Blood & Holy Water: Angels of Sojourn, Book One Kindle Edition
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I am not one of those readers who slavers to know what is trending in any part of my life. I don't usually separate my genres much beyond the general labels like Mystery, SF, Fantasy, Romance, Nonfiction, and so forth. I DO read reviews, and will generally check out titles recommended to me by people whose opinions I trust. I also check out cover art and regularly read the blurbs from the backs of the books. What I want is a book that will grab me by the nose and drag me in, regardless of the genre. I want characters who will engage me, and make me look up suddenly to realize that hours have passed without realizing it. I am happy to report that I have found this kind of read in Blood and Holy Water.
Fin is a vampire who works as a trauma doctor in the ER of the hospital in Nampa, Idaho. Ava is a Fourth Order Angel trying yet again to earn her wings (for the 13th time). Not sure how or why, Ava is sure that Fin is involved directly with her miracle. Ava follows Fin all over while he's working in the hospital, and inexplicably, she finds herself being drawn to the solitary vampire. The only problem is that according to what both have been told, Fin shouldn't be able to notice or interact in any way with Ava, but he does.
In the middle of the puzzle of how the two could possibly talk with or even touch one another, potential angels are being found dead, drained of every drop of blood before the Angels of Death or Acquisitions can find and collect them. At the same time, vampires are turning up dead instead of dissolving into ashes, with no apparent physical damage to them. Fin, never wanting to be around his own kind, gets called in by the head of the local vampire Blood Board, a call he can't ignore for more than one reason. Ava is sure that the dead angels and Fin are interconnected somehow, and refusing to abandon her miracle despite Fin's objections, can the two work together long enough to find the solution to this dilemma without crossing either of the two opposing factions?
This is particularly well written, fast paced, and can be considered a good thriller, mystery, and action piece, as well as a paranormal romance. The action never flagged, and there were twists and turns enough to keep the reader eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next. I noted the time when I started reading, and when I next surfaced, I was impressed to discover that several hours had passed, lost in the book, without my being aware if it.The characters are memorable, and I can easily see making them good friends who I will visit again and again when I need an enjoyable read.
I do have a couple of notes here, though. There is some language in the book that not all readers night be comfortable with, It is not excessively used, nor put in indiscriminately for the purpose of being disturbing. Be aware that at no time in the story does Ava ever use it. If you're uncomfortable with any amount of profanity, no matter how small, you might want to pass. You will definitely miss a good story, but not every story is for everyone. The same thing might be true if you're concerned about your teen reading it, but I recommend that you read it first, before you dismiss it. Only you know the maturity level of your own offspring, and that is a call that only you can make (who knows, you might even find a new author to read!). On an extremely positive note, there are absolutely no sexual or adult scenes in the story, and the scenes that could be considered gory are organic and help to move the story forward without being overly detailed or thrown in for the shock value.
The book is text-to-speech enabled, which is very useful for the times when you just can't look down or see to read. If you've never used it before, the pages automatically scroll to keep up with the reading voice, and so you can pick up where you stop the reader without losing your place. The speed of the voice can be adjusted to a reading speed that you're comfortable with. I have been around, and worked with, the blind and visually impaired for a number of years. I have personally used programs like the Daisy Reader, as well as using books and other materials recorded on tape and CD by human readers. The artificial reader voice, especially on the latest generation of the Kindle devices, is considerably better, than even the screen reader in Windows 10. The only drawback is that if you're not used to listening to the onscreen reader, it could be offputting because it might be too artificial in sound. I would urge you to have an open mind and give the reader a chance. It's nice to get the audio option without having to buy the Audiobook version from Audible.
All in all, I highly recommend this book, and I am happy to call it what it is: a sipping good yarn!
The world building is interesting and not quite the 'norm' when it comes to angels and vampires. It's not staggering, just different enough to keep it from getting monotonous. I am actually looking forward to future books in hopes of getting to understand more of this world. There were quite a few questions left unanswered by the end of the book. Rest assured, there is a happy ending and I don't believe reading further is necessary to enjoy the book on it's own standing.
Finn is our vampire doctor (he doesn't tend vampires, he doctor's humans, cool huh?) and father to a human woman who we get glimpses of throughout the book as they interact. He is very broody, but I can't blame him. He's got a good heart and he really is a good person. I'm heart broken for him but simultaneously proud of his will and determination to do right by his daughter. As Ava breaks down his walls, we really get to see that he has a personality beyond that and it's quite endearing.
Ava, our angel working on her wings, is a sweet, absolutely adorable character. She too has a strong will, but she's so fluffy cute you'd be hard pressed to see it. I kind of like that she's a rule breaker. Her long stint as fourth level angel (wingless) has made her almost desperate to get her miracle to get her wings, but at the same time, it has shown her how her 'humanity' has slowly been being drained away. We get to see her own transformation through the book and it is quite heartening.
Overall, it was a wonderful romance with action, angst, suspense, and two star crossed lovers finding their way. I suggest it. I will be reading more by this author, specifically the novella's in this series and future novels.
To those who care about such things: this book is pretty much sparkly clean. No sex at all. Some snuggling though. :D