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Mortal and Divine #1

Book of Orlando

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Henri has a policy of not interfering with human affairs—he’s a courier of souls, no more, no less—until he happens upon a boy who reminds him there is goodness and light amidst the sorrow.

Orlando is in a vulnerable situation when Henri intercedes on his behalf and initiates the bond between them. Despite being punished in the past for similar transgressions, Henri finds himself getting more entangled in Orlando’s life over the years, doling out “justice” to those who mean to harm his beloved friend.

In time, Orlando ages into a beautiful young man with agency all his own, and he harbors desires only Henri can satisfy.
But there are grave consequences for the mortal and divine when they consort with one another, and the gods will have their sacrifice.

The first of a trilogy, Book of Orlando is a work of adult, erotic fiction. It contains violence and moral ambiguity.

432 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 7, 2020

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About the author

Laura Lascarso

25 books444 followers
Laura Lascarso wants you to stay up way past your bedtime reading her stories. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of storytelling to heal and transform a society.

When not writing, Laura can be found screaming “finish” on the soccer fields, rewatching Avatar: The Last Airbender, and trying to convince politicians to act on climate change. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband and two kids. She loves hearing from readers, and she’d be delighted to hear from you.

Join her Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/LaurasLounge

Sign up for her newsletter at www.lauralascarso.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 129 reviews
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,093 reviews798 followers
February 9, 2020
Infinity Duh! Stars

To a human, time is fleeting. Like daylight in the winter months. Or a powdery dusting of snow on the ground, only existing until the morning sun burns it away.

Gushing! Ahead!

This is the best paranormal book ever. Mortals and Divines for the win. I freaking loved it. Everything works from the beginning. GAAAAAAHHH!!!!!


We get the POVs of both characters, it is so satisfying, I can’t even explain. I said it once and I will say it again Laura owns my heart. This book is like nothing I have read before same goes for her previous books Hiroku and The Bravest Thing. They are the best Lgbtq YA books ever.

Or main MCs are Henri and Orlando – These two are very well developed characters. We get to know them from a young age and grow with them. There is a special connection when you get to grow with the characters. Henri and Orlando are very intriguing, fresh and are so interesting that you can’t help but root and fall in love with them from the beginning of the story.

The side characters are also well developed. I am hoping in the near future we get to read some of their stories.


The story itself flows so well from page one. The world building is so beautiful, interesting and so well done. Laura didn’t leave anything to chance. I was left mesmerized by this world of Mortals and Divines. I will not go into details because I don’t want to give anything about the plot away, it is better to go in blind and be mesmerized by this beautiful world that Laura has created.

The best part of this book is the relationship. GAAAAAHHH! Talk about the slowest of the slowest burns. It feels so good. It is so romantic, the old fashioned kind that i love so much. Henri and Orlando have chemistry that is off the pages. I could feel it burn through me. I was tingly every time they were on page together. It was oozing sexual tension.


The sex, LAAAAAWD Father….. Laura decided to let her kinky side out to play. The sex in this book does not shy away from any sex space.. We get the things plus money shot after money shot. So - so worth it. Double GAAAAAAAHHH!!!!

“Yes,” you rasped and spread your cheeks wide to make an offering of yourself. I took one of your knees over my shoulder again and dragged you all the way to the edge of the table, so that my angle was most advantageous.


Let’s not forget the other best part. The humor! I was Loling so hard my stomach almost didn’t survive. Gaaaahhhhh!!!!

Book of Orlando is everything. It is an enchanting story, i was seduced to fall in with the story from the beginning. I laughed, I cried, I was heartbroken, I loved, I fell in love and everything in between. Orlando, Henri and everyone in this book, except some characters.....


Highly Recommended.

Arc generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Snjez.
735 reviews385 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 15, 2020
dnf @ 84%

I wanted to love this story. So much. Laura Lascarso is one of my favourite authors. And it features a ballet dancer. Sadly, so many things didn't work for me here:

- I never connected with Orlando and Henri as characters, nor them as a couple
- this is not the first story I've read where a character needed "a host", but here it made me feel uncomfortable
- for some reason the blood thing made me feel uncomfortable, too
- again, not the most violent story I've ever read, but some of the things that happened here felt unnecessary
- my bad for not reading the blurb properly, it does say "erotic fiction"
- I didn't like the intimate scene with Bruno, it felt very wrong and unnecessary
- the thing with Sergei literally made me feel sick
- Orlando makes the worst decisions ever
- I really hate characters like Henri's mum, so typical for paranormal stories with gods, angels and demons

I tried to push myself to finish this, because everyone seems to love it, but ultimately, I just don't think this story is for me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for XiaXia Lake.
Author 6 books170 followers
February 8, 2020

You, dear reader, have not read anything like this before. A paranormal unlike any other paranormal stories out there.

It was an honor and a dream come true to be one of Laura's betas for this book. Laura had been my favorite YA LGBTQ author for the past 2 years, so when she asked if I could beta BOO, I was over the moon. Then, she said there would be a bloodsucker MC and I panicked. 

You see... In the past decade I have DNFed or skimmed through every single vampire, werewolf, fairy or demon inspired book out there (except Dreamfever). I started crying on Moony's shoulder (thank you for the moral support, Moony <3)  that I might disappoint Laura, because I hated vampire books with a capital H, and that would make me the WORST beta ever.

Well... this is not a vampire book. Hurray!

  As a spirit, I could be your angel. But a body made a demon out of me.  

Before reading Book of Orlando I thought paranormal books and I would never get along. I was so wrong. I just needed the right writer, and the right story so I could get immersed in a book I would have never considered for a TBR. 


Written in 2nd person POV, the story becomes personal and alluring. You feel Henri and Orlando are addressing you with each sentence, and yet they are addressing each other, and you are the fly on the wall. A world filled with demons and angels and the destiny of a human entangled in the supernatural is brought to life in the most beautiful way possible. Expect hard times, expect good times, and after the last sentence of the book expect the future. Keep your mind open as Laura has only started with this series.

