ARCHANGEL OF MERCY by Christina Ashcroft-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Released December 2012
When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet-despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together.
After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans like those who ruined him and betrayed the ones he loved. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal.
As the ancient forces that seek to punish Aurora for her actions close in, Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection-one that threatens to consume them.
ARCHANGEL OF MERCY was a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Award for Favorite Paranormal Romance
REVIEW: ARCHANGEL OF MERCY is the first storyline in Christina Ashcroft’s new series focusing on a group of angels and archangels and the lives of the people they come in contact with every day.
Like most introductory storylines, Archangel of Mercy is awash in world building and one that is very detailed and heavy in otherworldly characters such as angels, archangels, demons, Guardians, and nephilim as well as social structure, political alliances, rules and regulations to follow and, a goddess, whom we have yet to meet, and who can only be compared to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Artemis. Archangel of Mercy introduces several potential future storyline characters including friends, frenemies and the angels who have yet to fall.
Archangel Gabriel is our hero who mysteriously finds himself in Ireland atop a beautiful woman who has accidently pulled the Fallen through a portal as she was trying to access another dimension. In doing so, Aurora Robinson has inadvertently called the ancient race of the Guardians back to earth, who claim it is their right, to capture any human who tampers with portals and tries to cross into another dimension. And so begins the storyline where Gabriel finds himself protector and lover to a woman who is strangely familiar to himself and the other archangels-only Gabriel is the last to realize why the ‘human’ woman is his to protect.
Aurora Robinson is a woman hoping to help her mother regain some sort of semblance of her sanity. Her mother is not from earth, but she has been unable to connect with her people since falling in love with a human male. But Aurora’s attempt to help her mother has caused a rift in the ‘time-space’ continuum-so to speak- and her attempts have alerted several immortal species to her existence.
As a couple, Gabriel and Aurora had an instant attraction but one that was mired in lust and sexual need. At first, Gabriel (and most of the other archangels) came off as a rude, self-centered, alpha male-one that only had sex on the brain, but as the storyline developed we learn that angels and archangels are known for their sexual prowess and Gabriel is the tortured hero (with a past) who is stunned when Aurora shuns his attempts at sexual conquest. Aurora is instantly attracted to Gabriel but his overbearing personality and sexual appetite and constant disappearances finds our heroine in the reluctant position of needing this hero to keep her alive.
Throughout the storyline, Gabriel is commissioned to track down a missing child and in this scenario, Gabriel finds the mission hits too close to home.
The book can be confusing with the back and forth of the world building. There are portals, dimension, galaxies and planets, as well as aliens and otherworldly creatures. By way of explanation, Christina Ashcroft uses Gabriel and the other angels as the vessel to explain the nuances of life as an archangel, to the reader, as well as to Aurora. Aurora will become a target and the pawn in a life and death struggle where a Fallen Angel finds the soul mate he lost years before.
ARCHANGEL OF MERCY is a well written storyline but a difficult storyline to rate. There is plenty of sexual chemistry between Aurora and Gabriel but no tension, and the romance aspect is slow to build as everything in the beginning is about need and want-Gabriel wants sex! It took awhile before Gabriel knew what it was he wanted other than getting laid several times per day. Aurora is a strong heroine, who doesn’t submit very willingly although there is one particular scene where it seemed she was completely out of character as well as out of place in the storyline. The author was trying to show a seedier side of archangel life, but it came off as cheap and unrealistic. The archangels and demons use the women in this particular storyline as nothing more than sexual toys-to be used and thrown away.
There are secondary characters whose personalities have yet to develop, but by way of introduction in this particular storyline, we know that each has a story to tell. In the beginning of the story, Gabriel wasn’t a very likeable character-his initial aggression and lack of respect for Aurora ( and most women) had me angry and at times hurt, knowing that this man/archangel was once the love of someone’s life and it was difficult for me to see him as a man capable of love. But then again, many tortured heroes have a past that forms their present-we do not know that he is hurting for a lost love. In the end, his heart and soul knew what he wanted and he wanted Aurora.
Copy supplied by the publisher
Reviewed by Sandy