Title: In Varying States of Disgrace
Author: Lilith Duvalier
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Tadiel, Dagon
Sub-Genre: Angels and Demons, Romance
Tadiel and Dagon’s life together is a series of stolen moments. They’ve been enemies in the Great War between Heaven and Hell since Dagon joined Lucifer’s rebellion, but despite orders to kill each other on sight, they’ve remained friendly. After all, they have more in common with each other than with their respective sides. As the war barrels on toward the unavoidable Apocalypse, their friendship turns into more, but escape is impossible. Can love survive when the forces of Heaven and Hell combine to stamp it out?
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
After I’ve read this book, it’s taken me a few moments to gather my thoughts together. Even now, I’m unsure of what exactly I’ll say about this book. I do want to say that I thought the author has a very vivid and interesting imagination, and her creative storytelling ability really captured my attention early on, and held it until I finished this book. I liked her lyrical voice and enjoyed watching the story progress, even though some parts were a tad bit disturbing for me.
Since the blurb does an outstanding job at describing the story, I won’t rehash it. Also, I really don’t want to spoil anything for the readers who are interested in reading the story. I believe the blurb is spot on as far as describing the tone of the book itself. Although this novella is romantic, and there is a stunning love story between the two heroes, it also a lot of violence and angst throughout the storyline, so when the heroes are together, it makes each moment more precious than the last. This counterbalances the angst, so it’s a really good mixture of drama, violence and romance.
Tadiel and Dagon make interesting heroes. They both have their own issues they work through as the story progresses. In the beginning of the book, they are at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as what is right and what is wrong. I really enjoyed watching them find a middle ground as well as really think about what they believe, what they’ve been told to believe and what they should do about it. I also enjoyed the chemistry and the genuine affection and friendship that developed between the two heroes. I found myself wanting their relationship to work out and hoping there would be some way for them to be together.
It was also interesting to see the way man has evolved (or not in some ways) as time progressed. Each century that the heroes met in the book was enjoyable and made this book a very unique read. I liked this author’s perspective on several things and thought her story was really thought-provoking as I read the book. Since it deals with a heavy theme such as religion, I know there will be some people who will probably not read it, which is a shame because it definitely made this reader stop and think about several things.
I also know that because this book has been labeled as a ‘bittersweet’ title there will be some readers that will automatically brush this book off. I admit I’m leery of ‘bittersweet’ titles myself. As you know I’m a shameless romantic and love my Happily Ever After endings, but every once in a while it’s nice to step outside of the box. I will say the romance between Tadiel and Dagon made this book a lovely read for me because of the way each man evolved, AND because I loved watching their relationship truly turn into something special. The ending was bittersweet, but in a good way and in all honesty, it was a HEA for them.
As a reader I really liked how the author really thought outside of the box. Between her non-conventional heroes and romance I ended up really enjoying In Varying States of Disgrace a lot. If you are looking for a though-provoking, well-written story with plenty of angst as well as a beautifully written romance, then this book is definitely one for you to consider. Highly Recommended!
Reviewed By: Gabbi