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Bittersweet Darkness: A Novel of The Order
     

Bittersweet Darkness: A Novel of The Order

4.5 12
by Nina Croft
 

There are no monsters, only good guys and bad guys. That’s the creed by which Detective Inspector Faith Connolly has always lived.

When Faith discovers she has a time bomb counting down in her head, she has one goal: to solve the murder case she’s working on and gain closure. Her investigation brings her in contact with Ash Delacourt, who is

Overview

There are no monsters, only good guys and bad guys. That’s the creed by which Detective Inspector Faith Connolly has always lived.

When Faith discovers she has a time bomb counting down in her head, she has one goal: to solve the murder case she’s working on and gain closure. Her investigation brings her in contact with Ash Delacourt, who is definitely one of the bad guys, albeit a stunningly gorgeous one.

As payment for a debt, Asmodai, AKA Ash Delacourt, finds himself working with the Order of the Shadow Accords. He’s the demon representative on the newly formed committee for the integration of mankind and well…everything else. It’s a chance to be near his daughter, make a new start, and—once he’s met the delectable Detective Connolly—maybe have a little fun.

But as Faith’s investigation deepens, her beliefs are eroded and for the first time, she is falling in love—with one of the bad guys. How can she ever let Ash close when her time is running out…?

The Order series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Bittersweet Blood
Book #2 Bittersweet Magic
Book #3 Bittersweet Darkness

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622661138
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
02/24/2014
Series:
Order , #3
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
250
Sales rank:
774,997
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Bittersweet Darkness

A Novel of the Order


By Nina Croft, Liz Pelletier

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Nina Croft
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-113-8


CHAPTER 1

Two weeks later

"You do understand how serious this is, don't you, Ms. Connolly?"

Faith was trying her best not to, but that probably wasn't what the doctor wanted to hear.

"It's Detective Connolly, actually. And does it make a difference?" she asked. "I mean whether I take it seriously or not. Will that improve my chances?"

He pursed his lips as though he wasn't pleased with the question. "Probably not, though there is some evidence that excessive excitement and extreme emotions can exacerbate the condition."

"Well, I promise not to get excited." That shouldn't be too hard. "How long before you get the results?"

"A couple of weeks, maybe less. I'll hurry them through."

She didn't like the sound of that. "You think you'll have to operate?"

"At this point, I'm not sure we can operate. The test results will show us more."

"And if you can't?"

He shrugged. "Wait until we have the results. In the meantime, I'll give you a prescription for some painkillers for the headaches, but if you get anything else — blurred vision, dizzy spells — I want you to come right back."

She nodded. Right now, all she wanted was to escape the confines of the hospital.

As she came out of the main entrance and into the open air, she realized the doctor was right. She wasn't taking this seriously. She was in denial. But a goddamn stroke? At thirty-two. Who had a stroke at thirty-two?

A brain aneurysm, they'd called it. A weakness in the blood vessels inside her skull. But worse, they believed that the minor attack she'd had was merely a precursor to something bigger. She had a time bomb in her brain, waiting to go off.

The tests she'd had today weren't so much to see what was wrong, but to see what they could do about it. If anything.

She tried to make herself think about dying. But it didn't seem real. All she could do was concentrate on living right now. Try and put it out of her mind and focus on solving her case.

Six weeks ago, the body of a young girl had been found abandoned on the embankment by the river. She'd been exsanguinated, drained of blood to the point of death. Puncture wounds in her throat, wrists, and thighs had made them speculate that it was some sort of cult death or vampire wannabes. Her team had been interviewing every weirdo in the city.

A little while later, a second girl, fifteen-year-old Jessica Thomas, had gone missing. She'd been found alive, but with the same wounds and totally traumatized.

Ryan had located Jessica, and Faith still had no clue how he'd done it. But there had been a woman with him that night Ryan hadn't introduced to any of the team.

After her ordeal, Jessica had given an initial statement but now refused to say any more unless they took her to the mystery woman. Faith would love to, but unfortunately, she had no idea of her identity.

She had seen nothing of Ryan since he'd left. He'd taken her to the hospital the night she'd blacked out and been there when she woke, but she hadn't seen him in the two weeks since. It was as though he'd cut his old life away and that hurt.