Oh, and the sex. MY GOD! READ THIS already!


Thank you also to Cristina, Elena, Moony, Rosa, Shile, and Teal for the BR. 💃💃
Profile Image for Marci.
418 reviews151 followers
November 22, 2022
The writing is beautiful - I would expect nothing less from this author! But I truly didn’t enjoy this book. It felt like a chore to read it each time I picked it up and because I had already invested so much time into reading it (because it’s longggg) I couldn’t bring myself to DNF it but oh boy did I want to!!! Felt nothing for the characters or the story. Anything could have happened and I would have had felt about the same as I do standing in a long line at a store - mildly annoyed, ready for it to be over but with an understanding and appreciation that there’s an end in sight. The worst part is I know I’ll finish the whole series even if it’s ten years from now because I can’t stand leaving series unfinished. Maybe this will be the exception to my “rule.”🤞🏻 I’m such a giant Laura Lascarso fan but this was very much not for me!
Profile Image for ♡ c a l ♡.
499 reviews113 followers
August 22, 2021
note: this book contains rape, voyeurism, vampirism, gore, non-con acts, child molestation, abuse, blood play

That night I dreamed of the two of us. You were a warrior, and I was your golden idol to be pursued and conquered. I dreamed of all the sexy ways we'd be reunited and woke up damp from my own ejaculation. For the first time in months, I felt hopeful.

i finished this book at almost 3 in the morning. took me quite a long time to read this because recently i got myself obsessed with stardew valley oops. i just wanna say that i loved both henri and orlando bell so much in this. so the hype is real and well deserved for this one. the only reason why i couldn't give this story the full-blown 5 stars was because it took me quite a while to be at peace, i guess, with their relationship. the sex was hot but i got CONCERNS. it was straight up unconventional but mind is like 'it is henri BUT it is not henri'. but thankfully that was remedied in the last chapters even if these two fucked up their situation in a much much worse way. in my opinion, i fucking hate these angels with their god complexes especially after everything henri did for them in the end. as for the writing, it was magical and very gripping. it was divine. this story is heavy with exposition thats why it was too long. but despite its length, i won't wished for it up to be shorter. i needed everything in this. we followed orlando bell's journey from him being a small cute boy who calls henri as 'onree' to a successful ballet dancer for a ballet company. and with everything that he went through, he have henri, his guardian angel, his nephilim. there was a bit of grooming (i'm not sure?) though because henri, a thousand year old deity, was 'drawn' to orlando right from the beginning. the devotion that these two have for one another made me love this story so much. they're the type of characters that would gladly move heaven and hell just for them to be together. lastly, oh my god i was fuming with orlando's choices in the 75%-ish part. i was disappointed and enraged and sad.

"I'm not godless, Henri. I have faith in you, even when you don't have faith in yourself. And I believe we belong together. I'm yours, Henri. Claim me. "

THE ENDING GUTTED ME. reading book 2 now! but lower expectations. i just want to see my men fucking happy and thriving.
Profile Image for Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader).
389 reviews1,239 followers
January 6, 2021
To have kept you as my beloved was both my greatest joy and my deepest sorrow.

I have truly, truly, truly never read a book like this. M/M or otherwise. Yes, I have read books of vampires, demons and angels, but never with Lascarso's unique touches. The emotions were palpable, and sensuality twined sinuously around words and through the pages. It was exotic and all encompassing. From the moment I read the synopsis about an angel falling in love with a ballet dancer, I knew, knew, knew I had to get my hands on this book. I am truly bewitched anytime an author makes a character an artist, and does it well, because it is so uncommon. Especially a ballet dancer, and a male on at that. Ballet is an art of my soul and I was delighted that is was more than just a plot point, but part of the characters and truly a part of the overarching plot.

This book was beautifully, beautifully, beautifully, written and Henri and Orlando's voices were strong, strong, strong. I so enjoyed being inside their heads, seeing situations from their different point-of-views and how their personalities and experiences influenced their decisions. The way in which Book of Orlando is written, in second person but as though through letters, added such a different feel to the story. I can only think of one other instance in which I've read a book written this way. It was romantic and wistful and added an element of suspense, which had me a swoony, yearning mess. I was in it with them. Through great joy and deep, deep sorrow. I saw and felt it all.

Everything about Book of Orlando was captivating and enticing, from the witty and stubborn main characters, to the mysterious and manipulative secondary, to the world of angels and demons. I was entrapped until the very end.
My soul was yours to lead astray.

Lascarso painted a different picture of angels, demons and vampires. One that was brilliant, enchanting and so, so, so refreshing. I'm very excited for the next book as I have no idea how this story will end and my brain kind of broke with that last chapter. I cannot wait learn more about the world and I'm ready for the adventure. I have a feeling it's going to be quite intense, intense, intense

Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,765 reviews3,851 followers
March 25, 2020
My already hummingbirdlike attention span has taken a SERIOUS hit due to recent events so it's difficult to say whether it was that or if the first part was actually a slog. Regardless for this hummingbird the struggle was real.

I considered abandoning it altogether especially after getting squicky while reading this:

He's nurtured you from a very young age, tended to you lovingly over the years, and now that you've reached maturity, he wishes to reap the fruits of his labor. There may be billions of humans on this earth, but you're the one he's cultivated.

'Cultivated' is the word that made me make a face. 'Cultivated' is next door neighbors to 'groomed'. And gross.

However, I kept going for basically one reason: the way it was told, like they were lazing on a beach reminiscing about the old days while blissfully happy and content.

What? I'm a romantic.

But I won't lie I trudged through a good chunk of it even though I knew it was all in the service of characterization and the characterization is on point. Orlando is headstrong, reckless, immature and insecure throughout, though to be fair he is 18, so he should read 18. And he does. He sooooo does. Which may have been part of the problem because I admit I wanted to drop kick him a time or twelve. He grew on me. Sort of. Still not sold on him.

