Angel Undone, Leta Blake
Publisher: Leta Blake Books
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance
Tags: UF/Paranormal – Religious Themes, Angel & Human, Contemporary Setting
Length: 25,000 Words
Reviewer: Kazza K
The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.
Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.
Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about his restrained depths, gentle smiles, and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.
Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.
Warnings: this novella contains urban fantasy, wings, angels doing unangelic things, erotic content, and playful blasphemy.
Angel Undone is a modern day Fallen Angel story with the Archangel Michael coming to terms with being a different warrior in contemporary times. Things have changed since Lucifer was cast out from Heaven. Technology, the people, the times have cast a different tone and need to his missions now. Michael tends to people needing salvation, whether that be from excess substance use, a lack of food, an emotional crisis, needing shelter or warmth. No matter the calling, Michael is there when he’s given a mission by God.
This particular night he’s been sent to a bar where a soul in need ponders his future, and will possibly be taken over the edge if he hooks up with the wrong person. Asher is forty, isn’t working – looked after his grandmother until she died – and feels like his family see him as a failure… and he’s never slept with a man, although he wants to. He’s not in a good place and Michael is there for him tonight.
Michael curls his wings up into his scapulae, he controls his light, he uses his grace, or a push, to see and feel inside someone and know what they’re feeling or thinking. Where they may be headed. Asher seems to be headed down the wrong road and tonight he needs Michael. Actually, he’s always needed Michael.
There’s more this time for Michael. He develops connection. Normally it’s a nights mission and he’s moved on. Only once before did he develop feelings but when God called him away Michael left, albeit sadly, as is always required. This time he’s thinking about the what ifs of not moving on. The repercussions. Not only does he give it consideration but he consults Lucifer, his brother living on earth. Lucifer feels all will be cool but he is who he is and he could be, possibly is, yanking Michael’s chain.
This novella was good, lots of quote-worthy lines I could have used in this review. I like the way the author says some things that are deeper but aren’t framed that way. Angel Undone is kept light and sexy, but scratch a bit under the surface and there’s more substance. Michael’s inner ponderings take him further. What would it be like to be have the apparent freedom his brother Lucifer has? Leaving God’s love for another kind. That Lucifer runs a surf shop and reminds me of Woody from Earth Girls Are Easy was all kinds of weirdly interesting as well.
The reason I rated Angel Undone at 4 instead of 5 stars is because I feel the story would have been better served with extra time to develop Asher’s backstory a bit more. I would have liked some more on Michael’s other missions. The ending, that time period spent apart, needed more fleshing out. That’s it.
I like religious themes in my fiction, whether more serious, skating boundaries, or of a more erotic nature – this definitely ticks the latter two boxes. Michael’s inner questions regarding his relationship with God, his earthly questions of Lucifer, and the romance between himself and Asher all make for entertaining storytelling. If you like some sexy writing with an angel and his love for a mortal then this is flirty and fun… and delightfully irreverent.
In the wrap up, I enjoyed Angel Undone. It’s sexy. It’s a little different than most – a gay erotic romance set around Biblical scriptures in a contemporary setting. There’s the Archangel Michael’s inner thoughts and feelings for a human, for Asher, his feelings about his Creator/Father, as well as Asher’s closeted feelings cutting free, his reciprocation of love for Michael. 4 Stars!
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ARC supplied by Indigo Marketing in return for an honest review