Burning Dawn (Angels of the Dark Series #3)

Burning Dawn (Angels of the Dark Series #3)

by Gena Showalter

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Angels of the Dark tale about a winged warrior renowned for his ruthlessness, and the woman who becomes his obsession….

A tormented past has left Thane with an insatiable need for violence, making him the most dangerous assassin in the skies. He lives by a single code: no mercy. And as he unleashes his fury on his most recent captor, he learns no battle could have prepared him for the slave he rescues from his enemy's clutches—a beauty who stokes the fires of his darkest desires.

Elin Vale has her own deep-rooted scars, and her attraction to the exquisite warrior who freed her challenges her every boundary. But Thane's unwavering determination to protect her means she must face her greatest fears—and enter a world in which passion is power, and victory means breathtaking surrender.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373778447
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Series: Angels of the Dark Series , #3
Edition description: Original
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 300,615
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

Read an Excerpt

He lived sex. Breathed sex. Ate sex. He was sex.

Maybe that was his name.

No. That wasn't what she called him. She-his heart. His reason for being.

She would straddle his waist, feed his aching length into her hungry body, and say, "My slave needs me more than air to breathe, doesn't he?"

My Slave. Yes. That was his name.

My Slave wanted his woman. Craved her like water to drink.

Must have her.

Only she would do. He couldn't live without her smoke-and-dreams scent. .mmm, or her too-close-to-the-sun heat…or her fiery claws. How deeply those little daggers cut into his bare chest. And her peekaboo fangs…how deliciously they nipped at the vein in his neck.

She was perfect, and only when she was with him, her strong body taking and receiving pleasure, was the gnawing hunger within him finally satisfied.

Must. Have. Her. NOW.

But…he looked around. She wasn't with him. He tried to rise from the bed. Something bound his wrists and ankles again. Not rope. Not this time. Too cold, too hard. Steel? He didn't care enough to look.

Problem. Solution. My Slave gritted his teeth and jerked with all his considerable might. Skin tore, muscle ripped, and bone snapped. Pain. Freedom. He grinned. His woman was out there. Soon he would find her. He would thrust inside her and slake his need for her. Again and again and again…

Nothing and no one would stop him.

"He's loose again," someone grumbled.

At the pond washing clothes and dreaming of salted caramel cupcakes…and frosted brownies…and, oh, oh, oh, peanut butter cookies, Elin Vale lumbered from the over-warm water. Brittle grass covered the small bank provided by the gorgeous desert oasis of Sahel, abrading her bare feet. As the sun glared from the clear morning sky, golden sand dunes undulated on every side; she sought shade under one of the handful of trees. A gentle breeze carried more grit than she was ever able to wash away.

At least there was a silver lining. A free daily body scrub meant her sunburned, freckled skin always glowed.

Yay me.

Now, if only she could accomplish her life goals so easily. 1) Escape the Phoenix warriors holding her captive, 2) make big bank, and 3) open a bakery. She would sell desserts good enough to induce orgasm…except peanut butter cookies because she would single-handedly consume the entire stock.

Life would be over-the-moon crazmazing. She would be doing what she loved and eating what she craved. Except, for one wee problem-she hadn't yet managed to cross number one off her list. Phoenix were immortals with the ability to flame to ash and rise from the dead, stronger than ever before. They were vicious. And, ironically enough, they were cold-blooded. They enjoyed pillaging and plundering, and killed for grins and giggs.

Elin had seen the worst of their handiwork up close and all too personal, and even now, a year later, the memories were formidable enough to break her down. Memories she couldn't stop…please, please stop…but there they were, flashing through her mind. Her father's head rolling across the floor-without his body. Bay's pain-filled moan echoing in her ears as he sagged to the floor, a sword sticking out of his chest. Silence descending. Such dreaded silence.

Even now her heart rate went full throttle, with enough horsepower to break records. Going to vomit.

"Catch him!"

The frantic shout was a welcome and wonderful distraction, the only life raft in a sea of horror, halting the oncoming breakdown.

Her gaze scanned-there.

Oh, blimey. He's magnificent.

Because of Elin's supposedly disrespectful mouth- some people couldn't tolerate the truth-she had spent the past two weeks stuffed inside a small, dank hole, unable to see the new prisoner "worth toppling an entire empire to possess."

The quote had come from every female in the village.

For the first time, Elin had to agree with her captors. The princess's immortal slave was a god among men.

He stomped through the sand, flinging expert soldiers out of his way as if they were stuffed animals.

