Angel Betrayed

Cynthia Eden
July 2012, Paranormal Romance
Avon, $7.99, 352 pages, Amazon ASIN 0758267614
Part of a series

Grade: C-
Sensuality: Hot

A strong, intriguing prologue made me really psyched to dive into this angel versus demon, good versus evil story. Unfortunately, by the end of the first chapter my enthusiasm had fizzled.

Seline O’Shaw is a succubus who finds herself being targeted for elimination. In need of protection, she seeks Sammael, a former angel of death, now a fallen angel. Sam is tough and Seline knows he can protect her from the evil that stalks her. She just needs to convince him to do so.

Sam has battled a powerful attraction to Seline from the moment she first entered Sunrise, his nightclub, and danced for the patrons. He knows involvement with Seline will prove dangerous both to his heart and his overall well-being. But as he finds he cannot resist her pleas for help, he discovers she is not the only one marked for destruction by dark forces. Sam realizes that he may be able to use Seline to help him find his fallen brother Azrael. Together Seline and Sam must battle evil which they discover may take the form of their own kinds.

So, in a nutshell the story goes: Lust, lust, sex, lust, lust, run from bad guys, more lust, more sex, fight bad guys, win, sex. The end.

To be fair, this is the basic outline of most paranormal romances. And it is a formula that works when executed well. For me, the characters and the overall development of this story fell flat though. Seline annoyed me with her desperation and I never quite bought that she was a tough assassin. Flibbertigibbet, yes. Assassin, not so much. She has one of her own allies attack her outside Sam’s club to try to elicit his sympathy so that he will agree to protect her. Then after Sam, the Fallen Angel of Death kills a man with a single touch, Seline decides that she is afraid of him. This makes no sense. Also defying explanation is why a half-breed demon with a low level of power would be dispatched to destroy a super powerful fallen angel.

Sam was decidedly less annoying and a more fascinating, consistent character. He fell from his position of Angel of Death after murdering a gang of marauders who were committing horrific acts against innocents. The innocents were marked for death, but not the marauders, and Sam overstepped his bounds by acting in the manner of a punishment angel. It was this prologue that gave the book a strong start and set up an intriguing story. However, the moral dilemmas Sam faced were quickly lost in a rather convoluted plot peppered with mental lusting and a host of secondary characters who were difficult to differentiate.

On a positive note, there is plenty of action in the book to drive the story forward. Seline and Sam do not waste time sitting around plotting. Each of the main characters decides to take control over the situation and begin acting immediately. The action picks up even more once a hellhound is turned loose upon them and the story races to its conclusion.

The Fallen Angels series has promise, but this offering fell short of my hopes. This is the second book of the series, but may be read as a standalone, though reading the first book in the series may enhance the reader’s overall enjoyment of the story.

-- Heather Stanton

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