Of all the fallen angels I think this is my least favorite (I have read all of them in my youth). But I really appreciate Mary Jo Putney's writing. It sometimes flows a bit oddly, but always has a richness to it that I cannot describe. I think in the romance genre, some writers write fluffy romances, some dark, some light. And some writers, like Mary Jo Putney, write love stories. They explore a different dimension of our romantic psyche. The price they pay is that sometimes readers lose interests in all the supporting details.
The good thing about this book is precisely what Putney is good at: exploring less travelled territory. Michael fell in love before with his friend's wife and was burned badly, losing both the friend and the woman in the end, wary of yet intervening in another marriage and this time, with a fellow officer's wife. Catherine, a married woman saint and army wife, was secretly attracted to Michael but could not do anything about it. The story is rich because it explores at least 2 taboos: Thou shall not lust after your friend/colleague's woman for Michael and Thou shall not betray your marriage vows for Catherine.
I would have loved this book if it wasn't for Catherine's daughter. I don't do well with stories that feature a mother and her children. I always feel that the children take precedence over the hero, which is also what I observe in real life. Once women become mothers, their spouses take the backseat and nothing is more important than the children. While I find a mother's love honorable and respectable, I have trouble seeing how that could enrich a romance. These "mothers in romance" usually are extremely protective of their children and that creates a rift between men and women in the books, I feel. The mothers accept or refuse the men "because of the children". Same goes for the heros with children, too.