Aurora’s Angel by Emily Noon

Who doesn’t love a ripped shapeshifting butch tigress with hidden magical abilities and a sassy avian shapeshifter with wings of shimmery gold? Actually, I don’t want to know who doesn’t, because it would be a really short list.

What was the book about?
A broken-winged angel trying to get home. Her escort a nocturnal huntress with a bloody past. It will be a dangerous journey – monsters are everywhere and the truly dangerous ones hide in plain sight. Alone since her father’s brutal murder, Aurora has spent years hunting his killers. Battle-weary she’s ready to start over where no one knows who or what she is – she just has one last mission. Everything is going to plan until she discovers the beautiful winged girl caged underground. Her decision to rescue Evie and to help her get home safely, despite avians being infamous for selling out shapeshifters like Aurora to cutters and black-market flesh dealers, will put her on a perilous path. As the women travel together their attraction grows but Aurora is guarding her lonely heart almost as much as her dangerous secrets and Evie is struggling to accept how important Aurora has become to her. When their enemies conspire to kill them, they may be each other’s only hope. Aurora is powerful but she’s also emotionally scarred and it will be up to Evie to save her from herself and to fight for them – or innocent people will die along with the guilty ones and Aurora will disappear from Evie’s life forever. 

Featured Tropes
Fantasy, butch/femme-style trope, good versus evil, shape-shifting, world-building

Book Strengths:
Emily Noon built the fantasy world in Aurora’s Angel without the need to make us sit in a chair while we listen to a long-winded back story. So many fantasy novels spend the entire first chapter telling us all about some parchment with a map and the wood panelling in the room and the black lines on the map and the pipe that the person holding the map is smoking and that’s all you get for 3000 words. Here is some more good stuff: There are really intense baddies in this novel who commit unspeakable acts of violence. Emily describes the atrocities in enough detail to not become a Jeffrey Deaver novel, but ensures we appreciate the light and goodness that is Aurora and Evie and the people who support them. One of the aspects I liked the most was the humour. It is scattered throughout the novel at obvious points but also, surprisingly, at moments of tension where it’s used to deflect the stress of the event.

Book weaknesses
The dialogue becomes strangely formal and stilted in patches. It’s like Emily Noon lost the cadence of the conversations between the MCs, but then suddenly reset herself, and so we zip along beautifully again.

Character Chemistry
Oh my. It’s an entire laboratory of chemistry. It’s a romance, so, as readers, we know that the MCs are getting together eventually, and when they do, Aurora and Evie are incendiary.
In the first third of the book, there’s no heat. Except the mini campfires that Aurora creates each night. Then, it’s “I like you a lot, you like me a lot, we both like sex a lot…so?” and, well…gosh.

Heat Rating
4 flames

Conclusion:
Thoroughly enjoyable. I fell into the world that Emily Noon created, and it was amazing to hang out with Aurora and Evie for a while. Although Aurora initially scared the crap out of me. She’s a shapeshifting tiger magical beast person, for God’s sake. Somewhat intimidating. 

Star Rating:
5 stars

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