And pissed her off.

She'd believed they were friends as well as partners. And she'd been toying with the idea of forcing the issue. Going to see him, though she wasn't sure where. He'd moved out of his old apartment without leaving a forwarding address. That only left his new place of work, CR International.

"Detective Connolly?"

She glanced up and came to an abrupt halt. A man stood before her, tall and lean and dressed as a priest. The latter nipped at her already frayed temper. Brought up as a Catholic until the age of twelve, she hated priests.

"What?" she snapped making no effort to hide her impatience.

"We'd like to talk to you for a moment, if you have the time."

"We?"

He nodded to a black SUV parked by the curb. The windows were tinted and she couldn't see inside, but as she stared, the driver's door opened and a second man climbed down.

Her eyes narrowed as she studied him. Not tall, probably about the same as her five ten, but lean and he moved with the grace of a fighter. Ex-army? When he turned to face her, she realized he was older than she'd first thought. In his late fifties maybe, but still fit.

He strolled toward them, his gaze running over her, and she reckoned he wasn't missing anything.

"This is Colonel Grant," the priest said. "And I'm Father O'Brien."

The colonel stepped up close and held out his hand. For a moment, she stared at it, and then she put her own in his. His grip was cool and firm.

Something occurred to her as she tugged free. "How did you know where to find me?" She hadn't told anyone at work about the appointment. Her colleagues were unaware of her illness — there was some advantage to the blackout having taken place on Ryan's last night on the job — he'd failed to report it. And she wanted it to stay that way. Otherwise, she'd find herself tied to a desk job until she got the all clear — if she got the all clear. No way was that happening while she had a murder to solve.

The colonel shrugged. "We work for the government, Detective Connolly. We have access to their databases. Your appointment came up, and we thought it would be a good time to catch you before you return to work."

"Isn't that an invasion of privacy?"

He shrugged again. "We believe some situations override the privacy of the individual."

"Are you antiterrorist?" She glanced at him sharply. They were the only people she knew who had those sorts of powers. Could her case be involved with terrorism in some way? She was unable to see a connection, but at this point, she was willing to take any leads.

"In a way. But not exactly in the sense you mean."

"Let's all be as cryptic as shit," she muttered. "Why don't you guys get to the point? What is it you want? Because I'm presuming you want something."

"At the moment, to talk to you. We thought it might be best to make our first approach away from the office."

First approach? Sounded like they were going to make this a regular thing. She glanced at the priest — not if she had any say in the matter. On the other hand, she couldn't deny a certain amount of curiosity. She spotted a coffee shop across the street from where they stood. "You can buy me a coffee, and I'll give you ten minutes."

The colonel followed her gaze. "We were thinking of somewhere a little more private."

"You can talk quietly. And I need coffee."

She'd been told no food and drink before the tests. Now she was feeling the distinct absence of caffeine in her system. But it wasn't only that. Something about these guys put her on edge, despite one of them being a priest. In fact, if it wasn't for the dog collar, she would never have placed him as a religious type. More likely another soldier. He had that alertness and way of moving. No way did she want to go anywhere alone with them until she knew who they were and what they wanted.

In the café, they found a booth along the back wall, which afforded them a little privacy. It was self-service and Faith sat herself on the padded seat opposite Father O'Brien while the colonel went to get the coffee. Neither of them spoke and Faith played with the sachets of sugar while she waited. She tried to ignore the way he studied her with his dark eyes as though he could see into her soul. Except she didn't have a soul to see into.

The uncomfortable silence was only broken by the colonel's return. He carried a tray, with not only drinks but also a toasted-cheese-and-bacon sandwich. Her favorite. A shudder of unease ran through her. Maybe coincidence — but she didn't believe in coincidences.

"Do you know everything?" she asked.

"Not everything." The colonel flashed her a slight smile. "We're hoping you can fill in some of the blanks."

She took a sip of coffee and a bite of the sandwich and sighed. "Okay. So shoot."

But it was the priest who spoke first. "I believe you're a Catholic, Detective?"

The question took her by surprise. Though maybe it shouldn't have considering the man asking. "I was born a Catholic, but no, I'm not a Catholic now."

