Regular price: $19.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Can love survive heaven's wrath?

Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world.

Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it's like being struck by lightning.

Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he'll never find a partner - until he sets eyes on Ted. It's happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right.

Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.

©2017 Frederick E Feeley Jr (P)2017 Frederick E Feeley Jr

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 'Nathan
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-09-17

A well-written novel of faith and pain.

I'm quite happy to say I've only seen a few people and a few reviews of this book referring to it as a romance—because it's not. That's a constant uphill battle for writers of queer fictions, and while there is definitely a love story throughout When Heaven Strikes, it bears repeating: check the category before you read, and you'll see it immediately. Fiction, not romance.

I have to admit, too, there was a moment of dialog in the book that made me laugh out loud: “No. This isn’t some romance novel where there has to be an attraction, the hookup, an antagonistic split, followed by the inevitable swelling of a symphony as the two characters get back together.”

That said, let's talk faith wielded as a weapon of assault, surviving the damage, and potential forgiveness.

I have—at best—a guardedly neutral relationship with faith. The vast majority of my experiences with faith have led me to avoid it completely, and to keep a self-protective distance with those who carry it as a torch or a centrepoint of their lives. If there was a character I related to in this book, it was Ted, who survived an abusive, violent past at the hands of a faith-obsessed father. Now, that's not my past, but I am a survivor of violence, and that played into my reading quite a bit.

The first half of this story involves Ted and Anderson, a chance connection that shows promise and depth, and their decision to give it a shot. The intersection with the second half of the novel—which springboards off Ted's interaction with another door-to-door peddler of hateful faith—involves the priest, his sons and wife, and the dark snarl of self-loathing and misguided use of their faith. The two halves form a very light-and-dark tipping point in the story, and the shift in tone is all the more sudden for the difference.

I enjoyed When Heaven Strikes. The narrative also kept me at a distance. That was my own history, emotionality, and life at play, though, not a fault of the story. I don't generally do well with redemption arcs that feature former abusers, for one, and for another, I have to work very, very hard to see the frameworks of faith as it was presented here as anything other than something to be wary of. That's my history. Survivors survive (and thrive) in different ways; some forgive, some move on without forgiveness, both are valid. At no point did I feel the characters involved were making choices that weren't internally consistent by the epilogue. But the choices they made had me stepping back.

When faith plays a central role in fiction, though, I know that's what I'm likely to see. I wasn't unprepared, and like I said, it never felt unreal. If you're someone who similarly struggles with the topics of faith, how faith is so often wielded as an excuse to violently assault others, and forgiveness of those who have wielded it thus, it would do you well to go into When Heaven Strikes forewarned.

I should also note I listened to this book on audio, and it was splendidly performed by Vance Bastian, who crafted voice enough for each character that when there were a few "he/him" moments of confusion, the voice made it clearer than it would have been in print. More, Vance just has a velvety "smoothness" to him I really enjoyed and played well into the gentle counterpoints of the book, and his projection of emotionality in the characters never felt forced or over-the-top. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for more of his performances.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Nice book, i liked the ending better

This book was a bit of a mystery at first, and i feel like it took me some time to get into the story and i actually liked the second half better than the first. It was a bit hard for me, at times to figure out what each character is doing, what is it’s part in the book, and so on. I do not mind mystery and plot lines that keep many details only to reveal them at the appropriate time, but i felt like in this book it did not work so well and i was at times confused.
That being said I like the collimation of the different plot lines toward the ending and the element of the storm in the book. The ending really brought all those characters together and i like the twist about one of them, felt real even if he was a douchebag. Both main characters are interesting and the parts with the cat were funny and endearing. I would say i wish the book was more like it’s ending, the action and drama really worked for me then, and then rest of the time the plot was a bit flat or unbelievable.

The narration was also a bit uneven, at times i was expecting more emotion and was disappointed, at other times there was a surprising amount of emotions in the narration that was very satisfying. Almost as if the narrator needed time to really delve into the characters. He does have a pleasant voice so it was not so much of an issue. I am used to narrators like Joel Leslie that are more voice actors and bring each character to life, so maybe it was just the difference between good narration and superb that stood out to me. I did like the narration but like the book i needed time to get into it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finding Something Unexpected!

