Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Fallen (The Chosen Book 1) By Christine James

Summary In Scrollbox
Angelo searched for the one to save them for centuries. Never in his wildest dreams did he expect it to be a girl. From the beginning, he was drawn to her, but how could such a slip of a girl be the one to save mankind. He was supposed to train her and explain what she was, but how could he do his job and resist her at the same time? Could he put attractions aside and focus on his job and what he needed to do?
It was just supposed to be a fun night at their small town carnival, but a bizarre encounter with a mysterious fortune teller changed Erin's life forever.
Then there was the stranger, the man who she literally ran into. A beautiful stranger that wouldn't leave her thoughts and who suddenly haunted her dreams. Something about him pulled her to him, like an anchor sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Little did she know her life was about to change when he revealed to her that she wasn't exactly human, and that she was destined to fight the most powerful evil on earth.
Erin's life collided with Angelo's, and now they are both in for a ride as they fight for the world, and fight their attraction for one another.

***This book contains violence, adult content, and mild language.
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Title: Fallen
Author: Christine James
Series: Chosen
Publisher: Self-Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: August, 7 2011
Links: Goodreads 

(No Spoilers)

Wow, what can I say, I loved this book, has a great story, about fallen angels, and a chosen one that comes from the bloodlines of Archangel Michael. It’s quite different than any other fallen angel books I had read. Its fast paced and easy to read. I read the Re-edited version, and it’s very well done, very few minor mistakes that really don’t matter is all I seen. I was caught up in the story of Erin and Angelo, that I didn't care anyway. It’s not all about them, there is a great story here, so it’s got the romance too, but it’s not just about the romance, which I found refreshing. The best part in a way, not huge cliffhanger, doesn't end like you’re in the middle of a chapter, I really hate when authors do that, so I loved that. I am still ready and anxious to read the next one, but in a way that I don’t feel forced to, to see what happens in the climax that ended before done. You know what I mean; we don’t have that torture here.

I found the romance between Angelo and Erin very steamy, when they were not fighting their feelings for each other. I didn't love Erin right away, but she grew on me, and thinking about what she had been through, I could not really blame her for anything she did.

I will say, in the beginning there is a part when Angelo was looking for the chosen one, when he found her many Greats- grand-dad, he mentioned the violet eyes (eyes that are the same as Erin) then, that this man was not really the father to the baby that carries the “chosen” ones line (his wife). I thought there had to be a mistake, but it gets explained so when you get to that, just keep reading, it all gets explained and makes sense. I like how this story takes place over time, not just Angelo trying to find the chosen one over time, but when he finds her, Erin, the time from then, to the end, is at least several months I believe. Meaning it made it more believable in this world, her being trained, and their attraction turns to love, not just because of the “link” they have. (they are meant to be together, like soul mates) They don’t just instantly fall into bed, but they did want too, lol, but that’s ok, it was fun to read, and pulls you into the story.

I won’t say more on this just that, it’s a great book, written very well. I really look forward to the next 2 books, called Risen and Final Redemption (Chosen Series) I hope I get a chance to review these for Christine, they are defiantly books I want to read. In this first book at least, I am happy to see there isn't your usual “love triangle” I mean there is a small part that happens with someone else, after Angelo keeps pushing Erin away, but there never was a threat of him losing her, as their “link” is strong.

I only have one thing to say that I don’t like, it’s the cover. I think a better done cover would help a lot. But give it a chance, I highly recommend this book. It’s not YA either, more New Adult (Erin is just turning 21, lives on her own) There is some sexual content and some fighting type violence, 17 up should be ok, and adults will enjoy this too.

5 out of 5 stars for my rating.

Christine James Blog |Goodreads |Twitter Name: christinejames2 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

Below is a few teasers, each in their own little scrollbox. Also at bottom is an expert for you. Enjoy!

