Book Review: Kiss an Angel By Susan Elizabeth Philips
Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Philips tells the story of pretty, flighty Daisy Devreaux who can either go to jail or marry the mystery man her father has chosen for her. Arranged marriages don’t happen in the modern world, so how did the irrepressible Daisy find herself in this fix?
Alex Markov, as humorless as he is deadly handsome, has no intention of playing the loving bridegroom to a spoiled little feather-head with champagne tastes. He drags Daisy from her uptown life to a broken down traveling circus and sets out to tame her to his ways.
But this man without a soul has met his match in a woman who’s nothing but heart. Before long, passion will send them flying sky high without a safety net… risking it all in search of a love that will last forever.
A Sneak Peek Into “Kiss an Angel”
Daisy Devreaux had forgotten her bridegroom’s name.
“I, Theodosia, take thee . . .”
She caught her bottom lip between her teeth. Her father had introduced them several days ago, that terrible morning the three of them had gone to get the marriage license, and she’d heard the name then. Right afterward the man had disappeared, and she hadn’t seen him again until a few minutes ago when she’d walked down the staircase of her father’s Central Park West duplex into the living room where this makeshift midmorning wedding ceremony was taking place.
“Life has a way of catching up with spoiled little rich girls.”
Her father stood behind her, and Daisy could almost feel him vibrating with disapproval, but his disapproval was nothing new. He’d been disappointed with her even before she was born, and no matter how hard she’d tried, she’d never been able to get him to change his mind.
She risked a sideways peek at this bridegroom her father’s money had bought for her. A studmuffin. A very scary studmuffin with his towering height, lean, whipcord build, and those eerie amber eyes. Her mother would have loved him.
When Lani Devreaux had died in a yacht fire last year, she’d been in the arms of a twenty-four-year-old rock star. Daisy had finally reached the point where she could think about her mother without pain, and she smiled to herself as she realized that the man standing at her side would have been too old for her mother. He looked to be in his mid-thirties, and Lani had usually drawn the line at twenty-nine.
His hair was so dark it was nearly black, and those chiseled features might have made his face too pretty if it weren’t for his strong jaw, not to mention that intimidating scowl. Men with such brutal good looks had appealed to Lani, but Daisy preferred older, more conservative types. Not for the first time since the ceremony had begun did she wish her father had picked someone less intimidating.
“When I first met you, all I could see was a spoiled little rich girl, silly and pampered, too beautiful for her own good.”
She tried to steady her nerves by reminding herself that she wasn’t going to have to spend more than a few hours in her new husband’s company. As soon as she had a chance to tell him her plan, this would all be over. Unfortunately, her plan also meant breaking the sacred marriage vows she was getting ready to take, and since she wasn’t the sort of person who could take a vow lightly—especially a marriage vow—she suspected her guilty conscience had induced the memory block.
She started over again, hoping the name would poke through her mental barrier. “I, Theodosia, take thee . . .” Once again her voice trailed off.
Her bridegroom didn’t even spare her a glance, let alone try to help her. He stared straight ahead, and the uncompromising lines of that hard profile made her skin prickle. He’d just spoken his own vows, so he must have mentioned his name, but the lack of inflection in his voice had escalated her emotional tailspin, and she hadn’t taken it in.
“Alexander,” her father spit out from behind her, and Daisy could tell by the sound of his voice that he was clenching his teeth again. For a man who had been one of the United States’ foremost diplomats, he certainly didn’t have much patience with her.
She dug her nails into her palms and told herself she had no choice. “I, Theodosia . . .” She gulped for air. “. . . take thee Alexander . . .” She gulped again. “. . . to be my awful wedded husband . . .”
It wasn’t until she heard her stepmother, Amelia, gasp that she realized what she’d said.
The studmuffin turned his head and looked down at her. He cocked one dark brow in a vaguely inquisitive fashion, as if he wasn’t certain he’d heard her correctly. My awful wedded husband. Her sense of humor kicked in, and she felt the corners of her mouth quiver.
His brows slammed together and those deep-set eyes regarded her without a speck of amusement. Obviously the studmuffin didn’t share her problem with inappropriate levity.
Swallowing the small bubble of hysteria that was rising inside her, she plunged on without correcting herself. At least that one part of her vows would be honest because he was certainly an awful husband for her. At that moment her mental block finally evaporated and his last name leaped into her mind. Markov. Alexander Markov. He was another of her father’s Russians.
“She should have known from her experiences with her mother’s lovers
that a man this good-looking wasn’t going to be blessed with brains.”
As a former ambassador to the Soviet Union, her father, Max Petroff, had close ties with the Russian community, both here and abroad. His passion for his ancestral homeland was even reflected in the decor of the room where they stood, with its bold blue walls, so common in that country’s residential architecture; yellow-tiled stove; and multicolored kilim rug. To her left, a walnut cabinet held vases of Russian cobalt as well as crystal and porcelain pieces from the Imperial Works in St. Petersburg. The furniture was a mixture of art deco and eighteenth century that somehow worked.
