Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter

Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter
Title: Beauty Awakened
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Angels of the Dark, #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: HQN (Imprint of Harlequin)
Date Published: February 25th, 2013
Edition: Paperback
Rating:

His name is Koldo. He is scarred, powerful, his control legendary-and he lives only for vengeance, determined to punish the angel who viciously removed his wings. But if he yields to the forces of hatred, he will be kicked from the heavens, eternally damned.

She is his last hope. Nicola Lane was born with a defective heart, yet this fragile human shows surprising strength as demons stalk her every move, determined to end her. She is the key to Koldo’s deliverance…and his downfall. Though he fights duty, destiny and his first addictive taste of desire, his toughest battle will be the one for Nicola’s life-even if he has to sacrifice his own….

My Review:

Beauty Awakened follows the Sent One Koldo and a woman who has been haunted for all her life, Nicola. Koldo must help Nicola break out of the darkness surrounding her in order for her to be able to heal. But what he doesn’t expect is for Nicola to heal the deep-seated wounds within him as well. As Koldo and Nicola battle their inner (and outer) demons, Koldo’s past comes back to haunt him.

I’ve commented in my last few reviews for Gena’s books on her change in writing style, but I think it’s worth mentioning here again because this book was probably the most guilty of a huge change in Gena’s approach to the story.

The good news is that I’ve already read The Darkest Craving before this and since that one came out after this book it’s good to see that Gena dials back the “preachy” theme a bit in that one. So hopefully that’s a sign that she’ll find a good balance between her new lifestyle and her old writing style in future books.

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However, she does have her main characters in both books marry before having sex, which can end up a little awkward in a paranormal romance. So I’m not a huge fan of this change in approach. I hope it’s not something she’ll do for all her future books.

The bad news is that this one was a little over the top on the Christian themes. Honestly I don’t mind Christian themes. A good example of this done well in a mainstream paranormal genre is The Mephisto Covenant series. In my opinion that series has a good balance between incorporating Christian beliefs and giving them a paranormal twist. Another good one is the River of Time series, which is a little more subtle about it, but still good at the balancing act as well. Gena’s Angels of the Dark series? Not so much.

I realize this is fairly new approach for her, but the other problem is that these series’ started before Gena’s change in faith. So trying to adjust her series’ to a more comfortable level for her and appeasing existing fans of her series’ that already had a lot of sex in them to start with is going to be a pretty impossible challenge. Being that this (and several of her other series’) are paranormal romances makes it even more difficult. I’ve never heard of a Christian paranormal romance — can that even exist with them being one step down from being erotica?

As for the book itself there were some good things. I loved Axel — he’s definitely a few crayons short of a whole box, and I loved that! lol Koldo and Nicola weren’t bad characters and they made sense together given their broken pasts. They were also pretty romantic together (even sans sex).

Overall this book was okay, but it’s nothing like I’ve come to expect from Gena. I hope she finds a good balance soon because it makes it really hard for an existing fan to adjust. I’m not giving up on her books yet, but unfortunately I’ll probably be a bit more hesitant when picking up any of her newer adult books at this point.

3 Hearts Read more reviews & Buy it up! Goodreads LibraryThing Shelfari Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository Half.com Abebooks Alibris Better World Books Paperback Swap

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You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

Aisling Grey is a courier enjoying a free, work-related trip to Paris when she learns she's a Guardian. That's a keeper of the Gates of Hell, for those who don't know. She finds this out from Drake Vireo, who's scrumptiously sexy-at least in his human form. Now Drake has stolen the package Aisling was sent to deliver, and she must track him down, get the package, and try to resist the passion boiling inside her.

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