"Perhaps, we'll leave the religious aspect out of this for the moment," the colonel said, the smile still playing across his lips. He was a handsome man in a stern older-guy sort of way. "We work for a division of the government that concerns itself with things of a ... less than normal nature."

Shit, she knew where this was going. Swallowing her coffee, she put down the mug and placed her hands flat on the table, ready to push herself up.

"Don't go without hearing us out on this, detective. At least afford us that."

Faith sighed but relaxed her muscles. "Look," she said. "If you've had me investigated, you must know what I think of all that crap."

He considered her for a minute. "So how is your current case coming along?"

She pursed her lips at the change of subject, then realized it wasn't a change at all. Just more of the same. "If you're going to tell me that Julie was murdered by ghosties or ghoulies, you'll have to get in line. I've heard it all before, and I'm not buying it. She was killed by some weird fucker who'd had his brain twisted by all the crap on the TV."

"Like your mother?"

Shock hit her in the gut, and she gritted her teeth while she forced her emotions back under control. But of course they would know about her mother. They knew her goddamn favorite food.

The colonel didn't wait for an answer, which was just as well because he wasn't getting one. "Not ghosties and ghoulies, Detective. But vampires. And what if I told you we have evidence?"

The word "vampires" seemed to hang in the air, and a flash of primordial fear shivered through her. But before it could take hold, a wall rose up in her mind, familiar, calming, and her panic receded. "I'd say show me this evidence, but it had better be good."

"It's good and we will, but not here."

"Are you going to get to the point anytime soon?"

He gave her a tight smile. "Over the last few years we've been investigating a man. We've found it impossible to get anything on him —"

"Why do you think there's anything to get?"

"That's where our evidence comes in, and if you agree to work with us, you'll be shown everything. Anyway, as I said we've been investigating Christian Roth —"

"Stop there," she interrupted. Now she was getting a glimmer of where this was coming from and where it was going. And she didn't like it. Not one little bit.

"You know, I thought this was something to do with my mother. But I'm guessing that's merely an added bonus and you don't give a fuck about a twenty-year-old unsolved murder. Or even the one that happened six weeks ago. You want me because I'm your in to Ryan."

"It's not that simple. We're looking at the bigger picture. We hope to make sure that murders like these never happen again."

"So are you saying Christian Roth murdered my mother?"

"Not necessarily. But we believe he might be implicated."

"So he's a vampire?" She snorted. "Yeah, of course he is. Christian Roth, billionaire businessman and vampire. You're crazy."

"How did your partner find Jessica Thomas?"

The question came from Father O'Brien. She frowned. "He's a good detective?"

"Oh, we believe it was more than that. We keep an eye on these things and we think he had help. You were present that night. Tell me — was there a woman with him? A woman you didn't know, though maybe you'd seen her before. A woman who is now working for CR International along with your former partner?"

The woman Jessica wanted to talk to.

"Who is she?" Faith asked.

Father O'Brien answered. "Witch."

"Oh, please," she muttered. "Next you'll be saying that Ryan is Harry Potter in disguise or something. Anyway, she so didn't look like a witch." She'd looked sweet in fact, sweet and sort of wholesome.

"What do you expect, warts and a pointy hat? Evil is all around us, Detective. We cannot ignore that, and it is our duty to fight it wherever we can."

He was beginning to sound a little fanatical and his eyes gleamed. The colonel whispered a word to him and he settled back in his seat but drummed his long, bony fingers on the table.

"The woman's name is Rosamund Fairfax. And actually, we don't think your partner is anything other than what he seems," the colonel said. "But we do believe he has gotten mixed up in things beyond his comprehension and is very possibly in danger."

"Yeah, and I'm the only one who can help him. I think Ryan is big enough and ugly enough to take care of himself. And I'm not working against him, so I suggest you find yourself another stooge."

No way would she believe Ryan was into anything dodgy. He was one of the good guys, always would be.

The colonel pursed his lips and shrugged. "I'd like you to think about what we've said." He pulled a card out of his pocket and handed it to her. "Call me when you're ready to see that evidence."

He rose to his feet, as did Father O'Brien. "May the Lord be with you and may he open your eyes to the truth."

