Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark Series #1)

( 237 )

Overview

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 ...

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Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark Series #1)

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Overview

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?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Showalter launches Angels of the Dark, a companion series to her Lords of the Underworld books, with the graphically detailed story of angelic army commander Zacharel as he leads his forces against a horde of demons. Zacharel, introduced in The Darkest Secret, is driven by his passion for demon killing, and by grief over the loss of his twin brother; he has no emotional connection to the humans he defends until he encounters Annabelle Miller. Imprisoned for years for her parents’ murder—though they were actually killed by a demon who marked Annabelle as his consort—Annabelle has no reason to trust anyone, including the “not nice” angel who takes her under his protection and agrees to help her defend herself. Showalter’s fans will appreciate the mix of violent action and damaged souls gradually finding solace, though Zacharel’s coldness and Annabelle’s anger may put off new readers looking for fluffier romance. Agent: Deidre Knight, the Knight Agency. (July)
From the Publisher
"One of the premiere authors of paranormal romance!"

—#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole

"Combining passion, humor, pulse-pounding action and just plain fun, Gena Showalter's books are always a refreshing escape!"

—New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

"Showalter gives her fans another treat, sure to satisfy!"

-RT Book Reviews on The Darkest Passion

"The versatile Showalter...once again shows that she can blend humor and poignancy while keeping readers entertained from start to finish."

-Booklist on Catch a Mate

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410450357
  • Publisher: Gale Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 9/15/2012
  • Series: Angels of the Dark Series , #1
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 582
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series and more than thirty other books. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

Biography

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Young Adult novels from a multitude of publishers. She has appeared in Cosmo and Seventeen magazines, on MTV, and has also been featured on many regional and national news programs.

Good To Know

Gena credits much of her success to her wonderful fans, amazing family, and the three slobbery English bulldogs who sleep under her desk. She is a self proclaimed coffee addict and when she's not writing she likes to...well, we're not sure. We've never seen her do anything but write.
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Read an Excerpt

"How does that make you feel, Annabelle?" The male voice lingered over the word "feel," adding a disgusting layer of sleaze.

Annabelle tilted her head to the side, her gaze locked on Dr. Fitzherbert, though the other patients in the "trust circle" remained in her periphery. In his early forties, the doctor had thinning salt and pepper hair, dark brown eyes and perfectly tanned, though slightly lined, skin. At five ten, he was only a bit taller than her, on the thin side and, if you ignored the blackness of his soul, moderately attractive.

The longer she stared at him, silent, the more his lips curled upward. How that smugness grated—not that she'd ever let him know. She would never willingly do anything to please him.

He'd drugged her once. Well, he'd drugged her every day of his two-month employment at the Moffat County Institution for the Criminally Insane. But last night he had sedated her with the express purpose of stripping her, touching her in ways he shouldn't and taking pictures.

Such a pretty girl, he'd said. Out there in the real world, a stunner like you would make me work for something as simple as a dinner date. Here, you're completely at my mercy. You're mine to do with as I please. Mine to control.

Humiliation still burned hot and deep, a fire in her blood. She'd like to say he was the first medical professional to violate her confidence. Yeah, she'd like to say that.

Over the last four years, the doctors and nurses in charge of her care had changed more times than her roommates, some of them shining stars of their profession, others simply going through the motions, doing what needed doing, while a select few were worse than the convicted criminals they were supposed to treat.

"Annabelle," Fitzpervert chided. "Silence isn't to be tolerated."

Well, then. "I feel like I'm one hundred percent cured. You should probably let me go."

He frowned with exasperation, all I'm such a good doctor and I could save you if only you'd let me. "You know better than to answer my questions so flippantly. That doesn't help you deal with your emotions or your problems. That doesn't help anyone here deal with their emotions or problems."

"Ah, so I'm a lot like you then." As if he cared about helping anyone but himself.

Several patients snickered. A couple merely drooled, foamy bubbles falling from babbling lips and catching on the shoulders of their gowns.

Fitzpervert's frown morphed into a scowl, the pretense of being here to help vanishing. He enjoyed his power, and he would not hesitate to strike at her for challenging it. "That smart mouth will get you into trouble." Not a threat. A vow.

Didn't matter. Her "smart mouth" was her life raft, her only way of fighting back. She lived in constant fear of creaking doors, shadows and footsteps. Of drugs and people and…things. Of herself.

The innocent, naive girl she'd once been was dead, killed the same day as her parents, the ghost somehow alive inside her, haunting her. At the worst times, she would remember things she had no business remembering.

Taste this, honey. It'll be the best thing you've ever eaten!

A terrible cook, her mother. Saki had loved to tweak recipes to "improve" them.

Did you see that? Another touchdown for the Sooners!