Her bridegroom’s large hand lifted her own much smaller one, and she felt its strength as he shoved a plain gold band on her finger.
“With this ring, I thee wed,” he said in a stern, uncompromising voice.
She gazed at the simple band with momentary confusion. For as long as she could remember, she’d indulged in what her mother Lani had called a “bourgeois fantasy of love and marriage,” and she’d never imagined anything like this.
“. . . the power vested in me by the state of New York, I now pronounce that you are husband and wife.”
3 Words to Summarize This Novel
FAST-PACED, BREEZY, AMUSING
Mmm. It’s definitely been a while since I’ve read a novel that’s purely romance. These days, I have tried to expand my horizons and push myself out of my comfort zones so much that I have forgotten how breezy and easy it is to read romance. I’m sure one of the reason to that was the fact that I’ve consumed nothing but romance novels for the past 5 years of my life, so it just feels like slipping back into old comfy pjs. You feel me?
I don’t know. After all these years, I think reading romance novels will and always feel like coming home and taking off my pants after a long day. It’s just become what’s comfortable now. So it doesn’t matter how far I travel while reading true crimes or horror books, romance books will always be what I call home.
Is the plot for Kiss an Angel original? Definitely not. But was it entertaining? Hell fucking yeah it was.
I decided to pick up Kiss an Angel after finishing My Dark Vanessa, as I desperately needed a breather from all the dark and depressing book that I’ve been reading as of late. When I saw the book cover for Kiss an Angel, I didn’t know what I expected. Let me rephrase: I don’t have any expectations whatsoever. All I knew was that I needed something light and fairly easy to read. A book that I could just breeze through without having to use more than a few braincells.
And what do you know, Kiss an Angel was just what I needed.
“Did you eat my Twinkies?”
She gulped. Keeping her eyes glued to the whip, she said, “Exactly what Twinkies are we talking about?”
“The Twinkies in the cupboard over the sink. The only Twinkies in the trailer.” His fingers convulsed around the coils of leather.
Oh, Lord, she thought. Flayed to death for a Twinkie.
With the opening sentence already piquing my interest and the following few paragraphs making me cackle like a banshee, I already knew that I was going to enjoy this book. And enjoy it I did. Storyline-wise, it was fairy straightforward. Daisy had an arranged marriage with a man called Alexander, with her father wanting him to teach her about “life” and shed her from her pompous and privileged life. Alexander, with a debt to pay, said yes with the intention to take her in, pay off what debt he had with Daisy’s father and be done with her. But you know what they say about love and it coming in times where you don’t expect it to…
DAINTY DAISY…NOT QUITE THE AIRHEAD SHE SEEMS
Let me preface by saying, I love this girl. I love how resilient and tenacious she is. In the book where the odds are stacked against her, with people immediately disregarding her as a stupid, privileged woman, Daisy managed to prove everyone wrong. Not once, not twice, but over and over and over again.
I don’t know if this is just me reading this when I was on my period or what, but when she was accused of stealing money that she didn’t stole and as a repercussion had to scoop up animal manure under the heat of the sun, reading that made me bawl like a baby. Even now, I still couldn’t figure out why. But there is just something about her quiet strength to face something that she has never even had to before in her life, and face it head on without complaining is just so commendable to me.
Not to mention, this girl is just so freaking kind. She tries her best in everything. From working in the circus, taking care of animals, and being a good wife to Alex. Daisy really gave it her all, and she did it without complaining.
“What would it be like to be loved by a man? To wake up every morning and see the same face staring at you over the pillow? To have a home and children? A job? What would it be like to be normal?”
Man, I could serious go on and on about her. Truly, I adore Daisy Devreaux. Even thinking about her right now is making me smile.
STOIC ALEXANDER, COLD ALEXANDER, IN LOVE ALEXANDER
Opinions on him. Hmm…
To be honest, I’m not a big fan.
Now, I’m not saying that our main male character is a total asshole, he isn’t. But he could be. And most of the time, he is.
His background as a whole, the experiences and trauma that turned him into what he is just come off as weak. I mean, I understand, the past has a way of shaping someone irreversibly. Making them mean, and cold and closed off. But that doesn’t mean one could use it as an excuse to start being an asshole to people, especially their wives.
“He liked intelligence in his bed partners, along with ambition, independence, and the ability to give as good as she got. He could respect a woman who cussed him out, but he had no use for sulks and pouts.
This little ball of fluff was already setting his teeth on edge.”
For a good half of the book, Alexander was always mean and cold to Daisy. No matter how hard she tried, he would always tried to knock her efforts down. Telling her not to get attached because apparently, Alexander doesn’t do flowers and hearts––am I having a Mr. Grey flashback right now?
