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Angels of the Dark #2

Beauty Awakened

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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....

447 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published February 26, 2013

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About the author

Gena Showalter

258 books27k followers
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over seventy books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series, the Gods of War series, the White Rabbit Chronicles, and the Forest of Good and Evil series. 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 and cats.

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5 stars
5,808 (44%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 848 reviews
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books705 followers
March 4, 2013
This book was almost great. It pains me to say that, because the parts of it that were good were very, very good. But the two issues I had with it really took away from my overall enjoyment.

This second installment in Gena Showalter's Angels of the Dark series features Koldo, and though I wasn't that excited to learn he was getting his own book, he ended up a really good tortured hero. He was raised by a mother who hated him and cut of his wings. Then he was abandoned to be tortured and kept by his evil father, until he was eventually freed to fight on the side of the angels. He has never known love or tender emotions from anyone. But that changes when Nicola enters his life.

Nicola and her twin sister were both born with heart problems and both face an uncertain future. But when Koldo comes across them in the course of another mission, he can't ignore how he is drawn to Nicola. He makes it his task to free her from the demons who foster her illness and to teach her how to fight their influence. And in the process, they fall in love.

I think what I liked best about the story is how effortless the romance is between Nicola and Koldo. I can see how and why they fall for each other. There is no great misunderstanding or hurtful mistake one has to forgive the other for. Koldo just wants to be loved and Nicola is the balm to his tattered soul. It hit my romance happy buttons all over.

Unfortunately, the book failed big time in the sexual arena. Usually Showalter's books really deliver with the sexy times. Here, I reread their first sexual encounter three times and I'm still not sure what the hell happened. It was that vague. Then, when they finally do seal the deal (a measly one time) again, the language is vague and totally unsatisfying.

"Nicola," he said, and finally --finally-- claimed her...
Hesitantly, he leaned down and kissed her again. Softly, gently. It didn't take long to renew their passions, and then, oh, then, they wed in body, as well. She yielded to him without reservation, accepting him, burning for him, loving him, enfolding him in her arms, crying his name, begging him for more, nipping at his lips.

They wed in body?? Who is this author and what has she done with Gena Showalter's sex scenes? This was a total missed opportunity, since Koldo is a sexy virgin hero who is just exploring his sexuality for the first time.

My second big issue? It's a little too... religious isn't the right word. But it felt dangerously close to having a "message." The angels have been a part of the Lords of the Underworld series for some time now, but not until this book did it have more of a traditional ring for me. Essentially in the sense that it is faith in the Most High that can make or break you in this book. It felt like PNR with a little bit of an inspirational bent.

The romance was really good though, as was the construction of the characters. I felt like I knew them and I was 100% invested in them. So much so, I might have given it an A, had it not been for the disappointing sex and the feeling that I was supposed to find God when it was all said and done.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Harlequin
Profile Image for Kristalia .
394 reviews615 followers
October 5, 2015
Final rating: 5/5 stars

“Even the smallest light can grow until there’s no darkness left.”

※ update: I did some editing of the review on 17/10/14.

This series is captivating. It will bind you and won't let you go until you read them all. More world-building, plot twists, actions and sexual tension + another virgin hero. For me it was absolutely better than the first one. It made me laugh a lot, but as well cry because of certain character's decision in the end. Still, the story about Nicola and Koldo was beautiful, sweet and lovely. And the cover is true to the characters, except....where is his beard xD?

Story is about two twin sisters, Nicola and Laila, and a wingless warrior angel Koldo. One day, while on mission, Koldo notices Nicola in hospital, beside her dying sister. He notices the demons who poison both of them, feeding of their fear of dying. Nicola and Laila don't have long to live. They both have really weak hearts, and Laila is already hospitalized and near death. Nicola can suffer a heart attack anytime and that despair and pain are exactly what feeds demons. Koldo decides to help them both - and he slowly falls in love with Nicola. There is a lot more to story than just that, it was full of action, there was a side story, interesting plot twists and many fight scenes.

