When Sophia St. James learns that she’ll be moving from Los Angeles to a podunk town somewhere in Connecticut for her senior year of high school, she isn’t expecting an otherworldly encounter. But there is more to Haven Hurst than meets the eye: it’s home to a family of Guardian Angels, and she is the only one who can see them in spirit form. Sophia soon realizes she wants to see much more of Michael, an irresistible yet volatile Guardian who seems drawn to her too.
As Michael battles his forbidden desire for the beautiful young newcomer, one of Hell’s most notorious Demon Knights arrives. Handsome and charismatic, Dante has come to claim the reincarnated soul of his lost lover trapped in Sophia. Cursed with the demon of Persuasion living inside him, Dante will use his seductive charms to lure Sophia into a dangerous game that ends with the kiss of death—unless Michael, who has captured Sophia’s heart, can now capture her soul.
I have long been a fan of books that involve angels, prophecies and, humans who are more than they appear to be. The Forbidden, Lori Adams first book in the Soulkeepers trilogy gave me everything I like to find in an angel read and more.
Adams covers a lot of ground in this first read including why Sophia and her preacher father are moving across the country, why Sophia’s father is seemingly losing his mind, why the stunningly beautiful Michael Patronus and his stunningly beautiful brothers rarely ever mingle with the rest of the kids they go to school with and, why the strange new European boys are so intensely interested in Sophia. In addition to answering the above questions, Adams also has to provide a serious amount of information about the entire world she has created. Here’s the skinny:
The Patronus Family: Michael and his brothers Raphael, Gabriel and Uriel are Guardians. Their purpose on Earth is to help souls either back into their corporeal bodies if it isn’t quite their time or help guide their souls to Heaven. Beyond being a guardian, each of the brothers has a special gift or talent that aids them in their endeavors. Though Michael is the oldest of the group and has always been the most focused and dedicated, he is now the most conflicted and that has everything to do with the arrival of Sophia. Michael is connected to Sophia in a way that no one in the “other” world thought possible and the connection will be either the destruction or the salvation of the young Guardian.
Sophia: For her entire life Sophia has had one overriding and sometimes overwhelming thought, “What is my purpose?” After a particularly nasty incident with an ex-boyfriend, Sophia finds herself in a small Connecticut town making new friends and trying to get through her senior year with no problems. From the moment she sees Michael – in the “other”/spirit realm no less – she is drawn to him. She can’t understand the weirdness that happens when Michael is near and she certainly can’t understand why he hates her so very much. Though she doesn’t know it yet, Sophia is the key to everything and everything and everyone is interested in the path she will take.
Knights of the Unforgiven/Demon Knights: These are the big bads and they have come to town for one reason and one reason only, to collect Sophia’s soul. Posing as high school students, Dante and his gang of Demon Knights infiltrate Haven Hurst and cause as much trouble as they possibly can. The Demon Knights are devious, angry, desperate, volatile and, will stop at nothing to get what they came for. Though they are meant to be all kinds of scary, I had a really hard time taking these guys seriously. I totally understand that they are very, very old and have an agenda so posing as high school students and trying to woo the locals was a bit far-fetched for me.
Halos of the Son: these are the elite guard of Heaven and only show up when the situation is all kinds of serious or seriously interesting. When the Halos come to town everyone in the “other” world takes notice and most quake in fear. The Halos are seriously interested in Sophia and a lot of folks are quaking.
The Bottom Line: Yeah, I have some issues taking the bad guys seriously but that didn’t stop me from totally enjoying this book. This is a character-driven read that is backed up with some totally cool history and information. Adams is very, very good at spacing out the delivery of the information; in fact, I found myself reading as quickly as possible so I could get to the next bread crumb of information. Adams has built a world where the past, the present and, the future are all on a collision course with one another. (It’s totally tense – HA!! See what I did there? :)) Adams cleverly answers the questions she needs to in order to make this story feel complete but she also leaves the reader with a huge list of things still unanswered. In all, I am hooked!! I NEED to know what happened to Sophia’s mother and why she has some serious “other” worldly connections, I NEED to know why the Halos of the Son (and others!) are so interested in Sophia and, I NEED to know exactly how Sophia is going to truly impact Michael and his world. Bring it on, Lori Adams because I am more than ready for round two!