Title: Even Angels Fall
Author: Sherry A. Mauro
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published in May 2003 by Publish America
We met Sabrina Marie Ayers as a teenager struggling with the demands of high school and the nearly impossible hope of receiving acceptance from her peers. In the quaint town of Centerville California, there is an invisible barrier between the rich citizens and everyone else. The ridicule that Sabrina receives from her classmates is devastating to her. She and her motherís family, the Devours, have been labeled impure and inbred and are shunned by the rich townspeople. When Sabrina confronts her mother about these accusations and demands to know the reason that the Devour name is now despised, when once it was deeply respected, she is only told part of the story. Sabrina scoffs at the idea of family curses and unholy unions, but as she listens to the tale of marriage between half brother and half sister, the truth of the situation is driven home to her. Sabrinaís mother encourages her to harden her heart and close her ears to the vicious gossip of the townspeople. She is overwhelmed at the responsibility of marrying well and restoring their tarnished family name to its former glory. Sabrina finally makes a friend at school and learns to ignore the cruel comments made towards her and her family.
On the morning that Sabrina turns sweet sixteen, she sees a handsome stranger at church. He has fair skin and coal-black eyes. The darkness of his brows and eyes make an intriguing contrast to his pale skin and long blond hair that he wears pulled back in a low ponytail. Sabrina finds that the stranger exudes sensuality and he draws her towards him as the moth to the flame. No one has ever had such an effect on her. Sabrina finds out that the stranger is a resident of Centerville and that he has returned to complete his medical internship at the local hospital after being gone for the past ten years, first at boarding school and then at college. Sabrina and the handsome stranger see each other briefly at her birthday party and then again at church, but then they lose contact with each other. They meet again after Sabrina turns eighteen and is in the process of finishing her senior year of high school. The attraction is still there between them and Sabrina struggles with her feelings for him. Sabrina feels torn by the conflicting opinions of her parents. Her mother encourages her to act more grown up and buys her cosmetics and sexy dresses so that she can entice him in the hope of restoring their family name. Her father urges caution and asks that Sabrina make sure that her feelings for him are genuine before proceeding farther in her relationship with Richard.
Richard Alan Tate is a man that knows what he wants. He has always had the best of everything in life. The only things that he lacked were the love and acceptance from his father and the presence of his mother after she committed suicide in the Tate Mansion when he was ten years old. Richard has spent long years gone from the family home and the state of the mansion when he beholds it again dismays him. He becomes obsessed with restoring it to the glory that it exuded when his mother was alive. His father wants to reconcile and wants a relationship with Richard, but Richard wants nothing to do with him after so many years without his presence in his life. Richard does not believe the tales of the Tate Mansion being cursed or haunted, all he knows is that it is where his mother lived and he wants to be close to her memory.
Richard sees Sabrina, feels pulled towards her, and does not care what the other rich townspeople say about their relationship. He peruses Sabrina and puts on the Tate charm to win her over. Richard enjoys being with Sabrina and will do anything to make sure that she is his. His obsession with Sabrina is rivaled only by his obsession with his mother and restoring the family mansion. He hires the best personnel and obtains only the finest furnishings to go into the Tate Mansion. He demands that everything be restored exactly like when he mother were alive. He reassures Sabrina that he does not care for her just to get back at his father for ignoring him for so long and tells her that he does not care what the citizens of Centerville think. Richard is able to persuade Sabrina to agree to oversee the restoration of the Mansion. As Sabrina devotes her time and energy to complying with his instructions on the work at the mansion, Richard spends more of his time working at the hospital than on the day to day happening on his estate.
Even Angels Fall is an account of coming of age and the struggles of finding your true self and your place in the world. Sherry Mauro has written a tale that brings home the insecurity and pain of growing up and finding out that what you desired most of all is not really what you needed. Sabrina must figure out how she fits into life in Centerville and specifically into the life of Richard Tate. Sabrina becomes embroiled in the supernatural happenings and unusual events that are taking place at the Tate mansion. Is the mansion really haunted by Richardís dead mother? Sabrina finds that she does not know whom to turn to. Her mother is set on Sabrina marrying Richard at any cost, her father is struggling with Sabrina being an independent woman, and Richard is busy at the hospital. There are bizarre and unexpected twists in the lives and interaction of the characters in the story. Is history repeating itself? The big question is just how does everyone know each other and how have their lives been influenced by each other.
Sherry Mauro pulls the reader into the day to day struggles of growing from an awkward, scared teenager to an engaging young adult. I think many readers will be able to empathize with how Sabrina feels like an outsider at school and how hard she struggles to learn just who she is. While the ending is not the typical hero carrying the heroine off into the sunset, I was not disappointed in how the characters developed. The finale gives Sabrina the knowledge and strength to realize that while she does not have all the answers, she does know that she can overcome any obstacle that she might find in her path. Is there any such thing as having the perfect life and does the knight in shining armor always rescue the maiden in distress? Readers will be able to relate to the fact that prince charming is an entertaining fairy tale, but life in Centerville becomes more of a grim gothic fairy tale. Many a young girl have wished with all their hearts for Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet, but lets have a little reality here. In the town of Centerville California, the man that you wish for might not be all he is cracked up to be.