I’m no angel…
or am I?
Nameless. Forgotten. Lost on Earth for centuries with a disembodied voice as my only friend. Protecting the vulnerable without any help from above. No one to explain the rules. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
So when High Angelus Gavriel finds me killing a very bad man, can he really blame me? Before I can explain, he drags me back to the place he swears is my home: Sanctuary.
Halfway between Earth and the Celestial Realm, Sanctuary would be paradise if it weren’t for the daily decontamination showers, hours spent carving the murder-marks off my skin to discover my true name, and thousands of prim and proper angels who tell me I stink. Literally.
I’m the dirtiest Protector they’ve ever seen, but I can’t stop fantasizing about Gavriel and his best friends. Those sexy-as-sin High Angeli don’t know what to do with me, but I have a few ideas. I just need to find out my name so they’ll see who I am deep down… even if I have a feeling I’m no angel.
But what happens when my name is revealed…
and it’s worse than anyone ever imagined?
Lost Feather is a humorous, steamy romance that ends on a cliffhanger. Over the course of the series, the main character will end up happily soulmated with more than one of the guys. And possibly an angelic gate. This book is intended for adult readers and contains real and made-up profanity, explicit scenes, and references to past sexual assault of a sibling. Please take care of yourself when choosing to read.
This book opens as Feather is being taken away from the scene of a murder it seems she has committed. She was protecting Lily another resident of Wright Children’s home. Much younger than Feather, she was to be the next victim of Mr. Wright. As they police car heads to the station, Feather loses consciousness and a voice begins interrogating her, asking her questions she doesn’t have all the answers to.Over the centuries Feather has taken on the sins of those she killed protecting the innocent, as such she is covered in what is known as smut. Smut is an oozing sludge that seems to coat every part of her body. When she finally awakens, it’s not like the previous times and the voice that had started harassing her this time is present once again. She’d started calling him Growly Bear in her mind and he was discussing her with someone named Gavriel. As she wakens I think I giggled the first time she calls the High Angelus Hiyan Gelatin. Then changes it to Heigel Jelly.
The thing is she doesn’t know her true name and has named herself Feather. It’s not known if she is a protector, yet it seems that is what she has been doing, protecting the innocent and not only kills the evil but redeems that evil as well. That’s how she is covered in the soul smut, and that also smells horrible.
I was practically choking on laughter as she starts addressing the sheets on her bed like one would a lover. All this before she begins the purification process.
Sunny is the one sent to her by High Angelus Mikhail to help her with purification. The trouble is there is so much smut on her it’s impossible to get more than a little off her.
In order to begin the rest of the purification process, Mikhail needs to discover her name. However, they only come up with part of it. In her first life she was called Tili, but her first name was Inutilia, useless. That’s when the naming bell quietly rings.
Unfortunately, the only way to remove more of the muddy substance that coats her is with a soul knife. One she has to use on herself to slowly peel a small layer at a time away. It’s a very painful process following which she had to go to assembly, sort of group therapy. There after listening to Valor she was a bit confused at the way his time on earth was considered completed.
This is a favorite scene.
The group turned away, the new Guides floated back to the outside of the circle, and the next Protector rose from her cushion to speak. “I am Diligence, and my mission was to keep a group of high schoolers from cheating on a college entrance exam.” I blinked as she went on and on about shifting the balance by reinforcing the students’ vague worries about getting caught cheating.
“I’m sorry,” I interrupted after a few more minutes, stopping Diligence’s confession of feeling prideful about what an amazing job she’d done on her mission. “I’m still stuck on the last one.”
The main Guide sighed. “Listening is a valuable skill, Feather.”
“Yeah, but I’m not sure I get the whole purpose of us. We are Protectors, yeah? Aren’t we supposed to actually protect the charges we get?”
“Within limits, yes,” they agreed. “Diligence, a moment?” They lifted one robed arm in a graceful motion, and Diligence returned to her cushion. “Maybe we could let Feather tell us about her life choices on Earth, and then we can all help her understand what went… very obviously wrong.” Their voice turned even more syrupy sweet. “And remember, no matter what you say here, it’s my calling to find a way for you to be cleansed. Just be honest and truly seek to do better. We’ll help you with everything.” And they gestured to the clumps of mud all over my robe. And on my cushion. And the floor all around me.