“You will find her,” he gasped. “She is in my blood.” The boy coughed and sucked in one last sharp breath. As that breath hissed out between his lips, his head lolled to the side. Blood trickled from the corner of his mouth and dropped onto the already bloody grass. He was gone.
Angelo sat back on his haunches. “It’s a girl?” he mused out loud. A girl was going to save his kind, as well as the human race. He stared down at the boy.
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Angelo’s hair was pulled back tightly and secured at the nape of his neck. It was hard to tell, but it looked to be black as coal. The flashing lights seemed to make it shimmer. His cheekbones were high and hidden beneath dark stubble. Normally, she wouldn’t have found that attractive, but for some reason, it was immensely appealing at that moment. Dark eyebrows sat neatly above light gray eyes. Huh? she thought. She could have sworn they were dark gray earlier, but as she looked at them again, they seemed to grow lighter before her eyes. They were the exact shade of a new nickel. His eyes were fringed by thick black lashes, the type of lashes most women dreamed about having. Damn, he’s flawless.
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Expert Below

Present day:

Chapter 1

The signs of fall were all around. The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow were like a bright patchwork quilt covering the countryside. The nights were growing cooler, while the temperature during the day hovered somewhere around a cool fifty-five degrees. Yes, it was finally fall and all Erin could do was smile.
“Aren’t you ready yet?” Anna’s impatient voice called from Erin’s bedroom. Erin applied a touch of lip gloss and hurried from the bathroom.
“I’m coming,” Erin said, rolling her eyes.
“What are you getting all spruced up for anyhow?” Anna lay on her stomach in the middle of Erin’s bed with her legs crossed behind her. She absently flipped through a three month old issue of Cosmo. Anna had moved from a suburb of New York City when she was fifteen. Though it had been a large culture shock, Erin helped her adjust to small town life. Not only was Anna not used to living in such a small town, she also wasn’t used to being the only person of color in town.
Anna, by far, was the most beautiful person Erin knew. Her body was a perfect hour glass shape and her hips swayed with a natural grace when she walked. Though her hair was a glossy black, Anna had put a few bright pink highlights in her tresses just to be rebellious. Her eyes were a brilliant shade of green with flecks of gold and they always seemed to glimmer mischievously. Her skin was flawless and the shade of warm caramel. Erin had to admit, she was jealous of her friend’s beauty.
Erin believed she was the complete opposite. She thought of herself as dull and boring. Her hair was a rather ordinary shade of strawberry blonde with a tendency to do as it pleased, and her eyes were an odd shade of violet. People would often comment on the rare eye color, but the attention always made her extremely uncomfortable. She preferred to blend in, but in most cases it didn’t work.
Trying to ignore her friend’s good looks and stop focusing on her own flaws, Erin decided to turn her thoughts to the three day long carnival, even though she knew Anna was right about how boring it would be. Unless something had changed, the pie eating contest--won every year by Gnarly Charlie--would be the most exciting thing going on.
“I may meet someone,” Erin laughed pulling on her denim jacket.
“Erin, you’ve lived in this town for twenty years. The same carnival comes to town every year with the same busted rides, the same nasty food, and the same gross carnies. We live in a town of three hundred people and we know every single one of them. Now tell me again, who are you going to meet?” Anna said, rolling over to stare up at Erin. Crossing her feet at the ankles, Anna propped them on the head of Erin’s bed.
Erin smiled as her friend ranted about their town. It was the same line every year, and every year Erin just shrugged and laughed saying, “You never know.” Pulling Anna off the bed, Erin laughed as she watched her hit the floor. Anna cursed as she climbed to her feet. Shrugging off the colorful names she knew her friend didn’t really mean, Erin looped her arm through Anna’s and pulled the door closed behind them.
“I can’t believe you don’t lock your door.”