Faith bit back the urge to tell him to piss off. She watched as they walked out the door unable to stifle the feeling that that wasn't the last she would see of them. The thought made her uncomfortable. She dismissed their talk of evidence. She doubted they would have anything that could make a dent in her firm conviction that the supernatural world was a load of bullshit. There was no such thing as vampires or witches, only individuals who couldn't deal with the fact that people could be more evil than any monster they could invent. As for God and the devil — more crap.

She rubbed her forehead. At least the meeting had taken her mind off the bomb in her brain. But something told her that her time was running out. If she wanted to solve this case, she'd better get a move on. She also wanted to talk to Ryan, warn him about what was going on. He'd been a great detective and given nearly twenty years to the force. He didn't deserve to be under suspicion now, and she wanted to give him a heads-up.

And she reckoned she had a way to do both, warn Ryan and get a handle on her case. She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and punched in a number.

"Jessica, it's Detective Connolly. I think I've found your mystery woman."


* * *

"Are you done yet?" Asmodai made no attempt to keep the impatience from his voice. Probably not wise considering whom he was dealing with, but Lucifer's expression showed nothing but amusement.

"This is so good," he murmured as he glanced up from where he was bent over the table, working on the talisman.

"It is?" Asmodai's question came out as a snarl and Luc's lips twitched. Great.

"Yeah. Asmodai, the big bad demon, Prince of Darkness, brought to his knees by an itty-bitty girl."

"Tara is my daughter, and I'm not on my knees."

"Maybe not yet, but I could put you there any time I like."

"Piss off." Unfortunately, though, it was true; he'd put himself under Luc's power by asking for this favor. But his daughter was in danger. Raphael had been spotted, and rumor had it that there were Avenging Angels on the loose, and while they weren't specifically after Tara, she could be harmed in the cross fire. He needed to get her what protection he could, regardless of the price. All the same, his fingers trembled with the need to rub the demon's sigil wrapped around his upper arm — the mark of his debt, which would remain until that debt was paid. Hopefully, soon and not too painfully.

Finally, Luc straightened, the talisman dangling from one long finger — a black, heart-shaped crystal on a white-gold chain. Asmodai stepped forward to take it, and a shiver of magic ran through him as Luc laid the jewel on his palm. He closed his fist around it.

"So you think this will make a difference?" Luc asked. "That your daughter will forgive you in exchange for such a trivial thing."

"Hardly trivial."

"She's half fae," Luc continued. "They're vindictive bastards."

"She's also half demon."

"Yeah, right, and of course we're known for our forgiving natures." The tone was definitely sarcastic. "Isn't that what got you into this? Trying to get your revenge on Christian Roth?"

Christian Roth was his daughter's husband. But that was a recent occurrence. Twenty-three years ago, during the last demon war, he'd been head of The Order of the Shadow Accords, the organization set up over a thousand years ago to police the supernatural world and ensure the demons and fae didn't destroy humanity with their perpetual wars.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Bittersweet Darkness by Nina Croft, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2014 Nina Croft. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Nina Croft grew up in northern England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina's writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.


Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She's since then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary), and has settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

