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le 7 janvier 2009
I have been reading for more years than I care to acknowledge and have never encountered a book that impacted me as much as 'Midnight Angel' by Lisa Marie Rice (Ellora's Cave Publishing).
Forgive me if I wax poetic, but this is, indeed, the perfect book. Words and phrases are honed to perfection, description and dialogue in perfect balance and harmony. The sex is graphic but without dark undertones. The suspense is intense but not over the top. The dialogue is believable, unstilted and without misstep.
Douglas Kowalski is a retired Navy SEAL working in his ex-commander John Huntington's private security company. He is a large man who bears the scars of war and life. He describes himself as 'ugly': a large raised scar on his face, a many-times broken nose, pock-marked skin and small eyes. At an exhibit of rare Russian jewels coordinated by Huntington's wife, Douglas is inexorably drawn to the woman providing the musical background for the evening. She is Irish beauty Allegra Ennis, harpist, vocalist and friend of Suzanne Huntington.
Douglas is well aware of how people look away from him and avoid eye contact because of his looks, but feels it on a deeper level when it appears that Allegra is doing the same when they are introduced. However, it is not long before he realizes she is blind and immediately appoints himself as her protector, getting her champagne and guiding her back up on stage when her break is over. What follows next grabs you by the throat and this book is off and running.
Other reviewers have likened this story to Beauty and the Beast but I take exception. Douglas is NOT a beast...he is a complex, complicated human being who hides a love of music (especially opera) under his rough exterior. Allegra realizes this about him and is as drawn to him as he is to her.
This is the most beautiful love story I have ever had the privilege of reading. It is erotic, romantic, tender, heartbreaking and, ultimately uplifting. The final line of the epilogue sums it up magnificently. If you read only one book, please consider 'Midnight Angel'. It is, quite simply, wonderful.