Hell Night Series #4
Key To Hell
By: Alex Grayson
Genre: Dark Romance, Suspense
Release Date: June. 27, 2019
Death. Destruction. Pain. A soulless void. It’s his life. It’s his reality.
Emo doesn’t feel. Anything. His soul is dark and filled with hatred. People in the small town of Malus watch him with fear, with reverence. Exactly the way he prefers it.
Guilt surrounds him, caging him in an ominous past he refuses to let go. Can’t let go. His past is responsible for the shell of the man who now exists. He doesn’t know any other way to survive.
The woman who haunts his dreams is his only salvation. He’s hurt her over and over again. He didn’t have a choice.
The key he holds on to, the one he uses to carve into his flesh, is the key to his hell. It’s his reminder of the pain he’s suffered and inflicted.
Will there be retribution?
Can Emo be saved?
Or is he destined to live in this dark hell he’s surrounded himself in for the rest of his life?
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Key To Hell by Alex Grayson is book number 4 AND the final installment to the Hell Night Series. All 4 books are standalones BUT they are interconnected and should be read in order. If you have not read the first three books in the series, do not read this review because there will be spoilers. There are some triggers, i.e child assault, self-harm, violence, murder, etc. but, although not an easy read, I still recommend giving it a shot, the way it’s written while some parts are gruesome and graphic the story is so worth it.
I have been waiting for Emo’s story since we first met him in Trouble In Hell and now we FINALLY have his heartbreaking, gut-wrenching tale. Told in dual POV, Key To Hell is Emo and Rella’s story and it is EVERYTHING that I hoped it would be.
We first met these four brothers back in Trouble In Hell. Judge, Trouble, JW, and Emo all grew up together in a town called Sweet Haven. Once a month they suffered horrific abuse at the hands of the adults that were supposed to protect them. Until one night the town is raided and the boys make their escape with an elderly couple that never participated in the horrible night but was always there to tend to them afterward. Only to come back years later and turn the town they renamed Malus, into a safe haven of sorts for victims and to take revenge on their abusers as well as others abusers.
Throughout the series, we see glimpses of Emo and how troubled he is. While the other boys seem to have somewhat coped with the demons from their childhood, Emo has not. Emo has never been able to forgive himself for the things he was forced to do to Rella during Hell Night when they were children. He’s always felt as if he should have done more, fought him off harder. But he was just a child, there was NOTHING that he could have done differently and he did the best he could to make things as easy as possible for her, no matter how much he was being hurt in the process. But although everyone else understands that, Emo refuses to think that way. All he’s capable of seeing is the wrong that he did. The guilt he lives with is killing him inside… and the scars on the outside are proof.
But then in walks Rella.
The little girl that has supposedly been dead for the past 24 years. But Rella didn’t die that day and unlike the boys, her pain didn’t stop when the town was raided that night. Although only Trouble was her actual brother, Rella was a little sister to them all. All four boys held hands during her funeral and mourned for the loss of her. But unbeknownst to them, Rella had already been sent to another horrible home in another town, but instead of once a month the way the adults in Sweet Haven did things… then it was happening every single day.
Rella and Emo are both so broken and damaged, but if either of them has a chance to heal, it’s with one another.
Can Emo get over his self-loathing and guilt to give Rella what she needs?
Can Rella overcome the trauma, both mentally and physically enough to give Emo what he needs?
You’ll have to read Key To Hell to find out.
“This is his and my story … this is something he and I need to get through on our own.”
At the end of book three, Judge Of Hell, when Rella walked in, I just knew that this book was going to break me down and I wasn’t wrong. This was no easy read. Emo’s story completely devastated me in the best way possible, just like I knew it would. Rella and Emo are the most intense, raw, and real, story of this whole series. While I enjoyed the others immensely and rated them all 5-stars, Key To Hell literally shattered me.
“You were always my hero, even when you couldn’t be.”