A diehard football fan, her dad. He had attended OU in Oklahoma for three semesters, and had never cut those ties.

She would remember, and she would cry. She would crave the things that had once been—the things that should have been. But okay, fine, whatever. Whaa, whaa, whaa, she'd lost the people she loved. So had millions of other people. She was dealing.

When she failed to give an outward reaction to his threat, Fitzpervert's scowl darkened, his gaze dropping and lingering on the mouth he'd just rebuked. Within seconds, the fire in his eyes no longer spoke of anger but of lust.

The fear she so despised crept cold fingers down her spine. He'll come to my room tonight. Only this time, I'll be prepared. Her old toothbrush was now the perfect shank. One thing she'd learned over the years was that she could rely on no one but herself. Her complaints of foul treatment went unheeded, because most higher-ups believed she deserved what she got. If they believed her at all.

"I'd love to tell you how I feel, Dr. Fitzherbert," the man beside her said.

Fitzpervert cleared his throat before skating his attention to the serial arsonist who'd torched an entire apartment building, along with the men, women and children living inside of it.

As they discussed feelings and urges and ways to control them both, she tuned them out. For the most part, at least. Wherever she was, whomever she was with, she kept part of herself alert. A girl never knew when a threat would make itself known, be that threat human or…otherwise.

Out of habit, she studied her surroundings. The room was as dreary as her circumstances. There were ugly yellow water stains on the paneled ceiling, the walls were a peeling gray, and the floor carpeted with frayed brown shag. The uncomfortable metal chairs the occupants sat upon were the only furniture. Of course, Fitzpervert luxuriated on a special cushion.

Meanwhile, Annabelle's hands were cuffed behind her back and hooked to the sides of her chair, straining muscles and tendons already sore from abuse. Considering the amount of sedatives pumping through her system, the cuffs were overkill. But four weeks ago she'd brutally fought two fellow patients, and two weeks ago one of her nurses, so she was considered too much of a menace to leave unrestrained, no matter that she'd only been fighting to defend herself.

For the past thirteen days, she'd been kept in the hole, a dark, padded room where deprivation of the senses slowly drove you (genuinely) insane. She had been starved for contact, and had thought any interaction would do—until Fitzpervert drugged and photographed her.

This morning, he'd arranged this outing for her. A be nice to me, and I'll be nice to you bribe.

If my parents could see me now… She bit back a sudden, choking sob as she imagined her mother. A fall of hair so black the strands had appeared blue, much like Annabelle's own. Eyes uptilted and golden, much like Annabelle's used to be. Skin a rich, creamy mix of honey and cinnamon, with not a single flaw. Saki Miller—once Saki Tanaka—had been born in Japan but raised in Georgetown, Colorado.

Saki's traditional parents had freaked when she and the white-as-can-be Rick Miller fell hopelessly in love and married. He'd come home from college on holiday, met her, and moved back to be with her.

Both Annabelle and her older brother were a combination of their parents' heritages. They shared their mother's hair and skin, the shape of her face, yet had their father's height and slender—though in Brax's case, strong—build.

Although, Annabelle's eyes no longer belonged to either Saki or Rick.

Once her eyes had been a pretty golden brown. Normal. After that horrible morning in her garage, after her arrest for their murders, after her conviction, her lifelong sentencing to this institution for the criminally insane, she'd finally found the courage to face herself in a mirror. What she'd seen had startled her. Eyes the color of winter ice, deep in the heart of an Arctic snowstorm, eerie and crystalline, barely blue with no hint of…humanity. Worse, she could see things with these eyes, things no one should ever have to see.

Case in point: as the "trust circle" yammered on, two creatures simply walked through the far wall, stopping to orient themselves. She looked at her fellow patients, expecting to hear shrieks of terror. No one else seemed to notice the visitors.

How could they not? One creature had the body of a horse and the torso of a man. Rather than skin, he was covered by glimmering silver…metal? His hooves were rust-colored and possibly some kind of metal as well, sharpened into deadly points.

His companion was shorter, with stooped shoulders weighed down by sharp, protruding horns, and legs twisted in the wrong direction. He wore a loincloth and nothing else, his chest furred, muscled and scarred.

The scent of rotten eggs filled the room, as familiar as it was horrifying. Fear and anger, though muted by the drugs in her system, nearly burned a hole in her chest. Her biceps and thighs tensed, her body preparing for attack. The creatures wouldn't leave without a fight. They never did.

They came in all shapes and sizes, all colors, both sexes—and maybe something in-between—but they had one thing in common: they always came for her. Unlike that morning with her parents, the creatures never attacked anyone but her.

Every doctor who'd ever treated her had tried to convince her that the beings were merely figments of her imagination. Complex hallucinations, they said. Despite the wounds the creatures always left behind—wounds the doctors claimed she managed to inflict upon herself—she sometimes believed them. That didn't stop her from fighting, though. Nothing could.

