Review: Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter

Review: Beauty Awakened by Gena ShowalterBeauty Awakened by Gena Showalter

Series: #2 Angels of the Dark
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Harlequin on February 26, 2013
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
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four-half-stars  

I eagerly awaited this next installment in the Angels of the Dark series.  Truthfully, there are several that I wanted to read their stories and Koldo was one of them.  I just knew with the hints of his back history and the whole dark tortured soul thing that it would be good.  So glad to report that I was not disappointed.

The story opens with a prologue that tells the story of how Koldo came to lose his wings, get left by his mother when he was just a little boy with an evil torturing father and experience such a strong desire for revenge against his own mother who was responsible for it all.  Can’t say that I blame him one iota after reading that.

Then things move into the present day when Koldo is now on his last chance before getting kicked out of the heavens and joining the fallen angels.  Each day he teeters toward making that final dark act that will seal his fate.  He’s a warrior in Zacharel’s army and like all the others he is filled with pain, hurt, and darkness, but he determines not to fail them.

Into Koldo’s bleak existence comes a very physically weak human female who has a heart condition, but a heart filled with love and selflessness for her sister.  Nicola is under the influence of two demons feeding her fear and hopelessness.  She catches his attention and for the first time in his life he wants to help someone else.

Nicola is open to accepting his help, but still has doubts that her body can be healed by what Koldo suggests.  She feels the attraction between them, but can’t believe that a big warrior would want anything to do with her.  At the same time, Koldo holds back because he doesn’t believe he is worthy of Nicola with all the black deeds he’s done.

Danger threatens to tear them apart in the form of an old evil from Koldo’s past and new trouble that he doesn’t see until it’s too late.  Then there are his own dark choices that Koldo must overcome if he is to have anything with Nicola.

I enjoyed this story from beginning to end.  Both hero and heroine’s spiritual journeys to shaking off their pasts and reaching for each other and their future was warmly satisfying.  Like any good Showalter tale, there was exciting battle scenes and shadowy intrigue that only pops out to reveal its intentions in a frenzy of a grand finale.

Koldo and Nicola were really good for each other.  They felt attraction, but it wasn’t instant gratification at all.  They had a lot to work through individually and then accept each other.  I was so glad that both were pretty mature about things too- no undo angst and stupid actions which made their declarations of love easy to believe and accept when they came.  The tension between them just builds to the end and they do eventually experience passion, but it’s not explicitly described.  It’s more of a fade to black scene.

I grow more and more intrigued by the side stories of the other warriors.  My heart just bleeds for poor Thane.  He is so lost- well all Zacharel’s angels are really.  Axel is probably hurting too, but he covers it all up with a light nature.  I enjoyed him as Koldo’s partner and look forward to more of his story.  It was cool revisiting Zacharel and Annabelle too.  Sweet William gets to be a crossover character in this one for one scene.  I’ll even wink and look away for the shameless plug on the last page for the next Lords of the Underworld story coming out soon involving Kane because hey, I love it when the angels and the lords do crossover scenes.

To wrap it up with a bow, this was as enjoyable as the first book in the series and I look forward to reading the next one.  Fans of paranormal romance involving angels and demons should definitely give this series a try.

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About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.