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Bittersweet Darkness: A Novel of The Order 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 27 days ago
Title: Bittersweet Darkness - The Order Book 3 Author: Nina Croft Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC Published: 2-24-2014 Pages: 281 Genre: Romance Sub-Genre: Demons & Devils; Vampires; Paranormal; Sci Fi & Fantasy ISBN: 9781622661138 ASIN: B00I6ZBS0C Reviewed For NetGalley and Entangled Publishing LLC Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.75 Starts There are no monsters, only good guys and bad guys. That’s the creed by which Detective Inspector Faith Connolly has always lived. When Faith discovers she has a time bomb counting down in her head, she has one goal: to solve the murder case she’s working on and gain closure. Her investigation brings her in contact with Ash Delacourt, who is definitely one of the bad guys, albeit a stunningly gorgeous one. As payment for a debt, Asmodai, AKA Ash Delacourt, finds himself working with the Order of the Shadow Accords. He’s the demon representative on the newly formed committee for the integration of mankind and well…everything else. It’s a chance to be near his daughter, make a new start, and—once he’s met the delectable Detective Connolly—maybe have a little fun. But as Faith’s investigation deepens, her beliefs are eroded and for the first time, she is falling in love—with one of the bad guys. How can she ever let Ash close when her time is running out…? Faith has decided to give up her last days for the chance to bring justice to a killer and peace to a victim. Ash has fallen for Faith, but what will he do to save her from certain death. Nina Croft has woven a story of suspense, romance and hope. My rating of "Bittersweet Darkness" is 4.75 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very interesting and creative story line  liked it cant wait for the next one
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
BITTERSWEET DARKNESS is the third instalment in Nina Croft’s contemporary, adult THE ORDER paranormal/fantasy series focusing on the men and women who work for The Order of the Shadow Accords. This is demon Asmodai (aka Ash Delacourt) and Detective Inspector (and human) Faith Connolly’s storyline. The premise follows Faith Connolly as the latest recruit by a group known as MI13.  MI13 is on the hunt –looking for someone connected to vampire Christian Roth (former head of The Order)-and will stop at nothing to get what they want.  Enter Detective Faith Connolly, a non-believer in everything supernatural and the perfect foil with her connections to someone close to The Order. As Faith continues to investigate the strange murders of young women, she will come face to face with the man who would one day save her life. Faith’s loyalty will be tested when she uncovers the truth behind MI13 and the people at the top. There are no grey areas in Faith’s world, but the black and white begins to blur when the reality of her situation becomes all too clear. Asmodai hasn’t had a lover in years and Faith’s presence calls to his heart. Working with The Order as the demon representative for the Committee for the Integration of Mankind, Ash is commissioned to uncover the ‘who and what’ behind Faith Connelly and finds himself falling for the spunky human with a secret that could very well end her life. When one of The Orders own goes missing, Faith is at the top of the list of suspects when betrayal and heartbreak point in her very direction. The attraction between Ash and Faith is immediate. Something about Faith calls to Ash’s soul and it has been a very long time since Ash has felt anything for another woman. The sex scenes are intimate, hot and seductive-Ash is a demon who knows what it is every woman wants-and Faith wants Ash-if only for a very short time. Nina Croft writes another fascinating and action-packed storyline where The Order of Shadow Accords finds themselves on the defensive against an enemy they know only too well.  Nina combines a world of supernatural beings including vampires, werewolves, fae, shifters, demons and angels into a spirited and clever story-and you may hazard a guess as to which group has the reputation for being evil and unkind. BITTERSWEET DARKNESS is an imaginative tale of betrayal and heartache; seduction and sex; friendship and love.  The secondary characters continue to drive a good portion of the series-this is an ensemble storyline where everyone has a role to play in the survival of the supernatural powers.  If you are a fan of the paranormal, you MUST put Nina Croft’s THE ORDER series at the top of your list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Worth Reading... Total Pages: 246; Story Pages: 228 The Order series, book #3 Ash's & Faith's story. New series by Nina Croft. Vampires, werewolves, demons, angels, witches, Fae, etc. Faith: human; a cop and she is dying (health is failing). Ash: demon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4,5 stars for an amazing and well-paced read This was my second book by Nina Croft and I definitely loved it ... to tell the truth, after the first (from another series) I was not convinced I would read another one written by her but thank good, I got this one and I am really happy about it. this is the third book in "The Order" series, but they can be read as stand-alone. but I definitely will read the first two books now! in this book Faith, a detective, has to solve a murder, where the victim was drained. her partner is starting a new job and a new partner, Ash. as soon as they meet, you can feel the sparks flying - I absolutely loved the tension between them and the growing attraction. the dialogues and interaction between these two are great and they are lovers and adversaries at the same time. the suspense and action in this book is really good and keeps you on your toes. the story is very well paced and the world building is absolutely interesting. as this was my first book from this series I could see through Faith eyes and it was interesting to discover things. the characters are well built - Ash is definitely an Alpha male with bad guy vibes but he learned from the mistakes of his past. Faith is a strong character who sees the world in black and white and always wanted to be part of the good guys. I really hope that there will be more books in this series as there are a lot more characters to discover. without having read the first two books I loved it that Mrs. Croft involved the other couples in this book all in all it was a nearly perfect read and I enjoyed it. Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