Henri I liked better but he too didn't WOW me. Though I recognized the care and feeding of his characterization as well and I appreciate they both have clear and distinct voices.

What I adored was the world building. And the sex. But first let me just say this take on the paranormal is fascinating, clever and unique and I cannot wait to see how this unfolds.

The sex is a little bit kinky just like I like it. Henri is a one hard and in charge top who's ready, willing and able to wreck out Orlando. Regularly. Sometimes with an audience even!

*double finger guns with a side mouth UNH-HUH*

But what ultimately won me over is a next door neighbor to what squicked me to begin with which is this obsessive-can't-live-without-you love they have going for them. That, as a card carrying squishy marshmallow, works like gangbusters for me.

So even though it started off a bit bumpy Book of Orlando won me over in the end and I'll be anxiously awaiting the next book in the trilogy.

Trigger warnings for: mentions of childhood sexual abuse, violence and torture.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,405 reviews1,855 followers
July 1, 2020
July 1, 2020 : sale alert!! .99$ for the entire month of July.


I am not sure where to begin with this one.

I want to impress upon you how this isn't quite like any other paranormal you've read; sure, you might be familiar with the usual angels and demons in your fantasy, but this is something new. Are you tired of the same old immortal bloodsuckers, sparkly or otherwise? Lascarso's got you covered. Want all that and for it to be hot and.. well, scorching hot? Yep and yep.

I find writing this review impossible, and have written and deleted innumerable iterations of this, because I was trying to detail the story and give nothing away and that is just not happening. Everything feels like a spoiler, everything feels like I'm saying too much and ruining the surprise. And that's the last thing I want to do.

So, suffice it to say that this book deals with trauma, agency, sexual discovery, consent, assault, and abuse, but is also sweet, tender, sexy as hell, and so much more. Orlando is the sassy sweet brat you never knew you wanted to read about, Henri is the epitome of a gentleman demon, and their connection, their love, is everything. The world around them, the magic and the immortals, the age old grievances and the blood, is fascinating, complex, and dark.

I need book two, like, now.

** I received an ARC from the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Teal.
597 reviews190 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 12, 2020
Sometimes I’ll read a book with well-written, well-developed characters I never grow to care about. It’s not a case of disliking them; it’s analogous to the real-life situation of meeting someone who seems like a decent enough person — but I just don’t click with them.

That happened to me here with the MCs, the 2000-year old disembodied demon Henri, and the child-to-teenage Orlando. I made it almost halfway through the book before DNF-ing, without ever feeling emotionally invested in them. Why? Who knows. Well, actually I have a theory. But it's hidden behind the spoiler tag below.

Although the characters didn't hook me, the story offered some intriguing worldbuilding — a mashup of, at a minimum, Christian, Jewish, and ancient Greek mythology, all woven into real-world history — and that was enough to keep me going. Plus, I was buddy-reading with Cristina, Elena, Hotaru, Moony, Rosa, Shile and Xia, which made it an adventure worth having regardless of whether or not I loved the book.

But then I hit a wall. At first I thought what tripped me up was something purely personal, and therefore not relevant to anyone else. But it does have the potential to be an issue for other readers… there's just no way to predict who, since as far as I can tell no one else has even noticed it, much less been bothered by it. In the end I decided to just stick it behind a spoiler tag and leave it here for better or worse.

DNF @ 46%
Profile Image for Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers.
948 reviews274 followers
July 26, 2020
This is a recommendation from Claudie. If she didn't rec it, never would have caught my attn. Good thing it's on KU! Will begin soon...

Alright, @ 11%, here's some inspiration pics of Orlando... enjoying so far! Good writing. Interesting that it's 2nd person dual POV.





And now the bloodborn body of Henri:





So, here's the review.

The writing is good. The suspense and mystery and plot movement was good sometimes, and slow as hell other times. That slow part was essentially the endless pages in between when Henri and Orlando f*cked endlessly. Now, I know I complained at one point that I wasn't getting my sexy times. But then, as Claudie warned, it truly did get HEAVY. And LONG. And On and On!!!

I think if the sex was more intense, punctuated by significant movements in plot and character development, I wouldn't have minded. But all it did was make me sleepy and want to skip.

All in all, a good book. I will read more. But I'm going to take a break, clean my pallate so to speak, with another book, and come back later.
Profile Image for Loulou .
870 reviews
December 12, 2021
Holy freaking shit! THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!

I received a copy from the author and this is my honest review...


For fans of #UrbanFantasy #Vampirism #Angels #Angst

PS.... Get a buddy reader because you will need emotional support! And VENTING! .... Mine was the awesome Nikki Simpson
PPS... heed the trigger warnings.

Why read this book....
1. The Characters....

Orlando: The ballerino, the child who was dealt a bad hand, but who had a guardian angel on his side, to help him, guide him, protect him and love him. #AlwaysThere

Henri: The guardian angel, the nephilim, the fallen king. All those titles are overshadowed by what he is to Orlando... his lover, his soulmate, his secret. #HideYouAway

2. The Plot...
Unique, engaging, investing, out of the box and so much more. It is a story of secrets and love, obsession and pain. Also... beware the angst and get tissues. #OneOfAKind

3. The Romance...
Slow burn because of Orlando's age when we meet him. The romance that blooms between them over time is organic, romantic and flawless. #Inevitable

4. The Heat...
LEVEL 10 HEAT! Holy freaking hell, the sex scenes were scorching! #PantiesWentPoof

5. The Point of view...
This is written in delicious second person point of view. #Yum

6. The Ending...
It's a cliffy... yup... but good news! Book 2 is out so you can jump right in when you finish this, just like I am right now. #NoPatience

Profile Image for Rina Pride.
273 reviews77 followers
February 13, 2022
4.5 Stars

Eu amei o estilo de narração desse livro!! Principalmente nas partes do Nefilim Henri, o meio-demônio possui uma lábia muito charmosa, seu jeito de falar sobre Orlando é muito gostoso de ler, fui conquistada por Henri e seu amor por Orlando 💝

Acompanhar o início e o "fim" da história de Henri e Orlando foi emocionante e triste, Henri já tinha tido um passado trágico com um humano décadas atrás, por essa razão que sua proteção por Orlando passava do nível da normalidade, algo entendivel na situação dele. Seu medo numa repetição de seu passado ficou no ar o tempo toda na história e deu para compreender seu maior temor.

