Book #1 of the Fallen Redemption series: Release Date 5/14/14, 320 pages
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating-she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.
When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.
Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world–and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?
Like many book review blogs I am inundated with requests to review books; indie authors and small publishing houses both send requests for bloggers to review their books. My policy is that I look at each request and decide if the book interests me and if I have time to read and review it in the near future. When Ms. Saboviec contacted me with a request I was instantly attracted to the book she offered for review and accepted.
So what motivated me to pick Guarding Angel? I have to confess the concept of a paranormal romance centering around reincarnation is what pulled me in. I am a believer in reincarnation and wanted to see how the author worked it into her story. Angel stories also tend to be one of my favorite branches of paranormal genre, right behind vampires and before werewolves…yes I rank them. So the desire to work more indie authors into my reading rotation and a story that caught my attention it was the right time to give Guarding Angel a shot. If only I wasn’t in such a personal reading slump…
Okay, honesty time let’s get the tough stuff out of the way first. It took me nine days to read this book, and I just couldn’t get excited about it. I did like it, but I thought I would like it better when I agreed to review it. The book was a little slow in the beginning, but it did pick up about half way through and I finished the last 120 pages in one day. I think I might have liked the story better if it was set in the modern era or the angel’s charges were in today’s society. I’ve mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of historical reads and this is one case where it didn’t add to the story for me. The author did a fine job staying true to the time periods and I only found one instance where I know something was not historically accurate (baling of hay did not begin until the mid 1800’s about 100 years after one of the background character’s is moving bales of hay).
I also had a tough time connecting with the two main characters and did not care for their first set of charges at all. I though Enael was a bit too timid and naive and Kaspen was all over the place. Both characters grew and developed throughout the story, but only Enael was able to grow on me and I ended up respecting her by the end. Kaspen never was able to win me over unfortunately. Their romance was very innocent for much of the book, but did develop a bit of heat near the end, but even that remained off page. For those looking for a less graphic read in the sex area this might be a book you would like to check into. There are some sexual situations, but they not anything that would turn off the average reader in my opinion.
So what did work for me? What kept me reading past my 50-100 page dnf cut off. Like I said I enjoyed the story, and perhaps it would have worked better for me at a different time, when I am not in the middle of a reading slump. I did love the reincarnation element that the author based her story around. Much of it was pretty in line with much of the non-fiction reading I’ve done on the subject. It was interesting to see this concept was blended with a more traditional view of heaven/hell and angels/demons. I tend to have a more secular belief on the concept of reincarnation, but for story’s sake this one worked well. I also appreciated the growth Enael experienced throughout the story. In the beginning I wasn’t real sure I could be in her head for 300 some pages, but she surprised me and in the end I did like her. Much of the story is broken into three time periods for three different set of charges for the two main characters. I struggled with the first setting, but the second and third were quite interesting. I almost wish we could have spent more time exploring hell in the book, some of my favorite scenes took place there. I don’t necessarily think that all of the creatures there are as evil as they are classified as just as I don’t think all the angels inhabiting heaven are as pure as they are assumed to be.
I would definitely recommend this book to fans of historical paranormal romance. I am at a loss of other authors to compare this one to, she has a pretty distinctive voice and style compared to others that I’ve read. It was a good first book that finished strong and I expect will continue to gain strength in the next story as the plot develops.
My Rating: 3 Stars