Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review: Death Lies Between Us by Jody A. Kessler

Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Formats avail: ebook, paperback
Word Count: unknown
Publication Date: March 2013
Published by: Crescent Moon Press
Kindle locations: 6669 (story text ends at 99%)
Print Length: 265 pages
Ebook includes a Table of Contents
Source: Review Request from Author

Series:  An Angel Falls, #1







DESCRIPTION:
Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana’s destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents.

In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother’s drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn’t know that Nathaniel is part of it.

Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?


MY THOUGHTS:
Nathaniel is an angel of death who has grown weary of an afterlife that consists of watching people die. His new assignment is Juliana (Jules), who brings out unexpected emotions in him. Now Nathaniel is a frustrated angel of death because he has a hopeless attraction to Jules and he will have to watch her die as well. As an angel of death, Nathaniel has a responsibility to help people pass over when it is their time to die. But he can’t stand the thought of Jules dying and ends up breaking the rules by constantly intervening to save her from dangerous situations.

This story is told in present tense. Sometimes I can read an entire story and not realize that present tense was used. Sometimes, if not done well, it is like a thorn in the side of my reading and grates on me. I have to admit that when I first read the sample for this book I was very much aware of the present tense for the entire reading and I was a little hesitant to continue it, but I was interested in the story so decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did because I did end up falling into the story and forgetting the tense. Though occasionally it would jump out at me, I quickly fell back into the story and forgot about it. The first person POV is shared between Jules and Nathaniel and switches on a chapter by chapter basis.

There were no really significant characteristics that stood out to me about the main characters, good or bad. I liked Jules and Nathaniel but I felt like they were both a little on the bland side and there didn’t seem to be much distinction between each “voice” to the point where if I picked up the book after stopping for awhile I sometimes had to backtrack a little to determine which head I was in for that chapter.

Nathaniel’s disgruntlement and frustration showed through even in the sample I read. You do find out how he ended up dying at such a young age and about the emotional pain he carries with him. Jules is half Native American and this factors into the story. She also has some latent psychic powers that come to the surface as the story progresses and it’s why she can sense Nathan.

There was one minor character introduced during a brief scene toward the end of the story that seemed to have no purpose but at the same time seemed to have a deeper meaning. It opened up questions as to who she is, why she was looking for Jules, and who sent her. I wonder if this character will show up in a later book, otherwise I didn’t see much point in her being in the story. Jared, her brother, was another thread that seemed to be left open, and also Lance, who had a romantic interest in Jules, kind of disappeared too.

The story actually did have a twist that took me by surprise and that I didn’t see coming (hence the surprise, doh!) I was actually getting worried how this would wrap up as I started creeping closer and closer to the end. I was praying that I would not be left hanging at the end with another unresolved romance. I’m happy to say that Nathan and Jules do get their HEA and it was sweet though a bit understated.

This book was just a smidge below a pager turner for me. The pacing did slow a bit in spots and might be a result of a lot of internal reflection vs. some action, but I still enjoyed my time with it. Though Nathan and Jules could have had more personality, they were likable and I rooted for them to have their HEA. The Native American theme combined with the angels was an interesting mix, too. Overall, a good read and a series I would continue.

Rating: 3.5

Typos found: 8

Heat Level: Sweet – there were some comforting embraces and some kisses at the end but nothing more.

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You can find Jody A. Kessler on the web at:
  Website/Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

  Death Lies Between Us is available as both an ebook and paperback.
 
Add it to your shelf on Goodreads
 

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