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Divinely Ruined by Diane Alberts
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This review is also posted at The Bawdy Book Blog.

Divinely Ruined is a cute story of a broken angel trying to earn her wings by saving a man from committing murder. The idea that an angel needs to pass muster before getting his or her wings was intriguing all of its own accord, but throw an unexpected romance into the mix and I was a little sold on the deal!

I originally disliked all the names except for Rebecca’s. The problem with names is one can have preconceived notions about who fits what kind of name (ie – when I read the name Miranda, I could think of no one else but Miranda from Sex and the City, even though I never really watched the show). This is not a fault or criticism of the author, but merely my observation of how much pop culture can influence us. Anyway, somewhere along the way, their personalities molded into their names and all of a sudden, it just clicked for me.

I think the author danced delicately around the subject of religion, but I think it would have been really great to see her dive right in, when Rebecca and Anthony discussed the topics about losing faith and whether or not they believe. I think Alberts could have taken it much further with the message to not lose your faith, without becoming preachy.

The development of the relationship between Rebecca and Anthony did feel a little rushed, however, given the length of the story, I can understand how it needed to unfold in a certain amount of time. But I think the novella could have benefited from being a full-length novel; I was really interested in the characters and how they developed over time. I wanted to know them so much better and longer than I did.

It did feel a little like I was in a vacuum, because there weren’t that many characters in Divinely Ruined. I think there are only five active named characters and one other named character that is only mentioned in conversation, yet still plays an indirect role in the book. I like when secondary characters influence a story and its direction and there wasn’t really any of that in Divinely Ruined, so that was a little disappointing (but not much!).

The verbal banter was spot on; I enjoyed the repartee and the sexual tension between Anthony and Rebecca. Anthony as a single dad who needed to “get his” came across loud and clear when he first meets her, and somewhere along the way… Anyway, it was clear they wanted each other, but – given Rebecca’s situation – couldn’t technically have each other, and so the sexual tension just continues to build. Throw into the mix that Anthony IS a single dad and you get a lot of “awwww” and a few “oops!” moments as well to giggle and guffaw right through the novel while Rebecca tries to save his soul. I also loved the role-reversal when Tony has to “save” Rebecca.

All in all, Divinely Ruined is a completely heart-warming story of love and second chances. ( )
  sunshinejenn03 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Divinely Ruined was a very sweet love story about an Angel and Man lacking faith. When the two cross paths fireworks will erupt. With their scarred past, both will attempt to ignore the obvious evidence of attraction. Determined to earn her wings; Rebecca sets herself in Tony and Miranda’s lives as times passes she will finds herself absorbed into Tony’s family effortlessly. As the days pass she dreads a time when she will no longer be needed. An unexpected turn of events leave her with amnesia, and she must remember who she is and her purpose or is this life what she really wanted all along?

~BookWhisperer Reviewer JO~ ( )
  BookWhisperer | Aug 25, 2012 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A cute little story of temptation and redemption, full of witty remarks and sexual tension.

Opening Sentence: From the moment Rebecca set out to become an angel, she’d known she wasn’t the ideal candidate.

The Review:

Divinely Ruined is a feel good story with a great happily-ever-after. Not only does it involve an angel with a foul mouth and terrible social skills, but also a man that holds very impure thoughts concerning a very celestial woman. If that wasn’t enough to hook you in, how about we throw in an immortal soul in peril and a little girl’s life hanging in the balance?

Rebecca Chance sucks as an angel-in-training. She has temper issues and one hell of a potty mouth. No matter how hard she tries, this angel business is harder than it looks. So when she is finally assigned to help a man save his soul from damnation, all her hopes for a future as an angel hinges on her performance. Can she save Tony from committing murder and therefore save his soul, or will he be her very own fall from Heaven?

Anthony “Tony” Weis is a man down on his luck. A single father, now forced to close down his business and leave his home, is a little low on faith these days. So when a gorgeous woman shows up and tells him that she is there to save his soul, he is decidedly unimpressed. Tony is sexy, stubborn, gruff, and only nice to one person in the whole world, his little girl Miranda. Can Tony trust this strange woman enough to let her into his and his daughter’s lives? Can he keep his impure thoughts to himself?

But this story would be boring if not for a fatalistic twist: in saving Miranda, Rebecca loses her memory. She cannot remember that she is an angel-in-training or, for that matter, why she is with Tony and Miranda in the first place. Her life hinges on Tony’s help now. Will he do the right thing by Rebecca or will he give into temptation?

