If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, what paves the road to heaven?

Dirty Angel - Barbara Elsborg

'Dirty Angel' is my first time reading a book by this author and all I can think is 'Holy hell how did I not know about her? Why have I not read her books sooner?' well for whatever reason I haven't so let's move on from there.


Whether you believe in angels and demons, heaven and hell or life after death really is irrelevant. What matters is did you love? Were you loved? Did you strive to leave this world a better place than it was when you came into it? What matters isn't what happens when we leave this existence, but what we do with the time we are given while we're here. These are the questions that face Aden when his life ends unexpectedly and he is given what most of us can only hope for...a second chance. A chance to redefine himself and find out if who he was is all that he can truly hope to be.


Dirty Angel was by no means a realistic book...I mean really? Angels? Demons? Nope no realism there but what it was for me was a believable book. I started reading this story and bang I was there, I was in Aden's world standing in line with him as he awaited his judgement and what I found at first was that Aden wasn't a nice person. What I learned as the story progressed was that he was a survivor and sometime the choices he made were the expedient ones and not necessarily the best ones. 


Brody has spent the better part of his life as a victim and not even realizing it. But he's finally figured out that what he has isn't what's good for him or even what he wants. 


Aden and Brody have each got their own secrets and their own demons that they're trying to exorcise. Aden is straddling the line between heaven and hell with only one month to determine where his eternity will be spent. Brody wants to escape his past and maybe find a little bit of happiness but he's just not sure how to make this happen. 


It's in the blink of an eye one rainy night that these two men literally collide. This is not a story of insta-love but a journey taken as both men are forced to look at who they are, what they've done and where they're going. Aden has one month to find out what love means and Brody realizes he has one month to convince Aden that they could be good together. It's only as each reveals their secrets that they both begin to find the answers they need and begin to heal themselves and each other.


I found my self totally involved in the lives of these to men as they faced their challenges both together and on their own. As Brody shared his story with Aden, he broke my heart what was done to him was wrong in so many ways. That he came through this and became determined to reclaim his life and his dignity was in part due to Aden and how much he cared. Watching Aden as he learned little by little what love means and the caring and compassion that he began to show towards people and the animals he suddenly found himself surrounded with was incredibly sweet. 


There were moments when I had no hope of doing anything but cry. When Brody, who was a veterinarian had to euthanize a dog, I was there in that moment crying for Sam right along with his owners, listening to Brody tell Aden about his past more tears and Aden...Aden broke my heart he wasn't a bad person to me he didn't deserve an eternity in hell but sometimes what we get and what we deserve aren't always the same thing. Along with the tears and angst there were laughs, passion, love and some very steamy moments.


By the end I loved both Brody and Aden, I really liked Karen and Des and while I liked Raphael, I cannot tell a lie Dante was totally my bad boy. Did I trust him...hell no, but he definitely knew how to keep things interesting.


As much as the actual story which I found myself happily involved in I liked that it made me ask myself questions...things like if I died tomorrow would I go to heaven or hell? Have I been loved? Did I love in return? Have I been the best person that I can be? Will I leave this world a better place than it was when I came into it? And most importantly would I tell other people to read this book? Oh hell yeah!



An ARC of this book was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.