Glowing red gazes panned the room before at last settling on her. Both males smiled, their sharp, dripping fangs revealed.

"Mine," Horsey said.

"No. Mine!" Horns snapped.

Always they wanted to claim her as property, and she had no idea why.

"Only one way to settle this." Horsey licked his lips in anticipation.

"Fight," Horns agreed.

He did not mean they should fight each other. They planned to fight her. In their minds, subduing her meant owning her. Owning her meant touching her, beating her, belittling her.

They never raped her, though. No matter how evil they were, and some were worse than others, none of them had ever crossed that line. Annabelle knew many of them had wanted to, because several had even spread her legs and tried. But just before penetration, a wave of terror would wash over their faces and they would stumble away from her.

Don't you see, Annabelle? one of the doctors had told her once. The fact that these creatures will not rape you proves they are hallucinations. Your mind stops them from doing something you can't handle.

As if she could handle any of the rest. How do you explain the injuries I receive while bound?

We found the tools you hid in your room, Annabelle. Shanks, a hammer we're still trying to figure out how you got, glass shards. Shall I go on?

"Who goes first?" Horsey asked, drawing her out of her mind.

"Me."

"No, me."

Adrenaline crashed through her, burning and chilling her at the same time. You can do this. It's just more of the same. Though no other patients were aware of what was going on, they were all sensitive to her shift in mood. Grunts and groans erupted around her. Both men and women, young and old, writhed in their seats, wanting to run away.

The guards posted at the only exit stiffened, going on alert but unsure who was to blame.

Fitzpervert knew, pegging Annabelle with his patented king-of-the-world frown. "You look worried, Annabelle. Why don't you tell us what's bothering you, hmm? Are you regretting your earlier outburst?"

"Screw you, Fitzpervert." Her gaze returned to her targets. They were the bigger threat. "Your turn will come."

He sucked in a breath. "You are not allowed to speak to me that way, Miss Miller."

"You're right. Sorry. I meant, screw you, Dr. Fitzpervert." Unarmed did not mean helpless, she told herself, and neither did bound; today, she would prove it to the creatures and Fitzpervert.

"Spirited," Horsey said with a gleeful nod.

"So fun to break," Horns cackled.

From the corner of her eye, she saw the good doctor motion one of the guards forward, and she knew the guy would take her jaw in a punishing grip and shove her cheek against his stomach to hold her in place. A degrading and suggestive position that humiliated even as it cowed, preventing her from biting so that Fitzherbert could inject her with a sedative.

Have to act now. Perfect timing, too. In one fluid move, she slid as far back in her chair as possible, straightening her legs and pressing her stomach against her thighs. When her butt cleared the space between top and bottom, she bent her legs so that they came out over the top, the folding metal now positioned in front of her like a shield.

The guard reached her.

She swung to the left, slamming her shield—and only weapon—into his stomach. Oxygen gushed from his mouth as he hunched over. Another swing and she nailed the side of his head, sending him to the floor in an unconscious heap.

A few patients shouted with agitation, and a few others cheered her on. The droolers continued leaking. Fitzpervert rushed to the door to force the remaining guard to act as his buffer, as well as summon more with the single press of a button. An alarm screeched to life, tossing the already disconcerted patients into more of a frenzy.

No longer content to bicker on the sidelines, the creatures stalked toward her, slow and steady, taunting her.

"Oh, the things we'll do to you, little girl."

"Oh, how you'll scream!"

Closer…closer…almost within reach…totally within reach…they laughed.

She kept the chair raised, but she couldn't track both her adversaries at the same time as one claimed the front and the other claimed the back. They swiped at her with their claws and tried to bite her with their poisoned fangs.

I can handle this. She rammed the top of the chair under Horsey's chin, knocking his teeth together and his brain, if he had one, into the back of his skull. At the same time, she kicked out a leg behind her, punting Horns in the stomach. Both creatures stumbled away from her, their grins vanishing.

"That all you got, girls?" she goaded. Two more minutes, that's all she had, and then the guards would rush inside and tackle her, pinning her down, Fitzpervert and his needle taking charge. She wanted these creatures finished.

"Let's find out," Horsey hissed, pushing the arsonist at Annabelle.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 237 )
Rating Distribution

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(143)

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(59)

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(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 237 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 20, 2012

    Sexy ruthless Angels = one sexy read. =)

    Where do I start with this new series that Gena Showalter has created?

    First off, we're inside of Zacharel's head in "Wicked Nights". If you're a huge fan of Gena Showalter's and have read her Lords of the Underworld Series, you know who Zacharel already is.

