The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.
Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.
Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about the restrained depths of Asher, his gentle smiles and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers, tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.
Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.
Leta Blake Books
Paranormal-Angels, Urban Fantasy, M/M, LGBT+
120 e-book pages
July 2-3, 2016
Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.
To be perfectly honest, I snatched up ARC and the opportunity to read this because it’s Leta Blake. Lordy, I do love Leta’s writing.
The premise of Angel Undone was also super interesting but a big step outside my comfort zone. Mainly because I’m pretty sure I’m solidly agnostic and cannot, no matter how hard I’ve tried and no matter how much religion fascinates me, I cannot find much faith in the divine. And now my Southern Baptist grandmother is spinning in her grave. I can hear her now, wailing “where have I failed.” — Yes, that was a [frequent] thing.
So…The Archangel Michael, a great prince, a protector, and a general in God’s army against the forces of evil takes a wee tumble from Grace while taking a different sort of tumble with Asher — a mere mortal. Michael is dispatched on a mission to save and protect Asher — a job, like many others since the beginning of time he’s sent to oversee in duty to the Father.
Asher, when we meet him, is in a pretty low spot. His life is at a relative standstill, and he’s never fully embraced being gay because of a few too many roadblocks. God sends Michael on a mission to protect, lift Asher up, and save him from the consequences of what could be a bad drunken decision.
What should have been a one-time thing — a quick trip, an in-and-out job as it were, ends up being so much more. Michael tap-dances on the edges of God’s rules, bending and stretching them one by one as he becomes closer to Asher, falling in love as he falls further under the spell of lusty temptations of the flesh. All this while he waits for God to yank his leash and bring him home where he belongs.
Asher spends most of the story in the dark as to Michael’s angelic identity. The attraction is strong, and it’s the kindhearted seduction he needs. Their relationship progresses at a pace that might seem a little quick — but time is relative in the grand scheme of things like eternity.
The story is beautifully written and super sexy in parts. The very first words, describing Michael tucking his angelic wings under human skin, had me enamored. That was seriously some gorgeous prose. You get an excerpt below…you’ll see what I’m talkin’ about.
There is a goodly amount of Michael’s introspections and inner conflict as he makes some serious decisions as to his place and his future. I expected a wrathful, vengeful God — but was glad to see that wasn’t so much the case. It’s more like God is a big ol cat batting the mortals and his angels around like mice because it amuses Him. Not quite vengeful, but not so forgiving either.
I would have liked to have seen maybe a little more conflict, maybe a little more of Lucifer’s persuasions and maybe some of Asher’s perspective. But, the fact that Lucifer/Luke ran a surf shop and came across as a beach bum was hilarious.
Recommended…mainly because it’s Leta. But also, because it’s entertaining, blasphemously sexy, and thought provoking.
Angel wings aren’t easy to fold into the shape of human scapulae, but Michael is accustomed to the strain and hardly breaks a sweat. He forces the long primaries to bend into the upper wing coverts, and then, in moves like feathered origami, he tucks it all in again, before smoothing them under flawless human skin.
He glances in the modest hotel room’s bathroom mirror and pulls on the dark brown shirt that will set off his eyes, before running a hand through his blond, curly hair. The light of his angelic grace glows from his pores, too bright to escape notice, and with a small exertion of will he tamps it back.
Though human form is confining and uncomfortable, the time has long passed when dropping down in a blaze of angelic righteousness was appropriate. Now covert operations pay the dividends of souls delivered from jeopardy. Even if Michael’s skin feels too tight, and his wings are already aching, protection is his business and discomfort is a small sacrifice.
After tightening the laces on the leather, soft-soled Clarks he keeps for nights of trawling the Mercy Street bars, he kneels by the sliding glass door to the balcony and looks up at the stars. It’s a fallacy that heaven is up there somewhere. Heaven is everywhere all at once, and yet when Michael dons human skin, he finds his eyes drawn to the sky when he prays.
He rises. Time to go.
About the Author:
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
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