All her life Angelique 'Angel' Dubois, a 25-year African American debutante, has been vying for her mother, Charline's, love. At Charline's insistence, Angel agrees to marry Paul, a philandering man whom she doesn't love.
Ever since seeing Angel on television during her cotillion, Thierry Chevalier, a white man, has been in love with her. When he meets her at a strip club, he whisks her off her feet.
While the pair spends time together, Angel grows into herself and finds the long-hidden courage to take control of her life and break off her engagement. Since her mother and fianc‚ are depending on the marital union to cement their own wealth, they fight back.
Being a member of the Chevalier clan, one of the most-prestigious and richest families in New Orleans as well as a talented businessman, Thierry has amassed a fortune. Knowing marriage to Angel could hurt his family, Thierry is torn between his loyalty to them and his love for his Angel.
Set in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, Thierry's Angel gives readers a dose Creole magic. Perhaps more than any other city in the United States, New Orleans is rife with racial tension, class tension and familial duties and expectations. Thus is the backdrop for the clash between two families who are trying to protect their wealth and heritage.
For a 50,000-word story, I felt Thierry's Angel covered a lot of ground. Being from different races and backgrounds, the union between Thierry and Angel was forbidden from the outset. Infighting and greed sets the stage to force the young lovers' apart.
I thought the last two-thirds of the story was beautifully done. Both Angel and Thierry grew for the better and Ms. Azod wove in several sub-plots that kept the story interesting.
However, at the beginning, I felt that Angel being a stripper was inconsistent with the rest of her character. She is portrayed as a 25-year-old insecure, virgin, who gives control of her life to her Mom while having a heart of gold. I think stripping was meant to show her desperation for male attention, but, for me, didn't work.
Also Thierry is shown as a go-getter and the fact he never approached Angelique before their chance encounter seemed out-of-character. While the set-up was clunky, the rest of the book was worth the effort. Thanks to Ms. Azod for an enthralling romance.
In New Orleans, where old Southern lineages root as deep and tangled as the haughty Cypress, two powerful families become entrenched in a battle to preserve pedigrees. For the past nine years, Thierry Chevalier, the strikingly handsome, well-bred, polished son of one of the oldest, most powerful white families in Louisiana, has been harboring an impassioned desire to captivate the woman of his dreams. His desire, Angelique Dubois. Graceful, delicate and sensually delectable, Angelique seems as unattainable as she is desirous: the daughter of New Orleans' mayor; member of a proud Black Creole family; and engaged to another man. But when opportunity opens, their fates are magnetized. The tempest of passion, power and pride that erupts is more sweeping than a steamy Gulf Coast monsoon.