    In the Wicked Nights, we find out Zacharel has been tasked to run the most powerful angel army in the heavens. Of course there's a catch though...the angels he leads are on dangerous ground...they're a danger to themselves and everyone around them. If Zacharel doesn't straighten them out, he may end up losing his wings. He has to prove to his deity that he can be a leader and help train these ruthless Angels. If he doesn't...he's punished for what he does, but also what they do wrong.

    We're introduced to Annabelle Miller, a human who was accused of a killing her parents at the age of 18, which she didn't do. Now she's forced to live in the walls of Moffat County Institution where she is being treated. The doctor who is supposed to be treating her, instead is abusing her mentally and physically. She also can see things that normal humans can't see. She has demons tracking her wherever she goes and now they are upon Moffat County Insitution.

    Zacharel and his band of Angels are sent to the Moffat County Institution to find out why the demons are attracted to the place and kill them, as long as they aren't humans who are demon-possessed (which they can not kill).

    Zacharel comes upon Annabelle and for the moment he meets her, he knows he's in trouble. Zacharel is not meant to save Annabelle...but of course everything in his world is about to change because of Annabelle and her past. It's up to Zacharel to find out why Demons are tracking Annabelle...and also find out what happened to Annabelle and why she can see the demons...etc.

    I won't go any further...because this book has so much going on, I don't want to spoil anything.

    My thoughts on "Wicked Nights" of course is that it's a great start to a new series. In fact it's a great start to a spin-off series of Lords of the Underworld. =) I was so excited to find out that Gena was doing a spin off...especially when it includes Angels. (I'm a sucker for a sexy male Angel)

    I fell in love with the stubborn, tough, sexy Zacharel in the LOTU Series. To be able to find out what makes Zacharel tick...I was definitely onboard to read his book. Now, after reading it, I'm looking forward to the next books. It definitely keeps me sane waiting for the next LOTU book and you'll see why when you read "Wicked Nights". Oh yes...Gena throws in surprises. I was so giddy reading this book, my hubby was about to send me to the doctor to get checked out.

    I fell in love Annabelle because she's a strong-willed female character who can take care of herself. I don't know how many times she stood up to Zacharel. (because I lost count)

    I loved the storyline that Gena Showalter created in "Wicked Nights". She of course threw in extra stuff to prepare you for the next book or books. You'll get to read about the other Angels too in "Wicked Nights". I don't know if Koldo or Thane is my fave yet, after Zacharel. I'll have to wait and read their books.

    I'm going to admit again, how addicted I am to Gena's writing style. She's one of my FAVE Authors and with this spin-off series...she didn't disappoint at all. I will find myself re-reading this book bec

    29 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good book. I loved the characters. took not long to finish

    Very good book. I loved the characters. took not long to finish this.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    Gena Showalter is one of my favorite all time authors. I own ev

    Gena Showalter is one of my favorite all time authors. I own every book she's ever written and pre-order her books as soon as they are available. I was super excited to get an ARC of Wicked Nights and could not wait to read it, although I hesitated reading it for a few days because I did not want it to end so quickly.
    Wicked Night's is the first book in Gena's new ANGELS OF THE DARK series, which is a spin-off of the LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD series.
    We've met Zacharel, the hero of this book, in previous LOTU books and we know him to be a cold-hearted and ruthless Angel. Zacharel is in danger of losing his wings and falling. As punishment, his Deity has tasked him with leading a group of misfit outcast angels who are also in danger of falling due their lack of sympathy and care towards humanity. They are now tasked with protecting humanity against demon attacks. If a one of the Angels kills a human during the battle, Zacharel is severely punished for it. If Zacharel can't get his army to listen and follow his lead, they are all in danger of falling together. Only problem is, Zacharel thinks the same way as his Angels and cares not for humans. That is…..until he finds Annabelle Miller tied to a gurney in the mental asylum he and his Angels are tasked with protecting from the swarm of demons attacking it.
    Annabelle, the heroine of the book has endured many horrors. She’s spent the last four years of her life locked up in an asylum for the criminally insane because she was blamed for the heinous act of violence on her family. Only Annabelle knows that demons are the ones that attacked her family on her 18th birthday, and that's because she's the only one that can see demons. She has spent the last 4 years of her life abandoned by her remaining family and friends because they believe she committed the crime. She has endured horrible abuse at the hands of the doctors and staff at the hospital and from the constant attacks on her by the demons, but her spirit and will to live never die. She fights with all that she has left and that's what make Annabelle a kick-ass heroine. She does not wine or cry. She always fights and never gives up hope.
    Zacharel and Annabelle together are the perfect combination for the two balance each other. Zacharel has never felt much emotion and has never felt desire. Annabelle has an amazing survival instinct and her will to never give up despite the odds, impresses Zacharel. Zacahrel makes Annabelle feel safe and protected which is what she needs most right now. Being that Annabelle faced some sexual abuse in the asylum, their getting together sexually was slow in process but, the chemistry between the two throughout the book was electrifying.
    I am also intrigued by all of the other Angels in Zacharel's army. I am looking forward to Koldo's book which is scheduled to be released in February 2013. And I can't wait to learn more about these tortured Angles.
    If you're a fan of the LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD series you will be happy to know that Paris and a few of the other Lords make an appearance to help Zacharel, along with some of their mates.
    Wicked Nights is a dark paranormal romance with all of the awesomeness that Gena puts into every book. It has strong alpha heroes, kick-ass heroines, smokin' hot romance, secondary characters that will leave you clamoring for the release of their books and a crazy twist of an ending that leaves you with your mouth hanging open.
    Gena amazes me in how she has written so many books and they never get dull or boring. EVERY book is better than the last and she blows me away with every book she writes. She never disappoints me and I can't wait for the next installment of the ANGELS OF THE DARK.

