Fear and Desire by Kathleen Brandt

Fear and Desire by Kathleen Brandt
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Fern

Cassie’s been touched by an angel — and found it terrifying.

Defying her fear of heights, Cassie has moved in to the tallest building in town. She’s doing pretty well until a thunderstorm blows an unexpected visitor through her balcony window, and she finds herself nursing a wounded angel back to health.

Tending to the angel’s wounds teaches Cassie a lot more than she expected about fear…and about desire.

Content warning, explicit m/f sex, virginity loss.

A woman terrified of heights rescues an angel that has crashed through her balcony window, and the question becomes, what happens when you mix Fear and Desire? Author Kathleen Brandt has written a novella that will reveal the answer is oftentimes right before your eyes.

This is a tale of pure, and delightful, fantasy. Cassie lives in the highest rise of her apartment building to overcome her terror of heights and, after she comes to the aid of a fallen angel, faces her biggest fear of all one step at a time. Communication is an issue, as they do not speak one another’s language. The only way they can understand one another is through the angel’s intimate touch, of which Cassie is initially resistant. Slowly, they develop a trust and understanding and “Storm” (as she refers to the angel) teaches her there is no reason to fear falling if someone is waiting to catch you.

The story is well written, though here are times the progression of events and the relationship between Cassie and Storm felt a bit stilted. The reason for this was the communication issue and their inability to understand one another, and events of misunderstanding that lead to tension and emotional meltdowns for both protagonists. Once they have an understanding, however, the story began to flow and I settled in comfortably. Also, while the ending was sweet, it created more questions for me than answers. I can’t specify what this is without ruining the story, so I’ll refrain from doing so. It’s not a bad ending, by any means, it’s only that by adding it, you question the reality Cassie and Storm live in and how the real world–and angel one–fits into the picture.

On a more positive note, the imagery is beautiful and Ms. Brandt has created a world where angels exist apart from humans, having never made contact with them. They are beautiful, but not in the conventional sense–almost breathtakingly fragile in some aspects. I would have loved to explore the world in which they exist, and enjoyed the scenes when Storm shares snippets of his reality with Cassie.

I recommend Fear and Desire to readers that want something fast, sweet, and fantastical to enjoy with a piping mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night.


  1. Thanks so much for the great review! This was a fun story to write and it taught me a lot. I appreciate your comments!

    Kathleen Brandt

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