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Book Info

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Barbara Elsborg
20 January 2022
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An angel and a demon walk into a bar…

It should be the start of a joke, except Emmett and Phoenix loathe each other the moment they meet. Reluctant and mismatched partners they may be, but they’ve been given a job to do on Earth: persuade the newly dead to move on to wherever they’re destined to go.

A friendly word here, a nudge there, all the dead should need is a push in the right direction—but dark forces are working against the pair, and the mission takes a dangerous turn.

From hate at first sight, to toleration, to something more… Except time is running out, and soon Emmett and Phoenix will be torn apart and returned to the worlds from which they came. That’s not what they want, and neither is willing to go back without a fight…

…. Because even though they’re dead, they’ve never felt more alive.

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Reviewed By: Josh Dale


It would be so easy to believe that Barbara is a mainstream MM /romance writer. But she has also written some amazing MM / paranormal / romance too.

Oh boy she has done it again. Just when I think she can not outdo herself, she does just that.

This story of Emmett and Phoenix, is action packed, with some hot bedroom scenes and a lot of humour and heartache (Doh it is a Barbara Ellsborg novel after all.)


We have Emmett who is an Angel, that is bored of life in heaven, partly due to the fact he asked for his memories of his past to be wiped when he arrived at the pearly gates.

Then we have Phoenix (Nix) who is a Demon, that is living a life of hell, constant torture both physically and mentally.

So we have opposites attract, and the good boy and bad boy who get a chance to return to earth on a special mission. Boy, do they wind each other up the wrong way when they first meet.

Their mission is to find and capture a supernatural that is stealing soles of people that die and collecting them for some evil plan.

It is rather comical at times as Emmett and Nix are set up with an apartment, and all they need to live and carry out their mission.

Eventually they give into their desires and attraction of each other, What starts off as just a one-time thing, soon turns into so much more. But the problem is that they only have a limited time on earth together before they return to their previous lives. How cruel is the author doing this to these two poor guys?

Their investigation is done blindly as they are given the minimum information, usually just a text with an address of someone that has just passed. They start off in a comical fashion, but they soon start gaining information and start putting the puzzle together.

Oh, and whilst on earth they only have nine lives, Which Emmett has a habit of being killed.

I loved both Emmett, who is such a good person, very loving too, then we have Nix who is a bit of a wild boy, that likes fast motorbikes and cars.

The supporting cast are also interesting, and I hope to see their stories soon. Even Tar the head of Paranormal Resolutions, who they are working for is mysterious and just so happens to get his own book Broken Things which is due for release soon.

Barbara has the knack of making her characters pop off the page and into our hearts, she really likes to put her characters through hell.

Her story worlds are so well developed that you almost forget your reading a fantasy book and not a real-life story.

And as for plots, she certainly knows how to share the characters story. You can never be certain that the story will go the way you think it will. There are twists and turns at every corner, and they have to jump through many loops to get a happy ending. To be honest Barbara had me fooled into believing Emmett and Nix would not get theirs.

I cannot recommend this book and series enough. Even if you are new to Barbara’s writing or only know her from the ever popular Jonty books, You will not be disappointed by the INBETWEENERS. It is a unique story told so vividly and energy that you will not want to put this one down.


As he (Emmett) half-enviously watched the group, another guy came in, taller than Emmett, with scruffy dark hair, sharp cheekbones, a scar on his cheek and the bluest of blue eyes. His jeans hung low on narrow hips and he had long, long legs. He smiled as he moved along the back of the group at the bar, brushing closer to them than he needed to. Emmett would never have done that. When the guy reached the end of the row, he lifted a wallet from the last man’s pocket. What the…? Emmett’s jaw dropped.

Almost as if the thief sensed Emmett watching, he turned and stared at him. His smile widened, somehow making Emmett complicit in what he’d done. As Emmett contemplated standing up and saying something, though he had no idea what, the man pulled a twenty-pound note from the wallet, pocketed the money and dropped the wallet on the floor. To Emmett’s horror, he then walked over and sat down next to him. Go away!

“Hi,” the guy said. “This is a stroke of luck.”

Luck? Emmett was struck dumb with shock.

“Buy me a drink?” the man asked. “It’s a special occasion, so I think we should go for something with bubbles.”

Emmett pushed to his feet and walked over the bar, intending to speak to the person who’d just been robbed. He’d have to explain that he had no idea who this man was, even though he’d sat next to him. But the wallet had already been picked up and Emmett hesitated.

