Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Heroine: Allegra Watson
Date of Publication: January 25, 2011
Started On: December 1, 2014
Finished On: December 10, 2014
Kristina Douglas is Anne Stuart writing paranormal fantasy genre. And whichever genre that Anne Stuart chooses to write, and if there is romance in it, its definitely a reason to pick it up. I’ve been meaning to give this series a go and finally managed to do so and ended up getting wowed beyond my wildest imaginations.
The Fallen series is focused on the concept of the fallen angels that is believed by Jews and Christians. Though I found reading about fallen angels which is not something we believe in Islam a bit unsettling at the beginning, I just set aside my misgivings and gave up to the heady ride Kristina Douglas delivered with Raziel, the debut book in the series.
Allegra Watson (Allie), a biblical murder mystery writer finds herself meeting her death, escorted by the most beautiful male specimen that she has laid her eyes on to her intended destination. Raziel and the other fallen angels lead a seemingly endless life, a life includes ferrying souls to either Hell or Paradise at the behest of Uriel, the archangel. Though Raziel has never had any problems with any of the people that he has transported for centuries, he finds that when the time of reckoning comes, he is unable to send Allegra on her way.
Allie finds herself in the most bizarre of circumstances with Raziel, a man who infuriates her, astounds her and electrifies her with the need that pulses through her every time he is around. Bound to each other by something that neither of them wants to acknowledge, Allie’s arrival to Sheol, the hidden world in which the fallen reside is not a welcome one for many. With danger looming closer than ever, Allie finds herself entirely captivated by Raziel and what he does to her heart, mind, body and soul. With surprising twists to the story, Ms. Douglas manages to deliver a story that is unputdownable at best!
The power that Anne Stuart holds over her readers is legendary. With contemporary romances and romantic suspense, she continues to push the comfort zone of many a reader and publisher too if her writing history is anything to judge that fact by and under the pseudonym of Kristina Douglas, Anne Stuart practically eviscerates every preconceived notion of how the fantasy genre ought to be written. She smashes through the walls and leaves utter destruction of the kind you love to indulge in and I as a reader couldn’t have asked for more!
Allie whose name Allegra Watson made me snicker a bit to myself (Allegra = an antihistamine + Watson = a personal care store in Malaysia), fits the mold of heroines that Anne Stuart is famous for writing. Definitely not of the doormat variety, Allie continues to push at Raziel’s carefully laid out world of black and white, splashing it with beautiful, bold and vivid colors while Raziel continues to fool himself into thinking he is man enough to resist her charms. Snarky with a heart of gold, Allie was a heroine I definitely fell in love with and rooted for in the biggest way possible.
Raziel is one of the oldest of the fallen angels and pretty set in his ways. Raziel had sworn off women and the concept of finding a mate to share his life with because of the pain it brings to the heart to lose the one you love. While the fallen are subjected to live their life for eternity, their mates aren’t magically given the same “gift” and thus Raziel’s conviction that he is better off with just relying on his hand for company. But with the arrival of Allie into his life, Raziel knows in his heart that his days as a loner are numbered and that before she is through, she would end up blowing his heart into smithereens if he is not careful.
Raziel as a hero is beyond sexy, the kind of man that Anne Stuart so boldly brings to life time and yet again. Given the fact that this is fantasy, Anne’s creation goes a step further and delivers a mouthwatering version of the alpha male, Raziel is practically good enough to eat! His wings, oh man, those are a sight to behold and yes, you have to read the book to understand the full impact of Raziel.
This book is written in first person, from both Raziel and Allie’s points of view. The fact that I forgot to even complain about it when I initially wrote the review explains the fact that Ms. Douglas found a way to make the first person PoV work. By providing the points of view of both the hero and heroine. I actually never felt any of the frustrations that I usually feel with books written in first person and perhaps that is why I forgot to write it down when I first drafted the review.
I loved the ending provided, a look into their lives 5 years on, and a torturous peek towards what’s coming. There’s a sadness to the story, an inevitability to their shared lives and yet the happiness that radiates from it outshines it all. And that my friends is what superb storytelling is all about. Combining witty banter, heady sexual tension with highly erotic and sensuous delivery and enough fantasy and gore to feed the appetite, Raziel is a book that is a definite must read! I went a bit crazy with the quotes, forgive me. Not! Haha!
Final Verdict: Bold & unapologetic, sweeps you off your feet, big time!
Kicking him in the shin and running like hell seemed an excellent plan, but I was barefoot and my body wasn’t feeling cooperative. As angry and desperate as I was, I still seemed to want him to touch me, even when I knew he had nothing good in mind. Angels didn’t have sex, did they? They didn’t even have sexual organs, according to the movie Dogma. I found myself glancing at his crotch, then quickly pulled my gaze away. What the hell was I doing checking out an angel’s package when I was about to die?
