Title: Angel by Laura Lee
Publisher: Itineris Press
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, M/M, Romance
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Provided by Blog Tour Company
Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his religious duties by rote. Everything changes the day he enters the church lobby and encounters a radiant, luminous being lit from behind, breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with life. An angel. For a moment Paul is so moved by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees and pray.
Even after he regains his focus and realizes he simply met a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction for the young man, which puzzles him even as it fills his thoughts and fires his feelings. Paul has no doubt that God has spoken to him through this vision, and Paul must determine what God is calling him to do.
Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul’s ministry but put him at odds with his church as he is forced to examine his deeply held beliefs and assumptions about himself, his community, and the nature of love.
Laura Lee’s Angel is a thought provoking faith-based male/male romance. It is a realistic and emotional story that is quite compelling and full of emotions. It will challenge the reader to contemplate how many religions handle the subject of homosexuality in both their clergy and their congregation. It will also raise questions about how your own personal beliefs fit in with your church’s stance and teachings.
In the aftermath of his beloved wife’s death, Paul Tobin’s passion for his ministry has waned and he is basically going through the motions as he performs his religious duties. But his chance meeting with the much younger Ian Finnerty proves to be life altering in many ways. Ian is an alcoholic gay man whose life is dramatically different from Paul’s. Ian has no faith and he drinks his way from one night stand to another. In helping Ian conquer his addiction to alcohol, Paul finds the inspiration he has lost. But it is his attraction to Ian that brings the most changes to his life. Paul must reconcile his newfound sexuality with his own lifelong beliefs as well as those of his church and his congregation.
Angel is a very contemplative and spiritual novel. It is a little slow moving in the beginning, but it gains momentum once Ian and Paul begin their relationship. There is an emotional intimacy between Paul and Ian that initially brings the two men together and their transition from friends to lovers is unhurried. While Angel is a romance, it is not an erotic romance, and their sex scenes are not graphic.
Ian and Paul’s theological discussions are quite detailed and informative. It is through these talks that Paul finds a renewed zeal for his ministry and Ian gains a better understanding of religion. Paul is often at odds with his own convictions and he struggles with his emerging sexual attraction and love for Ian.
Angel by Laura Lee is an insightful view into the intricacies of religion and homosexuality. This beautifully written and moving work of literary fiction challenges the reader to examine what it means to be a Christian.
I am the author of 14 books, best known for my non-fiction titles including Blame it on the Rain (Harper Collins), The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation (Black Dog and Leventhal), Broke is Beautiful (Running Press), and the forthcoming Don’t Screw It Up! (Reader’s Digest). Angel is my first novel. I divide my time between writing and producing educational ballet tours.