Review: Divinely Ruined by Diane Alberts

Filed in 5 Stars , Diane Alberts , featured , Review , The Needy Lover Posted on June 11, 2012 @ 7:00 am 9 comments

Format Read: ebook
Release Date: April 26, 2012
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Formats Available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, AuthorPublisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Book Blurb: 

She finally meets a decent man–after she’s oath-bound never to touch men again!

Rebecca’s life sucked before she became an angel. Crappy apartment, awful jobs, abusive boyfriends–it was no wonder she jumped at the chance to escape it all and become a real live angel. The problem is Rebecca’s not very angelic, and she’ll have to do more to earn her wings than end her love affair with the word f–er, frick.

Especially when she’s assigned to save single father Tony Weis, whose less-than-pure thoughts wreak hell on a telepathic angel’s nerves. It’s all Rebecca can do to keep her hands off him…but when she loses her memory injuring herself to save Tony’s daughter, now it’s Tony’s turn to be her angel and care for her. But will Tony’s devotion tempt her from her angelic path, even if it means being human again?


My Thoughts:

In the course of three years, Anthony had lost his job, his house, and the mother of his child–and would soon commit a murder. (pg. 2, Divinely Ruined)

Some books take a while to hit their stride, needing to lay down extensive plot and lengthy exposition before really hooking a reader. Not so with Divinely Ruined. By page two of this book, I was absolutely hooked. I needed to know more. Knew I’d devour the book quickly. The story’s main conflicts, as well as the nature of each main character…both were set up beautifully and immediately. Truly a treat when reading a story of limited length (in this case, around 40k words), where economy of length can mean potential limitations in effectiveness.

Along with that great initial story setup, Divinely Ruined establishes solid character connections very early on. By that, I’m not just referring to the connections between characters. I mean that, personally, I fell hard for all three main characters (Rebecca, Tony, and Miranda, Tony’s little daughter), and quickly at that. ^_^ Why? Because their personalities came across clearly, endearingly. Rebecca’s tart mouth and confused spirit, balanced with a nurturing, selfless nature. Tony, who tries his damnedest to provide for his one joy in life: his daughter. And Miranda’s innocence, her unfettered adoration for her father, her trusting disposition…it’s impossible not to love her too, even as she serves as a mirror and magnifier for all of Tony’s hopes and fears. This book takes such care with these characters’ emotional journeys that their heartbreaks, setbacks, and triumphs are felt keenly by the reader. I swear, my heart ached right alongside them (I won’t lie–I cried on occasion), and I smiled at the little moments of joy and levity.

Now, as for the connections among characters–specifically, between Rebecca and Tony. Theirs is an easy attraction, filled with many sweet moments. I enjoyed their repartee, which was clever and amusing, underscoring their differences even as it slowly revealed their similarities. And though they are both scarred individuals, touched by tragedy both past and present, their romance just feels…pure. Pure, even amongst those smoldering moments of longing and desire. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the prolonged state of potential romance (as opposed to realized) , but it was pitch perfect and fit the circumstances well.

Judging from the commentary above, you’re likely thinking, “This is totally a character book.” And that’d be right; all three of the main characters are searching for something personal, something internal. That search, wittingly or not, forms the basis of this tale. But the plot progression here is equally engaging. Crisp and purposeful, the story never seems to lag, nor does it feel like it glosses over crucial developments.

Which brings me to the concept. It is an angel story, but of a completely unexpected sort. There’s a recognizable thread of humanity in the otherworldly beings of this story, most especially exhibited by Rebecca. They are accessible, beings that strive for purpose like the rest of us. And the fact that there’s an angel training academy…well, I found that cute. ^_^ The scope of the tale is tightly focused, which I think further contributes to the strength of character connections. There’s enough world description to orient the reader in the story, but not so much as to detract from the cast’s journey.

Okay, so I’ll end the effusive rant already. ^_^ But guess what? This story is part of a trilogy! Sure, the next book will feature a (mostly) different set of characters, but it’s sure to foster that same easy, effortless emotional connection. If it’s even half as enjoyable as Divinely Ruined, I will be a fabulous tale.

Bottom Line: What can I say? Divinely Ruined is a pitch perfect romance that is at once pure and sensual, uplifting and heartrending, hilarious and solemn. The characters are the main draw, as Alberts gets them under your skin and into your heart almost immediately. This book is highly recommended if you crave a quick but robust and satisfying romantic read.

I give Divinely Ruined 5 stars!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Alisha

Alisha, the bespectacled and ever nerdy California girl, simply won't leave home without a book in hand. She loves language learnin' and is working toward becoming a bonafide grammar ninja. On any given day you'll find her haunting local libraries or baking scores of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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Join the Discussion
  • Alisha June 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

    And since there was no appropriate spot for it in the review, I just have to mention here that I loooove the original cover for this book. The current one is of course beautiful, as well… but there was something about that original one that initially drew me to the book. A relatively simple image of a red-headed angel holding an apple… It seemed to perfectly represent that play between the purity implied by Rebecca’s angelic pursuits and her inherent allure, her effortless attractiveness. Excellent, effective semiotics. ^_^

    But kudos to both cover artists (and if it’s the same person for both…you’re a badass, sir/madam!)

    • Stella June 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

      I know Alisha! When I recently saw this new cover I was a bit confused didn’t know if it was the same book. Just like you I preferred the initial cover it was really unique and eyecatching, more than this (though really nice looking) one. Wonderful review and now I can’t wait to read it! 😀

    • Diane Alberts June 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      He is the same artist–and my editor! They just wanted a more “paranormal romance” look to it. Know what I mean? I loved the other one, too. This one rocks, as well. It’s got Tony’s abs, after all. LOL

      • Alisha June 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm

        Oh, bless those abs. ^__^

  • Diane Alberts June 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you for the lovely review! 🙂

    • Alisha June 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thank YOU for writing it! I enjoyed the story immensely.

      (Now, as I read the posted review, I see I left out some *very* crucial words. Bad Alisha, no cookie! ^_^ Many pardons.)

  • aurian June 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Lol, you clearly loved this story. Question though, as it has angels: how biblical is it? Much praying and god loves you thingies?

    • Alisha June 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Hey aurian! These are indeed angels from heaven (as opposed to, say, Nalini Singh’s intimidating, ruler-type angels). And there are numerous references to “God” (though only a handful of those are in actual reference. The majority are of the “Oh, God” and “Good God” variety LoL). It’s spiritual (*not* religious) in the sense that the angels are trying to promote peace and share the grace of God. And the focus is more on the peace, love, and serenity part than the deity part. For those reasons, I would personally never call this Christian Fiction.

      That answer your Q okay?

      (btw…yes, you should definitely read it. ^_^)

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