Review: Archangel of Mercy by Christina Ashcroft

Archangel of Mercy by Christina Ashcroft
Welp, this book wasn’t what I expected. Unfortunately it wasn’t the ‘toss the confetti, it’s a party!’ type of surprise. It was more of an ‘immediately list this on Paperback Swap’ type of surprise. This is what I get for being lured in by an attractive cover and the thought of a new angel romance. *sigh* When will I learn? I suppose I finally need to come to terms with the fact that they’re not all going to be as awesome for me as Meljean Brook’s Guardian series or Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. I think I was just spoiled because I read those two first (Brook first and then Singh) and they set the tone for what I expect from angel PNRs.

One of this book’s main weaknesses is the fact that it’s not explained well. In the beginning Aurora is trying to open a path to her mother’s original dimension (her mom left her dimension because she fell in love with Aurora’s dad and wanted to be with him) so that she can get proof of its existence. In the last few years her mother has started losing it, imaging that her memories of her old world were made up, and Aurora’s convinced that bringing her mother proof of the other dimension’s existence will totally fix the issue. Don’t both getting too invested in her mission, though,

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it’s completely dropped at the end. But the lame explanation at the end given for her mom’s mental degradation excuses this, right? Nope. :( I don’t even know if them talking about it and her admitting what caused it actually fixed the issue. Just chalk that up as yet another thing that was left dangling.

But anyway, moving on. So while she’s opening this rift, there’s a huge disturbance on the astral plane and Aurora rushes back into her body to discover there’s a man passed out on top of her. (Yet another thing that is never adequately explained)

Of course Aurora immediately falls into lust with the unconscious man on top of her. But it’s okay, as soon as he wakes up he’s hot for her too. Of course, the last thing he remembers is picking up some ladies at a club so they can get busy, so he doesn’t quite realize that he’s with a new girl and on a completely different continent. He just assumes that he grabbed the wrong girl to teleport. Does this trouble him? Nope. He’s an almighty archangel and all women are just holes for him to fill. Charming, right?

The story kicks off from there with Gabe (the archangel hero, Gabriel) kidnapping Aurora for her own good. Aliens that travel through purple lightning are after her, after all. What else can a guy do but imprison a girl for her own good? Gabe constantly acts like an arrogant douchebag (and not the sexy kind of arrogant douchebag) and casually steamrolls over her at every turn. This doesn’t bother the heroine as much as you would expect, given that she’s completely lacking in backbone and barely resists Gabe’s every attempt to control or seduce her. I think we were supposed to find him powerful and hot (à la Raphael from Singh’s Guild Hunter series) and her feisty, but that completely failed. She was weak and he was jerkish and creepy.

There were sex scenes aplenty in the book and if you end up finding them hot you’ll probably be more entertained while reading than I was. I found the characters irritating, the world shallow, the plot practically nonexistent, and the sex boring. The whole book pretty much consisted of the following: wank-wank-wank-wank-token missing child plot-wank-wank-wank-wank-pain about dead soulmate and solution to pain that you could see a mile off-wank-wank-wank-wank-discovery about missing kids leads to more info on ways to fix lost soulmate pain-wank-wank-wank-wank. I’ll refrain from going on. I’m sure you get the idea. There were a lot of scenes that revolve around sex or lusting after each other. I honestly think if you cut out all the wank you’d be left with a book that’s maybe 70 pages.

When the end rolled around I can’t say that I was surprised by the reveal about Aurora. I don’t think anyone who read it could say that they were surprised. Those clues weren’t subtle. That’s one of my least favorite tropes and it wasn’t handled in any special way that would have made it more palatable for me. That’s a ‘me’ thing, though, so I guess I can’t complain too much. I can, however, complain about the way the relationship resolved. WTF was up with that? I can’t see that being an acceptable option for the almighty Gabriel. I suppose it’ll be romantic to some, but for me it was just one more thing that didn’t ring true.

The writing itself was likable and flowed well. That made it an easy, smooth read, despite not enjoying most of it, which is why I’m not grading it any lower. I just wish the world would have been more developed. The author had a ton of different things thrown in that could have made it unique (angels, demons, aliens, different dimensions, jealous goddesses, etc.) but none of it was developed enough to do that. Even the angels were generic. I swear you could have changed ‘archangel’ to ‘master vampire’ or ‘badass werewolf’ and it wouldn’t have made a big difference.

Rating: D
Archangel of Mercy by Christina Ashcroft
December 4th 2012 by Berkley Heat
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  1. LethalLovely says

    Oh dear. Thanks for the informative review, Catherine. You are not the first reader to describe Gabriel as an arrogant asshole with a disrespect for women that borders on misogyny. I was really looking forward to AoM but now I know reading it would be a waste of time and money. Off the TBR it goes!

    • says

      I suppose some might find him sexy, but not me. I like scary-hot guys as much as the next girl, but I usually don’t have the urge to throat punch those heroes.

  2. says

    You nailed them all, Catherine! Ugh, maybe I’m too generous to give it 3 stars on Goodreads? 2 stars for the story and add 1 more for the cover, lol!