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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fallen



Fallen by Erin McCarthy
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Contemporary; Action/Adventure; Paranormal
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

New Orleans, 1880s. Sent to watch over the decadent city, the angel Gabriel loses himself in the liquid pleasure of absinthe. So when his mistress, Anne, is murdered—and all evidence points to him— a foggy Gabriel cannot be sure he didn't do it. His penance: to be forever denied love. Should he seek pleasure with a woman, she'll know the depths of despair.

New Orleans, today. Hoping to unlock that unsolved mystery, forensic scientist Sara Michaels, Anne's great-great-granddaughter, meets the ageless, tormented Gabriel. To work together would mean suppressing their mutual attraction—he can't allow himself to touch Sara, for her own sake.

And for Sara, already familiar with the dangers of addiction, Gabriel poses the ultimate threat to her self-control. But can the desire burning between them turn into their salvation—or lead them both to destruction?

There seems to be an influx of stories about romances with demons and most do not appeal to me. I find the very nature of demons an antithesis to love, trust and hope. I gave Fallen a try only because Erin McCarthy wrote it.

I’ve enjoyed her creative worlds in the past and her quirky humor. Fallen isn’t funny but it is a romance filled with heart, hope and a plot rich with details and fascinating characters. In short, I am very glad I took a chance on this story.

Fallen is a multi-leveled book that pursues a cold case from the past and a murder in the present. The current crime involves Sara’s mother and Sara is driven to, if not solve it, to at least find closure so she could move forward in her life. Ms. McCarthy has imbued Sara with very believable and fallible characteristics. I could imagine her as a real person. I found Sara easy to relate to and care for. Her character development through the story is full, intriguing and a joy to watch unfold, even when it hurts.

The healing starts with the first face to face meeting with Gabriel. He’s a man with a lot of secrets. For those romance readers who love a tortured hero and enjoy the twists and turns of redemption, then Gabriel is a character you could really fall in love with. I could almost feel his pain, his confusion and his burning desire to know the truth once and for all. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome and talented beyond belief. As least, you’d think so, but Ms. McCarthy has out done herself in sheer convoluted character development. I have no idea how she managed to keep straight all the many personality traits that made up Gabriel, but she did it and it’s pure genius.

Fallen is a multi-leveled book that pursues a cold case from the past and a murder in the present. The current crime involves Sara’s mother and Sara is driven to, if not solve it, at least find closure so she could move forward in her life. Ms. McCarthy has imbued Sara with very believable and fallible characteristics. I could imagine her as a real person. I found Sara easy to relate to and care for. Her character development through the story is full, intriguing and a joy to watch unfold, even when it hurts.

As for the villain of this book, I believe the reader is in for a treat. I find that I cannot reveal any of the many details for fear that I’ll rob you of the jaw dropping revelation when the owner of the vile deed is presented. Even if you think you might have it all figured out, Ms. McCarthy has ensured an ending where you don’t.

Fallen, Biblical references aside, is less about demons and more about the frailties of the human condition and our abilities to rise above them –even when we think all is lost.

Fallen is an intense story filled with a great unsolved mystery, a hero and heroine that you can relate to and root for, a romance of heightened sensual proportions and an HEA that satisfies on many emotional levels. The writing, for me, was tight, powerful and mesmerizing. The dialogue kept the story moving and the descriptions painted a clear picture of settings and scenes.

I highly recommend Fallen. It is as simple and as complex as that.



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