Gena also shows how positive thinking affects the outcome of some actions. Being positive and thinking positively crushes the negative emotions and it helps. It helped me a lot of times, and thus i believe in the message she wanted to give to her readers.




We meet Koldo in the first book. He is wingless warrior from the Zachariel's Army of Disgrace. His wings were cut off by his own sadistic mother when he was young, and he never could regenerate them since. (this was told in the prologue so it's not a spoiler). She blamed him for being born, especially because he was half Nefas.

Nefas are "vile race in existence. A race that sneaked up on humans, poisoned slowly, painfully...destroying utterly. A race without a conscience. A race just like the demons. The Nefas were death dealers. Soul suckers. The age of their victims never mattered. The gender of their victims never mattered. They lived to inflict pain. They killed. And they laughed while doing it."

So Cornelia, his mother, blamed him for everything and used every chance she could to hurt him. And in the end, she cut off his wings and sent him to his father's people, who had done even worse to him. He spent a decade in there, forced to do so many things that he regretted. He was feral, dangerous and without any hope, until he was rescued by Sent ones. And in the end, he became what his parents created him to be: emotionless but lethal. And rabid. After an incident he was sent to be in Army of Disgrace.

In the previous book he sacrificed his precious hair, making him look like his father's people - whom he hated with passion. But doing so, he created friend of Zacharel and respect as well.

He appears to be quite emotionless, but he isn't. He just hides it well because he is afraid of being rejected. He doesn't want to be hurt emotionally so he just avoids contact with other people. But then he meets Nicola, and finds himself fascinated with her. He helped her battle her own demons *literally* and in return he only requested for her to be happy.


Nicola was truly awesome: strong and adorable heroine. Even though she had weakened heart, she cares a lot for her only sister, especially after their parents and brother died in car accident. She is devastated because she is loosing the only person left she loved. And then she meets mysterious Koldo, who read her like an open book. She is crazy, she is awesome and she is wonderful and complex character.

Koldo & Nicola's relationship:

They were absolutely cute. Their relationship was truly unique. A lot of time passes before they do something. So...there was a lot of sexual tension here and there... They took it slowly, never rushed into anything, because she sometimes fainted and he never wanted to hurt her. They must be the first couple ever to have had sex after they had . Which was quite unique in this genre, and that was sweet. But he would do anything, and i meant anything for her.

Spoilers for those who have read it * some are really serious *:


Laila was really sweet. She is Nicola's twin sister and she was in comma for a while and in danger of dying. She has weak heart, making her vulnerable, and dying. She was always there for Nicola, her only support. She was crazy as well, and just lovely. Innocent.


Axel was beyond crazy. He is hilariously crazy Angel who is having more fun than anything. He is like a contradictory Koldo. His comments are beyond awesome, and he made me laugh so many times. He is weird and i really wonder what's his story - so i really hope he will get his book. His actions certainly surprised me, and he just grew more to my heart.

“Fair enough, since I wasn’t really interested. But I gotta say, I am so proud right now.” Axel flattened his hand over his heart. “You borrowed my patented move, proving I’m made of more than awesome. I’m awesalicious. Is that a word? It’s probably a girl word, but who cares! Seriously. Do you see a tear in my eye? Because I’m pretty sure I feel one.”
Koldo didn’t understand the man’s humor, and yet, he realized he was coming to like Axel despite that. He was strong, courageous and never backed down from a fight. He never allowed Koldo’s moods to affect his own, and he was happy to do anything Koldo asked. Or demanded.
What was the male’s history?
“You’re very weird,” Koldo observed.
“Nah. I’m mysterious. There’s a big difference.”
“You’re definitely weird.”

P.S. This is my favorite scene with Axel and Koldo ever *spoiler alert*

Everyone else:

Thane, Xerxes & Bjorn are interesting characters. Their bond is truly strong. I just can't wait to read their books. Their story in this book ended with serious cliffhanger and i will go mad or crazy until the next book.

