing they’ve never had.

Breaking Hell’s Rules was super fun, super sexy, super sweet and just a joy to read. I loved Reth. I adored Jude and I even have a high five in me for Brett because he is Brett. I loved the hell out of the end and yeah, this was MUCH better than I expected.

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