“Wow, this stuff is really easy to smear around.” I raised an eyebrow when the Guide shuddered. I tried not to smirk when they backed away clumsily as I stood and approached the center spot. Yeah, you can’t handle my smut, Teach.
“Well, Feather? You wanted our attention. You have it.”
I wanted attention? I just wanted answers. And some coffee. And maybe a nap. I bristled, feeling the eyes of all the Protectors and all three Guides zero in on me.
From across the Hall, Sunny gave a double thumbs-up. “You’ve got this,” she stage-whispered. “Rock on.” The others stared at her, murmuring.
Definitely a ride or die birch.
For a second, I was tempted to do a classic confession—I’d been Catholic at least ten times—but I had a feeling none of them would believe how many days it had been since my last confession. “Right. So, you want me to tell you about the most recent life I had?”
The Guide’s laugh tinkled like tiny bells. It made my stomach twist, remembering the naming chime. “It’s obvious from your ignorance of this realm, as well as our unfamiliarity with you, that you have just returned from your first life.” I couldn’t see their face, but assumed the Guide was smiling from the warmth in their voice. Oddly, they kept glancing back at the other tall Guides, both leaning against the wall by the door. Maybe the Guide I was talking to was like the Assistant Manager, and one of those two was the boss?
“Are you sure?” I tried. “I feel like maybe I’ve had a lot of lives already.”
“Trust me, it’s not possible. But do share. We’ll help you understand your mistakes, we’ll get you purified, and in a few more lifetimes, I have a feeling you’ll be glowing brighter than most of your cohort.” A few of the Protectors around me coughed at that; one stifled a laugh. Bassholes. “Now, go ahead. What was your name in your past life?”
“Feather,” I said. “They called me something else at first, but I always… I liked Feather, so I switched it.”
“And your mission?”
“Yeah, I didn’t exactly, um, know what it was.” A few of the Protectors gasped.
The Guide shushed them. “Amnesia from your journey. Unusual, but not unheard of. Were you able to eventually remember it on Earth?”
“Not precisely.” I smiled, thinking of my last charge, Lily. “I mean, I didn’t wake up one day knowing what was going on.”
Mumbles all around me had me shushing the others so I could hear the Guide. “So you didn’t remember your mission at all? No memories of this place, or who your charge was?”
I shrugged. It definitely wasn’t time to spring the “I’ve been on Earth for hundreds of years” news. “I was in Chicago, in a group foster home. I’d been in a few private homes before that. I was born in Des Moines, I think. Anyway, I was twelve when I landed in Chicago itself. I lived on the streets, doing some side work, until I felt the call to a charge when I was about a month shy of eighteen. Lily had just turned six. I knew the minute I saw her, I had to protect her.”
The Guide brightened. “Yes, it’s common to have an urgent feeling to protect one’s charge. Instinctual. Go on.”
“Okay. It wasn’t until I met Mr. Wright that I realized who I had to protect her from. He was a molester. He’d been messing with some of the older girls before I felt called to the home, but when he started focusing on Lily, I…” I had a sudden feeling I shouldn’t mention the voice that instructed me to protect, the one that had taught me about taking on the shadows that formed my smut. They’d probably ask who the voice was, and I didn’t know his name. Or they’d think I was lying or nuts. So I finished weakly, “I knew I had to keep her out of his hands.”
For some reason, the three Guides all seemed to still. One of the pair in the back, Possible Boss Guide #1, spoke. “You were tasked with protecting a child from assault in your first life on Earth?” I nodded. “You swear this was your first journey to Earth?”
“Absolutely,” I said. First and only journey.
“You’re lying. You must be.”
I smiled at the golden hood that hid the face. He’d tried to disguise his voice, but I’d recognize that attitude anywhere. Mr. Deep Sexy Voice himself: Gavriel. “I almost never lie. I’ve only ever been sent to Earth one time.” That much was true. “And I have to say, I’m not that impressed with the job you guys are doing. I mean, let’s face it. Shizz is getting real down there.”
The whole group gasped, and the murmuring grew louder. “Tell us what happened with Lily,” Gavriel rasped out. “The truth.” There was a weird tone in his voice, like a command. It reminded me of when Growly had said “Silent” and “Still.” Like I had no choice but to comply.