He did this despite the fact that his wrists and ankles looked like raw hamburger meat.

His scowl was dark, frightening, and despite her fascination, she instinctively lowered her gaze.

Oh, wowzer. Hello, massive erection. The beast was in no way concealed by the leather loincloth the slave wore.

The ability to breathe abandoned her. Who knew pe-nises did actually come in size magnum, as romance novels proclaimed? And, sweet fancy, as the scrap of material rose…and rose…and eventually fell to the side, she saw a glint of silver. Was the head of his shaft- It was! It was actually pierced with a long, silver barbell.

Her knees went a bit weak.

Eye-raping the princess's slave, Vale? Really? Stop!

First, entertaining lustful thoughts for another woman's man was a crime punishable by death. Second, it was 100 percent skeevy.

That was why she would look away…in a second. A peek at the rest of him, that was all she needed. He was at least six and a half feet of primal male aggression, with the defy-me-at-your-own-peril muscle mass of a dedicated, centuries-old warrior. But what truly snagged her attention-besides the jumbotron, of course-were feathered wings of the most luminous pearl and gold arcing behind wide, bronzed shoulders. Actual, honest-to-goodness wings, fit for the most cherished of angels.

But if the whispers and giggles she'd heard about the male were to be believed, he wasn't actually an angel, and calling him one would have been an insult, since angels were lower on the totem. He was a Sent One. An adopted son of the Most High, the ruler of the highest realm of the heavens.

Sent Ones were expert trackers and merciless demon slayers. Defenders of the weak and helpless. They were honest to the point of seeming brutality. And, okay, wow, that was like a checklist of awesome. But the things that were supposedly specific to this male's character: cold, calculated and demented. Not awesome.

Apparently, he laughed when he killed his enemies…and laughed when he killed his friends.

But…that couldn't be true. Could it? He was too pretty to be so cruel.

Shallow much?

What? She was starved. A mind was mush when a body was hungry.

According to gossip, he was part of the Army of Disgrace, one of the Most High's seven heavenly defensive forces. Six of those forces were well respected and admired. The AoD, not so much. They were a group of wild, untamable mercenaries in danger of losing their homes, wings and immortality; in other words, permanent time off for wicked behavior.

The twenty or so men and women were on a yearlong probation, their every action scrutinized. One more screwup, and they would be adiosed forever.

The grapevine hadn't stopped there. The male directly below the Most High was named Germanus, and he was the Sent Ones' boss. Or rather, had been. Germanus was killed recently by demons. But before his death-obviously-he controlled the Elite Seven, the seven men and women who were the fiercest of the fierce, and the leaders of those seven defensive forces. After his death, the Most High appointed a new secondin-command, Clerici, and this Clerici guy had tweaked some long-standing rules.

Before: do not harm anyone or thing but demons.

After: unless a fellow Sent One is being held against his will.

Then, and only then, the entire race could play a Kill Everyone Card.

Elin's takeaway: once Sex On Legs' army buddies found out what had happened to him, everyone in the village would bathe in blood. And-if the expert-tracker thing proved true-bath time would come soon.

Have to be long gone by then.

"Woman!" he bellowed, his voice more smoke than substance. And yet, that one word dripped with command, expectation and raw animal carnality.

She shivered with vibrant anticipation.

Reacting to him, too? Why don't you just chop off your own head and call it good?

He belonged to Kendra the Merry Widow, Princess of Clan Firebird; she'd addicted him to the poison her body produced, a nonlethal substance worse than any drug, making him desperate for her touch. Then she'd cinched the deal by tricking him into killing her.

With Kendra, everything began and ended with death.

Shortly after drawing her final breath, she flamed to ash, reformed and rose again, the bond between mistress and slave firmly in place.

Apparently, she'd done the same to six of her husbands-and was currently doing it to her seventh, who was away from camp at the moment, the lucky jerk. Because, when she tired of her men, she cut out…and ate…their hearts, ensuring they stayed dead.

A shudder crawled the length of Elin's spine.

As punishment, the late King Krull, Kendra's father, had bound her with slave-chains to negate her abilities and sold her on the black market.

Where and when the Sent One had come into play, Elin wasn't sure. She only knew he'd returned Kendra to camp decades later, dropping her from the sky and flying away. Krull, thinking the time apart had mellowed her, had removed the chains and given her to his third-in-command, Ricker the War Ender.

But with her abilities fully restored, she'd been able to addict Ricker to her poison, and gain his permission to leave the camp to hunt the Sent One.