Her smile was faint, lovely, one of the most erotic things about her. “Now,” she whispered.
He didn’t hesitate. His fangs slid down and sank into her neck, finding the sweet spot he knew so well. The blood was thick, rich in his mouth, and he felt the spasms begin to take over, felt her own helpless response as his wings unfurled. He rolled onto his side, taking her with him, his teeth never leaving the gently throbbing vein, his cock deep inside her as his wings clamped around them both, locking them together as he gave himself over to the only kind of death he’d ever know.
“Were you sent here to torment me?” he whispered, sliding his arm around my waist, pulling me against him. “Did he know exactly what I needed, what I couldn’t fight?”
He? Who? But before I could ask the question, he kissed me again, and I was lost, needing to get closer to him, needing his skin beneath my fingers. His tongue was in my mouth, and I welcomed it, reaching between us and pulling his shirt apart so I could touch his skin, his hot, smooth skin. His heart was racing, and I wanted to put my mouth against it, wanted to taste his flat nipples, wanted my mouth all over him.
He started to pull out, and I clutched at him, suddenly terrified he would leave me.
But he was already pushing back into me, deeper than the first thrust, slick and sure, deeper, thicker, harder, and when he pulled back I let out a cry, desperate.
This time he slammed into me, all the way in, pushing me hard up against the wall, and my body suddenly shattered. I let out a muffled scream, burying it against his shoulder, against the smell of clean cotton and warm skin, and another wave hit me, and then another, until I was sure I couldn’t take any more.
I lay perfectly still beneath as he took care of me, my eyes closed, just wishing he’d go away and leave me. He was going to, sooner or later, and he might as well get it over with.
“I’m not going away,” he said.
“Stop reading my mind!” I cried, my voice catching on a sob. I didn’t tend to become emotional after sex, but this was an anomaly on every front.
He cursed under his breath. And then he simply moved over me, between my legs, and before I realized what he was doing he’d pushed inside me again, fully hard, and I let out a little yelp of shock as I shifted to accommodate him.
He lifted his head to look down at me, and I stared up into his strange eyes, mesmerized. I no longer wanted to hide, to look away. He was invading my soul again, just as he had earlier, only this time he was invading my body at the same time, and I wanted more.
“There’s a limit to what you can take, Allie,” he whispered in my ear, reading me again. “I don’t want to hurt you.” And he began to move, a slow, sweet slide, and I found I could make noise after all, a deep, longing moan, as I slid my arms around his back and held him close, feeling his muscles bunch and release against my hands, wanting the feel of him, the taste of him, all around me.
He reached behind him and took my arms, slamming them down on the mattress as he rose up, pumping into me. The second climax hit me, and then I couldn’t stop. I needed nothing more than the steady movement of him inside me to bring me to a place I hadn’t believed existed, and I threw myself out into the stars as his hands pressed down on mine and the iridescent darkness closed around us once more.
I could feel him inside me, coming, and I arched back, wanting his mouth on me, wanting his teeth on me. Please, I thought, and I felt his mouth against my neck and the first sharp bite of his teeth.
And I was complete.
“I can’t,” I said in sudden fear. “I really can’t.” And I tried to get off the bed.
He caught me at the edge, pulling me back underneath him so that I was facedown on the bed, my mouth against the linen sheets that smelled of lavender and spice and something even more elemental. “Yes you can,” he said with simple truth, and he slid his arm under my stomach, pulling me up to my hands and knees.
He pounded into me, a heavy dark rhythm that was like drumbeats from the heart of Africa. The drums of the gods. And I couldn’t stop the shudders rushing through me, mini-climaxes that were building, and his hand went between my legs, his fingers touching me, and I screamed, putting my head down, my face into the sheets as I gave in to the wildness and power, the animal need washing through me. I gave myself to him with complete trust, no longer thinking, no longer doubting. He would keep me safe, he would stop when I had more than I could handle, he would know.
His cock inside me seemed to swell, and I cradled his head against me, running my fingers through his thick, curling hair, whispering to him, soft words, love words.
And then he pulled away, rising up, and I could see my blood on his mouth, see the glitter in his eyes. He stared down at me, not moving, and I felt his climax deep inside me, giving me back what he had taken from me, and I joined him, flinging myself into the darkness with only him to guide me.
“Are you always going to be able to read my thoughts?” I asked with a trace of asperity.
“I can try not to. When you’re feeling strong emotion, it will come to me, and it will go both ways. In day-to-day life, I can shield you.”
“And in bed? I’m assuming we’re going to do this again?” I held my breath, waiting for the answer. Was he still fighting it? Should I still fight it?
It was a long moment before he spoke, an endless one. “As often as possible,” he said.
I knew his thoughts, knew what he wanted. Now. Again. “Yes,” I said. “Yes.”