- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 14 hours and 2 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Harlequin Books S.A.
- Audible.com Release Date: October 3, 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009LD493Q
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Angel: Original Sinners, Book 2 Audiobook – Unabridged
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Halfway through the book, I was irritated half to death, and I finally worked out why. It wasn't just because the characters do not think or behave like real human beings--when one character mentions that he was born on December 21, another character replies thoughtfully, "The longest night of the year." You know, like people do.
But no, it wasn't just that, although that snippet of conversation is in fact a symptom of the disease. The disease is Expositionitis.
I should point out here that one of the major subplots of the book is a journalist investigating a priest for misconduct. Secrets abound and reputations must be protected. And yet again and again, characters who have never met before, have no reason to trust each other, and in fact have every reason *not* to trust each other fling open all their closets and let the skeletons dance the conga right outta there.
The first time it happened, I was puzzled, but thought it must be deliberate. It was not consistent with who the character had been in the previous book, but I figured Reisz was perhaps opening a new aspect of her personality and thought that, of course, this strange revelation would have consequences.
By the fifth time it happened, I realized that it was the only way the author knew how to deliver backstory to the reader. What other excuse can there be for a character to reveal **to a complete stranger, the investigative reporter** that she engaged in consensual incest for years and also committed murder? What other reason would there be for a teenage boy to appear just long enough to give a soliloquy about the personal history of the local priest...to the same reporter? Why would two men who hate each other share deep personal confidences that render them vulnerable for no logical reason? Because the author wants the reader to know, and this is the device she returns to again and again.
That might seem like an odd reason to give up on a book, but it just strained credulity. I want to read books about characters who act, think, and speak like human beings, not convenient plot devices or--and I should have seen this coming from Book 1--dissertations on the human condition. Reisz, though she writes well, is obsessed with her own cleverness, and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
While the title of the book may suggest to some an individual character as "The Angel", I found myself attributing the title to a number of the characters. There is great beauty in this interpretation and the credit is entirely due to the expansive and expanding story line of this story with superb character development. Even in the opening book, "The Siren" Nora Sutherlin, the heroine writer in this series, quotes Aristotle when she tells her editor, "Character is plot." These characters are so sexy, intelligent and they are delivered exquisitely with description, their thoughts and dialogue written in the omniscient third person.
"Sexy" is truly too pedestrian and mild a description for the sheer sensuality and deeply intimate descriptions of the erotic desires, language and couplings described in the narrative... It's too hot to handle the kindle at times with the intense and prolonged heat rising off the screen. "Ouch and Mmmm!"
Beyond the sexiness and sensuality is a heady mix of emotional, intellectual and spiritual angst of the characters I never quite met so compelling, devilishly attractive and desirable a sexual sadist as is the devout Catholic priest, Soren. He is a living and breathing contradiction. As devoted as he is to the Church is he in his devotion to his love, Nora, for close to two decades. As comforting in his absolution of and ministering to his "flock" in his parish as he is cruel and consuming in his deviant passions for his Nora. That he is unearthly beautiful in his visage and manhood doesn't hurt or help the reader caught in his spell. For this reader, Soren is something straight out of a dream I never even knew I could dream. Certainly adding to the believe-ability of this dream is the author's intimate knowledge of "Catholicism". I long to know more and more about this man who is lovely to behold praying before his God and fearsome (and so hot) to imagine in his savage sadistic lovemaking of Nora. (What is happening to me? Seriously?)
Fortunately for the reader...there are more intriguing, desirable and beautifully created characters for your mind and heart to wrap themselves around. That most of these men and, of course, that Nora is bisexual substantially adds to the heat level. Intellectually, this only makes sense, absent the judgments of religious dogma and current day supposed "morality", this characteristic of bisexuality is beyond history and speaks both to the ancient and primal needs of human sexuality and enlightened thinking about the possibilities of loving another human being completely...mind, body and soul.
Questions about kinkier love play and the need for it arising from trauma whether in childhood or adulthood are weighed against natural proclivities simply being part of a person from birth. The idea that some relish being both Dominant and submissive acting out in their love play and sexual expressions to suit their deep feelings of love for one or another partner or even simply to vent frustrating feelings as they arise is also explored in the narrative.
Truly one of the more beautiful expressions from one character in this book was the "reverence" he noticed in the eyes of his love as they finally consummated their love. Reverence speaks of a "holiness" a "wholeness" or completeness found in loving another human being. And surely we must know how reverently the "Angels" regard us human beings? We are made in the image of the Creator are we not? So too, is this regard reflected in the gaze of reverence coming from the one character known as "The Angel"?
The other interpretation is how the other characters, including our priest, Soren, who while jealous in his love of Nora, makes an unexpected sacrifice. Or is Kingsley the guardian "angel" of all of them with the power of his comprehensive files on those in politics, government and business he can count on to do his bidding? Adam, the dead brother of Suzanne, the reporter, whose tragic story compelled her fight "the good fight"...is he "The Angel"? Even Nora can be considered a dark angel who rescues a young man from his despair at his life and his "unholy" desires. Then again...there is Wesley who wants, or rather, needs to teach Nora that "love" does not have to hurt to be good and that a life in the sunshine is far better then it is in the dark. Each of these characters has some angel in them and so the title of this book is so apt. The interpretation of who is "The Angel" can be entirely and simply attributed to the sensitive, purely-loving and youngest tortured soul, Michael...or upon closer reading and deep reflection, we may find in all of the series' characters and in our own "reverent" acts in loving each other they, as we, serve as angels to one another.