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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: If Angels Burn

If Angels Burn: A Novel of the DarkynTitle: If Angels Burn
Author: Lynn Viehl
Page Count: 304 pages
Publisher: Signet
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was from my personal collection

Alexandra Keller is Chicago's most brilliant reconstructive surgeon. Michael Cyprien is New Orleans' most reclusive millionaire-and in desperate need of Dr. Keller's skills. In the heart of the Garden District, Alex encounters the extraordinary Cyprien, uncovering a love Alex is willing to embrace, even if she must sacrifice her heart and soul to do so.

One of the best things about book blogging is the chance to explore lots and lots and LOTS of books I might not have picked up or explored otherwise.  The price to be paid for that, though, is that sometimes there aren't always enough hours in the day, which means that revisiting favorite series sometimes have to take a backseat.  The Darkyn series is one of my favorites, but until now I haven't taken the time to feature the books.  Well, there's no day like today, and so I'm working my way through the series again- If Angels Burn is the first installment and it gets things off to a fantastic start.

It should be stated at the onset that this first book is a unique combination of romance and drama, in that the heroine, at least for a while, truly dislikes the hero and has every reason to. Dr. Alexandra Keller is a brilliant reconstructive plastic surgeon and wants nothing to do with Michael Cyprien, whom she sees as an obscenely rich playboy who can't know a thing about having problems.

Michael Cyprien has a lot of problems, as he's the North American leader of a secret group that's been under the public radar since the Middle Ages.  Believing themselves to be cursed by God, they rose from the grave, subsist on blood, and each possesses a unique talent. Persecuted by a sect of the church and constantly at risk for exposure, Michael has a lot going on.  When he's captured by the Brethren and brutally assaulted, Alexandra is the only one who may be able to return him to health.

One thing leads to another, and Alexandra is brought against her will to operate on Michael.  Once she sees how badly he's been hurt she decides to help of her own volition; she doesn't expect to be set up to be killed to protect the Darkyn's identity.  She was supposed to die, but she didn't, and that's where the story truly takes off.

Michael and Alexandra find themselves bound together emotionally and increasingly attracted to one another, and both of them are unhappy about it.  As far as Alexandra's concerned, Michael ruined her life, and as far as Michael is concerned, Alexandra is a complication that he doesn't need in the slightest.  Them finding a compromise and finding their way to each other is a great start and while nothing is permanently resolved there, it's better that way, since they get time to grow and develop individually and together.

We're also introduced to a varied cast of secondary characters who lay out the foundation for future books in the series.  We meet Alexandra's brother, a priest, who has his own demons, as well as other Darkyn who have to figure out how to deal with the fact that some people can be turned to Darkyn despite centuries of failure.  The world, as they say, is rocked.

I'm a huge fan of this series so you can expect to see reviews of the other books here at What Book is That? as time goes on.  It's a great series to savor so I'm looking forward to revisiting the other volumes in order.  With the school year back in full swing it'll be a great way to relax.

Overall Grade: A
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