Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Angel's Hero & Angel's Truth by Liz Borino - 2 Stars





 
Review: Angel's Hero and Angel's Truth by Liz Borino

This is a dual-review of books 1 and 2 in Liz Borino's Angel Series




ebook, 79 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Lazy Day (first published February 25th 2014)
ISBN
1016125812 (ISBN13: 9781612581248)
edition language
English
series
Angel #1Available for purchase here:

ebook64 pages
Published March 14th 2014 by Lazy Day (first published March 10th 2014)
ISBN
1612581250 (ISBN13: 9781612581255)
edition language
English
series

Available for purchase here:




















These books are not stand-alones. They must be read together and in order.

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I had problems with this read, but I followed through and found some virtues in the end. There was a set up to a bigger world with espionage, but that part was left off the page, unfortunately. The plot was good, but had gaps, and often the writing was awkward and even stereotypical at points.

THE CHARACTERS

Jordan Larson - Army Captain - A flirt and brat. Tortured and driven.

Aaron Collins (Angel) - CIA. Seven feet tall.

Troy Hart - The creepy bad guy, and Aaron's superior.

Adeela - Double agent, nurse, spy, conspirator? She's a wonderful, unknown surprise.

Normally I can really add strong descriptors of the characters pointing out things that stood out to me. But, both of the MC's felt flat to me. Like they were the same character. Without the use of their names, I wouldn't have known the difference between the two.

THE STORY

The established relationship was a good start, we know that the characters have background, so when Jordan is sent on a mission that he believes is being mishandled by the military and the government it is understandable that Aaron senses something is wrong. Aaron, who normally is "in" on this type of mission is being shut out.

It seems that these guys have something of a psychic connection, but unfortunately this isn't explored or fleshed out either. It really could have been one of the more exciting structures of the story, but it was only hinted at. Another aspect left unexplored was Troy's motivations for his actions.

 I like Adeela. She's a good, strong character in an impossible position.

THE WRITING

Awkward sentence structure, wild timeline hopping and unfortunately a lousy formatted .pdf combined to make this an uncomfortable read for me. I just could never relax into the story.
Never had Jordan concentrated so hard not to see a place as he had not to catch sight of his house.
There was a sex scene in the middle of discussing potential rape and court martial that was terribly misplaced and very uncomfortable. Other sex scenes were cut off and clipped. Then, Jordan slid his tongue along the crease of Aaron's lips, unzipping them. 

The brother and father characters were unnecessary and annoying. The father seemed to really only have one purpose, which came at the end of the story. It felt like he was just stuck in, here and there, to take up page space. This could have been handled differently.

There was also some unfortunate stereotyping;
"I shop at Bloomingdale's and Neimen Marcus." Troy's voice heightened in the way gay men's did when they had to ensure that whoever they were speaking to had no doubt about their sexuality. [...]

I think, in a nutshell, what went wrong here is the author tried to squeeze too much into this rather short story. It stayed still in some areas and then ran past others. At one point in the book it

The Blurb:

Angel's Hero

CIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins doesn’t take many things on faith. He trusts his gut, his eyes, and his husband, Jordan, an Army Captain. When his commanding officers deliver news of Jordan’s death, Aaron needs proof. The facts don’t add up, and Aaron must decide if he can trust Major General Troy Hart to assist in his quest to discover the truth.

Captain Jordan Collins is battered and disheartened in an Afghanistan prison, but definitely not dead, though he learns his own government believes he is. His only mission now is to stay alive and make it home to Angel, if he can find an ally among the enemy. But someone in the US government will stop at nothing to make sure he never leaves that prison, And Jordan must reevaluate the lines between friend and foe if he is ever to return to his Angel.

BLURB:

Angel's Truth


“Freeze or I’ll shoot!” Aaron yelled and aimed the gun at Jordan’s chest.
“Angel, no, please.” Hacking fluid-filled coughs broke up Jordan’s words.
“Jordan?” Aaron whispered his name as recognition painted a mural of memories of their life together on his face.
“Yes.” He coughed red into his dirty hand. “Please help.”

So begins Angel’s Truth, the sequel to Angel’s Hero. Army Captain Jordan Collins arrives home, only to find the man responsible for his imprisonment, torture, and near-execution with his husband. Had his Angel moved on without him?

Aaron “Angel” Collins has driven his family and friends away in his quest to learn the truth of Jordan’s fate, leaving only Major General Troy Hart willing to help him. When Jordan miraculously returns, with a spirit more broken than his body, Aaron realizes Hart was really a liar with an agenda of his own. Aaron is unable to take time to heal his own emotional wounds, because he and Jordan learn Hart’s betrayal is even greater than they originally believed, threatening the entire nation. Now the reunited couple must race against time to keep a promise to Jordan’s savior and prevent Hart from bringing terrorism once again to American soil.

says the antagonist, "had been messing with them for years", but I thought the whole timeline was only months long.

A few bright spots did develop. Adeela was clever and her dialogue was the best in the story, despite or maybe because of her halted speech pattern. Also, I really believe that the author's plot line was well structured. I think that if she just slows down, paints a more vivid picture and doesn't worry about stuffing sex scenes in to please some readers that she can give us "more" in future books.

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 I would like to thank Liz Borino for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

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