Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gena Showalter - Beauty Awakened

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

Comment: This is another of the several authors whose work I try to read as soon as a new book arrives in my house. Although I saw a comment here and there about certain aspects not so brilliant - in those opinions - about this book, I was still quite eager to get to it.

This is the story of Koldo, another Sent One - an angel but not like the usual angels - of the Army of Disgrace that we've met in Wicked Nights. Koldo doesn't have wings since he was a child because someone took them from him. He grew up with difficult memories and experiences and now has much hate in his heart. till, he walks around trying to help others like angels do. One day he meets Nicola and her sister in a hospital and tries to help Nicola realize that being positive and wanting to feel better will help her put the demons that feed from her away.
Nicola has a heart disease as does her twin sister, but she isn't as sick and with the help of Koldo she starts to see the monsters around her and fights back.
When Nicola thought things were getting better, something bad happens and only with Koldo's help she can attempt to make things right.

I liked this book. It wasn't as sexy or focused on the sexual tension of other books - I'll come to that - but overall, I think is was a solid book anyway.
The storyline follows the things that happened in the last book and we even get a little mention of Kane, the hero of the next book in the Lord of the Underworld series, but as any fan could say, being this is a spin off, many characters from the main series are mentioned or show up here too.
The characters are intriguing as always. More so the secondary ones as we get tidbits about them but don't really see their inner thoughts a lot, so we get curious. I'm very curious about a couple of them and want to see where their paths are taking them, it's all very well done, we get hints enough to keep us wanting to know more, but not too many to ruin the mystery effect.
The romance was OK. It wasn't as sexy as the romances in previous books. I actually have the feeling the author has toned it down a bit. I think it could have been more explosive, but it was more in the warm side than the hot one..not that it's a bad thing, just...unusual.

Some people have said out there in the internet that Gena has found religion. I wasn't aware of that but I read this while still reading the book and from that moment on I was trying to see it through religious eyes and personally I didn't feel the book was a wake up call to readers to feel God is the key to the world or something. The way I saw it, religion and happy thoughts and as the author says, the Most High, aren't the only ways to be happy. It's not believing in God on its own that saves someone. I think the message was more about being confident in ourselves and that if we try to be happy, if we try to see the positive side of things, out lives become easier, more relaxed. 
But I also understand some people might see things as too heavy on the religious side, not that much, but more so because the previous books by the author weren't like that.
To be honest I don't think this was that special, it wasn't that obvious to make the reader feel conflicted...but it's just the way I saw it. It's true that the book had a very strong message about being positive to keep disease and unhappiness away and that the sex was more toned down, but there are many key elements in the book that are still the Gena we used to know and things work out in order to make the book her usual trademark...just a little bit less sexy.
In the end it depends on how each person sees it, I guess...

I liked it. It wasn't the very best by her, but I was eager to see Koldo and Nicole getting a HEA and like always, in the end amazing things happen that surprise us. Koldo did deserve happiness and I loved him getting it as well as love with Nicola.

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