“Why? I’m the only one who lives up here and store below has been closed for years. I lock the outer door,” Erin replied with a shrug, “Besides, if someone breaks in, I can always run to Bradly Baker, the sheriff, slash barber, slash gas station owner.”
Erin locked the bottom door behind them and they made their way across the street. They laughed at the crudely assembled admittance gates tied together with bright pink yarn. The tinkling music from the rides greeted them as the notes blended together, making more noise than music. The heavy smell of old grease drifted through the air, mingling with the scent of cotton candy and funnel cakes, giving the air a slightly sweet scent.
“So what do you want to do first?” Erin tugged on Anna’s arm like an anxious eight year old, trying to get her moving faster.
“Girl, I tell you every year, there ain’t no way in hell you are going to get me on one of those broken down, rusted, tin can rides,” Anna replied with a dramatic eye roll.
“Fine. We’ll just walk around and see what we can see,” Erin said, refusing to let Anna spoil her mood.
They walked around the grounds, dodging eager, sticky little kids as they dragged their exhausted parents from ride to ride. The two girls scouted the guys and as usual, were left disappointed. The lights on the rides blinked and flickered, flashed and twinkled, casting the fairgrounds in a dazzling array of colors.
Anna looked at her watch and sighed. “Girl, it’s eight-thirty. I got to get home and check on Grammy.”
“How’s she doing?” Erin asked before stuffing a fluffy piece of pink cotton candy in her mouth. It dissolved sweetly on her tongue as she offered Anna a piece.
“It won’t be long before she goes,” Anna said refusing the sweet confection with a shake of her head.
“I’m sorry,” Erin said as she stuffed the last piece into her mouth.
“Don’t be. She’s been planning on moving to Florida for months now. She says there are too many silver foxes down there on the beach to pass up.”
“Ewww,” Erin groaned.
“You’re telling me.” Anna trotted off, calling, “Later,” over her shoulder.
Erin watched her disappear into the crowd before searching for somewhere to throw her trash. She finally found a rusted barrel-turned-trashcan on the far end of the fair grounds. Erin tossed in the cotton candy stick, but because the can was over flowing, it fell to the ground. Sighing, she bent to retrieve the stick. As she was stuffing the paper into the rusted barrel, a brightly colored tent caught her attention. It was sitting off in the corner, well away from everything else. Her curiosity piqued, she made her way toward it. As she approached the entrance of the tent, she saw a wooden sign above the tent swinging gently as though it was caught in a soft evening breeze, causing the metal brackets to creak eerily.
“Odd,” she muttered. The sign said “Psychic Readings $5” in faded red lettering. Erin felt a strange pull, like she was supposed to go inside. She hesitantly pushed the flaps aside and stepped into the darkness.
“Hello?” she called out. No answer.
The sounds of the music and laughter from outside seemed to vanish once she was inside the tent. It was as if she’d stepped into a sound proof room. Erin blinked her eyes rapidly, trying to adjust them to the darkness. The heavy scent of sandalwood and cinnamon clung to the air. The room was barren except for a small round table in the middle, covered with a purple cloth with heavy gold stitching. In the center of the table was a large, clear crystal ball. The only light in the room seemed to be emitting from the crystal orb.
“What a cliché,” she muttered. This time she felt the mysterious breeze and with it came the distinct feeling of being watched. She turned and looked behind her, but there was no one there. When Erin turned back around, a startled cry slipped from her lips. Sitting at the table was an old woman, leathery with age and watching her with cloudy eyes.
“Come closer, child,” the woman said, holding out a thin, bony hand. The blue veins on the back of her hand stood out in bold contrast to her tanned skin.
“I don’t think so,” Erin said, slowly backing away.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Erin,” the woman said. Her voice was gravely, but otherwise kind.
Erin stopped retreating the second she heard her name, her heart hammering against her ribs. “How do you know my name?” Erin tried to force her voice out strongly, but it barely came out above a whisper.
The old woman chuckled. “Like I said, I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Come sit and we’ll talk,” the woman said.