À construção do mundo espiritual dessa história foi uma das coisas que mais me agradou. Achei que a autora foi bem criativa e convincente na história que ela queria passar sobre como são às coisas no mundo espiritual e como isso nos afeta.

Foi o primeiro livro de uma trilogia que com certeza ainda têm muito para emocionar e surpreender. O primeiro livro foi ótimo, mas nada é perfeito. Teve algumas coisas que achei desnecessária, uma delas foi quando Bruno foi assistir a transa de Orlando e Henri, acho trio uma coisa desagradável. Sexo é uma coisa íntima, amizade não tem nada a ver com lance sexual. Achei um momento beeem desnecessário na história, mas isso não estragou minha empolgação com essa história, só senti um gosto amargo ( sou meio chata com isso e detesto trio sexual ou amoroso).

Outra coisa desnecessária foi Sergey, todo aquele personagem era desnecessário 💩

Não posso afirmar que vou continuar adorando essa história, vai depender do que vou ler no segundo livro. Já li muitas histórias que começaram ótimas e foram estragadas por seus autores e invenções. Espero que Mortal e divino não seja uma dessas trilogias que comecei amando e terminei odiando.

Ah, sou brasileira e sei como é morar no Rio de Janeiro, ter um brasileiro na história é interessante 😅

Veremos o que vou achar do segundo e terceiro livro!!



4.5 Stars

I loved the narration style of this book!! Especially in the parts of Nephilim Henri, the half-demon has a very charming talk, his way of talking about Orlando is very nice to read, I was conquered by Henri and his love for Orlando 💝

Accompanying the beginning and the "end" of Henri and Orlando's story was exciting and sad, Henri had already had a tragic past with a human decades ago, for this reason that his protection by Orlando went beyond the level of normality, something understandable in the situation. his. Fear of him in a repetition of his past was in the air throughout the story and his greatest fear was understandable.

The construction of the spiritual world of this story was one of the things that pleased me the most. I thought the author was very creative and convincing in the story she wanted to convey about how things are in the spirit world and how it affects us.

It was the first book in a trilogy that certainly still has a lot to thrill and surprise. The first book was great, but nothing is perfect. There were some things that I found unnecessary, one of them was when Bruno went to watch Orlando and Henri have sex, I think trio is an unpleasant thing. Sex is an intimate thing, friendship has nothing to do with sex. I thought it was a really unnecessary moment in the story, but that didn't spoil my excitement about this story, I just felt a bitter taste (I'm kind of boring about it and I hate sex or love trio).

Another unnecessary thing was Sergey, all that character was unnecessary 💩

I cannot say that I will continue to love this story, it will depend on what I read in the second book. I've read many stories that started out great and were spoiled by their authors and inventions. I hope Mortal and Divine isn't one of those trilogies that I started out loving and ended up hating.

Ah, I'm Brazilian and I know what it's like to live in Rio de Janeiro, having a Brazilian in the story is interesting 😅

We'll see what I think of the second and third book!!

Profile Image for Elena.
836 reviews88 followers
February 9, 2021
On one hand, I think my reading experience with this book suffered, if a 4-stars rating can be called suffering, from bad timing. I read it on the tail end of a massive book hangover and I think that played a part in the difficulty I had to connect with the character(s).
On the other hand, I read this book on the tail of a massive hangover and yet, despite the few things that didn’t work perfectly, I’m here to say that I’d like the next book right now, please, if it’s not too much to ask.

I don’t do book hangovers well. I don’t do them often, but when they stick, they stick. I can stay frozen for days in the land of rereading, dnf and meh-books-that-wouldn’t-be-so-bad-at-another-time before I come out of a big hangover and this one was huge. I wasn’t ready to move on, but I had also been looking forward to reading Book of Orlando for months, so I didn’t want to wait.
If the amazing worldbuilding, the originality of the characters and their story, and the writing weren’t sign of how good this book is, the mere fact that it caught and kept my interest while I was in the worst reading headspace possible would’ve been enough.

The story is in second person narrative with alternating POVs, the MCs “talk” to each other while telling their story and I loved that stylistic choice. It worked wonderfully for Henri, I connected with him almost immediately (the scene at the beginning where was a very small one, but so vivid, I could feel his emotions come through) and I loved his characterization, from his backstory to his way of speech and his sometimes inadvertently funny side.
I found it harder to connect with Orlando. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, I think it was a mix of the already mentioned hangover and the fact that his voice wasn’t as distinctive as Henri’s to me, because I didn’t have a problem with his characterization, he acted and reacted true to his age and his personality and I appreciated that consistency even when I might have liked things to be easier. Easy doesn’t keep you to the edge of your seat, though, and past a certain point, I couldn’t pry my fingers away from my kindle. (Really, I’m ready for that second book anytime.)

I had some other minor issues.

Even with that, this book remains a great start for the series and...you guessed it, I can’t wait for the next book.

Content warning:
Profile Image for Lisazj1.
2,072 reviews147 followers
February 9, 2020
4.5 stars and I'm knocking off the half star because though I loved them both, have mercy, did both Henri and Orlando make me crazy! *side-eyes Orlando, because really?* And because HOW COULD YOU LEAVE ME THERE, HOW???

Truly imaginative world and fantastic characterizations, even the things that made me nuts were real and true to the character.