    I give WICKED NIGHTS 5 out of 5 stars!!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    Loved it! I was completely hooked from page one and Showalter ke

    Loved it! I was completely hooked from page one and Showalter kept me absolutely riveted for the next 410 pages. Wicked Nights is the first book in her new Angels of the Dark series and a spin-off from the Lords of the Underworld series. I almost hate to admit it but I still haven't read LOTU. No worries if you haven't read them yet. I had no problem jumping into the world created and didn't feel like I was missing out on anything needed to fully grasp Zacharel and Annabelle's story.

    I love the set up for the series. Zacharel has been given the task of commanding an army of misfit Angels that no one else will work with and who are seriously working their last chance. They've got to prove themselves trustworthy again by carrying out missions to protect humans from evil but one more screw up and these fierce warriors will lose their wings forever. Gah. So good! I LOVE a dark Angel. You just know there's going to be some delicious attitude and drama going on. Even better when their mission brings a demon plagued human into their lives and their leader, who has absolutely no use for humans, can't seem to walk away from her or the evil that's determined to ruin her life.

    I really liked Annabelle and Zacharel both as a couple and individually. As a heroine Annabelle was wonderful. Life has seriously smacked her around but she's a total fighter and rolls with the punches, refusing to give up. She's sarcastic, determined and a warrior. Since I haven't read LOTU I didn't really know what to expect from Zacharel but I absolutely love him. He's arrogant, emotionless, hardened and tough, can be scary as hell and is brutally honest. [Yeah, I know he sounds like an utter jerk but he's a fantastic one I swear!] He's been denied so many experiences during his life that he almost has an innocence about him (waaaayyyy under that tough exterior) that so got to me. Loved the chemistry and heat between the two and how they worked as a couple even if there were some bumps along the way. It was amazing to watch Annabelle crack his cold exterior and bring out his emotions and lovely to see Zachie's respect for her grow over time. One thing I loved about the writing was that even though things were extremely dangerous for them as they battled Annabelle's tormentors there was still a good bit of humor between the two that kept things from feeling too dark and heavy.

    Wicked Nights was a fantastic start to a new series. It's dark, gritty and the perfect mix of heart pounding action, sarcastic humor and a wonderfully satisfying love story. All of the support characters, with their bad attitudes and dark passions, were nicely used and left me so damn curious about their stories and eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Wanted It To Be So Much Better

    I hate to be a downer among all the glowing reviews, but I was disappointed by this book. I wanted to love it. In fact, I've been waiting for Zacharel's story for months, ever since it was revealed there'd be a spin-off featuring a band of warrior angels. Throw in a super sexy cover, a feisty heroine, intriguing secondary characters, an interesting concept and a surprise cameo from some fan favorites, and I should've been all over this book. One issue I had was the dialogue which just felt wrong all the way through. It was flat. Uninspired. Maybe I had a problem with Annabelle being flip so much of the time or maybe I just felt so much of their conversations seemed superficial. Also, the title was a lot more optimistic than what actually happens in the book because the nights were not all that "wicked." I actually loved that Zacharel had never had sex before, but I would have liked the author to explore that more. I suppose Showalter is not necessarily to blame for this, but it annoys me how quickly people fall in love in these books. Here, for example, we have a thousands-year old angel who, we're told, for centuries has been cold and uncaring about anyone and anything. In fact, his Diety is so displeased with Zacharel that snow perpetually falls from his wings, but lo and behold, in a matter of days he's fallen so deeply in love with the heroine that when he's forced to make an impossible choice at the end of the book, he chooses her. And of course Annabelle is willing to sleep with him days after meeting him despite years of physical and sexual abuse although, to be fair, there is a heartwrenching scene where she completely loses it. And, the villain. Of course that's who'd it be. Overall, this book was just very predictable when it could have been so much more. Koldo's book is next which I suppose will revolve around his vendetta against the angel who took his wings, and I'm curious to see more of Thane, Bjorn and Xerxes. Book 1 was a let-down, but the verdict's still out on the rest of the series.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Outstanding!

