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Heaven and Hell

Written by: Kristen Ashley
Narrated by: Felicity Munroe
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Publisher's Summary

After making a bad decision when she was very young, Kia Clementine finds herself in hell. Then, suddenly, within the time it takes for a shotgun to blast, her hell changes. Completely. Then, out of the blue, she sees Sampson Cooper, her celebrity crush. A man the whole world knows is decent. A man the world knows is loyal. A man the world knows is good. All of these very unlike her now dead husband. He's sitting at a table right next to hers. And she catches his eye.

Terrified of the interest Sam shows in her, Kia finds the courage to go out with him. Not long after, she shares her dark secrets, and Sam shares that he'll stop at nothing to gain her trust. As Sam leads Kia to heaven, Kia realizes that Sam is living his own hell. Although he gives her beauty and she gives him everything, he withholds his trust. Even with all the beauty Sam shows her, Kia wants it all. But Sam forces Kia to make a heartbreaking decision, and only she can decide. It's all or nothing.

©2011 Kristen Ashley (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Heaven and Hell

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  • Dar
  • 2021-05-02

Wish I'd dove in sooner!

I have no idea how I didn’t know about this book, or why I left it on my TBR for so long, but I need to make sure no one else makes the same mistake! This book had me in tears through most of it, the story heart wrenching and deep with pain. And not just one thing that was painful, but many different types over a few different people and for different reasons. While loss was a huge part of this book, and allowed the characters to connect, hope was an even bigger part, and starting anew. Nobody let go of the past, it was part of them, it made them who they were, and gave them the good and the bad, but they became new people in the present. It had light moments, it had happy moments, it had sexy moments, and it had healing moments. It was beautifully narrated, and this was one of those books where the narrator portrayed the characters better than my imagination even could. I’ve immediately gone to Loose Ends to get the story that was, well, at a loose end, but also so I could live in this world, with these characters, just a little bit longer <3

1 person found this helpful

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this is amazing

this book had it all. i laughed, cried, got mad. its a beautiful story. love the heroine, will definitely read it again

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Not Good

Dumb and stupid and repetitive definitely not a good book by Christian she May want to take a little breather before she writes another one I was terribly disappointed

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Loved loved loved it!!!

This was such a sweet story and I loved the character development so much. Definitely going to be reading/listening to more of Kristen Ashley!

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  • dawn
  • 2016-02-16

Never found heaven. This book was really bad.

The only reason I didn't request a refund was the brilliant narrator.
Sophomoric writing, offensive characters and NO story development. Don't bother waiting for something to happen- there is no plot - no intelligent vocabulary-
It is extremely hard to believe that a modern woman wrote this. It was more likely penned by a 70 year old "John Wayne" fan.
Who still thinks it is sexy to bully their love interests to win them over?
Coming out of an abusive relationship the main character is "saved" by an equally abusive man with better looks and more money. Terrible message to send to young women.
The entire book was hell.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Erin
  • 2016-02-05

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell 1) Kristen Ashley/Felicity Munroe

This audiobook is awesome. You will laugh, and you will cry. There are some nice cameo appearances from other KA books (Rock Chick and the 'Burg) which is always cool. As with KA's work in general, it's a good, solid, sweet, sexy, heartbreaking, awful, fantastic, amazing and life-affirming tour of hell, then heaven, then hell, then heaven. When I heard, "Epilogue," I was sad it was over and wondered how it was even possible to "already" be at the end of an almost-20-hour book. Our heroine's a pretty cool chick who has been kicked around and brought low but is neither a doormat nor a bitter shrew. I liked her a lot. Our hero's a super-hot, alpha bad*ss, ex-NFL player, ex-Army Ranger, with fabulous abs, a wicked protective streak and a squishy soft center that's REALLY tough to get to but is so worth the effort, and the "supporting cast" consists of very cool people you would totally want to hang out with.