When's the next book?? O.O
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,075 reviews611 followers
September 23, 2021
2 Stars

DNF @ 40%

I couldn’t connect with Henri & Orlando’s characters. I couldn’t feel their chemistry and after reading their first sex scene I knew I should give up. I got bored…
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,359 reviews140 followers
March 5, 2023
Damn, *sigh* this book.
Damn this book!!
I'm hot and cold and sleep deprived.
I started yesterday and was cruising along, enamored by Henri and Orlando.
Then I made a HUGE mistake. I thought I'd pop over to Amazon and buy the second book, so I was all set and ready to fly into the next (cliffhanger anticipated) AND I saw something in the blurb in book 2 that I wish I wouldn't have. I mean, not yet. I was furious with myself. How could I? I spoiled it. AND I HATE SPOILERS. But, it was no one's fault by my own. I almost stopped reading. I mean, what I saw....No, just no.
But I couldn't stop.
So, I read until the wee hours of the morning and then stared at my ceiling for hours.
And I'm STILL pissed. Ha! And sad. But ultimately, madder. And yet I'm still debating about buying book 2. Who I am kidding, I'm buying the damn thing!

This was my first tango with Lascarso and wow, color me impressed.
Her world-building was epic and I eagerly peeled away the countless layers of Henri and Orlando.

⚠ There are many triggers here...this is not a light read by any means.

Also, it's lengthy (for good reasons) and full to the brim.

I could look at the timeline in two ways; Henri was significantly older than Orlando. Oh, by about two thousand years. They meet when Orlando is a young boy. Henri is pulled away from Orlando until they connect again a decade later. Their relationship changes like a chameleon in front of our eyes. Friend to lover to something else entirely. If I read between the lines too closely, I could have lost my stomach.
BUT I chose to see a bond, a lifelong bond that morphs as needed.

Henri charmed his way right into my heart. It's clear he battles the darkness within himself. When he meets Orlando at the playground, he senses the boy needs him. Suddenly, Orlando becomes precious to Henri and he vows to protect him with everything he can. He loved and lost before and he's yet to forgive himself. He is still paying the price with his sentence from the Gods. When will he be free? Can he ever move forward?

Orlando's dealt a crap hand of life cards. But he plays them the best he can. He's stubborn, sassy and a fighter. He's dedicated to his dancing and I loved watching him chase his dreams. Having a demon boyfriend isn't easy but Henri is all Orlando wants. The turnabout is fair because all Henri wants is a chance to love and protect Orlando. Their love is boundless but impossible.

Once the sexy times begin they don't stop. 🔥
They are insatiable and kinky. Their passion is off the charts.

I just...can't believe that ending. Gahhhh!
If it wasn't a cliffhanger, I'd probably still throw my kindle off a cliff.
I'm reading Bloodborn Prince after my soul settles a bit.
I need a time-out. Ha!

*3 no 5 no 4 stars*
Profile Image for Quaint.
128 reviews8 followers
October 20, 2020
This book is like a fine wine, becoming more and more divine with time.

“ like a story where one is completely immersed, wanting to know the ending, while at the same time never wanting it to end.”

So expensive and classy.
So delicate and tender.
So appealing and alluring.
So sweet and sexy.
I am drunk on it.

The author’s writing style is very exquisite and well-defined. Fancy vocabularies are common here. The MCs chemistry is off the chart. Henri, a punished demigod with no body unless possess others, is fascinated with our beautiful Orlando both his sensitive perception and talent. Orlando’s life has been hard on him and Henri plays a part in helping out. From that point, their lives, human and divine, are becoming more intertwined. They are becoming more emotional and physical attached.

At some point, It was a bit slow burn because Orlando was underage and mischievous that he harbored a carnal fantasy with his demon boyfriend *he just coined a term for their relationship out of nowhere* and his demon boyfriend was nowhere near innocent either. *he would never admit it tho*
Oh! It was utterly worth the wait though. Utterly. *wink*
They made love so very deliciously and so hot.

I love Orlando with all of his beauty and blemish and his jealous, obsessive, and possessive demon boyfriend.
Their love was so consuming and overwhelming. So true and sacred. So free and reverent.
There were so much in this book to keep you entertained and enthralled and thrilled and a bit trepidation at the end. The end shattered me to pieces with sadness and wonder of their undying love.
I am obsessed and treasure this book so much.
Profile Image for Princess under cover.
571 reviews244 followers
July 27, 2020
I agree with most of what Starr wrote in her review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The 2nd person POV was refreshing. I've only read one other novella that uses this voice. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The Last Vampire (A Short Story) by J.T. Geissinger . That one ended "unhappily" but was still a fantastic read.

It's different. And that makes the writing kinda unique.

It was good writing. Nothing too flashy or flowery. The relationship between the MCs was well developed. I was likely less annoyed by the "cheating" that goes on. But what I was annoyed by is the slow progression of the plot in the middle. I think the relationship was already established by then. It seemed like many of the sex scenes were superfluous to the story being told. With Bruno, and later while Henri and Orlando got it on in front of Lena's servants and Lucian. While I was fine reading it, aside from titillation, I don't see what the point was. Probably could have cut out 20-30% and still ended up with the same story, just with less fat.

Good news is, this is on KU. Bad news is, the next one isn't out yet. And there's 3 of them, if I read correctly. I really don't like the lack of closure, and I don't like double and triples in general. I like self-contained stories. And if the next one isn't even about half of the main couple, I don't know I'd want to continue.

Honestly, the author should have streamlined this whole thing and ended with that bittersweet letter. I don't mind "unhappy" endings if the writing is good and the story makes sense.

But threesomes? Love triangles? Cliff hangers? No thank you.

