Trey is in prison–sentenced to life without parole. He admits to stabbing his stepfather repeatedly and has never wavered from that admission. What he never talks about was the abuse he and his family suffered at the hands of that man. To protect his mother and his siblings, Trey kept quiet about needing to defend himself and his family and thinks he deserves to be in prison for not putting a stop to the abuse sooner. He’s known as the loner in prison as he works in the kitchen and stays out of the other inmates’ way. After three years, Trey has a cell to himself, but that quickly changes when he is moved in with Jeremy.
Jeremy is young and well, he’s innocent. Jeremy has also been sentenced to life without parole for killing a man, but he maintains that he didn’t do it. Jeremy is not prepared at all for what awaits him in prison and Trey can’t help feeling something for the guy that is slowly breaking down his defenses. Being together is forbidden and starting a relationship and finding love behind bars could bring a whole new set of problems for the pair.
Fallen Angel is billed as an erotic prison book and just from that description, I was expecting a certain kind of story. This book surpassed that and had more depth and more emotion than I was really expecting.
The book opens with Trey. He has a routine and he sticks to it. He has no choice, but he keeps to himself and tries to find ways to break the never ending monotony of life behind bars. For a shorter book, there was a reasonable amount of character development for Trey. He did what he thought needed to be done and the only thing he is sorry for is that he didn’t do it sooner. Trey never had a chance to date or to experience what most teens do and now he knows there will never be anything to experience. He doesn’t want his family to visit him and wants them all to move on with their lives and forget about him, yet they won’t do that.
Jeremy is just entering prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Violence comes for Jeremy before he even makes it to his cell, and while most of it is off page, it echoed loudly throughout the book. Trey wants no part of having anything to do with Jeremy, but as Jeremy has to find his way amongst the inmates, Trey’s protective instincts kick in.
There are a few secondary characters introduced and point of view is given for them as well. The transition between characters is clear and having knowledge of all of their thoughts adds another dimension to the story. While all of the inmates’ motivations are not transparent at this point, since this is the first book in a serial I am reserving judgment…for now.
As Trey slowly takes Jeremy under his wing, they realize they have more in common than they ever would have thought and find a true connection. The ending does show them both being uncharacteristically sappy, but the book ultimately had a substantial amount of heart to it. It’s not complete and those three words “to be continued” do appear, but the next installment is already released with the remaining ones being released throughout August and September.
For a well written story set in a prison with character development, depth, tenderness, and a dose of compassion, Fallen Angel is a good bet.