Series: Angels of the Dark #1
Published by HQN on 6/26/12
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless--and if he isn't careful, he'll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost...until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he's never known before.
Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation--or her ultimate damnation?
Before I get started I have to comment on the cover. Holy smokin’ hotness, Batman! That is one fine looking angel. Look at that stomach! Wow. Just wow. Want to lick him. Okay, I’m done being a perv; on to the review.
I’m a huge Lords of the Underworld fan and when I found out that Gena Showalter was doing a spin-off series, I was beyond excited. I was even more excited when I found out that the first book in the series, Wicked Nights, was about the mysteriously cold Zacharel. I have been interested in the angel since he was introduced in The Darkest Secret. Though he’s been in books since then, we didn’t really know anything about him until the most recent Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Seduction. Learning a bit more about him just intrigued me and had me itching for more. Zacharel is in danger of falling and in order to please his Deity, he must now lead a group of misfit angels. A responsibility he did not want.
Wicked Nights was a great beginning to the Angels of the Dark series. Gena Showalter gave me everything I wanted in this Lords of the Underworld spin-off; lots of action, humor, snarky goodness, angelic hotness and a glimpse of my favorite demon-possessed warriors. The character development was intense and brilliantly written, as was the world-building. When you enter a series that’s a spin-off, you think you know everything about the world, but there were things in this book that surprised me.
I was instantly drawn to Annabelle and the struggles that she went through. It isn’t easy being blamed for something you didn’t do and the girl was blamed for a horrific deed and was then declared insane on top of it. She fights demons on a daily basis and has spent the past four years in an institution for the criminally insane, where she’s been drugged and abused. I found myself rooting for this snarky, determined girl from the beginning and could understand why the cold, unemotional Zacharel felt something for her. For the first time since his brother’s death, Zacharel finds himself feeling emotion. For the first time in his very long life, he finds himself feeling desire.
Though it scared him and he fought it, Zacharel fell for Annabelle and gave me yet another reason to love chocolate chip cookies. Watching the two of them come together and Zacharel finally accepting the responsibility that was put upon him by his Deity was very rewarding for me. The banter between Zacharel and Annabelle was hilarious. He’s so cold and arrogant at times that she really let the snark fly. I lurved some of the names she called him.
“Argh!” the girl interrupted. “I’m done listening to this meaningless jabber. Team Winger sucks! Just forget that I’m here. Oh, wait. You already have. So here’s an idea – leave.”
I love the band of misfit angels, especially Thane. After reading about his cave, I’m very curious what other kind of goodies he has stashed away. I’m really excited about the direction that Angels of the Dark is going. I look forward to Koldo’s book, Beauty Awakened. Then it looks like we’ll get back to the Lords of the Underworld and FINALLY get Kane’s book. Squee!!!
Three things I enjoyed most about Wicked Nights:
- Thane! I know the book is about Zacharel and I liked him but Thane totally rocked my socks. Did I mention the cave? OMFG! I’m down for some of that!
- The very snarky yet brief conversation between Annabelle and my favorite Harpy. One line had me laughing so hard I scared my dog. I would share it but I think you’ll appreciate it more if you read it in the book and get the whole context.
- The troublesome trio: Xerxes, Bjorn and Thane. Yes, I realize that I already mentioned Thane but the bromance between these three seriously damaged yet smokin’ hot angels was special. So special that I wish the next book was about one of them instead of Koldo, even though I liked him. These guys have been tortured and broken and I look forward to seeing them put back together.
I can’t praise Gena Showalter enough. The lady hasn’t written a book I haven’t become completely engrossed in and has me sucked into 6 incredible series (7 counting her part in the Royal House of Shadows). Gena Showalter is bloody brilliant and a PNR goddess; I worship at her alter. I give Wicked Nights 4 stars.
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