The princess was sweet like that.

"Woman! Now!"

Elin swallowed a dreamy sigh. Even laced with anger and annoyance, the Sent One's voice elicited images of strawberries dipped in warm, rich chocolate. Mmm. Chocolate.

Maybe I should help him.

The thought struck her, surprising her. She wasn't exactly on speaking terms with courage, and to be effective, she'd have to endanger her own life. But if she could free the male from the princess's bond, she could use him to escape.

Elin pored through every bit of information she'd gleaned during her enslavement but came up with only a few ways to free him. None that were particularly helpful. She could kill him, but that kinda threw a wrench in her plan, because he wouldn't come back to life. She could kill Kendra (again), but the princess would come back to life, and Elin would have a very determined enemy for the rest of her (probably) short, (definitely) miserable life. Like the Sent One, death was the end for her.

Elin was half Phoenix, half "weak, lowly human," with zero abilities to show for her dual parentage. And it sucked, because here-or in any immortal colony, really-halflings were an abomination. A stain against the race. A threat to the vigor of the bloodline.

She'd known she was half-immortal, but she'd had no idea she was so despised, living in happy ignorance until a group of Phoenix ambushed her mother, Renlay, a little over a year ago. All because her mother-a full-blooded soldier-had fallen in love with Elin's father- a human-and had deserted her clan to be with him. As punishment, the group murdered Elin's father, as well as sweet, innocent Bay.

So much loss… She tried to ignore the knot growing in her throat.

She and Renlay were taken prisoner. Then, four months ago, Renlay experienced the ultimate death. It happened to all Phoenix eventually-even if their hearts weren't eaten-leaving Elin alone, so alone, suffering in the cruelest of ways, battling loneliness, grief, sorrow. Heartbreak.

Oh, the heartbreak. It was a constant companion. Cruel and merciless, darkening her days and soaking her nights with tears.

To be honest, the beatings and degradation did not compare to the torture of her emotions. Not even when she was treated like a dog, told to eat her meals on her hands and knees, without the use of her hands. Not even when she was made to take care of her bladder's needs in front of a laughing audience.

Elin blinked away tears.

In a sick, twisted way, she kind of…welcomed the abuse, she supposed. After all, she deserved it. Her parents and Bay had been strong and brave. She was a weak coward.

Why had she lived and not them?

Why did she continue to live?

As if you don't know.

Her mother's final words echoed in her mind. Whatever proves necessary, my darling, do it. Survive. Do not allow my sacrifice to be in vain.

"Woman! Need. Now." The Sent One once again ripped her from the past. He neared the river…neared her….

Soon, he would pass by, and the opportunity would be lost….

Her hand twitched as she debated whether or not to palm the glass shard another prisoner-now gone- had given her. A shard she'd hidden in the fabric of her leather dress, just in case one of the males decided to stop looking at her and start taking. She would have to do something drastic to break through the Sent One's obsession long enough to capture his attention. Maybe cutting him would do the trick. Maybe not. Maybe it would enrage him, and he would snap her neck with a single flick of his wrist.

Should she risk punishment? Death?

Decision time.

Pro: there was no better time for an escape. Many in the camp were distracted, as King Ardeo-who'd replaced the late Krull-had taken his most trusted men to who-knows-where to hunt Petra, Kendra's aunt, the Phoenix who had murdered Malta, Krull's widow and

Kendra's mother and, for a short time, Ardeo's most beloved concubine.

Ugh! What a mind-maze of names.

Ardeo had waited centuries to claim Malta, only to lose her two days later when a jealous Petra stabbed her in her sleep-and, taking a page from Kendra's How To Be A Psycho book, ate her heart.

Con: Elin wasn't in possession of Frost, a new "medication" for immortals, and the only thing capable of diluting Kendra's poison.

Pro: she might be able to get some.

Krull had purchased a handful of cubes right after Kendra's marriage to Ricker. Kendra now kept them inside a locket she wore at all times.

If Elin could steal that locket..

Another pro: never again having to worry about Orson.

He was away with Ardeo, but when he returned…

She shuddered as she recalled his parting words to her. "I will have you, halfling, and the way I'll take you, there'll be no chance of a babe."


Con: she could die horribly.

The Sent One was almost in front of her. Any second now.

If her mother were alive, she would tell Elin to go for it, despite the risk.

Well, then. Decision made.

Moving as fast as her reflexes would allow, Elin palmed the shard and swiped the jagged edge across the Sent One's arm.

