March 29, 2018

REVIEW: Angels Fall (Original Sin #2)

Angels Fall (Original Sin #2), by JA Huss and Johnathan McClain
Publish Date:
March 27, 2018
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by the authors
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(Synopsis) Sometimes angels fall. 

Maddie doesn’t really owe drug lord, Carlos Castillo, money. So she hadn’t taken his threats seriously. Until now. He wants it, whether she owes it or not. And if she doesn’t have it in six weeks he’s gonna take her as payment instead.

Tyler would save the world if he could. That’s a fight that lasts forever. And if there’s one thing he’s good at, it’s fighting. So if Maddie thinks she’s gonna deal with an insane drug lord on her own, she’s crazier than he is.

She’s got a debt she can’t pay. He’s got more money than he needs.She’s not gonna fall for his charm. He’s gonna make sure that happens.

They’re destined to be together. Even if Maddie doesn’t know it yet.

Sometimes your soul mate isn’t who you’d choose, it’s who you need.

Good thing you don’t get to choose.

Two books in to the Original Sin series, I'm totally on board with this brand new writing duo. I've been a big fan of Julie Huss' for years now, but this series is her first foray into co-authoring, so I didn't know how it would go. You know? I think I can safely say at this point that I love the work that she's putting out in partnership with actor and audiobook narrator Johnathan McClain. It feels like a JA Huss book, but yet it has a slightly different flavor and voice, which, I think, really is enhancing this reading experience. 

Since this is the second book in a four-book series, and a lot of the events in book two are a continuation of things that started in book one, I can't go into a lot of detail about what happened. However, here's what I CAN say...

In the beginning of Angels Fall, Maddie and Tyler had an insurmountable gulf to overcome if they were to have any sort of relationship. They were also in two very different places as to their future goals - Tyler was all in. He was going after Maddie full boar and was not going to take no for an answer. Maddie, however, wanted nothing to do with Tyler and was sure she could never get over her anger and disappointment in him. However, Tyler's persistence and Maddie's acceptance of things that can't be changed made huge strides, and toward the end of this book, we saw them finally moving in the right direction, which made my heart so freaking happy.

Angry Sex (... and Make-up Sex... and Kinky Sex... and Tunnel Sex... and...)
Maddie hating Tyler for a period of time during this book didn't put any damper on their sex. Like, AT ALL. I was cool with that, because it proved that, even though they were not in a good place, there was still all this passion between them, and that's a start. Even the super angry sex signified hope to me, because if Maddie truly didn't want anything to do with Tyler, I have every confidence, she would've put him in his place and moved on. Instead, they took out their frustrations and their sadness and their love and their anger on each other, and it made for some incredibly awesome reading.

Revisiting the Past
The big focal point of Angels Fall is rehashing what happened to Scotty and how it affected Maddie and Tyler, both individually, and now as a couple. We heard Tyler's account of the events in book 1, and in book 2, we get Maddie's perspective. We get to see the healing affect it has on both of them. Even before Maddie talks to Tyler about it all, we see her taking steps to get past the tragedy - steps she should've taken a long time ago. But, it's in these actions that we can see that, even though she's still incredibly mad at Tyler, his influence in her life now is a positive one. The character growth that the authors have injected into Maddie and Tyler is incredibly satisfying and very well done.

Hope in the Face of Tragedy
Despite Maddie and Tyler getting to a hesitantly good place together by the end of Angels Fall, there's no doubt that there's still plenty of bad stuff swirling around them - particularly Maddie. Drug lord Carlos Castillo still wants his money, and his henchman Logan is wanting a little extra punishment on the side. Both Maddie and Tyler have been so despondent in their lives lately, to the point of each of them contemplating suicide. But, the reconnecting that Maddie starts and the healing that Tyler starts gives them the desire to finally start fighting back. There are some events at the end of Angels Fall that dramatically affect them, and now there is a fire lit beneath them that will carry into book 3. Carlos and Logan better watch out...

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