Dirty Angel by Barbara Elsborg

Art profile portrait of beautiful man with body of athlete. Photo.

Dying Sucks

Particularly when you discover there really is a hell. Aden thinks there’s no way he can avoid going down, but when an angel and demon can’t agree over his fate, Aden is given one more month to gain redemption. He doubts he can find a way to become a better man in so short a time. But it’s worth a try, right?

Living sucks

Particularly when you can’t shake free of an obsessive ex. Brody might be managing to hold down his job as a vet, but his personal life is a mess. If he doesn’t pull himself together soon, he’s going to be sliding downhill too fast to stop.

One wet night, on a dark country lane, two worlds collide and destinies change forever.

Kimi’s thoughts:

I love a great anti-hero, and this is exactly what I got. Aden has lived a rough life and it’s marked him. he’s not one of those inspirational sorts that rose above abuse and poverty to become a pillar of the community. He’s the guy that as a kid figured out how to take what he wanted, just make sure to not get caught because the punishment would make his life even more hell. As an adult, he had the common sense to restrict his vices to avoid arrest, but that didn’t mean he lived the straight and narrow. he still stole what he wanted, just making sure it wasn’t done in a way that could get him caught. He lived his life to excess, until one day, that caught up with him in a manner no one could have predicted. His last actions coupled with other incidents from childhood onwards lead him to hang in the balance as judgement finds him 50/50.

He’s given a second chance, one with a strict time limit and terms that can cut it short- with a trip straight to literal Hell.

Brody is a complicated character as well. He’s tormented with inner demons that lead to self-doubt and destructive tendencies. he has an ex who is absolutely obsessed with him, in the unhealthiest way possible. Unable to believe he deserves better, he gives in to temptations that physically and mentally hurt him, again, and again, and again. He’s moved house and changed jobs hoping to force a clean slate on himself and to make himself move forward. When Aden  appears in front of his car, the two men each see something inside the other that they each can not see for themselves.

It’s a chain reaction, each one setting the other off and the series of events that follow build up to a climatic conclusion that left me nearly breathless (not exaggerating!). It wrapped up to a satisfying conclusion that wasn’t schmaltzy but which was definitely a HEA. Well, as HEA as two complicated men can be.

Rating: 5

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