Friday, January 13, 2017

BOOK TOUR : REVIEW of LUCIAN DIVINE by RENEE CARLINO


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TITLE: Lucian Divine
AUTHOR: Renee Carlino
PUBLISHER: Self-published
PUBLICATION DATE: Jan. 9, 2017
GENRE: Paranormal Romance SOURCE:
AUTHOR via Ink Slinger Pr 
 FORMAT: eARC
PAGES: 260
READING CHALLENGES: COYER Blackout, 2017 New Release

“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey's life is at a standstill. She's in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It's absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.


And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he's a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he's brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he's brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as ----. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.


For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God.


Yes, God as in God.


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Having never read anything written by Renee Carlino prior to this, I was happy to receive an eArc of her latest novel.  My excitement stemmed from all the great things that I have heard about her work. My excitement increased exponentially when I discovered that the story involved a guardian angel falling in love with his charge. I am such a sucker for these types of stories.  Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived.  For the first quarter of the book, everything was going well, but then it took a nose dive but managed to get back on track within 80% of the story. It was not altogether a bad read, but personally, I believed it could have been better.
Although I encountered issues that placed a damper on my reading experience, there were some aspects of the story which I found entertaining. The parts I enjoyed were

 The Premise
   As stated earlier, I found the idea of a guardian angel falling in love with his charge intriguing. It reminded me of the Movie City of Angels which starred Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan.

POVs:  
All who read my reviews knows that I am a big fan of stories told from the characters’ POVs.  In this case, the story was told from the POV of Lucian and Evelyn, which gave me a front row seat into their thoughts and feelings.

 Author’s Approach: 
 The author provided a unique approach to the story. The guardian angel stories have been done several times, however, the author placed her own twist to this story which resulted in a unique creation.  I loved her take on angels. For instance, Lucian is a guardian angel who had a close relationship with alcohol, cursed like a sailor and was a notorious rule breaker. They were heavenly beings who were endowed with human emotions.  They used social media and they even used the popular dating site Tinder.

The Message: 
The message portrayed was profound. It reminded how powerful faith can be if only believe. Although there were no religious connotations, this story reminded how powerful hope, faith, and love were. They cannot exist on their own. The story demonstrated that when you have all three you have the strength to overcome obstacles.


Now on to the areas that I felt needed some work,
Characters: 
I had a difficult time connecting with the main characters. I believed that this had to do with the fact that their emotions were all over the place.

Romance:  
Personally, I felt that they fell in love too quickly. One moment they are meeting in a bar and the next they are head over heels in love with each other. There was no development in the romance which led to it appearing unrealistic. The relationship moved rather quickly.

 Flow: 
The story lacked fluidity. There was a lot of skipping in between scenes, which made it feel like large chunks of the story was missing. It was not clear as to the timeframe of the events.  Unfortunately, I can’t provide an example as to what I am referring to, without including spoilers, so I will leave it at that.

VERDICT
Lucian Divine had the potential to be a five-star read, unfortunately, it missed the mark. In spite of the issues encountered, I enjoyed the story, but it was not my favourite read. That being said, I would recommend that you read it for yourself as your experience may be different from mine.  Would, I read more from this author? Yes, most definitely





Renee-121
Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

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