The feel good part of the story stems around the equal partnership developed between the two main characters. The beginning is about Rebecca saving Tony. The reversal happens, and Tony is in charge of caring for Rebecca. Understandably, there are several obstacles in their way, not including the angel/mortal thing. But when that particular, if not insurmountable, obstacle is taken away, can they work through the rest their problems and find true happiness and love? Though the characters are not well established in terms of background, they do come across as likable. There is no need for extensive background information, even though it would be interesting to explore the angel-in-training program in future books. I especially enjoyed little Miranda’s escapades throughout the story. It puts a wonderful spin on the single father search for love theme.

Though the story itself is not a difficult read, it is very much an enjoyable one. I spend much of my time reading long and drawn out serial arcs, several books long, that I find this book a nice cleanser for my reading palate. Another interesting addition that I liked was that each chapter begins with an angel rule that sets its tone. I recommend this story as a nice read on a lazy afternoon if you’re looking for something that will leave you smiling when it is done.

Notable Scene:

“This isn’t about Miranda at all,” she whispered, mouth dry. “It’s about you.”

His fingers curled against her chin. His skin grazed against hers with electric friction. He tipped her chin up.

“Maybe it is. You make me happy, Rebecca. I haven’t been happy in a long time. When you’re in the room, I forget to be angry and I just…laugh. That means more to me than years of history or awkward dates to get to know each other. Seeing my little girl happy, too? Means more than even that.” His mouth creased. “But that’s inappropriate, isn’t it?”

Her heart slammed rapidly in her chest. She thought it might burst through her ribs and tumble into his hands. He already had a tight grip on it, when she knew it was wrong. Why did he have to say these things? Why did he have to tempt her? And why was it so wrong for her to need this? Rebecca pulled free from his grip and turned her face away, trying to calm her erratic breaths. “You’re confused. That’s all it is. I’m supposed to help you find the path to happiness. You’re confusing that with romantic feelings. I guess this happens to angels a lot.”

“You’re not an angel yet.” He leaned down, bowing over her. His lips caressed the air just a breath away from hers. Each exhalation curled over her cheeks, teasing and sensitizing her skin until her knees weakened and her shallow breaths quickened. “How much would you hate me if I kissed you right now?”

The Divine Temptations Trilogy:

1. Divinely Ruined

FTC Advisory: Entangled Publishing graciously provided me with a copy of Divinely Ruined. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payments I receive are hugs and kisses from my little boys. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jul 12, 2012 |
Rebecca Chance has lived a life that has been anything but happy. She has had boyfriends who were abusive, terrible jobs, suffered through the death of family, and she has given up on her dreams. When presented with an opportunity to turn things around, she jumps at. Rebecca is an angel in training, and in the process of trying to earn her wings. Her first assignment is to save Tony Weis' soul, by keeping him from committing murder. Needles to say, Tony is pretty skeptical when this beautiful woman shows up claiming to be an angel and telling him she is there to save him. Did I mention that Rebecca has a problem with her mouth, which doesn't help the situation. Tony lives with his daughter Miranda, and is raising her alone after his wife left him, and he is very bitter with women because of this. Nevertheless, little Miranda is the light of his life and he would do anything for her. Rebecca refuses to fail at her first assignment and proceeds to move in with Tony and Miranda, determined she is going to save his soul. Rebecca is a very beautiful woman, and Tony, well he is pretty hot himself. Rebecca has very hard time keeping her thoughts about Tony pure. On top of that, she can read Tony's thoughts, and his thoughts regarding her are anything but pure, which makes the temptation that much harder.

After an incident occurs that causes Rebecca lose her memory, Tony is determined to take care of her. The chemistry between Rebecca and Tony is off the charts, and this time, the situation is reversed with Rebecca pursuing Tony, and Tony trying to keep her pure until she gets her memory back, all the while being afraid of what will happen when she does. What will happen when Rebecca finally has to choose between love and becoming an angel?

I really enjoyed this book. It is a great romance with a paranormal twist. This story is so much more than just another angel story. It's a story of woman and man trying to push past the hardships they have been dealt in life, trying to find love, happiness, and acceptance again. The story line is fun and entertaining, with its intense moments, and the romance......well let's just say it gets pretty hot, especially at the end. Divinely Ruined is short, fast-paced, and delightful read and if you love romance, this is a great story to read. Please note that are some adult scenes in this book that are not suitable for younger readers. ( )
  alwaysyaatheart | Jul 6, 2012 |
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