But at the same time, despite him constantly pushing Daisy’s effort away, he lusted after her body. Look, I get it. He’s a man and she’s a woman. The live in a small van, and they are technically husband and wife even though there’s no love between the two. Still, I find it very hypocritical how he would like to only fuck her, knowing full and well that she want––no, need––some kind of emotional connection in order to give her body to someone like that. Even knowing that, he still didn’t care.
Again, I’m not saying he’s a certified asshole. But he’s definitely somewhere along those lines for sure.
NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE
So Daisy has this rule about staying celibate until after marriage. Which is fine, her body her choice.
When she got married to Alex, understandably, she was attracted to him. But despite his advances, she stayed her ground. Her reason being that she needed more time, and the fact that their marriage wasn’t exactly based on love made her reluctant to have sex with him. Again, understandable.
So here I was, wondering and waiting for how she would lose her virginity, only to have her lose it after a particularly long day scooping up animal turd––a punishment for something she didn’t do and her husband choosing to believe his circus mates rather than his wife, mind you. Not to mention on the fact that they have been bickering a few hours ago, so basically, he was still kind of mad at her and she at him.
“We don’t have anything, do we? No respect, no affection, no trust.”
I expected him to have to grovel and fight for Daisy’s heart some more before she gave her first time away like that, seeing how important sex was to her. But to see her instantly succumb when he turn on that bedroom voice disappoints me to no end. Heck, I was so annoyed with how quickly she gave in that I even thought of DNF-ing it then and there.
A whole bunch of tight-knit people while a whole bunch of dramas. Which is understandable, since they work together so much and living so close to each other every single day for months on end.
I don’t feel much for the circus members, to be honest. A lot of them just seems like fillers to me, which again, they are. None of the characters shine as much as Daisy herself, other than the animals. The bay elephant and tiger that Daisy bonded with added so much more zest to the story. It’s always a fun time to read about how Daisy are with the animals and how much they slowly come to adore her.
Other than that, I suppose having the story surrounding a circus also adds more life and fun into the reader’s reading experience since we don’t really read about books that has characters working and performing in circuses. But yeah, other than that, there are nothing exactly remarkable about the circus.
YOU SHOULD SUFFER MORE
Towards the end of the book, Daisy and Alex had a pretty big fight that ended up with Daisy eventually leaving the circus in the middle of the night. I’m not going to get too much into it because I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will just say, in that argument, Alex was wrong.
Again, it was understandable that he was surprised, maybe even panicked. But he had no right to have gotten as angry with Daisy as he did. So Daisy left, and what do you know…bada bing bada bung…Alex realized that he had been in love with Daisy all this time and he couldn’t just let her leave like that.
Oh! He had to fight for her love! Bring her back to his arms where he can shower her love! Oh, how fucking dumb as brick was he, to have her love all this time but never really cherish it!
“Pride isn’t as important as a lot of other things.”
“Like . . . Like caring and compassion. Like love.”
He felt old and tired. “Love doesn’t exist for me.”
Well, he repented. And lost weight. And maybe even cried. Fuck knows. Point is, he was stressed and he want her back. So her tracked her all over and finally found her. He apologized, told her he loved her, and that’s it. Happily ever after.
And then you girl was like, hol’ up what? I know Daisy is kind, but come on girl. I don’t know if I’m just a demon reincarnated or what, but were I Daisy, I’m going to really teach that boy what groveling was. Like really, truly. I want him to regret all the bad and mean things that he said and did to Daisy. I want him to kneel in the dry summer heat, eat sand and cry blood from how much he’s sorry for every heartache that he gave her. I want him to cry himself to sleep every single night knowing he let someone so valuable go when he could have cherished and loved her. I want him to be a ghost of the man he was, regretting everything that happened between the two of them before Daisy forgives him. Now that’s proper groveling. Not this shitty ass being stressed and running around trying to find her for a few weeks only to have her forgive him so quickly.
Kiss an Angel is one of those books that are just meant to be read when you’re looking for something light and simple. Something that’s just mindlessly fun and requires little to no brain cells to think or try to predict about what’s going to come next. Why? Because the story in itself is predictable. It’s the characters that makes this book fun to read.
Would I recommend this book? Sure, if you’re looking for a relative quick read, definitely give it a go. However, if what you’re looking for is something that has more depth and emotional growth to its character then skip Kiss an Angel. It’s only going to annoy you to the depth of hell because the characters in this book is pretty one dimensional, and not meant to be an overly emotional reading .
Overall, I’d say I enjoy this book. But that’s only due to the fact that this book came at the right time where I need a buffer from all the heavy books I’ve been reading. Had I picked this book at random, I might have chucked it to the wall halfway through.
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