Erin tried to will her feet to turn and flee but, as if they were moving of their own will, she walked toward the table instead. Sitting in the plush chair, she stared across the table at the old woman, unsure of what to say.
“I’m Madam Maggie,” the woman said, extending her hand out across the table once more. This time Erin accepted it and to her surprise the old woman’s grip was strong and firm.
“How do you know my name?”
“Why did you come in here?” Maggie asked in turn.
“I don’t know.”
“Sometimes we are drawn to things we do not fully understand. We are drawn to these things because it’s part of the path we are destined to be on. We don’t often have a say in the course that our life is on, but you . . .” Maggie hummed low in her throat, her eyes vacant. “Yes, your destiny is intertwined with several other destinies.”
Then she idly ran a hand over the smooth surface of the crystal ball and it went from clear to cloudy. Erin gasped, but Maggie continued, oblivious to Erin’s unease. “I’m guessing you are here because you felt pulled here, like a magnet to its true north. Am I correct?”
Erin stared at Maggie wide-eyed and nodded.
“Erin, there are great things in store for you. Your life is about to change.”
“How do you know all of this?”
“Came to me in a dream,” Maggie shrugged.
Erin tensed and Maggie didn’t miss the reaction. “Ah,” she said, sitting back in her chair. Lacing together her twisted fingers, she pressed her index fingers to her lips.
“Your twenty-first birthday is soon, correct?”
“It’s in two days,” Erin confirmed.
“Your dreams are going to get much stronger before then,” Maggie said, staring into the crystal ball.
“How do you know all of this?” Erin knew her question was getting repetitive, but it was the only thing she could pull out of her worried brain.
“You are a special child, born to a very special family. Through the generations, your family has been protected. You are the only girl in your entire family line.”
“What?” Erin gasped.
“Yes, your family goes back to the Civil War, but you are the only female descendant, and that makes you very special.” Maggie lifted her gaze as they locked eyes once more and for a moment Erin thought she saw a sparkle there.
Feeling uncomfortable, Erin stood to leave and in her haste her chair fell to the floor. She dug in her pocket for some money, but when she looked up, Maggie was gone. Feeling chilled to the bone, Erin hurried from the tent. Running blindly through the crowd, faces began to blur. In her frantic retreat, her feet became tangled and she felt herself pitching forward. Squeezing her eyes closed, she braced herself for impact.
“Whoa there,” came a man’s thick accented voice. He caught her firmly by the arms, pinning them to her sides.
When Erin didn’t hit the ground, she opened her eyes and found herself staring up into a pair of dark gray eyes.
“I-I’m sorry,” she stammered. She took a deep breath, trying to steady her nerves, but her body shook violently.
“What has got you so startled?” he questioned gently. The stranger still held her close against his chest. Erin couldn’t speak. She only stared into his eyes and felt as if they were pulling her in. His voice was calm and somehow seemed to ease her frayed nerves. Erin’s breathing began to slow and her heartbeat became steady.
“The old woman vanished. I mean, one minute she was there and then--then the next she was gone.” The words tumbled quickly from Erin’s mouth.
The man chuckled. “Madam Maggie has a tendency of doing that.”
“She does that often?” Erin asked, trying to ignore the warming affect his laughter had on her.
“Almost every night,” he said. Finally, he released her arms and she wobbled slightly. When he reached out to steady her, she batted his hand away, already feeling foolish and more than adequately embarrassed.
“Come. Let me get you something to drink. Perhaps that will calm your nerves,” he said, guiding her through the crowd. His hand hovered just above the small of her back, but she could feel the heat as if he were touching her. Erin watched him from the corner of her eye and swore she saw him look over his shoulder toward the tent.
“I really think I should be going,” she said, moving away from him.
“If you insist, but I do know of a little stand that serves the best cherry cokes. They grow the cherries themselves,” he said smoothly.
Erin wanted to refuse, but couldn’t. “I am a little thirsty.”
“Wonderful,” he said delighted.
As they walked, a cool breeze washed over them and Erin shivered. He shrugged out of his hooded sweatshirt and handed it to her.
“I can’t take that,” she said, feeling a bit awkward about taking a strange man’s shirt.
