Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Humpday Hello @Gena Showalter, #Wicked Nights

Greetings and salutations my humpday nation! Half way through the week, halfway through the month - and we survived another full moon madness!

Here's to hoping your holidays are planned, your shopping started and plenty of guilty indulgences....indulged in!

In fact, let's indulge in a bit of eye candy, shall we? Mmmmmm, calorie free and so delish!

Gena Showalter, Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark, #1), Harlequin HQN, June 2012

Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed 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...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?

Gena Showalter has rocked the paranormal romance world for years with her Lords of the Underworld, Atlantis and Alien Huntress series. This new spin off finds readers whisked into the world of Angel warriors and the evil Demon hordes they battle to keep humanity safe.  Dark and gritty, this fast paced thrill ride of a novel guarantees readers burning up the pages!

Annabelle Miller has spent the last four years in a literal and figurative hell - incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital for the crime of killing her parents.  Worse than being unjustly accused, she is molested by her jailers and care providers and all while battling demons no one by she can see.  Her salvation arrives in the form of Zacharel, an angel who leads a band of warrior angels on their last chance at salvation.  Together they battle demons, trying to unravel the mystery of who marked her to become a demon consort.  On the run, they also battle the ever growing attraction between them.  Will they save or damn one another?  

The characters are complex and their back stories are tortured and painful.  The emotional connections the reader makes helps to keep the pages turning while Annabelle and Zacharel work their way through battles both internal and external, dancing around their attraction and all the while trying to solve the mystery of Annabelle's parents murder and her demon marking. The story is well written, intricately crafted and requires some attention to all the small details, as do many of Showalter's stories.  Having the band of warriors reconnect with several of the Lords of the Underworld and their mates throughout the story really gave it another dimension and made for some great snarky moments!  

The romance begins quite slowly and, while sexy, doesn't cross into erotic for a good while. It makes sense though if you consider that Zacharel has been a celibate angel for millenia and Annabelle has been incarcerated since she was sixteen and was abused during her hospitalization.  In fact, for all their obstacles, the romance aspect is emotionally very rich and compelling - they are truly deserving of those moments of happiness and bliss.  

If you like your angels to have a sensual side and your heroines to kick ass, Wicked Nights will have you staying up past your bedtime and completely unrepentant the next day!  (While you do not have to read the entire Lords of the Underworld series to start this one - several of the character connections and interactions will mean more if you do - and considering how smokin' those Demon filledpossessed hotties are, why wouldn't you would be the question!)

RATING: Four Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and a chocolate chip cookie fed to you by one wicked hot angel!

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