Title: Angel Undone
Publisher: Leta Blake Books
Release Date: 7/18/2016
Genre: Gay Urban Fantasy
Tags: angel, wings, erotic content, blasphemy, urban fantasy
Heat Level: 5
Length: 25,000 words in Mobi, Epub, PDF
SynopsisThe 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.
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.
ReviewThe premise had me intrigued: much more than the usual guardian angel falls for his person story, this examines an angel’s relationship to God. The questions are good ones, and the answers—well, for that you have to read. It’s hard to discuss without spoilers. God makes an interesting secondary character.
The third person present tense gives a dreamy feeling, very suitable for being in the head of an angel. Michael’s physical being is an interesting concept: he can fold his wings into an impossibly small space and use them for shoulder blades, he can manifest physically and touchably, but he can’t or doesn’t think to adjust his facial features. His angelic glow gets away from him sometimes, which is good for a smile.
Asher is sweet. Forty years old and only now able to admit to himself that he’s gay, he’s hovering on the cusp of bad decisions, bringing Michael into his life. And Michael wants to stay.
In his turmoil, Michael consults his brother with experience, Lucifer, who’s running a surf shop on the coast. Lucifer’s funny and irreverent, wistful and untrustworthy. In the end, Michael still has to make up his own mind, and that, as much as the love between him and Asher, is where the meat of the story lies.
I think the author’s heat rating is way over stated, 5 makes it sound pretty darn kinky but it’s more of an enthusiastic 3. The sex is happiness for both of them in a way they’ve never had before. Considering that Michael originally gets in bed with Asher as part of his mission, there’s a pretty nice piece of subversion. The 5 may have been chosen for the way God is portrayed, which not may not fit with all readers' ideas of Diety, but which I was okay with.
This is a very thoughtful story with moments of heat and moments where the best of humanity comes out, in thinking and change and accepting joy, and maybe that’s the best of an angel, too. 4 marbles
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Meet the AuthorAuthor 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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