Ashes of Angels by Michele Hauf
Harlequin/Nocturne (July 19, 2011)
Mass Market: $5.50; e-book: $3.99
Favorite Lines: “Angels were…not good. The Fallen ones Granny Stevens had taught her about were downright evil. They were as spiteful, selfish and dangerous as some mortals.” (p. 9 e-galley)
As a muse, Cassandra Stevens had been warned of the Fallen angel who’d one day come to impregnate her with a nephilim, an evil offspring. But no one could have foreseen that Samandriel—the raven-haired, silver-winged Fallen one—would sweep her off her feet.
Against all good sense, Sam stirred her suppressed desires, yet for her own sake she dared not arouse his carnal ones. For Sam had been summoned to earth by a dark vampire lord. And more Fallen were on their way. Despite the dangers, Cassandra needed Sam by her side, for only together could they prevent the apocalypse that had been unleashed…
Ashes of Angels is the third book in Michele Hauf’s of Angels and Demons series. There are also three novellas in the series. Hauf has a lengthy backlist and several books currently available, as well as soon to be released.
Hauf is not a new name to me, although I don’t believe I’ve read any of her books. Unfortunately, Ashes of Angels is not a story that makes me want to jump in to her backlist. I’m hoping it’s a fluke, but I just couldn’t connect with the story.
My problem is not with the idea of the story, but with the characters ability to fall in love. Cassandra was taught her whole life to avoid angels, but she manages to find the only good fallen angel in existence. Within chapters she is in like with the one angel who is meant for her, Samandiriel. Sure she tries to escape, but of course she gets into trouble and her angel steps in to save her. I think it’s meant to be a gift from god to both Sam and Cassandra, but it felt contrived.
That disbelief began to color everything I read. Things began to happen too easily. Little work needed to be done in order to achieve goals for all except poor Sam who cannot shift into his angel form without wanting to rape Cassandra. So no matter who or what he battles, he can’t use his best tools aka his silver wings. Of course with all romances there is a happy ending, but the conclusion of Ashes of Angels felt rushed. Cassandra kept flashing from fear to lust and I got annoyed.
There were plenty of things to like about the story. I enjoyed the twist which turned angelic beings into dangerous rapists and I liked the introduction of vampires to the world. Too bad I got hung up at the beginning of the book and couldn’t let go enough to enjoy the book.
Knowledge Bite: There is a previously e-published novella attached to the end of the book. “The Ninja Vampire’s Girl” is a short novella about Cassandra’s sister, Coco finding love with a vampire. It’s told in the first person point of view and is a nice introduction to Coco.