This Side of Heaven
Loose Id, February 9, 2010
Genre & Keywords: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Angels, Demons, Telal
Heat level: ¹¹¹
The Back Blurb:
Samara Hale has learned to keep everyone at arm’s length, with good reason. Abandoned by a father she’s never known, she’ll do anything to not become her mother and waste her love on a man who will only end up leaving. A powerful empath, she’s grown comfortable hiding behind her self-imposed walls. On the heels of her uncle’s death, a stranger shows up claiming to be a Telal, a half-demon, half-angel. She’s sure he’s out of his mind—unbelievably hot, but still, out of his mind. When she’s attacked by demons, he’s the only one who can save her. Samara will have to trust him with her life. She’s just not sure she can trust him with her heart.
With a forbidden love, an ancient prophecy, and demons on the hunt, Nathaniel knows this would be the worst time to act on his feelings for his mortal charge. But with Samara’s life in danger, he must not only come face-to-face with temptation, but with an old rival whose ambitions include claiming Samara for Lucifer himself. Nathaniel will risk it all to save the woman he loves and he can only hope Samara will take a risk of her own.
I received this book from the author to review it.
As you can tell from the back blurb This Side of Heaven is an action packed story. The heroine, Samara, has only recently learned about demons, angels and Telal (part human, part angel, part demon) and immediately has to fight for her life, since demons want to posses her. Yet, despite of all the action there’s plenty of time for romance. Oh, and what romance! Her protector, Nathaniel, is one hot and delicious Telal! I instantly fell in love with him. Although Samara does not, she feels very attracted to him from the first moment:
“The room grew warm, and her skin felt as if she’d spent all day in the sun: heated, tingly, and slightly damp with perspiration. Mindless of her actions, she gripped the neckline of her white sundress, fanning herself. She fought to hold his gaze, willing her eyes not to drink in some of his more interesting attributes. Like the curves of his muscular arms folded across his wide chest. And the toned, washboard stomach she suspected was hidden under his fitted black T-shirt.”
This attraction has only partially something to do with her ability to feel his feelings. As an empath she has learned to suppress her ability as a child because it scared her. Now this skill is the reason why demons are after her. Samara has to process a lot of information about all sorts of paranormal/fantasy stuff. Together with her we learn about them too. For me, as a reader who is not used to much paranormal reads, the world building was done in precisely the right manner. With little bits of information explained to Sam, well dosed not to overwhelm her. Although this book only contained about 100 pages, I liked the world Ms. Blake built here in this relatively small amount of pages! And I’m curious where she will take us in the next books of this series.
What appealed to me most about This Side of Heaven was the chemistry between the hero and heroine! This was very good, almost perfect. And I think I can safely say that Sam and Nathaniel are one of my favorite M/F couples I have ever encountered in my romances. They are not only steamy together, but also very sweet. With both their abilities to know what the other feels or thinks their relationship finds a very solid basis quickly. At the most important moments they can find each other on other levels than the physical one. And apart from all that, they have good and sweet conversations that are lifelike even if they talk supernatural things ;)
I think the fast growing level of trust between Sam and Nathaniel elevated their physical attraction and love scenes to something scorching hot. Ms. Blake sure knows how to write a sex scene that is making you gasp and reach for a fan and cool drink.
So, if you are looking for a super sexy story about a well-build angel/demon world that has a good dose of suspense and sweet loving, you should definitely pick up This Side of Heaven! And the good thing is that there are more books in this series to look forward to. Maybe one of them will feature the cute twins Zack and Matthias or the very intriguing Seth, Nathaniel’s old friend who let his demon side dictate his life for the past era’s. I for sure can’t wait to see were Ms. Blake will take us in the sequels and I'm glad she asked me to read This Side of Heaven!