“But you’re freezing,” he said.
“Yes but you will be cold if I take it,” Erin argued.
“Don’t worry about me. I don’t get cold easily. Trust me.” He handed her the shirt and for a moment she just stared up at him. His accent was bizarre and at the same time strangely hypnotic. He spoke so eloquently and proper, she wondered if he were some sort of scholar.
Finally taking the shirt, she pulled it over her head. The chill from the night was instantly gone. His shirt felt as if it had been pulled directly from the dryer. The inside wasn’t just warm, it was almost hot, and the outside felt the same way. When she looked up at him, he was staring into the darkness of the nearby woods.
Trying not to be rude, Erin cleared her throat softly. “I don’t believe I caught your name.”
He seemed startled by her voice and looked down at her with confused eyes, but the look vanished so quickly Erin wandered if she had imagined it.
“How rude of me. I am Angelo,” he said, smiling broadly.
“Angelo? That’s not a very common name,” Erin said. She mentally chided herself for being so rude.
“I’m from Romania.”
“That explains the accent.” She just stared at him for a long moment.
“And your name is?” he pressed.
“Oh, um, Erin” she said dumbly. Her cheeks flamed with embarrassment. How could she have been so stupid as to have forgotten to tell him her name?
They walked in silence. Even though the hour was growing late, a few people still lingered around the fair grounds. Erin tried to focus on the activities going on around her but found her thoughts wandering back to Angelo. He towered over her by at least six inches, and his smell, Lord in heaven, he smelled good. She took a deep breath and the fragrance from his shirt engulfed her. The smell was sweet, but she could not place exactly what it was. She wondered what kind of fabric softener he used. She made a mental note to go to the store the next day and not leave until she found the brand he used. Why are you being so scatter brained tonight? She shook her head trying to clear away all of her internal ramblings.
“Here we are,” he said, flashing a wide smile.
They were standing in the brightest part of the carnival, in front of a stand that flashed Homemade Cherry Pie. She turned to look up at him and for the first time, the full impact of his looks hit her. He was beautiful. He stared down at her and she was unable to take her eyes off his face.
Angelo’s hair was pulled back tightly and secured at the nape of his neck. It was hard to tell, but it looked to be black as coal. The flashing lights seemed to make it shimmer. His cheekbones were high and hidden beneath dark stubble. Normally, she wouldn’t have found that attractive, but for some reason, it was immensely appealing at that moment. Dark eyebrows sat neatly above light gray eyes. Huh? she thought. She could have sworn they were dark gray earlier, but as she looked at them again, they seemed to grow lighter before her eyes. They were the exact shade of a new nickel. His eyes were fringed by thick black lashes, the type of lashes most women dreamed about having. Damn, he’s flawless.
Angelo wore a plain white shirt that hugged every contour of his torso. The shirt was tucked neatly into a pair of dark, distressed denim jeans. He wore a simple belt, but in its simplicity it was sexy. Erin wondered if what lay beneath his jeans was just as perfectly built as the upper portion of him was. What is coming over me? It was unlike her to think of a man in such a way.
Erin jerked her eyes away from the front of his jeans and Her gaze landed on his lips. Her mouth suddenly went painfully dry. The bottom lip was full and the top was slightly thinner, but just as perfect. She wondered what it would be like to have his lips on hers. Would his mouth taste as sweet as he smelled? Her heart knocked against her ribs, and it seemed like the simple act of breathing was becoming a chore.
She could see his lips were moving, but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. Everything around her seemed to have grown quiet; the only thing she could hear was her pulse throbbing in her ears like a bass drum. Erin pulled her eyes from his mouth and looked back into his eyes. They were staring down at her intensely and in them she saw something, she felt something.
She blinked rapidly and suddenly everything came rushing back, the loud music of the rides, the high pitched squeal of children, and him. He was saying something to her. She shook her head again, hoping it would clear her mind.
