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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really Beautiful

    I dived into this novel expecting, and sort of knowing deep inside, that it would not have a happily-ever-after. However, I often have that mindset when going into any book that deals with MxM relationships. Now I can't say I've read many of these types of novels, in fact I think this is my first, but I have read countless fanfics and mangas about it. One thing I find in common with a lot of them is the amount of angst and tragedy in the story, especially toward the ending. Of course, there are those few exceptions that have a happily-ever-after and, for that, I am glad. It keeps me sane in some ways. It shows the many endings and beginnings of a life.

    It intrigued me how the author would deal with this sensitive topic of religion and orientation. I was sure it would be melancholy, a "parable" as one other reviewer had mentioned. But I also had some inkling of expectation, a slight hope, that there was something happy about it as well and that the message is not as loud as some people say. Therefore, going into the book, I was eager.

    However, before we get into that, a little summary of Angel. What's it all about?

    Paul is a forty-something-year-old minister. He does his job day-to-day, unawares and sometimes unconcerned for the community that surrounded him. He does things as a routine, bored and lifeless. However, that is not because he hates being a minister, in fact, he loves it. He refers to it as his "calling." The reason is far from hatred, it began with his wife's death. Because ever since his wife, Sara, died of cancer six years ago, he is unable to find inspiration in life. There is no spark, no liveliness. All of that faded away with Sara's death. He pleads in front of her grave one day for God to send him some sort of stimulus, a motivation to make life worth paying attention to, and to bring him back down to earth and away from the clouds.

    What he does not expect is that God would send his muse in the shape of a man, a young, twenty-four-year-old man who turns his completely stable life upside down. This man, Ian, is bold and unafraid, blunt and unknowingly provocative. He is beautiful and wily. And, he makes Paul question everything he has ever believed.

    This is not a Romance (with a capital 'R'). It is not HEA or HFN. It does not give you the satisfaction of being happy because you know how it will all play out. No, in fact it does the opposite. You dread that you know what will happen, that there's a big shadow ready to swallow up the characters at any moment. You know this the instant you finish reading the prologue and Paul tells you that he "used" to be a minister. Either that, or you think that maybe, just maybe, he quit being a minister because he wanted to be with the person the blurb was talking about.maybe he sacrificed his "calling" to be with the person he truly loved. And maybe that can carry you on to read the rest of the book.

    Unfortunately, that's not how it is. Paul and Ian go through the motions that any relationship goes through, whether romantic or not. They are happy, sad, pissed off, every colour on the spectrum of emotion. It is made harder by the fact that they are both male and live in a predominantly Christian community. What are they supposed to do? What is their inevitable outcome? (Rest of review on my blog)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2013

    When I began reading this book, I had no idea what I was delving

    When I began reading this book, I had no idea what I was delving into. There is nothing from the synopsis that I was given that hinted at the fact that this book had a positive homosexual theme. I am not new to reading homosexually-themed books--it is the second I have read. But I have to say that this book was much more forceful and descriptive in the homosexual theme, and I found it more disturbing in content. I do have to say that I feel the book masquerades as a "Christian" book, but it is not too far into the book before you realize that the message is much different. This book's message is basically that one can be a committed Christian and a homosexual at the same time. That goes contrary to my beliefs, and it did make it a difficult read. I could never endorse this book for this reason, but I will keep my personal beliefs out of the general review of this book. I just want the reader to know where I stand before I begin the review since this is a sensitive topic. And understand that I did not say I am anti-gay or anything like that. To be perfectly honest, I have come in contact with gays who are some of the nicest people you will ever meet in this world. And I do agree that no matter one's sexual orientation, one should have the freedom to attend church and anywhere he or she would like to go.

    My favorite part of this book was Mt. Rainier. I live in Washington state--not far from that glorious mountain, as a matter of fact. All I have to do is go outside my door and walk to the street, and I will see this breathtaking mountain--as long as no clouds are in the way.