The narrator, Felicity Munroe, is quite good. I thought she had a good feel for and fit with the story. She did a good job with the many characters, both male and female, and was easy to listen to. She did accents well (Southern, Italian, French and British), and overall, I really liked her performance. I listened at 1.25 speed, but I think that most audiobooks sound a little more natural at that speed because good narrators take the time to enunciate clearly, give the right inflection and pronounce words correctly, and in order to do that, they have to speak a little more slowly than normal. My ONLY criticisms are that she used a semi-Southern accent for Kia, though she is from the midwest (Indiana) and mispronounced Raleigh as "Riley." Seriously though, no biggie because it wasn't mentioned that often. (Having lived in North Carolina for more than a decade, I think I understand how she came up with "Riley." Here, oss=ice, far=fire, non=nine, tarred= tired, etc. Basically, they avoid the long "I" sound like unsweetened tea. SO, if a Southerner told you they went to what sounds like "Rollie," I can see how you might translate that as "Riley.") Other than those very minor anomalies, I think FM was a perfect fit for this book, and I hope she is available for future sequels in this series.

Creditworthy? Abso-freakin-lutely!! But, you can get a pretty good deal if you go the Whispersynch Kindle/Audible route. I got the Kindle version for $1.99 on sale and then the Audible companion for only $3.49, but I would have happily parted with a credit or cash for this gem.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Malinda
  • 2016-02-07

Very good contemporary romance :D

4-4.5 stars

This was a really good story. I liked both Kia and Sam and their story was interesting kept me reading until the end.

Kia made a mistake in high school of choosing the wrong man. She got involved with and then married the high school football star that didn't make it anywhere (not even managing to graduate college) and made her suffer for a life gone wrong. Kia tried leaving him but never managed to stay away and paid dearly for every attempt. She lived in fear until the sheriff came to see her and tell her that her husband was dead, shot due to his own mis-deeds.

Sam is a very talented guy and got famous when he played college and then professional football. He loved his mom and his brother very much and did what he could to take care of them. When his brother was killed in the military, Sam left football to join the Army. He's since left the Army but is still rather famous even though he'd rather not be. Sam's dated a lot but never anyone that was real and made the cut in the end so he's still looking for his "one".

Kia's husband was cheating on her and his lover's husband was the one that killed him. Kia was rather shocked but had been a victim of her husband long enough that she was more relieved than upset about her husband's death. This feeling was reinforced when she found out about a large life insurance policy her husband had taken out on them both...her's for twice as much as his own. Soon she found out that he and his lover were planning to hire a hit man to kill her for the insurance money. Kia took a few months (around 5) to recover and find herself again and then decides to use her windfall to go to Europe. She travels to a few different locations and after she's been travelling a couple weeks she happens to go down for breakfast at her hotel and gets seated across from Samuel Cooper. Kia had always crushed on Samuel Cooper and semi-cyber stalked him so she knew who he was but didn't want to intrude and tried to ignore him and give him his privacy. That soon gets nixed as a restaurant employee with an eye for romance ends up pushing them in to sharing a table. They have a very nice breakfast together and there's an obvious spark between them. Their start is a little rough though, because Kia is unsure of Sam's intentions and after being in an abusive relationship for 7 years, she has a hard time crediting that a man like Sam would look twice at her.

Sam soon corrects Kia's erroneous assumptions but it's not easy by any means. Because of what she went through, Kia doesn't feel worthy of a guy like Sam and tries to push Sam away but Sam wont be budged, determined to get his chance to know Kia. Sam thinks there's something very special about Kia and is determined to help her through her rough time dealing with her past and then have a chance to see if they can have a future together. Sam was sweet and patient with Kia and made her feel safe, which is something she hasn't felt in a long time so it meant a lot for her. They end up spending the rest of her vaca together (a couple more weeks) and then go back to her home town in Indiana to see her friends and take care of some other stuff. As this is happening, news comes that the hit on Kia by her husband and his lover wasn't just planned but bought and paid for. Sam is all over making sure that Kia is safe and brings in people to help ( from other KA series, like the Burg). Kia gives in to Sam's need to keep her safe but there's some issues between them as things get more serious between them because Kia gives all of herself to Sam but Sam holds back. I have to give Kia credit, she didn't cut and run at the first hurdle, she stuck it out and things only came to a head when any woman would have found it hard to ignore. Things get pretty dicey for the couple and my heart was breaking for Kia and Sam during the rough points. Thankfully, Sam made the needed effort to breach the gap and make things right between them, leading to their well deserved HEA.

