Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark #1)
by Gena Showalter
by Gena Showalter
Publication date: 26 June 2012 by HQN
Category: Adult Paranormal Romance
Keywords: Paranormal, romance, angels, demons
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
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 from Angels of the Dark, a spin off series of the very popular Lords of the Underworld series. I am not very familiar with Showalter’s work, having only read the first book from Lords of the Underworld a couple of years ago. I recall enjoying that book but obviously, I was in no rush to read the rest of the series. However, I decided to give this book a go based on all of the positive reviews and that smoking hot cover.
I devoured the first half of the book very quickly. I was really intrigued by Zacharel and his army of misfit angels. They’re all big, bad alpha males with dark secrets and I wanted to know more about them. Annabelle, too, was a really compelling character. Witnessing her parents’ murder is traumatic enough, but being blamed for it and then thrown it a psych ward just adds insult to injury. I admired her determination and strength in the face of adversity. However, after the initial rush and fun of diving into a new world, the story started to fizzle.
I didn’t really understand why Zacharel and Annabelle fell for each other. I read a lot of romances so I am usually OK with characters falling in love pretty quickly. However, I just wasn’t sure why these two were drawn together. They had some good chemistry, especially in the beginning, but it did not seem like a relationship that would warrant waiting over a thousand years for, as Zacharel had. The whole matter of Zacharel’s essentia being on Annabelle was also never explained. I know it’s a marker that they’re meant to be together but I would have liked a more detailed explanation on what it was and meant and if it had ever happened to anyone else before. Maybe I am missing something since I am not familiar with the Lords of the Underworld mythology, but I would have liked a little more insight.
While I liked Annabelle in the beginning, she started to get on my nerves after a while. She went from sassy and independent to annoying love struck teenager really fast. Her inner monologue and teen vernacular, especially, started to grate on me and I cringed every time she called Zacharel “Zachie.” Zacharel is your typical sexy, alpha male. I didn’t have any problem with him but he wasn’t particularly memorable either. The love scenes between the two were also somewhat lackluster. They felt rushed and were not nearly as hot as I was hoping for.
While I think this world has a lot of potential, the book lacked some spark and Annabelle and Zacharel did not do it for me. I didn’t feel a deep connection between the two and wasn’t as invested in their relationship as I should have been. I started getting bored halfway through and I found myself struggling to finish it. There is a bit of a twist at the end that surprised me, but the final confrontation is anti-climactic. Fans of Gena Showalter and the Lords of the Underworld series will probably really like Wicked Nights. I don’t think Showalter’s writing is for me and I doubt I will be continuing on with the series, which is a shame since I love the covers.