As crimson droplets trickled down his skin, she gagged. Dizziness struck her, and a burning tightness bloomed in her chest.

Panic.threatening to consume her.already restricting her airways.

No! Not this time. She focused on her life goals- freedom, money, bakery-breathed in and out with purpose, and the storm passed.

The Sent One ground to a halt.

He's a slave, like me, and I'm his only hope. Heck, he's my only hope. I can do this. For my family.

He turned his head, looking at her over the arch of his wing, and she shivered. Curly blond hair innocently framed the face of a born seducer…exquisite, flawless. In contrast, his bedroom eyes were at half-mast, beseeching a female to naughtiness.

Anything for you.

Too bad those eyes were so poison-fogged she couldn't guess their color. Long, spiky lashes of the deepest jet rimmed his lids, and his soft, full lips practically begged for reckless kisses.

A ring of angry scars circled his neck, and she frowned. Evidence of an injury, no matter how great or small, did not usually remain on an immortal's flesh. Had someone tried to kill him before he'd been old enough to regenerate?

Even with the imperfection, he was beautiful. A visual feast. A rare eye candy. A delicacy to be savored. And now I'm struggling to breathe again, drowning, seriously drowning in his utter masculinity, and now in guilt…grief… I haven't lustedfor a man since Bay, my sweet, darling Bay, my husband of only three months, dead now, and I should be ashamed…