Cornelia is a truly despicable. I hated her and will hate her always.

Nox (Koldo's father) is totally sadistic and heartless character, and also one of those worthy of hating with passion.

Jamilla was awesome! She did appear before, but not so much as she did here :D I found her great, and i wish she could get a book of her own!

Sirena i liked a lot for the first half of the book. In the second part of the book, i just started and couldn't believe what was happening. *SERIOUS SPOILER*



I loved this book. I would recommend this series to everyone, whether you have read LOU or not. Series can be read as a separate series, but i have a feeling that as more books are written, the more crossovers it will have with LOU. Anyway, cool series ♥

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Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark, #1)
Beauty Awakened (Angels of the Dark, #2)
Burning Dawn (Angels of the Dark, #3)

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...

Profile Image for Georgia ♥ .
420 reviews1,119 followers
May 1, 2013
5 Beauty-And-the-Eye-of-the-Beholder Stars

“Even the smallest light can grow until there’s no darkness left.”


A wingless angel.


A girl tormented by demons.


Is there redemption, for a soul ravaged by hate? Salvation, for a heart ripped apart by fear? And what happens, when you have invited the demons to your own destruction?


Koldo a half Angel/half Nefa soldier in the angelic army, has known only pain and suffering his whole life. Hated and abused by both his Angel mother and his Nefa father, offspring of unimaginable pain and mutual hatred. Stolen of his wings and unable to fly, stranded in a way an angel shouldn't be, he is given one final chance at redemption. Part of the army of angels/sinners, led by Zacharias, he has to prove that he is worthy of a second chance. And that chance is irrevocably entwined with the fate of a human girl, Nicola.

Nicola and her sister are dying. Young and beautiful they are ravaged by fear and doubts and they have invited demons in their souls. Admirable, strong and passionate, she will have to finally fight for the right to live, save her sister and love. She has to believe in the power of words and Koldo is determined to fight along with her.

“Words were one of the most powerful forces known— or unknown— to man. The Most High had created this world with His words. And humans, who had been fashioned in His image, could direct the entire course of their lives with their words, their mouths as the rudder on a ship, as the bridle on a horse. They produced with their words. They destroyed with their words.”

“You speak what you believe, and you believe you’re doomed. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the years, it’s that what you believe is the impetus for your entire life.”


Beautiful and heartbreaking, funny and inspirational, this a story about two strong individuals, driven to their knees by life and circumstance. They will have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the right to be together and live for each other. From the prologue, till the end, I was suffering along with the heroes.


Gena Showalter delivers a powerful story, with an amazing cast of secondary characters, crazy and badass, evil and sexy... just plain awesome. From the always-there Axel (I can't wait for his story) to the sweet Laila, Nicola's twin sister and Thane, Xerxes & Bjorn who broke my freaking heart to Cornelia the she-bitch angel and so-called Koldo's mother. Each, with a unique personality that adds to the mythology and draws you in the story.

I'll definitely be reading the next books in the series...

Profile Image for xrysa.
143 reviews920 followers
April 23, 2013

“You speak what you believe, and you believe you’re doomed. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the years, it’s that what you believe is the impetus for your entire life.”

Koldo is a an angel who lost his wings in a very brutal way.

You've lost what you didnt deserve.
As a kid he was violated by both his mother and his father.I never understood why his mother was so callous towards him until the last chapter . On the other hand I never expected a Nefas like his father to show any form of humanity.

In the present day Koldo is free but haunted by his past.

He is a guy who gives off a dangerous vibe . Koldo is cold to core and has done many terrible things in his life.However,these change when he sees Nicola.

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She and her sister are haunted by demons.Koldo meets her in a point where her sister is in danger and he is willing to buy her a few weeks.

I'll buy your sister a few weeks and in exchange you'll do what I tell you when I tell you , until the day I release you from my charge.

Nicola agrees and somehow she become's his responsibility.Nicola evokes him new emotions that he has never felt before.No matter their chemistry , this guy is afraid of being rejected because she is too good for him and he knows nothing about love.