3.5 stars rounded to 4.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,494 reviews426 followers
September 11, 2020
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.75 stars

Creative and erotic, emotional and heartbreaking, Book of Orlando is a book that delivers. With an intriguing plot and a unique opening, we meet Henri first. The year is 1986. The book alternates between first and second person, which sounds impossible, but Lascarso makes it work. It seems at first that Henri is telling Orlando about their first meeting and then their subsequent relationship: It was on that particular bleak day in the summer of 1986, when I encountered you on an empty playground…. The book then pulls in and out of time with scenes of the men directly together and then moments where they are subtly recounting events. There is a reason, there is most definitely a reason, and that reason is what might possibly break your heart.

This is the start of a trilogy and the ending here could leave you breathless. It’s amazing to find a book that has an innovative storyline that at times edges darker and at others plunges deep into those darkest parts of man and immortal. There is no HEA at this point, but there is hope.

Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Eugenia.
1,617 reviews240 followers
May 7, 2020
One of my favorite authors!!

To sum this up:

Great beginning!
Slowwwwww in the middle...
Spectacular ending!! Wow!

All in all, this was a very satisfying angel/mortal novel and I’m looking forward to the next two books in the series!!!

Warnings: sexual abuse, extreme violence (in parts), cheating (kind of), non/dub-con, sexual manipulation.

My rec? For fans of the paranormal, this is a must-read!
Profile Image for Gabi.
673 reviews115 followers
February 25, 2020
I don't think the author just shrugged her shoulders and decided 'I'm going to write in second person, just because.' It was a conscious decision, because in my opinion the story demanded it. The writing style has a purpose. It's a premonition in itself. Of course I didn't necessarily realized that immediately. XD But as I went deeper into the story I started to have suspicions. Whether I was right or wrong that's a different question. lol

Henri's character is possibly the highlight of this book for me. Imagine an angel, who's not an angel. Imagine a vampire, a ghost, an apparition, a spirit. He's not any of those things but all of them. He's also ancient, poor guy. ;) And that's where the world-building also comes in. I know I'm being very cryptic, I can't help it. XD So when all of the above comes into play, you have a character who is very complicated... or should be... but Henri isn't all that hard to figure out. (Except when he's being a secretive ass.) I really liked his manner of speech: always respectful, sometimes too polite and formal, but also commanding when he needed to be. I was fascinated by the different sides of him. He was the humble servant and loyal guardian, the cheeky and confident cast-out who liked to rub it in, and the lonely spirit full of longing. But if I have to choose if he's sweet and angelic or a 'badboy', I'm not at all sure where the scale would tip over. I'm leaning towards the latter, only because he has this dangerous air about him, despite his good intentions and actions.

Orlando has fewer chapters and I haven't connected with him so strongly as with Henri. I wondered if his pov would have been better in first person instead, so I could connect with him more.
The author definitely likes writing imperfect characters who sometimes make stupid decisions in the name of love. We saw it in Hiroku. And here Orlando adds a little salt and vinegar to our gaping wounds, because what is more tragic than falling in love with your guardian angel who doesn't have a body.

I have read a few books before about angels and demons and the like, so there were familiar names like the Nephilim or the Grigori, and they mostly mean the same thing as in other books, but there is always a twist. So my suggestion is if you ever read about these things, to just forget about them and go with the flow, you'll get the explanations eventually.

There is not much religious stuff mentioned... maybe one paragraph about God and the Bible but that's it.

I do think this book is brilliant, divine even. But with every book there is some things that one reader might like better than the other. With that said, there were 2 things I didn't enjoy. One was a development that came from Orlando being in love and young and stupid, as they say. And while I didn't enjoy that part myself, I do think it was well-written....and you know.. the necessary bad before the good, if that makes sense. But sometimes writers need to write about the bad stuff too, not just the good. The other thing I didn't like... or let's say it would have worked better for me with some changes (and I have to be totally honest, I'm 90% sure that it's the beta reader in me talking) ... was a scene that was most definitely created for enjoyment *wink-wink. However it just made me confused. Not that it didn't make sense at all... cause it did once I thought it through, but man was I trippin'.  XD

The secondary characters are all very well-developed and add to the complication Orlando is facing with Henri.

So I highly recommend this book. But I really need a follow-up. While I'm very.. and I mean very curious about Xavier and Santiago (i did have a daydream about them the other day, khm) I would like more of Orlando and Henri too.
4.5 stars rounded up! Hug life!
Profile Image for Claudie ☾.
547 reviews138 followers
June 18, 2020
Wow. It’s been a while since I've cried over a book, but this one broke my heart. From the very first pages until the end, I was drowning in feels. It was unputdownable. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read.

Orlando was a sassy kid with serious issues. I completely adored him. He'd been dealt a shitty hand, and my heart went out to him. For better or for worse, his chance encounter with Henri - both a blessing and a curse - shaped the rest of his life. Orlando imprinted on him like a baby duckling.

Henri was Orlando’s savior in so many ways. Caring and considerate, but also ruthless and forceful, he was a study in contrast and arguably one of my favorite characters ever. I was a bit wary when he became so fixated on Orlando when he was just six years old . I shouldn’t have - the story progressed beautifully, and I was taken on a ride I won’t soon forget.

Their relationship was INTENSE - obsessive, codependent, and not very healthy at all. But that was the beauty of it. Who’d want to read about an easy relationship with an immortal being, anyway? Not me, that’s for sure. And don’t even get me started on the sex. Holy cow, some of THE hottest scenes I’ve read in MY LIFE are in this book. Definitely NSFW.

The world building was amazing, and the unique narration style (second person POV) was the perfect choice for this story. It was everything I could hope for and more. After such an ending, though, I need the sequel ASAP!
Profile Image for Kazza.
1,441 reviews148 followers
February 20, 2020

The book I've been waiting for. Not that I knew that it was Book of Orlando, just that I've been asking for this kind of paranormal/supernatural book to be written. Laura Lascarso delivered the goods

There is a lot to unpack in the review, but unpack it I shall. I revelled in this story and I must discuss it.
(blog review now here-)
 photo Potential-OTDU-Banner-9-Smaller2_zpsf0878d67.png

I really need to breathe. Breathe. Breathe until the next series book is available. Easier said than done.