    I loved this story of Winged Warrior and Annabelle. Surprises everywhere and even had a few tears drop. As a spinoff of the LOTU series, you will not b disappointed! Showalter just keeps getting better with each new book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

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    Great beginning to spin-off series. Wicked Nights was a great b

    Great beginning to spin-off series.

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    When we first met Zacharel in the Darkest Secret I was intrigued

    When we first met Zacharel in the Darkest Secret I was intrigued, how could an Angel be so deliciously sexy and dare I say wicked? When you think Angel I automatically think good, pure and innocent. I don't think warrior angels who think nothing of taking a human life in the battle of good versus evil.

    Zacharel has made mistakes and in retaliation he has been charged with ruling an army of likeminded angels who are all perilously close to falling. Can he redeem them and himself? Does he even want to? Even if the punishment is severe...

    Annabelle is an interesting character, she has been through a lot and is still standing that says a lot about the strength of her character. A weaker woman would be a drooling mess in a padded cell.

    I loved the chemistry between Zacharel and Annabelle, their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other well. I was firmly in their corner from the beginning.

    Gena never disappoints, as always the love scenes were tantalisingly hot and the battle scenes were both viscious and satisfying. I can't wait for the next installment to find out more about the angels from the little glimpses Koldo's story is going to be an emotional journey.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    Wicked Nights is Gena Showalter’s first book in her Angels

    Wicked Nights is Gena Showalter’s first book in her Angels of the Dark Series. Which is a spin off of the Lords of the Underworld series. If you have been living under a rock you really need to read the Lords series, they are very very good. We get glimpses of the Angels in the Lords of the Underworld series so I am very excited that they are getting their own series. Okay, back to focus on the Angels.

    In Wicked Nights we meet Zacharel who is the reluctant leader of a band of very bad angels. A group of angels on the verge of losing their wings and becoming Fallen Angels. Zacharel has never been one to follow the rules, he has always done his own thing no matter the consequences. But all that he is and everything he has ever been is about to be challenged and put to the ultimate test. A test that he can’t afford to lose.

    The last 4 years of Annabelle’s live has been nothing but pain and misery. After the murder of her parents, Annabelle is locked away for the crime. But Annabelle knows the truth about who killed her parents. She knows this because she saw the monster do it. But no one believes her. No one knows that each day more demons come for her. While Annabelle is use to demon’s coming after her she is unprepared for an Angel to show up in her room.

    Oh how I loved this books... Gena does an amazing job of keeping my interest from page one to the very last page. Nowhere in between was I ever board. I love the cast of characters in this book. All total bad boy, bad ass angels that I am very excited to learn more about. If you are a fan of the LoTU series, there are a few surprise visits that will make you chuckle. If you have not read the LoTU series never fear, you do not have to read before the Angels of the Dark series. Although I would highly recommend the Lords of the Underworld series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2013

    Wicked Nights is the first book from Angels of the Dark, a spin

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hot, Sexy and Full of Romance

    Okay. So I have to be honest and say upfront that this may very well be the first angel/demon story that I've ever read. I am so glad that it was Gena's book that introduced me to this world because she creates the most interesting stories that I've read. I was completely and utterly engulfed in Wicked Nights. The story line was strong, the characters, amazing. When I started reading there was no way I was going to put this book down until it was finished. Just to tell you a little about the novel without giving too much away. We have Zacharel who is the new leader to a group of Fallen Angels. In order for Zacharel to keep his beloved angel wings he must lead these tortured and brutal men to the side of good, gain their respect and obey any requests from the Deity. When these men do wrong and disobey, it is Zacharel that will endure the punishment for their behavior. On a night Zacharel and the others are on a mission to rid a group of demons from an institution for the criminally insane he finds Annabelle, a human female that has been sentenced to spend the rest of her life incarcerated for murdering her parents. Annabelle is being abused by the staff, tracked and attacked by the demons who are after her soul. However, Annabelle has been fighting for her life and sanity for four years and will not back down. ..from anyone. It's interesting to watch the relationship between Annabelle and Zacharel form and turn to a passionate romance. Given the fact that Zacharel is a ruthless leader with a heart made of ice and Annabelle is a strong and determined female that will stand up for herself and not be ordered around. When the passion between the two of them ignite it is something magical and will have you begging for more. I absolutely loved this story and pleased that it is only the beginning. I am very anxious to see where Gena will take us next on this journey of good vs. evil. Overall, I recommend this book for anyone that enjoys reading paranormal romance. I already can't wait for the next book in the series. Wicked Nights is definitely a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2012