This was a really enjoyable read. Kia and Sam were both really good MCs and I could help but root for them from the start. Their story was well paced to keep things interesting...not a huge amount of action but the suspense kept things going when the romance wasn't. Overall I really liked it and am looking forward to the next book in the series (whenever it comes out). I'd recommend this story. Thumbs up! :D

+ note - the narrator of the audio version did a really good job, especially with all the accents. :)

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • whatcha.listening.to
  • 2016-03-04

5 Fantastic Stars

Oh this book, Kristen Ashley strikes my heart again. The emotions, the joy, the sorrow, this woman slays me.

Kia, falls for the high school jock marries him but there life isn’t anything like she thought it was going to be. Circumstance change and not only is Kia left with the wake of a life in which she regretted but now she needs to move on with dignity and grace.

A chance meeting where she meets Sampson Cooper her celebrity crush, turns to an extraordinary date. Not only does she me this incredible man, she meets his best friend Luci who takes a liking to Kia. Luci and Kia become fast friends.

Kia is trying to move on with her life but her ex has royal messed with her life and is still doing it from the grave. She has to travel back to her home town, Sam comes with, and lordy be the scene with Sam and her girl posse had me laughing till I had tears!
There is some pretty emotion stuff going on in this book and the two scenes that have me tearing up just think about them is with Kia and her dad breaks my heart, also the one with Kia and Luci. Powerful stuff right there.

I think I love Kristen’s work so much because she brings them full circle, she also connects her other books. We get to see Lee and Joe and Tanner I mean how cool that is!

Half this book I am talking to my self and it goes a little something like this… Oh Sam how you can want her to open herself up like that when you won’t do the same. I get you have your own issues but look at her and see what your silence is doing. NOT fair Sam NOT fair. lol yes I talk to my self even when listening to an audiobook.

Ok I totally FREAKING LOVE Hap!! Hap is Sam’s other bestie.
Here are my 2 favorite quotes of the book and that is will be all for this review

“Heaven is you to baby.” OMG right!!!

Sam’s mom to Kia
“We share more than Sammy honey. I know all about walking right through hell and suddenly finding yourself on the other side. Glad it gets to be me that greet you there but more I am glad I can say I raised a man who would take your hand and lead the way.”

You need this book in your life... I swear it. <3 Worth the money worth the credit worth it all.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Jenee's Reviews
  • 2016-02-04

OMG! THIS IS BY FAR MY FAV KRISTEN ASHLEY BOOK!

This is my favorite Kristen Ashley book hands down. This story is almost like a modern day Cinderella story where the evil stepmother (or in this case husband) gets what's coming to him in the beginning of the story instead of torturing the heroine the entire story.

I honestly do not even know where to start with this book. It wasn't just the hero and heroine in this story that made it worth reading. The secondary characters were amazing. I'm still waiting for Luci to get her book.

Kia became such an amazing woman after loosing her husband. He was holding her back her entire life and him dying gave her the chance she needed to become her own person and meet Sam. I think a part of me felt like she didn't feel she deserved Sam. She always felt like she was pretending to be someone she wasn't, when the truth was, this person she was pretending to be was the real her all along.

Sam was an ex-football player who hated the excessively rich things in life. He was a seal, a football player, and an amazing man who saw the scarred and beautiful person Kia really was. He helped her to bloom and see her worth.

It's hard to describe how these two characters made me feel. I've very rarely felt such a strong connection between two characters in a book that I felt I needed to read a book over and over again in order to relive their story. I usually will listen to my favorite books over and over, but I only read a book more than once if it is truly amazing. This is one of those books I have read at least 4 times, which is amazing considering Kristen Ashley books are not known for being short. That's why I was so excited when I saw this book on audible. I honestly would have used all of my monthly credits for this book! Lucky me, since I own the kindle edition I only had to pay $3.47!!!! That's a steal.

14 people found this helpful

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  • CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹
  • 2016-03-28

WOW.... SIMPLY STUPENDOUS

It's all been said before..... brilliant, one of her best, great narration, couldn't stop listening to it and I was one unhappy bunny if anyone dared to disturb me while I was happily in Heaven and plunged into Hell along with Sam and Kia.

Worth a credit? Yes, yes, yes..... 19hrs and 45 mins takes commitment to a book..... but I guarantee you won't regret one minute of it.

