A tragic death opens a door to the spirit world, offering a new chance for two broken hearts.
Nolan O’Neill, wealthy CEO of a multinational company based in Ireland, feels shock and guilt when his American colleague Thomas Stone dies in a car accident in Dublin. As he sits by Thomas’ deathbed, Nolan witnesses the visit of a celestial being, Calista, who escorts Thomas into the “Land of Eternal Youth”; Thomas also charges Nolan with taking care of his wife, Emmalyn. Nolan begins, tentatively, to fulfill that responsibility by writing to Emmalyn, and the two commence an epistolary courtship that evolves into real-life romance when Nolan visits Emmalyn in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where she lives, then whisks her away to Ireland in his private jet. It’s at about this point where the novel—which up until then has benignly dabbled in fantasy, romance, and travelogue—abruptly veers into straight-up erotica, with an initial sexual encounter between Nolan and Emmalyn that goes into graphic detail and lasts for three full chapters. The graphic sex is complemented by Nolan’s excessive courtship, which includes $40,000 champagne as well as scouts and hidden treetop guards to “protect” Emmalyn. Readers might expect that, à la Fifty Shades, the calculated seduction and submissiveness evolves into a darker, more complicated relationship; somewhat disappointingly, it does not. Instead, the narrative focuses on the grotesquely caricatured displays of wealth, power, and relatively unproblematic sexual dominance. A thriller aspect enters the fray via Nolan’s troubled past, which comes back to haunt him in the form of a few secondary characters determined to destroy his love with Emmalyn. The few action scenes aren’t well-integrated into the larger narrative, but they do provide Nolan with several more opportunities to be the heroic savior to Emmalyn’s damsel in distress. Book’s end includes an excerpt from a planned sequel in which angels will apparently also indulge in kinky sex, and Nolan and Emmalyn’s best friends will have their own chance at romance.
Over the top and frequently under it; might please fans looking for another shade of gray.