A riveting book with great writing. The plot was entertaining and thought provoking, it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters interesting. The characters were developed and thought out. Ted is an artist and Anderson is a surgeon and they are the MC’s of this book. They both have past issues to work through as well as current problems. I especially loved Anderson’s grandmother she was fantastic. There was humor, an artist, paintings, a surgeon, loss, an attack, a party, a nasty preacher, a hypocrite, secrets and so much more in this book.

Here is a quote from the book, “She discreetly handed him a folded check. Ted smiled and waved farewell as his new friend pulled away. Then he turned to his faithful but beat-up Chevy. Once inside, in the spill of the street light, he unfolded the check Eleanor had pressed upon him. Ted almost had a stroke when he saw the amount. … The next day he called her. She laughed, “I assure you it is quite correct. Yes, I am old, but I am not a fool nor foolish!” Ted flushed. “Oh! No! I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to insult you! I-I-I was – am just overwhelmed by your generosity.”. There is more but you will need to read the book which I can highly recommend.

The narrator for the most part was not monotone, but his soft voice at times could sound that way. If the emotion was a little stronger I think that would have helped at those times. He had different voices that were different and good. The narration was done at a good pace. It wasn’t the best overall narration that I’ve heard, but I still enjoyed. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

a novel about love, family and healing

3.5

“When Heaven Strikes” is a novel about love, family and healing in all their various complexities and forms. Although Anderson and Ted’s relationship is at the forefront, it is only the center patch in the larger narrative quilt about humanity and all the beauty and ugliness that entails. How loving someone does not prevent you from harming them either physically or emotionally, how love of a belief/ideal can foster hatred and cruelty, how no person is all good or bad, and that the only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes and strive to be better.

For the most part, I enjoyed the writing style of the book. The poetry that headed the sections was lovely and that poetic elegance was present within much of the narrative. My only quibble was the somewhat abrupt transition that came with the second part of the book, which focused primarily on characters introduced in the first part that become integral to the story in the second half. I wish some of the character development had been woven into the story more naturally instead of front-loaded into the last portion of the book. While none of the material is superfluous and it all comes together at the end, not only was it a shift in character perspectives but also a somewhat jarring shift in tone that was a bit distracting and interrupted the narrative flow at first.

My personal preference notwithstanding, this was an emotionally complex and enjoyable work of fiction that succeeds in illuminating and exploring the multifaceted emotional landscape of the human condition and the influence this has on who we become, how we treat others and how we navigate and overcome the negative that lives alongside the positive in each of us.

I voluntarily reviewed an audiobook copy of this book provided by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful story

This was my first time with this author and there was not a disappointing moment. It is a beautiful story and the narrator does a great job of grabbing a hold of your attention.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful writing, great narration

I love this story, which centers around two good men finding their way into a loving relationship. Despite their differences, Anderson and Ted are both lonely and have each been disappointed in the past. Neither knows if he will ever find a long-term partner. As they find their way to trust and happiness, there are other tales interwoven into their story. These are heartbreaking and realistic.
The novel's secondary characters are as important as the main couple. And the unpredictable weather is a character in itself, both as a plot device and as a metaphor for the instability of life, love, and family relationships. Religious fundamentalism is featured heavily, with the dangers it poses to those in its grip, including the family members of the fervent believer. I was driven to anger several times due to this.
The author is talented, and the story flowed beautifully. The narrator does a wonderful job with bringing the characters to life. This story is a new favorite for me, and I recommend it highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

i enjoyed this

this was a different story for me but it was very enjoyable.. the narrator did an awesome job bringing the characters to life.. the story was beautifully written and so much fun to read. it was very good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spellbinding

This is an amazing novel by an incredibly talented author. His story is flawlessly woven together and while not always clear at the time, reminds you just how everything is connected in unseen ways. I was transported to this world from start to finish. Kudos to you Mr. Feeley.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful story of love and lives that are linked

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The writing was well done and the many different layers of the story fit together into a nice little package. When Part 2 started I wasn't sure at first what was going on but it didn't take long to see that the author was bringing the entire story, MCs and secondaries, to a complete and fulfilling ending. The love, compassion, strength and devotion shown by the two MCs was heart warming and the epilogue in my opinion was outstanding. The addition of the grandmother that was Anderson's rock throughout his life and the relationship she builds with Ted was brilliant. She supports the two men in ways they didn't realize they needed while they in turn do that for others.

