Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal romance
Reading level: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Release date: June 26, 2012
Series: Angel of the Dark #1
Source: Personal shelf
Reviewed by: Tynga
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?
Wicked Nights is the first book in the Lords of the Underworld spin-off series, but fear not, you need not have read the original series to be able to step right into this new one. In fact, I’ve only read the first two Lords books (though I plan to read the rest of them) and I had absolutely no problem to follow the story or understand the world. And for those Lords fans out there, yes some of those demon-possessed sexy boys make an appearance in this novel.
I really liked Wicked Nights for many reasons, the main one being Annabelle. First, I LOVE that she’s of Japanese origin, so few books have main characters of other ethnicities, and that she is actually pictured as such on the cover, another unfortunate rarity in our publishing world. Second, because she is such a strong character, despite her very troubled past. She was accused of brutally murdering her parents and was sent to a psych ward where doctors abused her and where demons lined up to attack her. She had to build a thick shell to survive and keep her sanity and even when Zacharel came in and reluctantly saved her she remained strong and determined to stand-up for herself.
The plot also met my expectations. Annabelle, with Zacharel’s help, launches on a quest to defeat the demon who killed her parents and bound her to him. The mission proves really hard and full of obstacles, providing an interesting read. I honestly never guessed who the big bad might be, and when he was finally revealed I face-palmed because all the hints where there, yet I never suspected. High-five Gena!
I also enjoyed the progression of the complex relationship between the two protagonists. Annabelle has been violated, Zacharel is inexperienced, let me tell you, it’s a set-up for a colourful intimate scene. I particularly liked that the relationship was at times strained between the two of them, making the whole thing that much more believable.
I loved the secondary characters, and just like Showalter did with her Lords series, the main characters of each book will be different, making me really anxious for the following novels.
The only aspect I wasn’t thrilled about is Zacharel’s tendency to over analyse everything. He is very clinical with his feelings, and while its in character with his I-haven't-felt-a-thing-for-centuries persona, it sat uncomfortably with me. I hoped he would be more in sync with his emotions as the story progress, but it didn’t quite happen. On the other hand, I love how protective of Annabelle he was, and the sacrifices he was willing to make for her. I was really cheering for him during the final scene, and felt for him in this bittersweet moment.
All things considered, Wicked Nights is an amazing debut for this new series by Gena Showalter. Fans will be pleased to find themselves in such a finely woven world, filled with amazing characters, just like Gena accustomed us to. Hats off to an action-filled sizzling romance!