“What can I get you?” the barman asked.

Emmett placed the order wondering what the hell he was doing? Why was he buying this guy a drink when he wanted to tell him to fuck off? Except you know why. Low riding jeans and slim hips and that face and a long time since he’d had sex. I am as shallow as a puddle. Though the return of lust was somewhat comforting.

A few moments later, Emmett returned to the table to find his lunch being consumed. Fucking hell. That was totally unacceptable. He slammed the drinks down, the liquid sloshing over the sides of the glasses.

“Lemonade?” The thief laughed.

Emmett was too angry to speak.

“Tell you what,” the guy said. “I’ll increase your word ration to ten, if you go and buy something alcoholic.”

You arsehole. “You asked for bubbles. I bought you bubbles.”

“Eight words. You could have had two more.”

“You dickhead.”

The man laughed. “Which makes ten. I should introduce myself. I’m Nix.”

“Why would I want to know who you are? Of what possible interest would that be to me? Please leave me to enjoy my lunch in peace.” The spark of interest felt by Emmett had been obliterated by the man helping himself to his food. What awful manners.

Emmett picked up the fork, wiped it thoroughly on the paper napkin, delving between each tine, then recommenced eating. The guy watched him.

“Are you deaf? I asked you to leave,” Emmett said, once he’d emptied his mouth.

“I’m Nix.”

“So you said. Is that supposed to—oh.” It had taken Emmett too long to get it. He deplored nicknames. Partly because he’d been called Emma at school. But Nix was short for Phoenix. This was the guy who’d be sharing the job, the flat, the bedroom, his brief return to the world. Oh shit.

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Check out our other reviews in the series


Book 2. What IF

Book 4. Broken Things
Review will be posted on release day 26th April


Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the South of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Volcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.

Thirteen facts about me

1. I’m blonde, but after having spotted one grey hair - I now dye my locks with mixed results. I know I should read the packet but hey, what can go wrong? My nicknames – badger, skunk (purely the look!!), snowball and pinkie. Yes, that time it really did go wrong.

2. I hate milk. Can’t drink it, smell it or even look at it.

3. Writing. I really do love that. I started by making up episodes of TV series with me as the heroine. You name it, I’ve been in it. My range is from paranormal to suspense to contemporary to erotica but everything I write has a touch of romance and humor. Well, I think I’m funny. My family laugh at me all the time.

4. Former life – a sad cautionary tale. Started off as a government inspector – spying on people trying to cheat on their taxes. A short period as a media planner in an advertising agency. I fled that at dead of night. Several years selling cyanide – mainly to Sweden for the largest chemical company in the UK. Grand title of export manager. There was just me in the department. Had kids. Ughghghg. Then went to work as Government Inspector, spying on teachers. I was so popular, you can’t believe. Thank goodness I married well. (Married for money anyway)

5. No I didn’t, dear. Husband is financial whiz. Met at university when he was bringing a sack of potatoes to my flat mate. Romance is his middle name. Gifts to me include – supermarket vouchers, hedge trimmer and a hammer drill and reduced flowers past their wilt-by date. He spent most of his life in the aerospace industry making missiles. He’s atoning for his sins by doing my shopping.

6. Two children. Daughter a lawyer. Son has escaped to live in Texas. Enough said.

7. Books – I ADORE. I read at least one a day. I have thousands as I can’t stand to part with them. I read at lightning speed. 70-80 pages in 20 minutes. That’s fast? Right?

8. What do I do all day? Write. All day if I can. It’s my world and I love it. Start at 8.00 and finish late. Interspersed with journeys on the internet and satisfying needs of husband. No, not those sorts of needs. Really!! I was thinking of making coffee.

9. Worried about – possible visit from FBI. Research for one of my thrillers did involve some investigation into how a fetus would decay under a boat shed. Research into plastic handcuffs brought a deluge of porn. Well, that was my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I find I need to keep checking dubious sites. I might be addicted.

10. I’m very tall. 5’10 and a bit. I used to be very self-conscious about my height. Now I don’t care. I’m far more worried about other bits of me.

11. I won the prize at school for ‘Good Conduct and Example’ It was the worst day of my life. Well, one of them. I so want to be bad. Sigh.

12. I am incapable of telling right from left at crucial moments. Won’t be flying jets anytime soon.

I’m struggling now. I’m really not interesting.

13. Ohh, I was once kicked by a giraffe.

Phew, made it.



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