This year's Cybs have popped out an unusual crop in the paranormal teen novel category -- angels. Maybe it's only unusual to me -- I never thought of angels as having lives, romances, disputes, but hey -- science fiction and fantasy is all about "What If," right? We had Starfire Angels who were kind of vaguely sci-fi, Strange Angels wherein no angels actually even appeared and then two books where the angels were a little more... unexpected. Here are the two titles that stuck with me.
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors, is one of my favorites in the angel genre -- and because the first Selfour book I read was about a mermaid in a bathtub, I knew she was good at "what if" scenarios, and she shines with this zany little romantic comedy.
Katrina is just your average working stiff -- trying to help her grandma keep a roof over their heads by working all the hours she can at the Norwegian coffee shop they own. It's a stodgy old place where they only make coffee one way, there's no Wifi, and the sandwiches have sardines and pickled onions. I said Norwegian, right? Unfortunately for Katrina, there's a really hip coffeehouse next door -- and it's about to run her grandma out of business.
There's a lot more bad luck on the way, but Katrina's still got the heart to do a good deed. A homeless guy in the alleyway outside of the shop gets a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans, some day old danishes, and a big cup of coffee, on the house. It's the least she could do for someone who's had to sleep in the cold.
One selfless act.
It's amazing how much trouble that can get you into.
The homeless guy -- when he's awake -- is actually a gorgeous kilted "messenger" named Malcolm. And not particularly easy to get rid of. He just wants to repay Katrina for her kindness -- to give her what her heart desires. That can't be so bad, right?
Hush, Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick introduces us to Nora Grey, who has no interest in high school romance. Her friend Vee is the one with stars in her eyes, and Nora has no problem turning off the charm, until Patch, the darkly seductive and broody new guy...
...who seems to be sort of everywhere. And for a new guy, he knows an awful lot about her. Now, why is that?
Nora's a little shaken -- granted, Patch is cute, and really intense, but there are weird things that happen around him. Almost accidents, near misses -- Nora's beginning to wonder if Patch isn't out to hurt her. Or, is he there to help?
Secretive, manipulative and obsessive, Patch has a lot of similarities to a.) vampires, and b.) other evil characters who mistake obsession with relationship, but in his case, there's (somewhat of ) a reason for it -- a reason that's been going on for thousands of years. Critical readers might raise a brow at a few of the stock characters and a few "Oh, please, she isn't going to do that is she??" moments, but for those looking for a "spooky dark lover" fix and who aren't turned off by the hype the novel's received, this will go down like candy.
You can find Coffeehouse Angel, and Hush, Hush, as well as Starfire Angels at independent bookstore near you!