Customer Reviews

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Burning Dawn 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
-Aimee22- More than 1 year ago
Holy hotness! From the very first page . . . I was hooked, riveted, and on the edge of my chair. There are so many twists and turns. I was truly looking forward to Thane’s story and Showalter delivered! While held captive as a sex slave, Thane is poisoned by a wicked Phoenix, unable to control his bodies lascivious response to her. When Elin sees the fierce hero for the first time, she quickly devises a plan to save them both. Vengeance can make anyone dangerous, even an angelic warrior of the Almighty . . . especially when Thane’s already teetering on the edge of losing his wings and falling from grace. He is fierce, powerful, and protective of those he considers his, yet brutal to those who wrong him. The care he exerts toward Elin, a tenderness he doesn’t show others, made me fall head over heels for him.  But secrets . . . oh, the secrets they keep destroy them as they struggle with their attraction for one another—talk about being on an emotional roller coaster just waiting for the plunges.  Thane is one of my favorite characters and I couldn’t wait for his story. Sometimes I worry when I have a fav hero before reading their book because I have certain expectations for their “woman.” Elin held her own in the immortal world and I was proud of her. (If you like the Harpy’s from LOTU you’ll like Elin). She is young and a little timid, but there is a hidden strength inside of her just waiting to burst through. And like every character on their path in life, she has to grow. Her journey made her so much more real. Even the strongest of women still have a vulnerability. The fact that she wasn’t just discovering herself, but also helping Thane “weed” through his own demons gave me a deeper respect for her.  Desire and heat were definitely not lacking between Thane and Elin! Oh. My. Goodness. The tension and powerful attraction between the two was palpable—scorching, searing from the inside and radiating out. Let me just say the scenes are super hot!  The only way I can describe it is "Burning." The world-building is so in depth—the character’s so developed, colorful, and rich, that they reach a spot inside of you and pull you into them. I love seeing the Lord’s, Anya, and the Harpy’s pop in, meshing the two series together. I loved it. :)
angelblue-240 More than 1 year ago
Have you ever read a book that you just couldn't put down? Devouring it. Page after page is flying by and and you can't stop because it's just that awesome. And yet the closer you get to the end the more your dread builds, because seriously? You know what's going to happen when you finish. Yep, it's the hated book slump, I mean what is going to be able to top the amazeballs book you have just finished? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Well peeps for me that book is Burning Dawn. I honestly don't know where to start with my review because I adored every facet of this book. The characters, the storyline, the emotions, all of it was just total awesomesauce! I couldn't put it down! I just love a book that can make me angry, laugh out loud like a loon and then teary eyed from one page to the next. I have been a fan of Gena's ever since I first fell in love with Maddox from The Darkest Night (I won't go off topic but my god I could wax poetic about that man for HOURS!). Needless to say I am a PNR fan for life because of her. Another thing that I've always loved is Gena's ability to create stories that will send your emotions on a roller coaster ride that you'll never forget. Love and hate, betrayal and forgiveness, treachery and devotion. Burning Dawn has all of that and more! This has everything in it that Paranormal Romance fans are looking for. You have the hot, broody ALPHA (and I type that in caps because Thane is all things alpha) the fragile yet courageous heroine, powerful storyline, stunning backdrop (uhh... they live on a cloud, how freaking awesome is that?) and Gena's trademark humor (I have got to get myself a Multiple Scorgasm shirt). And Holy HOTNESS Batman! Never fear, the heat level in this book is out of this world! I love nothing more than seeing the tortured hero, and man Thane has some serious inner demons, brought to his knees by his heroine. Elin was the perfect match for Thane, she was the light to his dark and I loved seeing her blossom as her confidence grew. I have to say Thane surprised me. Instead of trying the typical macho "I refuse to see what she means to me" crap he embraced it! Sure he resisted at first, trying to protect her from himself but not for too long. Thane LOVED Elin and once he realized how much he held nothing back from her. BEST. ALPHA. HERO. EVER. Ooh and the dimples, oh my god Thane has dimples! *swoon* I also loved that we got a few cameos from our favorite LOTU characters! :) I HIGHLY recommend that you buy Burning Dawn but make sure to clear your calender because once you start you're not going to be able to put it down until it's finished! IT'S THAT FREAKING AMAZING! * I won an early copy from the author on her website for an honest review
TonyaMason More than 1 year ago
This is Gena's third book in the Angels of the Dark series and by far my favorite. Thane's story is heart breaking, but watching him learn to love (himself as well  as Elin) is a sizzling, on the edge of your seat, sexy page turner! Ms. Showalter's unique sense of humor is, as always, ever present and will leave you either lusting or laughing! Great job Gena, and can't wait for the next Angel's story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If your looking for a REALLY great book that you won't be able to put down that get Gena Showalter new book, Burning Dawn the newest book in Angels of the Dark series. The moment I picked it up I couldn't put it down. There are so many twist an turns, you think your have it figured out, but then Gena gives you another twist that have you saying "WHAT, it can't happen like that!?" The moment you pick it up make sure you set an alarm otherwise your forget to like eat, or something. It's that good. The best one yet of the series! Come's out April 29th, so go ahead an get your pre-order in!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Showalter keeps the thunder coming, loud and clear. Two words, Thane and Elin!!!! WOW need I say more. Two people that are starving for love and acceptance collide and find bliss. Hello Volcano meet Tornado, Angels of The Dark you won't be sorry you read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and wait anxiously for more!!!! This book might be my favorite of them..... very hard to choose though! Love her other series Lords of The Underworld aswell, and the two series tie together!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it from beginning to end. I can't wait for the next story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this one down! It has been a bit of awhile since I found a book that left me so hooked and distracted that I read at work instead of worked. This book did that. It was delicious, hilarious, passionate, intense, and emotional. I mean the words Elin came up with and the way she could turn a phrase; it was hilarious and fun. Loved her. Her emotional struggles were real and I sympathized with her dilemma. Thane was intense and larger than life. Their relationship was entertaining and enjoyable to watch unfold. The conflict was large and posed a problem, one that was realistic and formidable. The villain had to be big and bad to give our couple a challenge and he did. I truly enjoyed watching Thane open up and fall in love. I loved watching him work to win Elin. There isn't anything I didn't love about this story. The only negative is the undetermined amount of time I am going to have to wait till book 4 is released. There is no cover yet for it or a blurb, which bodes ill and a long wait in store.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Passionate, funny, poignant .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She's one of my favorite authors. I read her books religiously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The overarching theme of this book is to find beauty from ashes. Everyone has weeds in their lives that need to be yanked before it's too late. This book focuses on Thane and Elin; the woman who broke threw his barriers, helped to lessen the pain from his torturous past, and taught him the meaning of love. I agree with Sylvia Day in that, “Showalter’s signature blend of sizzling attraction, breathtaking words, and lethal stakes rocks me every time!” This book was very well written and the characters were very well developed. The only thing that I didn't care very much for Elin. I know she's in her early twenties, but she came off as very immature and juvenile in her speech and actions. After all of the horrors she experienced in her short life, I expected her to be less juvenile. Because I found her character to be annoying I couldn't in good faith give this book 5 stars, so I'll give it 3.5 stars. If there are more books in this series is be interested in reading them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book awesome story line Loved the story between Thane and Elin cool book cool story line
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Addicting through and through. I enjoyed the character development.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Third book in the series. You'll laugh, cry, and cheer while reading this. I enjoyed so much I couldn't put down. Looking forward to the next story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Need clan:( Put " To Brownkit" in the top box to give me a clan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite book in the series so far!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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