MTSmith More than 1 year ago
***Received from Entangled Publishing for an honest review*** Skepticism in the paranormal is understandable. "I'll believe it when I see it" makes sense when it comes to this sort of thing. In Faith's case, her disbelief in the paranormal realm seemed to stem from...nothing. At least nothing she could accurately place a finger on. But I loved how that disbelief graduated to belief through circumstances and events, assisted by old friends and new, and culminating in a revelation that left me stunned. It's easy to admire and love Ash. He wronged his daughter and is trying to make amends. He's protective of those he's temporarily assigned to work with even though he's not supposed to be. And he's a gentleman when it comes to Faith, not just physically but always. He saw her disbelief in all things paranormal. It amused him but he didn't t make light of it, didn't belittle her. He could've turned all demon-y on her, scared the crap out of her, and proved without a shadow of a doubt that things like him exist. But he didn't. While this is part of a series, it read like a standalone. The characters were enchanting, the plot fast but detail-oriented. Emotions ran from one end of the spectrum to the other, but nothing seemed forced. Everything moved and flowed seamlessly, fluidly, and I loved that I felt like I was part of the story as opposed to a onlooker. I've had a delightful taste of the characters of The Order. I can't wait to find out about the others. Wonderful work, Ms. Croft. Thank you for creating an organization dealing with the Unseen while dealing with everyday issues that humans encounter.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Faith Connolly believes in truth and justice. She has spent her life working to make sure that the good triumphs. Her mother's murder kept her focused. Now she is facing some very hard truths. She is not invincible. Even more devastating is the reality that the good guys may not be so good. She is overwhelmed, but she won't give up. She goes to her former partner, Ryan, for assistance and meets Asmodai. He is handsome, sexy and very much into Faith. The stage is set for a wild ride. Bittersweet Darkness is filled with drama, suspense and a very sensual romance. Nina Croft has written an intriguing story that has unforgettable characters. Faith and Ash set the pages on fire. Their romance is that hot. I loved the dialogue and interaction between these two. They are both lovers and adversaries. Also, I was fascinated by the Archangel Raphael. He's not what I expected. If you love a paranormal story with non-stop action this is the book for you.
TinaR19 More than 1 year ago
Bittersweet Darkness is the third book in the Order series. The interaction between the characters is wonderful and so well written that I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I have enjoyed each one of the stories and like how they can be read on their own, but I recommend that they are read in order since many of the characters are in all the books. I hope there will be more books Iin this seseries. I received an e-ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Faith has never believed in any type of supernatural monster. Even when signs point to what looks like a vampire she will not believe it. The detective has a crime she wants to see solved before her time is up. She doesn't have a lot of time as her health is rapidly going but she vows she will put a figure out this crime. She comes in contact with Ash as she investigates and while he has the bad guy look and feel to him she see can't help but want him. Asmodai has a debt to pay and part of that debt is working for the Order of the Shadow Accords. He now goes by Ash and is the demon representative for the new Committee for the Integration of Mankind. He gets the chance to be his daughter and maybe make things better between them. Faith makes him want something he hasn't wanted in a long time. As he helps her and they become closer he helps her deal with the fact those monsters she has never believed in may be real. Faith will have to look deep to see who the real monsters are and while she is falling for Ash she also knows her time is running out and she can't let Ash get to close. Faith is a wonderful detective who lets nothing stand in her way of solving a crime and hoping it will help her figure out her mothers murder years ago. She has the chance to work for a place that will help her solve them but they seem crazy to her as they believe in monsters and she doesn't. She isn't thrilled with her job and the people she now finds she works for. They do have resources she needs but they want her to spy on her friend and believe some people are all evil. She doesn't ever seem to give up and she doesn't want anyone to know she is sick. Ash is so dark and sexy. He has done bad things before but he is working at being better. There isn't much he wouldn't do for his daughter. Faith makes him feel something he hasn't felt in years and he will do many things to protect her. Even when she wants to push him away he