“Your wish, my command. So, she had been targeted by Mr. Wright. When he came to her room that last night, I made sure I was there in her place, her bed. When he got ticked off and attacked me instead, she tried to kill him with a small knife. She tried to protect me.” I took a deep breath, trying not to remember the horror of that night. “I couldn’t let her do that—kill him, I mean.” I’d actually been sort of proud of Lily for standing up to the evil basshole.
“I guess I could have let him live. But if I just wounded him, he wouldn’t have stopped. And I wasn’t going to let him stay there and molest those girls. So I killed him for her. For all of them.” I mimed the stabbing move I’d perfected.
I might as well have thrown a bomb into the center of the circle. Half of the Protectors screamed; a few actually flew away, like my confession could implicate them. Even Sunny scooted as far as she could on her pillow, and carefully looked everywhere except at me.
The main Guide flapped its arms around in the golden bathrobe, sputtering like a motorboat. Not a pretty sound at all. “Assembly is dismissed for the day. Everyone go to the purification chambers, the meditation halls—be cleansed.”
Except for Sunny, they all ran like I’d just announced I had head lice, scabies, and the plague. But then the Guide pointed to the door, and even Sunny left, mouthing, “Talk to you later,” before she flew off.
“Why are they all leaving? I was only telling the truth. I mean, that’s what Group is for. We tell what bad shizz we got up to in our life, get cleansed or what have you, and then get sent back to protect some more, am I right?”
Gavriel—sorry, Boss Guide #1—sighed. “Yes, and no.”
The main Guide finally found words. “Absolutely not. You murdered a human. You admitted to killing him outright. You are unredeemable.” They glared at both the Boss Guides. “Why you haven’t been unmade already is a question for the High Angeli.” Yeah, that cinched it. The new Guides were definitely Mikhail and Gavriel.
“An investigation is ongoing.” Gavriel cleared his throat. “It may be that there were… extenuating circumstances.”
“There can be no excuse for murder.”
I shivered under the Guide’s arctic glare. “Ouch. What happened to ‘it’s my job to help you find your way’?”
The Guide shuddered. “Intentionally killing a human? There are limits to grace.”
I couldn’t help it; I flinched. Deep inside, I had always wondered if there was a chance that I could be forgiven for the crime I’d committed all those years ago. I’d known it was foolish to hope so. But to stand here—if not in Heaven, at least as close to it as I would ever come—and hear one of the angels in charge state it so baldly? That I would never be able to measure up? Never be equal to the ones who deserved forgiveness and grace? It stung more than a little, and I fought to keep my chin from wobbling.
The Guide went on, oblivious to how their words had affected me. Or maybe they just didn’t care. “You are not welcome in this group, in my room. In fact, your presence would be a corrupting influence in all the Assembly Halls. The other Guides will be notified.” Then they were gone in an instant, through some invisible door.
I exhaled heavily, glad to see them go. Or not see them go, whatever. “Of course, there are invisible doors in Hell’s Halfway House,” I grouched, kicking a cushion away with my bare foot. My bare, muck-encrusted foot. I peered around for my sandal. “No coffee from what I can tell, no weed, and for sure no booze—” I whirled around when the remaining Guide—who I was sure was Mikhail—grunted, or laughed. I’d kind of forgotten they were there. I crossed my eyes at him and Gavriel. “I don’t see what’s so funny, Your Growliness. I just got expelled from angel school on my first day.”
Bright, Merri. Lost Feather (The Forgotten Angel Book 1). Kindle Locations (743-817). Bright and Dark Publishing. Kindle Edition.
From being kicked out of that first assembly, the process of purification becomes more intense. As more and more of Feather actually becomes visible from the muck, she seems to glow a bit.
An encounter with Righteous, leaves him angry at himself and her. But there is so much more to this story as we learn her true name. It had been Mikhail who named her but she wasn’t ever supposed to go to earth, she was supposed to be unmade.
I love the way this story progresses, and I truly wasn’t ready for the ending. I really can’t wait for the next book as things seem to be a bit impossible at the moment.
5 Contented Purrs for Merri!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Once upon a time, Merri Bright tucked romance novels behind all her textbooks and read love stories instead of the lessons. Now she writes the same kind of books she’s always loved, dreaming up stories about naughty angels, misunderstood demons, sexy shifters, growly Alpha males, and all sorts of dragons.
She drinks cinnamon tea while she writes, and believes in the power of naps, kitten cuddles, long walks with her dog, and that ice cream and a good book can fix anything.