Divine Temptation is a new contemporary romance by Nicki Elson.
Camilla wrote a terrific review. Enjoy!
|Divine Temptation, published by Omnific|
A demonic creature lands on this Earth and morphs into a human form. He has plans and they are surely evil.
In the meantime life goes on normally all over the world and particularly in Prairie Oaks, in Chicago suburbia. There the reader will meet Maggie, a divorcee with two kids to raise. She is a devout Catholic, and works part time for the parish, whose school is attended by her children. A somewhat gray existence, with no romantic interests. She tried to go wild for a while, but she wasn’t cut out for it. Her relationship with her ex husband, Carl, is no longer bitter: they are friends and he is a good dad. Maggie takes it in her stride that he has a new girlfriend (not the one he was unfaithful with originally); after all it was Maggie herself who decided that they weren’t going to try and patch up their marriage, as he had begged her. And, if she was completely sincere with herself, in their failure as a couple she had her own responsibilities.
Then her parish receives the visit of a high-ranking prelate sent from Rome: evidently they are under scrutiny by the powers that be and there is a lot of nervousness. Plus, has the visitor a hidden agenda? For sure he has a little too much interest in devils, damned souls and exorcisms.
During this period of unrest Maggie starts feeling a presence: eventually she can see him. He is an angel! Maggie’s interaction with the supernatural creature is one of the most fascinating things in the book and a credit to the author. It is not easy to imagine angels in a way that is at the same time credible and respectful, but Elson manages it. God’s messengers apparently have no names but those we give them, and Maggie calls her own Evan.
He too doesn’t understand completely what is happening to him, but he believes to have been summoned to her side to help her, and he does, offering her calm and serenity. His charm and beauty are undeniable, however, and after a while, impossible as it is, Maggie starts to wonder if maybe…
They’d stopped walking and stood staring at each other, with Maggie reading in Evan’s expression something between controlled lust and mild fear — yearning. Before her imagination traveled too far down the path that the angel had just told her was closed, she returned her focus to the spots of light and resumed walking.“Don’t worry, I’m not entertaining ideas. I’m obviously not in any emotional shape to get involved with a human man right now, much less a divine one. Besides, for all I know you’ve already got someone up in those not-clouds.”She stopped abruptly and jerked her attention back to him. “Do you?”“Do I what?”“Have a wife or something in Heaven?”“There isn’t marriage or anything of the like in my Father’s kingdom.”“Ah yes, that’s right.” She let out a sardonic grunt. “Poetic, isn’t it?”“There is something poetic about a happy earthly marriage too. The freedom and felicity in Heaven is ideal, but it doesn’t diminish the beauty of a well-matched earthly husband and wife.”“So heavenly beings don’t yearn for companionship the way humans do? You’re okay being solitary forever?”“We’re not solitary. We’re all one. I don’t long for companionship because I have it, fully. Humans are only ever able to satisfy a part of each other’s need for intimacy. Only the Lord can satisfy it completely. Even the best matched husbands and wives leave gaps of need in one another. Humans seek to fill those gaps through children, friends — ”
While Maggie struggles with her confused feelings – her husband is not completely out of the picture as she thought and, prompted by her confessor, she dates briefly another guy - dark clouds seem to gather around her. Here and there the supernatural surfaces and seems to be affecting what was so normal and mundane before. Places are haunted and even children are affected.
Plus, the reader knows that a malicious non human stalker has targeted Maggie for some horrible purpose…. To tell you more would be spoiling the story, which I highly recommend.
Divine Temptation is a romance, but also a serious spiritual quest. Stories with angels make me often uneasy but not this one. It made me reflect on values we take for granted and which deserve more attention. The dialogues between Maggie and Evan are truly extraordinary. This is the second book by Nicki Elson. Three Daves was a delightful college romp; here she reaches new highs giving you a story you won’t forget easily.
Nicki Elson (http://nickielson.com/)-- Writing wasn't something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves her creative writing time in with the other activities of her busy life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.
Nicki writes with two goals in mind: #1 to keep the characters realistic, even when their circumstances are anything but, and #2 to make the reader feel.