Published: August 2020
Category: Urban Fantasy, Book Review
The archangel Azrael created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of the team falling in love with one. In Marcia Meara’s final installment of her Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our heroes facing a new problem, and it’s all because Dodger died before having a chance to learn what love was all about. His request that Azrael help him correct that situation causes a multitude of problems no one could have foreseen. Except the angel, himself.
In Love Hurts we catch up with Jake and Dodger, both of whom have been given a second chance at life as emissaries for the Archangel Azrael. Azrael is in the process of building an army of emissaries to assist the angels in their quest to help troubled souls, despite the continued opposition from some of the members of the Council of Angels.
Jake was Azrael’s first recruit after he drowned saving someone’s life, closely followed by Dodger, whose young life ended abruptly in a deserted alley in Atlanta. To outside appearances they looked as they always had, but now were immortal and endowed with special powers. Much to Dodger’s disappointment, his mortal life came to an end without him having ever felt loved or found that special person. It was something he would dearly love to experience. He knew Jake loved him as a father and those feelings were reciprocated, but being in love was a whole different thing.
Although Azrael wasn’t really familiar with the needs of humans he let himself be persuaded to give Dodger the chance to find what he’s looking for, but only if he follows the rules and guidelines laid down which must not be broken under any circumstances. Azrael knew, however, that this would be far from plain sailing.
Azrael—who freely admitted his concept of emissaries to the angels was so new, he had to make up the rules as he went along—understood the boy’s fervent desire. After all, one of the things that would allow his emissaries to excel at their jobs was that they, unlike angels, had lived their lives as mortals. They had a perspective on all aspects of being human that angels did not, which Azrael believed would make a vast difference in how they related to the very people they were trying to help.