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    What a wonderful start to this series! Zacharel has been charge

    What a wonderful start to this series! Zacharel has been charged with
    leading angels that are on the verge of falling from grace in hopes that
    they can learn to redeem themselves. I have loved Zacharel's character
    since meeting him in the LOTU series. He was so cold, methodical and
    emotionless. Oh and other males from the LOTU thought he was sexy! This
    may have been one of the best books I have ever read by Showalter. The
    characters were so real and the secondary characters were so intense
    that I can't wait to read their love stories. They have all been through
    hell and back and are in much need of redemption. I can honestly say
    that my only complaint about this book was that it was so PG13. There
    was so much sexual tension between the main couple, but the love scenes
    were so glossed over as if this was written with a YA audience in mind.
    I don't need graphic, but I do expect a little more detail from GS. I
    mean this series did spin off the LOTU series, which was pretty hot at
    times! And Zacharel was such a hot and yummy virgin...I felt kinda
    teased. Lol but enough on that random subject. I highly recommend this
    series to all lovers of the LOTU series...and yes, they have a cameo
    appearance too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    I have ready every other book Ms. Showalter has written and this

    I have ready every other book Ms. Showalter has written and this is my least favorite to date. I honestly haven't finished the book because the characters and their interactions underwhelm. I keep trying to pick it up and continue reading but there is nothing compelling about their love story. I am especially disappointed because I love the premise and the potential of this series.

    In some ways, it seems as if Ms. Showalter is just phoning it in. I feel like there's been a slide in her work in the last couple of books. The characters and the situations they find themselves in aren't fun. I feel like the male leads have gotten a bit weird and desperate like a creepy, lonely neighbor you made the mistake of saying "Hi" to because you accidentally made eye contact with him. I mean, we all love a dude who will fall hopelessly in love but it shouldn't be a given. Anyone can find Mr.Pathetic and Needy to shack up with but secretly, we all want Mr. Unobtainable to realize we are the best thing since sliced bread. That's the fantasy! It's hard to covet the main dude in the story when he is essentially a lazy twerp hitting on the most convenient female around.

    If I have any advice to Ms. Showalter it's to remind her that she needs more romantic strife to keep us interested. It's all well and good that evil cliches are running amok in her books trying to keep the protagonists apart but the real tough stuff to deal with is inside our heads.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Awesome!

    Loved it. Even made me go back and read the old books... again! I was worry that we were running out of Lords! Love Gena!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

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    I Also Recommend:

    From the amazing author who brought you the Lords of the Underwo

    From the amazing author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld comes a new world were angels toe the line between darkness and light. In WICKED NIGHTS, the first book of the ANGELS OF THE DARK series, Gena Showalter introduces a virgin angel named Zacharel. Burdened by the Deity to be the leader of a group of badass angels, Zacharel is forced to lead and receive punishment for any misdeeds they commit. In this group there is Thane, Bjorn, Xerxes and Koldo. All of which are tortured souls waiting to exact revenge on someone or something.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I have been a fan of Showalter for some time now and firmly believe that her writing has improved with each book. I noticed this in her last release, THE DARKEST SEDUCTION, but in WICKED NIGHTS, Showalter really shows her strength and growth as a writer. Her writing has become more descriptive, more tighter and the proof is in the pages. Gena has been working her butt off and you can totally see the improvements in each subsequent book.

    Probably the biggest reason I loved this book is because I adored the hero and heroine. Zacharel is a virgin – need I say more? And Annabelle is a woman who has faced a tough life, but doesn’t allow her past hurts to haunt her. I adored her spunk and fiery spirit and added to Zacharel’s more serious side results in some hilarious dialogue. Here, case in point:

    Annabelle alternately marveled at the change in him and at the luminosity of the full moon. Other humans gave him a wide berth, nearly flattening themselves against the building walls to widen the distance between them. Annabelle danced around him, grinning. “Can I just say what a bad boy you are right now?”
    “Of course you can. You just did.”
    “No, I mean – Oh, never mind, you spoiled it. “ Her lips dipped into a pout.

    Zacharel is adorable!

    While I thought the book lacked the thread that should have pulled the plot forward, I found that I really enjoyed the ending. Showalter pulls a little twist at the ending that I really enjoyed and it really stirred the pot up! For fans of the LOTU, there are a lot of cameos in this book. You’ll be happy to note that Paris and Lucien and some of the women and more make regular appearances. It was hilarious to read Annabelle’s reaction to Paris’ hotness.

    Now I am jonesing for a taste of Koldo and Xerxes. Out of all the other angels, they stood out to me the most. If Showalter continues to write like this for her next books, there is no doubt that the Angels of the Dark series will be just as successful as the Lords of the Underworld. Watch out now, Lords ‘cause the Angels have arrived!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    FANTASTIC FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE NEW SERIES! Our Review, by M

    FANTASTIC FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE NEW SERIES!

