When Heaven Strikes (CrabbyPatty’s review)

Title: When Heaven Strikes
Author: F.E. Feeley, Jr.
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 20, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Gay Fiction
Page Count: 298
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Can love survive heaven’s wrath?

Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world.

Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it’s like being struck by lightning.

Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he’ll never find a partner—until he sets eyes on Ted. It’s happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right.

Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.

F.E. Feeley, Jr. is a new author to me and I really enjoyed reading When Heaven Strikes with its cast of characters. We first meet Anderson Taylor as a child terrorized by a tornado, and comforted by his beloved grandmother, Eleanor. Eleanor sees how his parents try to mold this sensitive boy into something less “effeminate” and she reminds Anderson:

“You can be anyone you want to be and do anything you want to do, Anderson. Not everything is a phase. Remember that.”

Years later, Eleanor commissions a painting from Ted Armstrong, who was “raised in a very rigid, religious, and stern fundamentalist household. Religion dominated [his] life.” Ted, like Anderson, has been held hostage by his parent’s expectations and each had had difficulty in relationships but when these two men meet each other, there’s an instant attraction and chemistry.

But When Heaven Strikes isn’t just about these two men – the story encompasses others in their sphere – Pastor Jeff Stiles, an anti-gay religious fanatic and his reluctant son Josiah who knock on Ted’s door to evangelize; Josiah’s older brother James and his girlfriend; the death of one of Anderson’s patients Joyce; Jeff’s ongoing relationship that proves the adage “We hate in others what we see in ourselves”. These lives intertwine and impact one another and give us a broader understanding of people we initially see as a stereotype.

While I liked the relationship between Anderson and Ted,

Spoiler
Jeff and Gary’s story is very truncated and I wanted more insight into their relationship. Also the dramatic events of the final chapters felt overly melodramatic to me with a natural disaster plus an epic human tragedy.
4 stars for When Heaven Strikes.

Sometimes when heaven strikes, it comes in the form of a fierce storm. A knock at the door. A phone number slipped into a back pocket. Sometimes it comes with the sweetest of circumstances or the hardest of lessons.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of When Heaven Strikes provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader

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