My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/hell-on-wheels-by-carol-lynne
Though he may be dead, Cory takes drinking seriously and as bartender at Ice Water, he makes sure no one drives drunk. His refusal to serve drunk patrons has landed him a split lip more than once, but it’s a hazard of the job as far as Cory is concerned. But when he’s attacked on the way home from work, it becomes clear that Cory may need protection, and Ice Water’s bouncer may just be the man for the job.
Tao has desired Cory from the moment they met, but the slighter man seems intimidated by Tao’s size. Yet when he sees that someone is after Cory, and that it may have nothing to do with his job and everything to do with his mortal life, Tao promises himself that nothing and no one will hurt the bartender, including himself. He just has to prove the last part to Cory.
In Hell on Wheels, the past seriously comes back to bite its heroes on the ass. To say that Cory didn’t live a pristine life as a human is an understatement, but because he has been genuinely atoning for it I liked him. Tao too is a sympathetic hero, so it’s not the protagonists of the story that made Hell on Wheels fall a bit flat for me. The problem I had was that Hell on Wheels was simply a bit too crowded and over-the-top for a novella. The heroes from the first two books in The City series all appear and almost all of them have larger-than-life personalities. This seemed to prevent any character of being more than a caricature of himself, which was a pity. The world of Hell – aka The City – seems incredibly interesting, but Ms. Lynne doesn’t delve into enough of anything to bring it truly to life. For me, Hell on Wheels was an okay story and truly a case of missed opportunity.