Briefly... for those who would like to know bits and pieces-

This book is not necessarily for the faint of heart, there is blood and gore, and potentially triggering themes

This is going to pan out to be one epic love story but it isn't settled in this book. The love between Orlando and Henri is palpable, it fairly leaps off the page - it's declared - the romance is sumptuous but it isn't a HEA or HFN by this book's end. There is a gasp, clasped my pearl necklace ending.

The writing is stellar but second person is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. I really had to adjust. However, the story and characters are so special that whatever person the book was written in, it would be spectacularly good.

Ballet is my thing. My son danced to a high level - had the worst feet and the toes like the author describes to a tee, it took me back. I know all the male variations, appreciated them as Orlando's career progressed, and La Bayadère is perfect as a backdrop to this story.

Profile Image for haletostilinski.
1,194 reviews369 followers
February 15, 2020
Before anyone freaks out about the MCD tag I have, .

I'm not quite sure how to feel at the end of this book. For the most part, I enjoyed it a lot and it has an amazing writing style of this wonderful author, and the connection between Orlando and Henri was pretty amazing.

I just had quite a few problems within this. One, the threesome. I don't understand the purpose of it or why it was included, especially when early on these two claim that they want to be monogamous and get jealous and somewhat possessive at times.

Also, nature of the threesome. It's with Orlando's best friend Bruno, and at first the book makes it seem like he's just gonna watch - which is fine, as long as someone doesn't participate, I'm fine with it - and then Orlando seems uncomfortable with it, like he doesn't want it, but then all the sudden it's about him actually wanting it? And the thing Orlando does is suck Bruno off, which baffles me because of what happened in Orlando's past and how long it took him to trust Henri and be comfortable with him to even give Henri a blow job. But he's totally fine with doing it to Bruno? (Who, yes, I know is his very close friend, but still...if it takes him awhile with the man he loves, why would he be just fine doing it with Bruno when this is the first sexual encounter they've had?)

Also, when was there a notion of sharing between these two before it? Yes, Henri was aware of one day Orlando having to move on and wanting Orlando to be happy with someone else because he couldn't provide everything Orlando deserved, but that does not translate to sharing to me.

In my opinion, I don't get the point of threesomes unless it is a throuple or more book - which the blurb clearly states - or the blurb warns for an open relationship (or it's at the beginning before real feelings are involved). And in my opinion, any relationship that includes another, even if it's just once, is an open relationship. I'd like to know that going in so I'm not completely blindsided with scenes like this. It came out of nowhere, it didn't happen again, there was no strong desire expressed by either before or after to do, so I was just baffled? And annoyed.

And I realize some probably won't be bothered, but I was. This book is about Orlando and Henri, they both state they want monogamy, there's no indication they want anything other than beforehand - in fact Orlando even thinks about how he doesn't even want anyone else except for Henri, so why???

(And also monogamy to me is not "Mainly us with a third every once in awhile" it is just the two (or three (or more) if it's polyamorous and no one else. Also I don't think there is "mostly monogamous" you either are or aren't lol.)

Also, what happened with Sergei. I personally think authors should try to get more in the habit of warning readers. Not about everything, but about big stuff like that. It's not an inconvenience to put it at the beginning of the book or anything, in my opinion.

Also, that ending! Super frustrating! Total cliffhanger. Even though I know there is definite hope and there will definitely be a that is just a mean way to end the book. Not even close to a HFN or HEA. Some hope for it, yes, but I got to the end and was like "that's it?" I mean...at least we know there's going to be more so that's not just...it.

But aside from these few negatives that I'm complaining about, this was pretty great overall and I did enjoy it. I think people should also be warned for

So overall, great book. Just so pretty big niggles for me, which is why I couldn't give this book 5 stars. I think, with this series, after the way this ended, I'm going to wait until the last too books are out before reading more - and being able to read reviews about them - because I don't know if I can take another cliffhanger ending or more threesomes out of nowhere.
Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,243 reviews1 follower
February 10, 2020
5+++ Mind-blowing absolutely mind-blowing!
Imagine... a guardian angel and a ballet dancer.

Henri, a courier of souls, serving as a bridge between realms, meets Orlando when he was a little boy of six years. Orlando knows of Henri’s presence. He’s the only one who can see him. At sixteen they meet again.
Against all rules, Henri builds up a relationship with Orlando. And oh my goodness, what a relationship it is. The most beautiful partnership blooms.
For Orlando there is just one, he knew from when he was young, and that is Henri.

Over the years their connection and love get stronger. A life without each other isn’t thinkable or possible. Until authority from Henri’s world interferes with them. His loyalty will be tested. Their end is near, very.
What follows you have to read yourself, it goes beyond imagination.

This whole journey was highly sensual, artful, sublime developed, extraordinarily lovable characters.

Henri is protective as no other.

The sensuality was of an impressively high level. So much love and devotion.
It has an outstanding world-building.

It had everything I wanted
Sensuality ✅
Blissful Sexuality ✅
Hurt ✅
Compassion ✅
Comfort ✅
Great world building ✅
Love ✅
Fantasy ✅
Romance ✅
Development ✅
The most adorable and intriguing main characters ✅
Diversity of secondary characters ✅
Devotion ✅
Claim ✅
Jealousy ✅
Magic ✅
Devastation ✅
Realms ✅
Beautiful woven sentences ✅
Artful way of writing ✅
Exclusivity ✅
Exhibitionism ✅
Voyeurism ✅
Protecting ✅
Possession ✅
Adoration ✅
Promises ✅

The angle from their POV’s was spectacular.
This story was everything.

