Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Risking Eternity by Voirey Linger

TITLE: Risking Eternity
AUTHOR: Voirey Linger
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 26k)
GENRE: Paranormal erotic romance
COST: $4.45

Angel Dominicus has been banished to Earth for two centuries, sentenced to deliver departing souls to Hell where Lucifer and his demons devour them. When he comes across a soul that seems too pure to damn that way, he chooses to save her instead, sending another soul in her place. But saving Maggie has repercussions that extend both into Heaven and Hell. Sooner or later, Dominicus is going to have to make a choice…

It’s never a good sign when I like a secondary character more than the leads, but that was the case in this story, and ultimately was what made it fail for me.

For the last two hundred years, Dominicus has been banished to Earth to escort souls to Hell. His crime? To question Most High. His best friend Renatus warns him he is about to be tested, that he’s close to Falling, but when Dominicus recognizes the soul he’s supposed to take as the purest he’s ever seen, he decides at the last minute to save her life and take someone else. He uses what little power he has to do this, then steals some power from his friend to finish the job. He’s drawn to Maggie’s purity, and when it’s obvious Hell still wants her, he vows to do everything in his power to protect her.

I wanted to like Dominicus so much more than I did. It started out all right. He’s an angel, on the verge of Falling, so he’s a lot more interesting than someone who never questions what he thinks is wrong. However, I quickly learned that he’s also very self-centered. He’s been flirting and attracted to Ren for centuries, using their friendship as his sole contact with Heaven. Ren can’t let himself believe that male-male relationships are in any way right, though he harbors feelings and an attraction for Dom that he sublimates constantly. Ren is clearly conflicted about his feelings, and then, when he finally is able/willing to act on them, Dom turns him down in favor of Maggie. There is a scene where they exchange feathers, white for black, acknowledging that they love each other but will likely never see each other again, and it just broke my heart. Not for Dom. For Ren. He deserved a lot better than Dom. Dom used him and led him on. That's not what a good friend does.

Half of the problem lies with Maggie. She damsels throughout the whole thing. Dom is constantly doing everything in his power to “fix” things and save her, and it got old very quickly. She’s portrayed as clumsy, which I think was supposed to be meant as charming, but it only added to the sense of incompetence she conveyed throughout the whole story. Supposedly, she has the purest soul he’s ever seen, but none of that translates to the page. It was her foolish mistake that brought about the entire climax (though honestly, Dom is as much to blame since all it would have taken was one simple warning to her about demons taking other forms to stop it). I don’t understand what the appeal of her was at all.

The only reason I didn’t set this aside as a DNF was because Dom’s longing was palpable. I didn’t believe he loved her for a second, but his need to protect and save her was a different story. I responded to that, because it went straight back to what I liked about Dom in the first place. There was an honor there, warm and sweet, and I wished desperately it had played into the way he treated Ren and the romance. But it didn’t.

As an FYI, for readers who are sensitive to it, there is m/m contact between Ren and Dom. It’s actually hotter (for what little there is) than the het contact, but that’s not the story the author chose to tell.


6/10 – Wandering POV in the beginning and a damsel heroine almost made this a DNF


5/10 – I wanted to like him more than I did, but couldn’t get over how he treated his friend


3/10 – Complete damsel, I never understood what the appeal was

Entertainment value

5/10 – I felt his longing more than anything else which compensated for a lot of other shortcomings

World building

6/10 – Some fascinating possibilities, but nothing explored well



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