He is dirty , she is pure.
He was ice , she was fire.

Like Annabelle , Nicola is not frightened when Koldo introduces her to his world but she is happy to move with him to Panama. Yet she cant forget her life and she decides not to stop working.

My feelings when it comes:
to her boss

to Sirena

to his father

Koldo used to be a lethal man until he was rescued. His father is responsible for so many years of torment and he is one of the main reasons that Koldo was emotionless.Falling in love with Nicola is the best thing that happened him in years. When he is near her his inner brokeness is eased and he is at peace for the first time . Nicola makes him normal and calmer.When Nicola is around him she is happier , stronger and freer.

My actual rating is 3.5 starts. I got a bit disappointed by this book because I expected it to be as awesome as Zacharel's book.
Unfortunately this book lacked humor . Well, I laughed a lot with Axel (my new favorite angel) but it wasnt enough as Axel was a secondary character.There were also many scenes that could have easily been removed .As Pavlina stated at her review
Thane's POV wasnt relevant with the story.

This love will never die.

Profile Image for Melissa.
51 reviews3 followers
February 28, 2013

What to say? I feel very conflicted about my review. It feels wrong to be writing this but.... WTH! I was hoping Last Kiss Goodnight was an exception, but I guess not. It felt like Sunday church school. I've deleted this sentence like 10 times because I just don't know how to continue without being harsh, but I think GS might be at a point where she is going to be acquiring a completely different kind of reader and saying goodbye to her old ones (you know, the ones that obsessed, laughed, cried and set reminders on their phones for her release dates? ya, those.) I gave her last book 3 stars because I couldn't bring myself to rate her any lower. It just felt wrong. But now I'm just so upset :( I think, to new GS readers, this book is perfectly adequate and if it was a Young Adult book, it would have been great. But for me it was a complete let down. She just jumped off my purchase list. I'm not quitting her, but I will definitely be getting her books from the library from now on. I read 331 pages of Young Adult at best, Christian Fantasy Romance easily, at worst, but definitely not what I thought I purchased. Not making that mistake again. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, but fool me three times? Oh no no no!

I have extremely low expectations for the following books, and don't even want to think about what she's going to do to the Lords. It's really quite tragic, I feel like crying just thinking about it. The worst part is that I don’t mind her new PG-13 way so much…….. well, okay fine, I do mind it, a lot actually, but I could live with it if it meant having her in my life. It’s the overkill that REALLY bothers me. I don’t even nag to my kids this much. I mean WOW! It felt like a really draining therapy session, or a visit to my mother in laws. The moral lessons should definitely be kept to a minimum. Less is more is a good rule to follow in this case.

With that said and all kidding aside, I actually feel really sad and let down at this new turn in her writing. I look forward to her books sooooo much, and to be left with this feeling of dissatisfaction is a real bummer. I always read her books on the release day, usually in one sitting and right away get on the phone to let everyone know how good it was, what to expect and give away spoilers to those who want them. I read it two days ago and haven’t called anyone. I’m always so excited and can’t wait to talk to someone about it. I feel no excitement at all. How sad is that 
Profile Image for Azet.
1,021 reviews229 followers
January 18, 2021
"Beauty Awakened" is the second book in the "Angels of the Dark"-series and are also related to "Lords of the Underworld"-series.I had decided to follow the series as instructed in Goodreads so thats why i have been reading this spin-off series to go on next to "The Darkest Craving".This book is all about vengeance,redemption,eternal love and loyalty.Gena Showalter yet again impresses me with an unforgettable story about the Dark Angel i so longed to read about!Nicola Lane is literally heart-sick together with her twin-sister and does everything to take care of her and make her recover.In comes Koldo,the wing-less Angel warrior who promises to take care of her and another chance for life.

Nicola Lane is a very adorable,strong,determined,sassy,innocent heroine and so golden-hearted that i together with Koldo fell in love with her.She has such a great heart that easily accepted Koldo and all his scarred Angel heroism.Through all the darkness in him she saw the love-starved man he was and gave her unconditional love to him.I love the scene where they marry each other-that was so sweet!