Kindly received an arc from the author.
Profile Image for Rosa.
642 reviews6 followers
February 11, 2020
This was interesting. The premise and the author unique interpretation about some myths is refreshing, and by the end of the book I was hopelessly hooked. The narrative pace is also different. The second person narrator, at first was confusing for me but I got used to it soon. The beggining and the final part fo the book made me invested in the story and the characters' fate. And I liked the characters' voices. I'm grateful Orlando behave as a real teen, not as a fifty something impersonating one. What it didn't exactly worked for me was the middle part of the book, but that's a question of personal preference, I'm sure most of the people would love that part too.

I'm curious to know what's in store for book two, because at the end we're showed that, maybe, we've been too naive all along and we've aligned our loyalty in the wrong side.

Thank you my fellow BReaders (Cristina, Ele, Hotaru, Moony, Shile, Teal and Xia) for the awesome journey. As always, discussing this is so much fun!
Profile Image for Al *the semi serial series skipper*.
1,658 reviews671 followers
February 29, 2020
Give me a minute let me wipe this tear from my eye.

Ok, I'm back.

This is the review that made me read this book. I know I'm not going to be as eloquent as she was so enjoy Shile's review .

I haven't really been reading much MM because they suck now. Tbh every genre sucks for me now, perhaps I need to diversify, read horror or something, I don't know how much longer I can hold out. Luckily I came across that review and since I still have Hiroku on my tbr even though I added it 2 years ago, I decided to see what's up.

This book from dual POV of the MC was beyond awesome. I legit have no complaint. I loved Henri and Orlando, I was rooting for them the entire time, even towards the end I wanted some sort of divine intervention. I can already tell that Lena has something planned and that Henri will have more than he can handle in the next book.

I recommend this book to lovers of MM. Be warned that only this book is out at the moment and it is so good you might be mad at yourself after reading it and you don't have book 2 readily available. I know I'm sad. But yea, totally worth reading.
Profile Image for Cristina.
Author 28 books94 followers
February 16, 2020
**BR with Elena, Inma, Rosa, Shile, Teal, Xia and Moony**

Book of Orlando, the first instalment of the forthcoming trilogy Mortal and Divine, is a poignant and powerful beginning to the story and I really loved it.

Chronicling the relationship between a young dancer and a disembodied semi-god, the story follows Orlando and Henri over many years, from the moment six-year-old Orlando manages to see Henri's invisible spirit in a park in one of Miami's poor neighbourhoods.

Given the complexity of the plot and its many open threads, I won't say anything about the story itself but just focus on the things I found more compelling in the novel.

The worldbuilding for me was astonishing. It's so well constructed and over-reaching that I started feeling a sense of unease at the thought of the angelic/demonic beings lurking in the midst of humans. Nephilims, Malakhims, and soul reapers live and operate in the folds of human society and enter only into occasional contact with the men and women who inhabit it.

The existence of a world within the world was so well done that I completely fell into it and I also loved the sense of moral ambiguity that the worldbuilding brought with it.

The two main characters really conquered me from the very first line. Orlando is a beautiful mixture of bravado and fragility, he’s insecure and scarred by an abusive past, but he also has incredible depths of strength and resilience. I could really imagine him very vividly in my mind. The control and precision of his body in motion - he's a talented danseur - made for some really compelling pages.

Henri was also my darling from the very first line. I loved the effort he puts into controlling his pulsions, his sense of humour and how wild and unrestrained he can be once he and Orlando can finally enter into a physical relationship. He’s also very tormented by his ambiguous nature and I really suffered for him throughout the novel.

The writing style, using a second person narration with alternating POVs so that Henri and Orlando can talk to each other and recount the story from their own perspective, was, in my opinion, a great stylistic choice. It gave urgency to the book, thus making its otherwise potentially evanescent plotline solid and full of strength and immediacy.

The secondary characters, both humans and angelic, provide a great cast of supporters. Their nature as friends or foes remains unclear until the very end of the novel and creates great expectations in view of the other two volumes in the series.

Book of Orlando presents a number of uncomfortable issues, from violence to sexual abuse, and it's not always an easy novel to read, but the quality of its narrative and characters and Laura Lascarso's wonderful writing style, make it a highly recommended read.

Profile Image for Rielle.
474 reviews42 followers
May 26, 2021
This book was unlike anything I have read.

I really didn’t know what I expected when I started this book, but nothing could have prepared me. I had just come off reading another of this author’s books (it was lighthearted and sweet) so I thought I had some idea. My poor heart was not ready. I had to take several breaks during this reading because my emotions were so intense.

I don’t want to give too much away so I’m going to be vague. This story is epic. There are gods, possession, war, and love. This is a love story and it’s beautiful. It’s also sad and terrifying, but not in the usual ways of love. Orlando is human and he’s had a hard life. Henri is...not human. He wants to protect Orlando and spends some time trying to resist him. It doesn’t work.

This author did an amazing job with characterization. She never shied away from showing us just how young and naive Orlando was. He made some truly glaring mistakes that were devastating to watch. On the other hand, it was that youthfulness that allowed him to dive headfirst into his relationship and immerse himself without thought of consequences. Likewise, Henri’s chapters held a weight to them that showcases his experience with the world. His reluctance to engage based on his past experiences and his helplessness to not engage was a well done dichotomy that provided the more lighthearted early tension. Oh and Henri’s word choices were just so fun! The author did an excellent job giving both characters their own unique voices and had fun with their distinct use of words.

If you’re hesitant about the point of view, then don’t be and give it a chance. I stopped noticing quickly and when it was called to my attention I loved it. I defended it. I reveled in it. It gives this story a weight from the very beginning. There’s a sense of importance to every word being said that I couldn’t imagine being there otherwise. I’m sure that’s what made me anxious at times, but it’s those books that make you feel so deeply that stick with you. I know this story will be on my mind for a while.

This book is also: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥.

“I’m not godless, Henri. I have faith in you, even when you don’t have faith in yourself. And I believe we belong together.”

TW: childhood sexual assault, attempted rape
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