12 people found this helpful

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  • TG
  • 2016-02-19

Abuse is Abuse

I wanted to like this story. This is the first novel by Kristen Ashley I have tried and am not happy with the purchase.

The main character has been in an abusive relationship for 7 years. When she meets the male lead who immediately is aggressive and controlling. He within days of knowing her begins to make all of her life decisions. I believe the author is trying to spin this behavior as "good controlling" but when the male lead continues to back her into a corner (literally) and not acknowledge her request for personal space, it is uncomfortable.

I did not like their relationship and found myself continuously wishing she would realize this new relationship was not allowing her to be her own person.

I also took issue with the dialog. It could be the delivery of the audible but I found that with the aggression of the main character they also made it so that he was unable to have a conversation without swearing or using stereotypical touch guy speech.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 2016-02-11

Best KA book ever!

My favorite KA book by far. Narrator was phenomenal! She nailed every accent! May have to read (listen) to it again I enjoyed it so much.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • M M Gower
  • 2017-01-28

Know what you are committing to -- it's a long book

I really had no idea what to expect from this book. It's a romantic thriller with a diffuse and improbable plot. The characters (male and female) are almost all beautiful, rich, self-centered, unintelligent, and haunted by past experiences of pain which they manage to transcend for unconvincing reasons at the author's convenience. There is a great deal of explicit sexual description that is curiously not erotic. Worst of all, the values that the author assumes her readers share with her border on the repulsive. Youth and appearance, money, self-indulgence, male bonding through violence, abuse of women are all approved. It's confusing that the heroine, abused over the course of an eight year marriage by her husband, finds happiness in submitting to the domination of an idealized hero who, though he does not hit her, treats her with disrespect and lays down all the ground rules.

Yeah, all this is pretty bad. The narrator, however, is talented and very funny. She does a great job of differentiating the voices of a large cast of characters, and handles various accents with ease. I hope she gets some more interesting (or less revolting) assignments in the future.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Holly Helscher
  • 2016-03-19

Smothering

I bought this book because of the reviews even though I had never read a book by Kristen Ashley. I will never read another book by her again. I read this title to the end because of the fantastic narrator.

Kia is a woman who lives in Indiana and has unexpectedly come out of a seven-year abusive marriage due to the murder of her husband. Even after his death, unbelievable complications arise that she only discovers after treating herself to a European vacation.

Enter Samson Cooper - former NFL superstar and commando. Need I say he is the obvious love interest in the story? He has no command of the English language, preferring to swear his way through life. He is a bully and very nearly makes Kia hostage to his lustful interests. Romance? It barely squeaks through the story line. The fact that Kia can't breath every time she sees him isn't a testimony to his love. It's a demonstration that he can't let her out of his sight. There were times when I wondered if he'd let her out of the house. And his answer to everything is sex.

Even in the end, which is a fairly predictable happily ever after one, which I don't mind in this genre, every time the couple is described, his arm grabs her across the shoulders. It ultimately ends up with no space between their bodies - all the time. It's ridiculous. There were moments when the description of how he was holding her didn't make sense. He's always "fisting" her neck and hair, which is a word implying abuse and is not at all romantic or sexy. These are the kinds of terms describing their "love." He frequently dares her not to obey his commands. No amount of how soft his eyes look outweights all the abusive, macho words and behavior of this man as he is portrayed throughout the story. He's disgusting and I would run as far away from him as I could. Why Kia falls for him is beyond me.

The dialogue is flat. From the point of good writing, the use of adverbs and gerunds as adjectives is, at best, amateur. From the number of novels Ms. Ashley has written, I imagine she is trading on her name and her graphic sexual scenes which I know many find intriguing. In fairness to the author, these are done well, although I skipped over them since they are what Sam Cooper uses uses to express his emotions and nothing more. One scene borders on rape.

What is good about this book is Felicity Munroe. She does fantastic accents - British, Australian, Italian and French. She does it in the style of an Olympian - effortless. It was as if different people were reading the parts. The only thing about the narration I didn't understand was making the individuals in Indiana southern. Indiana is Midwest American. Not Tennessee or Kentucky. It makes Kia sound stupid. Then again, since she fell in love with Sam Cooper, perhaps she is.

8 people found this helpful