makes a hard choice and does whatever it takes for her. This is a wonderful series that I can't get enough of. You don't have to read them in order but it will help knowing all the characters and really it is so good I would tell you to anyway. If you like paranormal books than you will enjoy this one. It has vampires, demons, witches, angels and so much more. You really get to see all kinds. You also get to see a different side of angels that you wouldn't expect. There is tons of action and you never get bored. Faith protects those she thinks need it and will jump into danger if it means she can save someone. Ash is so tough and you get to see him as he pulls out all the stops. There is also romance and love as Ash and Faith fall for each other but they have so many things to work through. I eagerly look forward to the next book in this series as I have to see more of these great characters.
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
The book was a great read. I enjoyed reading this book from beginning to end. Faith and Ash get more than they bargained for but loving each other forever might not be enough.
angelblue-240 More than 1 year ago
Bittersweet Darkness is the third book in Nina Croft's The Order series and can be easily read as a stand alone. The story starts off with our heroine Faith chasing down a lead on a murder that she is currently investigating with her partner. Just as she closes in on him she blacks out. We find out that she has a ticking time bomb in her head, a massive aneurism that is building and it's just a matter of time before it ends her life. She is determined to find the person responsible for the murder and see that justice is served. Faith is a pretty straight forward person and views life in black or white, good or evil with nothing in between. You have to be one or the other in her opinion and is very rigid when it comes to changing her views even when it is waved right in her face. That being said, I really liked her. She was tough and didn't put up with crap from anyone. She also didn't curl up in a ball and give up when she found out about her terminal condition. She was determined to solve the case before her time was up. Now we come to Asmodai aka: Ash. I loved him! The perfect bad boy, even though he was in denial about his feelings for a fragile human. I loved how he always took care of Faith when one of her migraines struck. Even when he thought she may have been responsible for his daughter's kidnapping he still took care of her and protected her. This story had a lot of action, suspense, angst and steam! When they all get to Hell that's when everything comes to a head and before they have a chance to sort things out the time bomb in Faith's head goes off.... OMG I bawled like a baby!!! Not many books get my waterworks going but this one did. What a heart wrencher and what a surprise as well! Want to know what happened at the end? Get the book, you won't regret it. Excellent PNR by Nina Croft and another great series that I will definitely be adding to my must read list. *I received a copy from the publisher in return for an honest review
MJHughes12 More than 1 year ago
This book had a bit of everything that I like – action, romance, angst, tension, supernatural creatures, sexy alpha males, kick-ass heroines…yep, a bit of everything! Even though I haven’t read the first two books in this series, it was easy to follow the story and I don’t feel that I missed anything at all. I really liked the world that Nina Croft has created and liked how all the different supernatural creatures interacted with one another. Faith’s character was great - her black & white view of things and her belief in good guys vs. bad guys was so key to her actions and personality and really drove her loyalty and commitment to those she was friends with and those she was protecting. It was awful all the pain in her life, starting with her mother being murdered and then finding out she had a terminal illness. I loved her reaction to Ash – although she had a lust-at-first-sight reaction to him, there was no way she was going to go for the bad boy type – and Ash was as bad boy as they come, right down to his leather pants… “For one thing, he wasn’t her type. Not that she had a type. She hadn’t dated in over two years. No wonder she was feeling horny. But if she did have a type, he wouldn’t be it. She liked nice men who wore smart suits and worked in offices. She was a sucker for a man in a tie and she was betting Ash had never worn one in his life.” Faith also does not believe in monsters – no way do they exist in her world! But when her investigation ends up landing her working for a secret government organization who is investigating the existence of these monsters, she ends up coming face to face with everything she doesn’t believe in…and also with the realization that perhaps lines aren’t always so clearly drawn between good and bad. Ash was quite the character, sexy as sin in his human form. As a demon he pretty much takes what he wants and uses his demon wiles to get whatever he sets his sights on – and he sets his sights on Faith from the first moment he sees her. Even though all he can think about is getting her into his bed, he really ends up being quite the gentleman and even a bit over-protective of Faith at times – and I loved it! And when they finally do get together…wow, lots of sparks! Although the story started off a little slow for me, it didn’t take more than a few chapters for the pace to pick up and for me to get totally engrossed in the story. I loved the banter between Ash and Faith, and I absolutely loved Faith’s ex-partner Ryan. The rest of the secondary characters were great and I can’t wait to go back and read the first two books to read more about them. A great overall read! I received an eARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.