    Our Review, by Michelle L. Olson, LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha:

    I am a huge fan of Gena’s. Her books are always on auto-buy for me, and getting an ARC of Wicked Nights was a real treat.

    Wicked Nights is the first installment of the ANGELS OF THE DARK series, a LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD spinoff.

    Our hero, Zacharel, is a warrior angel and commander to a group of misfit angels that the Deity is punishing for their ‘devil may care’ attitude toward humanity. They’re sent on some pretty intense missions against demons and taught harsh lessons when they don’t show care towards the humans they're supposed to be protecting. Mr cool and collected suddenly finds himself confronted with a woman who just might turn his world on its ear and break some of the ice he keeps around his heart.

    Annabelle is a tortured heroine. She’s spent a large chunk of her life in an asylum after a demon brutally murdered her parents in front of her, but because nobody believed her, she was accused of the crime herself. Taken advantage of at every turn and rejected by those tasked with taking care of her and her family she’s becomed hardened but is thrown into a world of feeling when she meets Zacharel and his flock.

    The two together are magnetic. Zacharel is an angel who has never felt much of any emotion, let alone desire. When he meets strong willed Annabelle and is faced with her instense survival instinct, he can’t help but warm to her. Not to mention the passion that is undeniable between the two.

    LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD fans will rejoice in a cameo by our favorite demon infected alpha males and a few of their feisty females, and have no fear… while this series doesn’t have the light moments that LOTU has (at least not yet), you will still get your sexy alpha males, strong females, steamy romance, and all of the intrigue we’ve come to expect and love from Gena. You’ll also encounter a multitude of other secondary characters that you will want to know more about instantly, which is brilliant for a serial author, because it just makes us want the next installment that much more.

    The world is dark, engaging, open for intense growth, and steeped in deep philosophical undertones that I found utterly fascinating.

    LITERAL ADDICTION gives “Wicked Nights” 4 ½ Skulls. I can’t wait to see which angel we’ll learn more about next. There’s a trio that I’m dying to delve into pronto. ;-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

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    Another Smokin HOT book by Gena Showalter!

    I was so excited for Zacharel to get his own story because of the brief encounters we got in the LOD series, such a serious Warrior that was fully dedicated to his missions and was about emotional as a rock. In Wicked Nights Zacharel has been given an Angelic Army of "bad boys", these are Angels that have pushed the limits so far with their behaviors and acts against Humans that they are severely close to losing their wings. Zacharel is in charge of teaching them respect and that Humans are not to be harmed no matter how they might get in the way during war and to follow orders, something Zacharel has yet to learn himself. The hitch, whenever one of them kill a Human Zacharel takes the punishment. Annabelle has been living in a institution for the Criminally Insane for the last 4 years, she was convicted of brutally murdering her parents and no one believes that she's innocent or that a monster is to blame. To make matters worse ever since that monster killed her parents she now sees Monsters everywhere and they're always out for blood. With Zacharel on a mission to destroy the Demons and Annabelle trying to protect herself from the monster in the institution their worlds are bound to collide. Gena Showalter never fails to amaze me with the worlds that she weaves, the characters that pull our heart strings and the action that keeps us up to the wee hours in the morning. The way the plot thicken towards the end and the obstacles thrown in front of the characters will take you by surprise. The amount of depth each character possess tells me the rest of this series is going to be phenomenal and I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    Was disappointed

    I was looking forward to Zacharel's story but was disappointed
    :( i thought it was kinda slow going and not very sexy! Zacharel is suppose to be getting his emotions back and i felt jipped on the sex scenes, he was by far my favorite so far and i did not like the way his story was wrote:( i will still be reading...

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  • Posted May 22, 2014

    Gena knows how to tell a story - draw you in - twist up all of y

    Gena knows how to tell a story - draw you in - twist up all of your emotions - and hate to put the book down! Good start of this Angel series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2014

    Enjoyable read!

    I enjoy Gena Showalter's books and decided to try this series. I enjoyed the world she created for these wonderful characters. Zacharel had lived many thousands of years and after the death of his brother he chose to shut out all emotion from his life. It was the only way he could cope. Since he felt nothing he sometimes killed innocent humans in his quest to destroy demons. His deity was not happy with him and put him in charge of a misfit army of angels on the verge of becoming fallen. While he was on a mission he came across Annabelle and for some reason found he was drawn to her. She had been in a mental institution and had been mistreated and abused for 4 years by not only humans but demons who came to torment her. Together they were thrown into trying to find the one who marked her and also figure out the attraction between her and Zacharel. The story was full of danger and suspense and a few surprises along the way. It was a great start to this series. Highly recommend.

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