The First Review!
Today’s team review is from Karen B, she blogs here http://sassyredheadbookreviews.wordpress.com
Karen has been reading Monsters and Angels by Anne Marie Andrus
My Review of “Monsters and Angels” by Anne Marie Andrus
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal romance stories. Sorcha is a young woman who loses her mother unexpectedly and decides after her funeral to leave NY for something new. She boards a train to New Orleans to answer an advertisement for nurses to work in a hospital run by nuns and a Dr. Banitierre, who only works nights. Her desire to make her mother proud of her, even though she is gone, drives her to be a hard worker who puts a lot of care and love into her job as a nurse.
An unfortunate incident changes her life forever while she is on a sojourn with the nurses…
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“Quit stalling in there!” Steven pounded on the bathroom door while Rayna, Julia, and Penny paced the floor. When Sorcha emerged in her slip, she was pushed into a chair in front of her dressing mirror. More maids scampered through the door and went to work painting her nails and setting her hair in curlers.
Lily babbled as she applied false eyelashes, strand by strand. “I recommend the dark lip stain—less smudging.”
Penny spritzed sample perfume on linen strips.
Steven grabbed his nose and sneezed three times. “You know not to spray that near me.”
“The spicy jasmine, please.” Sorcha patted Steven’s back.
“It’s just allergies. That slip is beautiful enough to be the dress itself.”
“Your allergies are in your tiny mind.” Julia snorted.
“Oh, shut up.” Steven held a handkerchief over his face and collapsed in a coughing fit.
“Ok, stop,” Sorcha said, “I want a short break and Steven could use some air. You all need to get dressed, too.”
Julia stormed out.
The rest of Sorcha’s attendants hesitated until she gave each a sincere hug. “You’ve made me feel like a movie star. Steven, how in the world do you have allergies?”
“Never mind.” He dabbed the corners of his eyes with a sleeve. “I’ll see you downstairs.”
“Can someone send for Raimond? I need to have a word with him.” Digging in her nightstand, she found a smashed pack of cloves. Glad I don’t have allergies. Sorcha straightened the least damaged cigarette and lit it in the doorway of the balcony.
“I’ve been summoned?” The duke appeared out of the shadows, dressed in tuxedo pants and unbuttoned shirt, missing his tie and shoes.
“That’s a dashing look—you should attend the party as you are,” Sorcha said, “I especially like the slicked-back hair.” Sultry and dangerous.
“Touché.” Raimond scanned her outfit. “Is that underwear or your gown?”
“Ha-ha. There’s an important question I need answered. I want to know the procedure to change a human into a vampire.”
He shook his head and his finger in unison. “Way too soon.”
“I’m serious—I need to know.”
“Do you require my assistance?” The prince appeared on the balcony, like a phantom in a silk robe…
Can you feel it…the dawn of spring?
If you just got buried by Blizzard #Stella, you probably can’t see past mountains of snow.
But the snow is melting and the Spring Equinox is just days away.
Time for the story of a beautiful girl in her sapphire gown, waltzing into vampire royalty.
As soon as she drags herself out of the bathtub…
The evening of the party kicked off before sunset, the equivalent of early morning for a house full of vampires. Sorcha’s eyes fluttered open and settled on bustling around the armoire.
“Whoa, is that my dress?” She threw the blankets off and flipped on the chandelier. The blue fabric leapt to life in the soft glow. Her fingers caressed the subtle tone-on-tone pattern. Steven outdid himself. A silver slip lay on the nearby chair; its boning and fluffy layers would give the skirt perfect fullness.
“Breakfast is served!” Steven and Lily barged in, carrying coffee and chalices of blood. “You have to eat early today—you’ll need your strength for tonight. Hurry up. Hair and makeup take time.”
Sorcha fiddled with her food, spun her glass and left everything but her coffee on the tray before retreating to a tub full of bubbles.
“Quit stalling in there!” Steven pounded on the bathroom door…
Last night, I saw the splendor of our future. Not in the glow of the bursting full moon or the blaze of crackling fire, but in the halo of my protégé.
In a tiny room, bathed in the glow of a rose-glass lamp, one of our dearest and loveliest patients received the Lord’s call. Reaching for the light, the elderly woman’s fingers trailed the air as if a loved one’s grasp fell short, time and time again. The hand she finally found belonged to you—her lifeline between the realms of heaven and earth.
Then tonight, I discovered you alone and grieving in our private chapel. Your tears fell to the stone floor with the weight of time’s relentless march, reminding me of all the life lights we’ve watched flicker out and the spirits we’ve had the privilege to set free. While we share what some call the curse of immortality, in your hands it’s a miraculous blessing. You, the youngest of old souls, soar closer to the flame than most of us dare—ever vulnerable to the heart-wrenching pain of human tragedy. Dignity and grace in the face of death…that is a talent born into your blood.
So, on this year’s darkest and deepest of winter nights, I implore you to celebrate the ritual of Solstice with our family. We will feed well, drink deeply, and unite our energies until the veil separating us from the ancestors falls away.
Mourning and respect offered for those lost, will heal your heart. Joy that transcends time and restores hope for the new year, will grant you wings.
Until tomorrow night then, my brave angel,
The original prologue for Monsters and Angels…long since rewritten and blended into the story…
Holy men, healers and horn players—unlikely allies in society, yet brothers in the unique glory of Crescent City royalty. Villains, artists and creatures of the night flipped their collars up and bowed their heads to Mother Nature, driven into hiding by rare frost in the Deep South.
All, except one.
Raimond ignored the glare of the bar lights and the bite of the wind. His commanding stride propelled him to a decaying house just past the point where the sidewalk turned dangerously dark.
Dangling gutters and crippled railings blended one home into the next for blocks at a time. He found the decline of the area tragic, yet the beauty remained visible in lace ironwork and stained glass… if one looked past the ruined surface, into the elegant disrepair.
Black doctor’s bag in hand, Raimond rapped an ancient knocker against the warped oak door. Tonight’s mission would be specific, an act of compassion in sharp contrast to the excess and debauchery that made the city famous. This visit served as the first step in his recommitment to an oath taken decades ago; complacency and apathy had derailed him for long enough.
If he was completely honest with himself, his actions were selfish. After all, the endurance of his own kind was directly linked to humanity’s survival. He took a wistful look at the crisp, full moon before he entered the sagging house, once the most glamorous jewel in the neighborhood.
Twisted metal, forged in flame,
A work of art that lit your romantic gathering of familiar strangers,
Ancient wood, carved with wind,
Enough glitter and spark to paint monsters as angels,
Scarred bone, ravaged by predators,
Cruel dawn light pierces crystal, and the silhouette turns grotesque,
Prehistoric serpents, coiled and ready to strike,
Think you’re safe, sipping coffee under that sculpture of the night?
By the time you see the viper’s crimson eyes, it will be too late…