    I think the fact that Paul takes an active interest in the soul and well-being of Ian is absolutely wonderful. I love that fact because after all, that is what a Christian should do--especially a pastor. I do not agree with letting a non-Christian be on staff at a church, even if it is custodian. I also don't agree with the deception that Paul practices in order to keep his job. When Paul became a minister, he knew what he was doing. He knew what was expected of him in his professional and personal life. It would have made no difference what questionable behavior he was participating in--deception is wrong. It was no long ago that our church had to remove our senior pastor due to his separating from his wife and refusing to be reconciled. I see no difference between this issue and a teacher having a mutual dating relationship with a student. Teachers don't get to do that--no matter how attractive the student is. Pastors don't get to fool around, and if they choose to, they need to be the one to make the decision to leave the church or change their behavior.

    I will say that the book presents a compelling argument. There are direct quotes from the Bible, and it is a thorough examination of one side of the issue. I prefer a balanced look when it comes to issues like this, but I fewl instead that there were judgmental and prejudicial views. It would have been nice for Paul to have gotten some good counseling from other Christian ministers--especially in the beginning. But it seems to me like Paul was rather isolated, either by choice or by decree. I really don't know. Even though it may not have changed the outcome, having good Christian counseling on the other side of the issue would have made me feel like this book was trying to examine the issue on both sides rather than just one. Oh, and one additional caution--there is some profanity and sex scenes (though not too graphic). I can say that the writing style is quite conversational, and one can read this very quickly.

    I will leave it up to you if you wish to read this book. Oh, and one additional thing. I don't mind comments on this review, but please, let's not attack each other.

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Posted June 6, 2013

    It will challenge you. As I already said Laura Lee came and answ

    It will challenge you.
    As I already said Laura Lee came and answered many of the questions that I had in her book. A conflict starter that will cause many people to pause, think and react. Some will be negative and will not look twice at this book, others will maybe give it a second  thought, even read the book and turn away and others will be confronted with their believes. 
    I loved the fact that she used Mountain Rainier as a focal point and comparison to the two main characters in the book. I wanted to know if this mountain which she referred to often really exist and found beautiful pictures of it, the reason you see the mountain and not my normal rose logo.
    We have Paul Tobit, minister and lost soul that went through the motion of life without really experiencing it. When his angel appears one day in front of him while in church he thought he had a vision. A vision so clear that he knew it was from God. No questions asked. He just believed. The fact that the angel was a real live person in the form of Ian Finnerty, a alcohol addict and gay did not threw him for a loop.
    He accepted this young man in his life and loved him with out question or doubt. He experienced life once again, he had a reason to stand up and do the work he loved. Serving God and his community.
    The story line was flawlessly written, keeping a steady pace as the relationship unfolds into a passionate romance. The two characters personas cleverly orchestrated so that you could see them in your minds eye, caring for them and at times wishing you could help them. But as the story progressed you knew that the end result will be painful. Hearts will be broken and believes will be shattered.
    But just as the mountain, that is rock solid Paul's faith in God will be unwavered without bitterness or heart ache and he will embrace a new life. Even if they knew they sat on a volcano it did not stop Paul to follow his heart because he knew God was still in control.
    The book was written with great compassion, the author's dry wit seeping through the pages and held your attention till the last page. A book I can recommend to people that do not mind to be challenged seeing the beauty of the mountain rather wondering when the volcano will erupt.

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  • Posted April 15, 2013

    This book brings to light the many miracles in our lives that pe

    This book brings to light the many miracles in our lives that people believe just happen. Most people think of these incidents as unusual or odd but rarely realize that we all have angels with us to help guide us in our everyday lives.

    The author did a wonderful job of writing a beautiful story of two men falling in love. It was well written and the story line was excellent. I am looking forward to reading other books from this author.

    The situations in which these characters meet are pretty unique. The settings and conflicts for this story do not come off as simplistic for the dramatic way in which they're presented. Detail, inner dialogue and action are richly described by succinct, so I'm impressed with this author's ability to write a great short story! Laura Lee, you have a special gift of writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    Thought provoking

    "Angel" a romance novel. Yes, but no. It provokes thought and feelings within ourselves. It hits the inner question of who we think we are. It pokes at the tender spot in our soul. Do we really know ourselves? And if we go in a new direction, what does that do with our lives and who we think we are? And society, how they view us and what if we do change, how will they judge and view us then? I found "Angel" to be about how we see ourselves and how society sees us. Strong feelings can evoke and change one's life. It is what we do with it. "Angel" puts that question within each one of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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