“Are you okay?” Angelo asked, his voice laced with concern.
“I’m not sure. I feel a bit light headed.” Erin could feel the crimson rising in her cheeks.
“Perhaps you need to sit down?”
“No, I think I just need to go home,” and take a cold shower, she added mentally.
“Of course. Please, let me walk you home?” He held out his hand for her to follow.
“No,” she said a little too quickly. “I just live right there.” She pointed to the building across the street.
“I would not rest well if I did not at least walk you to your door. Please?” His voice was soft, but implied that he would not take no for an answer.
Not sure of what to say, they both walked in a somewhat awkward silence toward her apartment. Though it was only a few hundred yards, it might as well have been a few hundred miles. Angelo’s nearness was slowly unraveling her already frayed nerves.
Finally reaching the front door, Erin turned and was startled by his nearness. Lord in heaven, why me? Even in the dim light she could see he was smiling. “Are you always smiling?” she asked, mentally wondering why her brain and her mouth were not working on the same page.
“I do when I am in the presence of a beautiful woman,” he answered smoothly.
Her cheeks grew warm. “Well thank you again,” she said, turning her back to him and placing her keys in the lock.
“It was my pleasure,” he said.
Erin pushed open the door and remembered his shirt. “You forgot your . . .” She turned and her mouth fell open, he was gone. She looked up and down the street, but did not see him. Feeling suddenly chilled and as if she was being watched, she quickly closed the door and locked it securely. Erin hurried up the stairs to her apartment and, with more force than she intended, she slammed the door behind her. She leaned heavily against the door, her body trembling.
Erin secured the locks, something she never did, and made a mental note to purchase a chain lock at the hardware store the next day. As she walked through her apartment, she flipped on every switch she had. For some reason she didn’t want to be alone in the dark. Across the street she could see the carnival lights winking out, one by one. Her eyes scanned the grounds until they came to rest on the stand where Angelo had taken her. She hoped she could catch a glimpse of him again, but those hopes were dashed when she saw the lights were already off. Then something pulled her gaze away from the stand and to the shadowy copse of trees just beyond the fairgrounds. She couldn’t help the feeling of dread that crept through the air and clutched at her throat. Something was hiding in the darkness, watching her. Perhaps she was still shaken up by the old woman and she was imagining things, but somehow she didn’t think that was the case. Something was out there and she could feel the eyes watching her. Erin snapped the heavy blinds closed and drew the curtains tightly together.
Peeling her jeans from her frozen legs, Erin slipped into a pair of sweats. She removed Angelo’s sweatshirt and was about to toss it to the floor, but stopped. She lifted the soft fabric to her nose and took a deep breath. The familiar scent filled her nose, bringing Angelo’s image rushing back to her. “Girl, this man has messed with your brain,” she said to the empty room.
Erin pulled the shirt back over her head and snuggled deep inside, taking another deep breath; she just couldn’t get enough of the smell. Crawling to the center of the bed, she pulled her knees up to her chest. Though her room was warm, she couldn’t stop shivering as she thought about her conversation with Maggie. Maggie’s words came back to her. How had the old woman known about the dreams? Erin squeezed her eyes closed trying to makes sense of it all. The only thing that kept flashing behind her closed eyes was Angelo. Erin stifled a yawn and slipped beneath the covers, deciding the lights were staying on for the night. She slowly drifted to sleep allowing the image of silver eyes and his sweet lingering smell to carry her off her into the world of dreams.

Angelo watched Erin’s window from street below, his mind clamoring loudly. Everything was happening just like he knew it would, but there were some things happening he had not been prepared for. He hadn’t expected the girl to be so beautiful, and he definitely hadn’t counted on feeling something for her. In order for things to work, he needed to keep his nearness strictly business, but somehow that thought seemed unlikely.
Blending into the shadows, Angelo disappeared into the night.
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