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Angel With an Attitude    by Michelle Rowen Amazon.com order for
Angel With an Attitude
by Michelle Rowan
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Valerie Grace has been unceremoniously banished from Heaven. Bad enough that she's been punted off her assigned cloud right into the killer whale tank at MarineLand in Niagara Falls. Not knowing why she's been kicked out of the Heavenly Realm in the first place is even more demeaning. Her banishment didn't come with a handy instruction manual on how to function as a human - well okay, so there was a Golden Scroll Edition 2.1 with pointers on the Do's and Don'ts of surviving as a Fallen One. But those few vague warnings aren't much help against 'strangers who take an interest in your safety and well being'. Valerie already knows that such strangers are probably Tempter Demons whose sole task is luring Fallen Ones to Hell for an eternity of tortuous servitude. For now all Valerie can do is work for room and board at the Paradise Inn and hope that her memories of being an angel don't fade too quickly while she waits for some sort of revelation from Above - or the arrival of a Tempter Demon - whichever comes first.

Two months later, she's still working at the inn and waiting for a sign. At first, she doesn't think being attacked by a drunken thug in an alley is a sign, but when a tall, dark and fabulous looking guy dressed all in black rescues her, her worst fears are realized. Nathaniel, her personally assigned Tempter Demon, wastes little time in announcing his agenda. All she has to do is look deep into his eyes and give herself over to him. But Valerie isn't about to let herself be tempted and commands Nathaniel to get lost. The Demon ignores her and all too soon Valerie and Nathaniel (along with their talking rat sidekick Reggie) must work together to hunt for the Key to Heaven, stolen by Lucifer's smarmy son Julien. He figures Dear Old Dad will shower him with praise and adulation, (not to mention a Hell Dimension all his own) as a fitting reward for his ingenuity. Valerie knows possessing the key is the only way for her to get back into Heaven, but the longer she's around Nathaniel, the more she realizes that falling under his alluring spell might not be such a bad thing after all.

Michelle Rowan injects another dose of her breezy and humorous style and dialogue into her latest comedic concoction. Valerie's characterization vacillates between na´ve and wholesomely nice but the longer she's earthbound, the more attitude she develops. Nathaniel is also believable as a demon who just doesn't have the heart to keep doing his job. He figures that falling in love with Val is the perfect reason for Lucifer to kick him out of Hell. An additional cast of really quirky characters - especially Reggie the Rat - adds to the hilarious fun. Angel With an Attitude is the perfect way to while away a few hours of your time - and then settle back in the earthly realm with a big smile plastered on your face.

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