What happens when a not-quite-fallen angel held captive by a group of Phoenix falls for the Phoenix-human hybrid who helps him escape? Sparks fly and worlds collide as they attempt to come to terms with their feelings for one another in this fun paranormal romance.
Thane is a ruthless angel currently being held in captivity by the equally ruthless Phoenix clan, a group of immortals with the ability to burn into ash and rise again even stronger. Also being held captive is Elin Vale, a half-Phoenix/half-human who had the misfortune of being captured after witnessing the Phoenix slaughter most of her family. Elin is treated abominably by these immortals, subjected to unimaginable cruelty for her mere existence. So when she witnesses Thane making a bid for freedom, she decides assisting his escape may be her ticket out of the horror her life has become.
Once their escape has been made, Thane takes Elin back to his home, providing her with a job and living accommodations. Elin still mourns the loss of her husband in the Phoenix attack, but she cannot deny her attraction to the arresting angel. But the Phoenix have not forgiven the escapees nor forgotten them. And Thane’s home may not be nearly as safe as it seems.
The Angels of the Dark series is somewhat of a spinoff of the Lords of the Underworld series and there is some crossover in this book. It was nice to see some familiar characters pop in for a visit. The worldbuilding in the novel is unique, populated by various groups of immortals each with its own strengths and weaknesses. I was particularly interested in the Phoenix’s ability to burst into flame upon destruction and emerge stronger. This made for some interesting clashes between Thane, who is a sort of angel-on-probation, and the Phoenix warriors.
Elin was a great lead character who had been through much emotional and physical trauma, but she remained feisty even when terrified. She has her own Achilles’s heel as well: a post-traumatic stress disorder type reaction to the sight of blood. But Elin is resilient and demonstrates an ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances, allowing her to overcome her fears during the course of the novel.
Despite a strong beginning, I had a little difficulty really getting into the story once Thane and Elin return to his home. For me, the second quarter or so of the book was a bit slow, but the pace picked up significantly during the second half of the book. I had a little trouble keeping up with the who’s who of characters and their immortal species and abilities, which bogged my reading down slightly.
All in all though, I enjoyed Thane and Elin’s journey from abused prisoners to triumphant lovers. Each had to overcome adversity and face their own fears in order to grow and be together in the end. I also found the secondary characters interesting enough that I will be looking forward to the next book in this intense and unique series.