Years ago, a little boy was found alone on the slopes of Mont Blanc near Courmeyeur, Italy. The boy's life before being found is a blur. He only knows his name is Ezra. Some of the locals fear him, so much so, that officials faked his death. Others, like the nun at the orphanage where he spends some time, believe he is very special. Soon, Ezra is adopted by the Archers, a loving couple who work for the UN and taken to the United States.
Fourteen years later, while opening a clinic in the Congo, Dr. Vito Kreas witnesses the miraculous resurrection of a little girl. The old shaman who brought the girl back from the dead credits a vial filled with what he claims are angel tears. Vito takes the vial back to his lab in the US, where he and his scientists try to identify the substance, so they can synthesize it. Vito quickly finds himself at odds with his girlfriend, Dr. Ana Tenning, over what he sees as his mission to use this substance to help all mankind.
Around this same time, Ezra, now a grown man and homeless, chances to meet Ana when an accident sends him to the hospital where she works. Wanting to help, Ana leaves him with information on a shelter. The director of the shelter helps Ezra find work in the hospital cafeteria where he runs into Ana again. The two hit it off after sharing a cab home and become fast friends, but there is a greater attraction simmering beneath the surface that cannot be denied, but which confuses them both. As Ana and Vito continue to argue about his pursuit of the miracle cure, she breaks off their relationship, but when Vito accidentally discovers that Ana may be in possession of the very substance he seeks, he refuses to let her go. Now, maniacally obsessed, Vito kidnaps Ana and only one man can save her... Ezra. But Ezra may be in need of saving himself.
Angel Tears is an intriguing story of paranormal romance and suspense. It appears to be marketed toward a young adult audience, and in my opinion would be completely suitable for teens. There is no profanity or sexual content and the violence isn't overly graphic. However, the protagonists are a bit older, ostensibly in their early to mid-twenties, so it could be versatile, perhaps falling into the new adult genre or simply "clean" romance for adults. Angel Tears is stated to be a work of fiction, but it is written as though the characters are real, and this is the hero's memoir. It certainly does come off feeling like it could be real. The author also does a great job with the suspense. When I got to the last couple of chapters, I couldn't stop reading. The romance is very sweet and lovely too. As a whole, reading this book was like having a movie playing out in my mind. The story admittedly leaves a lot of unanswered questions in the end, but perhaps that's the beauty of it. The loose threads can be taken up by the reader's imagination, so that each individual can fill in the blanks for themselves. In any case, Angel Tears was an undeniably enjoyable read.
I loved the relationship between Ezra and Ana. They are essentially from opposite sides of the track. She is a doctor, specifically an obstetrician specializing in difficult pregnancies, while he is a homeless drifter, working at day labor and living in a shelter or on the street. Despite their obvious differences, Ezra and Ana immediately connect from the moment they first meet, forming an almost instant bond of friendship, when he lands in the hospital where she works after an accident. Their first kiss is imbued with incredible chemistry too. It's like they were simply made for one other and are meant to be together. Both characters can be a little emotionally intense at times, as they have a tendency to take offense easily. It's in these moments that I was reminded of the classic teen angst to which I think young adult readers could relate. Given Ezra's background, his moments of emotional volatility are completely understandable. Ana, on the other hand, is more of a mystery. We don't really know much about her, such as where she comes from or whether she has a family and so forth, just that she's something of a drifter herself, never staying in one place or one job for too long. Normally, this lack of information on the characters would be a detractor for me, but for some reason, it didn't really bother me so much here. Maybe it's because it simply added to the mysteriousness of the story. Suffice it to say that despite there being a lot of holes in their backgrounds, I felt very connected to both Ezra and Ana, and was very engaged by their tale.
The technical aspects of the writing could have been a little better. Some of the descriptive details and connecting transitions are a bit rough around the edges, making the narrative a tad confusing at times. There were also lots of mistakes: typos, missing/incorrect words and such, which could be rather distracting. However, in spite of these small weaknesses, I was captivated by Ezra and Ana's story. It was by turns sweetly romantic and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, while overall, being intriguing and engaging. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, and would recommend Angel Tears to fans of young adult suspense, featuring star-crossed lovers and a supernatural twist.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author's publicist in exchange for an honest review.
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