Emo, God that man breaks my heart. I have always been interested in Emo’s story the most and it’s fitting that the author left his story for last, while I was impatient for it, after reading his story I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rella, my heart hurts for her. She has been through hell and although may have come out a little worse for wear on the other side, she survived. While some may have hated Emo, Rella saw it for what it was, Emo may have been the one inflicting her pain but he was saving her from a fate much, much worse. The fate that he was suffering himself.
“I’ve never, not once, been afraid of you. I’ve never regretted knowing you. I’ve never not felt safe when I’m with you.”
The love between these two people who were so completely broken, it just… I don’t even have the words to describe it. Although the romance aspect moved rather quickly for as much as these two have endured, their connection was honestly unlike anything I have ever read before and from the moment Rella walks back in, they are inseparable. Watching them heal together while supporting and pulling strength from one another, amazing.
USUALLY, I would be upset about the author throwing in the “other woman” thing, but although Grace appeared, it wasn’t for drama and I actually feel like that was such an important scene. I think Grace always knew that Emo could never love her the way she loved him, but she was there for him in the only way he would allow her to be, the way he needed her to be at that point in time. I am glad that once Rella came back that there were no scenes of them together, that would have been too far for me. But I am glad that the scene near the end between Rella and Grace happened was added to the story.
The key… finding out the darker significance of that key. I never could have anticipated that, in this story, I started thinking it was something along those lines but for all of its appearances in the rest of the series, NEVER could have imagined.
Alex Grayson is an amazing writer, I have ONLY read this series but I plan on checking out much more of her work, and since the epilogue hinted at a spin-off series, which I am sooo excited to find out more about, I know for sure I’ll be checking that out.
This is one of those books, those series for that matter, that will stay with you for a long time to come. I’m not a big re-reader, once I’ve read a book I’m usually done with it but I can see that I will be re-reading this series again. To say that I loved this series and these brothers as well as the ladies that helped heal them and were healed themselves, would be an understatement. I admire them, fictional or not.
Absolutely unforgettable read for sure.
Without a doubt, Key To Hell is at the very top of my favorite reads of 2019 list! 5-stars and I would give way, way more if I could. What an amazing journey this series has been.
I HIGHLY recommend Key To Hell as well as the rest of the Hell Night series.
“Do you love me?” I ask, my voice raw with emotion.
“You know I do.”
“No.” I shake my head and elaborate, needing him to understand. “Do you love me more than just a friend?”
His Adam’s apple moves up and down as he swallows. “With everything in me.”
The pain in my heart lessens.
“If we didn’t share the past that we do and we were just a man and a woman, would you want to be with me?”
“I’d never fuckin’ let you go.”
“You’ll never convince me that I deserve you … But you were right; there’s not a man alive I trust to take care of you like I will or who will love you as much as I do.”
Grab your copy of Key To Hell today!
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✷ The Complete Hell Night Series ✷
Trouble in Hell (Hell Night Series, Book One)
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Goodreads – http://bit.ly/troubleinhellGR
Bitter Sweet Hell (Hell Night Series, Book Two)
Universal – https://books2read.com/u/3RV9gj
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/BitterSHGR
Judge Of Hell (Hell Night Series, Book Three)
Universal – https://books2read.com/u/3ygogv
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/JudgeOHGR
My Review – Judge Of Hell
About The Author
Alex Grayson is the bestselling author of heart-pounding, emotionally gripping contemporary romance including the Jaded Series, the Consumed Series, and two standalone novels.
Her passion for books was reignited by a gift from her sister-in-law.
After spending several years as a devoted reader and blogger, Alex decided to write and independently publish her first novel in 2014 (an endeavor that took a little longer than expected).
The rest, as they say, is history.
Originally a southern girl, Alex now lives in Ohio with her husband, two children, two cats, and dog.
She loves the color blue, homemade lasagna, casually browsing real estate, and interacting with her readers.