This entire story did a beautiful job of showing how our lives can intertwine with one another and how we can inadvertently set into motion events that will change our lives without even knowing what we did until further down the road. One act of kindness, or one act of controlling our own reactions can change the lives of several people. This story had many "hidden" lessons throughout the book that I found absolutely intriguing. I sincerely hope that this author continues to write more of these stories for us. I have definitely found a new author to add to my list :)

*Audible Review* This was my first time hearing Vance Bastian as a narrator, but just like the author, I have found a new narrator that I enjoy listening to. His voice was easy to listen to and he did a great job with this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dee Winston
  • Winston Salem, NC, United States
  • 10-23-17

WOW

Bring from the south I totally get this story. I loved this story. It was a story of love ,strength ,choices and religion. Coming from a strong religious family can make you jaded and closed minded. But with the right people and love you can find your way. Warning this book may cause your eyes to sweat...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jackie Thorogood
  • 10-23-17

Fabulous book. To listen too.

I Loved this audible very much. IThe author is new to me, but I will be reading more. It is a draw you into story kind of book,
We meet Ted an artist who has cut himself away from people, due to his childhood. Anderson is a Surgeon he loves his job, but it's taken over his life. These two you would never put together but boy does it work for them. You meet other fantastic characters so wonderfully written, each character has their own concerns, but they seem to work in this book, Narrared by Vance Bastian whom I have never hear before, boy did he bring the book alive, lovely voice, to me it's one of those books you read the blah and think ok. Listening to it brings it alive. Beautifully very trough out, highly entertaining. So glad I listen to it, and I will certainly listen again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MaryD
  • 12-07-17

Excellent story so full of emotion

Such a beautiful story of love, hope, family and turmoil. With excellent narration by Vance Bastion. I should not have left it so long to listen to it. This story will definitely be on my listen again and again list.
I will look out for more work by this Author and Narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fortuna
  • 11-24-17

Stormy and beautiful

A beautifully written story from F E Feeley Jnr, a new Author to me but I'll definitely be searching out his work again. This was a true love story that weaved it's way through the lives of the two MC's and folk they came into contact with. Ted and Anderson were lovely characters, making you enjoy the good people in this world. I loved the way it showed the impact they had on the lives of the people around them and vice versa.

The secondary characters were great, it was clever that we saw into their lives and understood the reasons behind their actions.

The storm certainly built in this story, you could feel it twisting and coming together and I waited with baited breath for it to hit.....It did with explosive consequences.

Vance Bastian's narration was soothing and gentle, I love his voice. He really bought this story to life for me.

I'd definitely recommend a listen, 5 starts from me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Meph666
  • 11-18-17

Beautiful story, perfectly narrated

What an unexpected delight.
This is my first experience of F.E. Feeley Jr and I'm so happy that I have listened to this book.
The story brings a few characters, all linked, together and is told from several points of view which was a surprise but worked really well in telling their tales.
Ted escaped his young life of abuse and is now a successful artist, if a little lonely. When showing at a gallery, a lovely woman interested in his work asks him to come to her home, interested in commissioning a piece. It is here that he meets Anderson.
Anderson is a successful surgeon. He had a decent upbringing and is very close with his grandmother, Elenor. With such a hectic schedule at the hospital however, he's always struggled maintaining a relationship. This new possibility with Ted may just be worth it all.
The emotion, struggles and hopes that both characters experience are well written by Feeley and narrated by Bastian. The supporting characters are all given time to express themselves and what they add to the story really brings it alive. I really feel for Josiah, the son of an Reverend determined to rage on Ted, especially when Ted defends Josiah and gets him out of a negative home life. Though being who he is, he struggles with still loving his parents and needing to know they're ok.
I've never listened to a book narrated by Vance Bastian before and it has been a really great experience. He brings such feeling and characterisation into his voice for each character.
I truly enjoyed this book. The story was touching and came with a lot of love, and hard experiences. Strong characters helped along those that needed a little push and care. I look forward to the next F.E. Feeley Jr book and will listen out for more from Vance Bastian. I would definitely recommend them both!
I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • edga
  • 11-01-17

Recommended.

I've not come across this narrator before, but I thought that he did a good job. A moving story, with well written and well rounded characters. The story moved along at a good pace, with good character development. I thought that both MCs were sympathetic, and well suited. The story was full of feeling. It's about how The MCs have to overcome their fears and pasts, to give themselves a chance of a relationship. It's also a story of how relationships between families can be ruined. The secondary characters were powerful and written so that they became part of the story and contributed well. Would def recommend.