Title: Star Crossed 2 1/2: Sangria and Seraphim
Authors: Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod
Cover Artist: Reno MacLeod
Publisher: M & V Tailz
Genre: Paranormal M/M/M
Length: 5,177 Words
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Review Summary: Another delightful, revealing character study in the authors’ treasure chest that is the Star Crossed series.
A dull, full moon weekend becomes more interesting when identical twin demons Jace and Konnor encounter Ariel, an angel in distress.
Ariel has an itch to experience the darker side of earthly life, and he’s heard Jace is the demon for the job. Much to Ariel’s surprise, both brothers come to his rescue ready to scratch.
Could Jace, for once in his long and eventful life, set aside his own needs for those of another, not just anyone, but – an angel?
Konnor was working in Tailz, the bar he and his brother Jace own in Salem, Massachusetts and the place was packed with angels, demons, vampires and even a human or two. Enter Ariel, an angel with a sexual fantasy that he hoped Jace would grant, but Jace was not so sure he wanted to go there especially after what happened with Kelly, another angel, in Star Crossed 2: Opposite Ends of the Spectrum reviewed here.
The bar was swarming with angels since news of Jace’s most recent exploits had apparently spread far and wide. Ariel, an Angel of Protection, was very young, in fact he had to show ID to be served a drink. Another angel with hair the colour of sangria and flame coloured wings to tempt Jace, as if he needed an incentive!! His weakness for seraphim was well known, and throwing Ariel in his path was adding kindle and gas to an already blazing fire. Jace could not resist this heavenly feast so he did what he always does, he gave in to his baser instincts because by doing so not only would he grant Ariel’s wish but he would be helping himself to Ariel in the process. Would Jace be kind to Ariel when he deflowered him?
As always, these two authors’ main strength is their ability to write great characters who go against type. Angels have a heavenly aura except in Valentine’s and MacLeod’s world where they are just as susceptible to the lure of the flesh as any human, and this sexualization of angels is atypical to what I would normally encounter in other fiction. In less than 20 PDF pages Ariel changes from a heavenly being to one of the Fallen, but despite being debauched by Konnor and Jace he still clung to his aura of innocence. Ariel’s character is particularly well drawn, complex and nuanced – his innocence conflicted with his desire for and eagerness to have sex with Jace. I loved the way his wings would quiver and feathers would rain down in response to Jace’s touch whenever he couldn’t control his deep emotions; as for Jace, he was not unaffected by Ariel who managed to touch him in a way he didn’t expect.
I’m not sure if Ariel will be a turning point in Jace’s character which so far has not strayed very far from the popular idea of a demon, however Valentine and MacLeod have always given their fans characters that are memorable but most important, their growth is part of that process. I’m fascinated by Konnor and particularly Jace, and adding Ariel to the mix of the demon twins in Sangria and Seraphim is like making a very potent cocktail with unknown ingredients. Will it explode in their faces? I can’t wait to read what happens to Ariel in future episodes of this series if he returns. Stay tuned.
Note: This dark, gay urban fantasy contains a consensual sexual relationship between non-human twin brothers.