An Angel for Emily
An Angel for Emily could best be described as a contemporary/paranormal/suspense/reincarnation/romance story, or, in other words, too much. You know how stress can make you feel like eating a whole bag of Oreos in one sitting? Well, that’s about how I felt when I finished reading this book; I was confused. I couldn’t decide whether I liked it or not. There were things about the story I enjoyed. But there were significant problems, chief among them that I didn’t buy the premise. As you’d expect, that pretty much cast a pall over the entire read.
Emily Todd has apparently been through several reincarnations over the centuries before arriving as her present, modern-day self. She is driving recklessly down a country road and crashes into the hero. The hero is her guardian angel, who has loved her from afar over the eons and has come down to earth to rescue her from impending doom. I say hero here without divulging his name because, even after I knew his name, it bothered me to use it. Why, you ask? Because the hero chose the body of a Michael Chamberlain, a man recently shot to death in prison, as the body to materialize with. An angel in a dead man’s body and I am suppose to accept this person as the hero? This gave me the creeps. I could not understand how a guardian angel with supernatural abilities could not have created his own, believable earthly form complete with all the necessary papers.
Emily at first also had trouble believing the whole Michael/guardian angel thing. However, in order for the story to proceed, she had to eventually buy what Michael was selling and she did. As for me, I had to gloss over this little, macabre detail in order to keep reading the book, but it was always lurking in the back of my mind.
Emily and Michael team up as private investigators of sorts to ferret out the source of evil that Michael senses envelopes Emily in its aura. As I said earlier, Michael is already in love with Emily. It comes as no surprise when Emily realizes that she loves Michael. Subsequently, they consummate their relationship. How they consummate their relationship, however, merely drives another nail into the coffin of my disbelief. Imagine if you will making love to a man with huge, white, feathery. . .wings. Yes, this really does happen. Then to add a little spice to their burgeoning love life, Michael uses his white, fluffy wings to fly himself and Emily up into a tree so they can “do it” again. Excuse my slang, but this just totally ruded me out.
Angels in dead bodies aside, another problem this book had was that it had too much going on at once. It was first and foremost a paranormal, but then, like I said, there was a little reincarnation included and, also, a pitiful attempt at suspense was thrown in for good measure. The suspense element of the plot seemed to operate independently of the rest of the story. I felt it was added in an attempt to intensify the sense of danger we were suppose to feel as Emily and Michael pursued the ubiquitous evil. Oh, and lest I forget, the religious overtones were overdone to the extent that several times while I was reading this book I felt as though I was sitting through a Sunday sermon about the wonders of God.
Oddly enough, there were elements of this book I truly liked. If I could just forget that the hero was in angel in a dead man’s body and the wing thing, I liked the chemistry between Michael and Emily. In my opinion, if these two characters were given a different book to tell their story, I think it could have been a fabulous romance.
The author interjected some wonderful touches of humor. As an angel unused to earthly communication, Michael continually struggles with idiomatic English phrases. My personal favorite is when he tells Emily to “Elk up” when what he meant was “Buck up”. I have taken to using “Elk up” around the house just because I like the way it sounds. Another thing I liked were these cute, whimsical little ghosts who assisted Michael and Emily in various endeavors.
Michael and Emily had good chemistry and loved each other. They deserved a better story, and they certainly deserved a better ending – I don’t want to give away the story, but I will say that it involved another dead body, and that the whole process gave me the heebie-jeebies.
An Angel for Emily is not a lost cause. Though I could not believe the premise of the story, I enjoyed the lead characters, dead bodies notwithstanding. Ultimately, however, the book gave me the creeps, and there were enough bodies rising from the dead that I had to check several times to make sure I wasn’t reading a version of The Night of the Living Dead. I still can’t figure out who Michael Chamberlain really was, but Emily Todd did, and I guess that might be what really counts.