Rating: 5 stars out of 5
How far can a man go in the name of faith?
While most of his order choose a female, Father Gareth De’Aubyn chose the handsome Fidelity as his guardian and fell in love with his angel during his prayers. When he leaves the Crusaders to minister to the very people his armies once threatened, his beloved angel falls from the Heavens in his search for him. Soon Gareth finds himself at death’s door and calls to the Creator for aide in protecting his flock. But its Fydelis, no longer an angel but now the demonic aspect of regret and toy of the Sunderer, who comes to his rescue. In exchange for help, Gareth must promise his soul to the Sunderer, god of the underworld. Bargain made, its Fydelis who must lead his love, the man he thought had abandoned him, on his task of collecting twenty strong and stubborn souls. Their journey together tests everything they thought they knew about faith, love, and fidelity.
Well-written with excellent pacing, this story had me enthralled from the gripping first scene onward. Being that I was quite swamped in real life when I read this, I didn’t breeze through it as I most assuredly would have if I’d had time. On retrospect, I actually don’t regret that. It allowed me to savor the story, and cuddle these lovely broken guys in my mind over a matter of days rather than hours. And this is a story well-worth savoring, let me tell you!
If you enjoy dark stories about broken boys, like I do, my advice is… read this book right now. There isn’t just one but two deliciously damaged men here, broken at the start and falling to pieces all along the journey’s way. Two men both in love, both thinking they’d been abandoned by the other, now united on the lurid task set before them, one knowing who the other is, one in the dark.
Usually early on in a good story, I’m locked into one of the characters so much that my heart bleeds and breaks for him, this is that times two. I’d be hard pressed to say which of these guys touched me more. Gareth who wants so much to help others and do what he thinks is right that he even scourges his back to keep himself from having impure urges; or Fydelis who has suffered so much at the hands of the gruesome Sunderer.
Dark and not for the faint-hearted, one particular scene at the beginning took my breath away with its grisly, shocking cruelty. But amidst the bloody battle scenes, there is humor, small joys, and sweet tenderness. Amidst the dismantling, we are put back together. The ride to get there is gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and painful to read at parts. And I bloody well loved it. All of it.
From the first book I read by this author, I was hooked. She’s now firmly one of my two favorite m/m authors. I’d be hard pressed to choose between Black and Lanyon. But Lia Black somehow (by magic?) looks into my head and heart and gives me what I love, pushes my buttons, presses my boundaries, and does it every single time.
The cover is a stunner, just gorgeous. From the seal of the order, the stern and righteous Gareth in his armor with sword, Fydelis as a young long haired human and the wings in the background… its just absolutely perfect. Bravo!
Sales Link: Amazon Buy It Here
Kindle Edition, 213 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by VineDark/ BlackHouse Press