Wicked Nights – Angels of the Dark Series by Gena Showalter

Book 1
Zacharel is a demon fighting warrior-angel with a cold heart and no emotions. He is arrogant and believes humans are too fragile and beneath him so he has little regard for the humans that are killed while fighting the demons. He’s been deemed dangerous by the Deity so for punishment and to teach him a lesson, the Deity has made him the leader of a rag-tag group of angels who cuss, drink and take lovers. He has a year to make them into something worthwhile or he along with the ones he is in charge of will lose their wings and fall.
Annabelle Miller has spent the last four years in an institution for the criminally insane being abused by the doctors who care for her and other patients. She was sent there after a demon killed her mother and father in front of her and left her alive. When she called police and told them what happened, of course, they did not believe her. She was accused of the crime. Unbeknownst to Annabelle, the demon marked her as his consort and ever since, demons have been visiting her at the institution and trying to hurt her but she fights them vehemently. The doctors and other patients think she is violently crazy because no one else can see the demons.
When Zacharel has to fight the horde of demons trying to get into the institution, he discovers Annabelle tied to a table and notices her eyes are the ice-blue color of a demon’s consort. Something about her reminds him of his twin brother, the only other person he ever loved but who he killed after years of his brother begging him to do so. He decides to help Annabelle and takes her out of the institution to his cloud where he lives.
This is a spinoff from the Lords of the Underworld series. We first met Zacharel in The Darkest Lie when he was the angel in charge of watching over Amun. He was matter of fact and unemotional but fair and trustworthy. Then he had appearances in The Darkest Seduction and The Darkest Craving. I couldn’t help like him despite his cold demeanor.
This book was different from her other book series. I knew going into it to expect something different because after reading the last Lords of the Underworld book The Darkest Craving which felt different from the rest of the series but I couldn’t put my finger on the reason; I did some research and found out that in 2011, Gena found God after a serious illness. It must have been right before or during the writing of her 10th book of the LOTU series, The Darkest Seduction. I actually like the change in her writing style. For some reason, I connect better with her new writing style. As I was reading this book, I noticed a few things;
1. She wasn’t over describing emotions and thoughts like she used to do which drove me crazy and made me skip paragraphs and pages especially during sex scenes.
2. Her sex scenes are tamer. Whew! I like sex scenes to be steamy but not pornographic. It was funny because I looked over at my boyfriend and told him, “I’ve read half of this book and there hasn’t been any sex yet.” A-ma-zing!! Then just after that there was a make-out session of just kissing. There wasn’t any actual sex until late in the book.
3. The book flowed nicely without a lot of filler scenes. I get so annoyed when I have to go through struggles or fight scenes that are irrelevant to the plot of the book but are included to make the book longer or to make things seem more dramatic. I’d rather read a shorter book than go through unnecessary crap.
4. There was no cursing in it. This was weird and sometimes seemed awkward. Instead of having someone outright cussing up a storm or even saying a curse word, Gena would write, “She hissed out a terrible curse.” Or “she unleashed a stream of black curses”. Sometimes, a well placed cuss word just has to be said.
I was so afraid that this series would be watered down without all of the mythological fun. Thankfully, Gena did not make the book preachy or try to force her views on anyone. It is a paranormal romance after all. There were some subtle spiritual beliefs that were included but even some Christians would not pick up upon unless they believe in spiritual gifts and spiritual warfare. I was very happy that this book was written with Gena’s usual zest for fantastical immortal beings.
It’s going to be fun getting to know the secondary characters. I already like the band of sexy misfits.
I can already tell that this is going to one of my favorite paranormal romance series!

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