Koldo the half Angel and half Nefas whose wings got brutally cut away by his psycho mother.He was so tormented,angry and scarred...his soul just cried out for acceptance and love,and ohh how i just wanted to hug him and never let go.I love how he woos Nicola and how he falls madly in love with her-the scene where he crashed her double date was lots of fun.He comes on my favourite list among possessive and jealous heroes,he really made my mouth water with his sexiness!And it was even better that he was a virgin!

William the Randy appears in this book and damn he is a fun crazy manwhore as always!Thane,Bjorn and Xerxes are the tortured badboys i just can`t resist and i just love their loyalty and brotherhood.Kane the keeper of Disaster is meantioned to be missing which i already knew and his book is the next one i will be reading now.Really want the Lords to find him now.
Profile Image for Neyra ♦.
304 reviews106 followers
January 17, 2021
Okay... So, first, the rating...

If we're looking at it from a reviewers perspective alone, this book is a solid 2 stars.

For someone who's an avid Showalter fan and has only found disappointment in her Alien Huntress books… *points to self* … this book is a one star book.

Beauty Awakened is the highly anticipated sequel to Showalter's Angels of the Dark series, where we meet angelic warriors on the edge of destruction. Koldo is part of the Army of Disgrace and he's bent on getting revenge on the angel who ripped out his wings when he was a child. As he's in a hospital on a mission Zacharel has sent him on, he notices Nicola, as well as the demons who've parked their tushees next to her and her bedridden sister. For some inexplicable reason, he can't seem to walk away from her and she stirs in him his first taste of desire. But finding salvation together has a price.

When we first met Koldo in Wicked Nights, we discovered right off the bat, he's not a very social angel, but also that he's an angel without wings. The beginning of this book takes us to the past where we meet a seven year old Koldo and we are witness to the monster that unfortunately is his mother. It's devastating to see such a vulnerable baby be the target of so much misplaced hatred; all he wanted was for his mother to love him and she goes and does the unthinkable. Fast forward and Koldo is not only all grown up, but so full of hate himself, it's tearing him apart. But he finds Nicola thanks to his new partner, and my new favorite angel, Axel. Now, as far as characters for the series, I wasn't attracted to Koldo. Yes, his story was devastating, but his personality was… how can I put it… bland? Mediocre? Bipolar? Cavemanish? (And not in a good way, mind you >.<) Didn't help that he was bald and had a long beard either.

For Nicola, I honestly don't know how to feel about her. On the one hand, I admire her will to keep living and how she was determined to help her sister live again, but at the same time, I was annoyed with her. She took the news of angels and demons a little too well. I would have appreciated some denial on her part. And then there was the ending,

The romance was disappointing as well. I'm no fan of insta-love, and I liked that they were getting to know each other but there seemed to be very little sexual tension between the two. I understand Nicola has a heart condition and she's not supposed to get over-excited, but still… come on! When they finally give in to their desire, I swear I reread the scene three times just to make sure my eyes didn't deceive me. It's sad to say, but there was no sex scene… uh, wait a sec… isn't this an adult pnr book?? *picks up book and studies front and back cover* huh, it looks like it is… This was definitely NOT what I was expecting from Gena *sigh*

I know by now a lot of readers have heard that Showalter has changed her writing style, and my friends, I'll be one of many to confirm this to be true. Now, being an angel book I do expect some aspects of religion to be infused with the story, but not to a point where it becomes overbearing. She went on about healing through the power of faith, and how not believing would get you punished, as well as how embracing the almighty would turn you into a Sent One yourself… say what?! I have no problem with people's religious beliefs, more power to ya, but if I wanted to read a preachy book, I'd read the bible! *stops and thinks a minute* …NO. No I wouldn't >.<

Honestly this book felt more like a "first" book then a sequel. Gena spend too much time recreating a world that didn't need to be; she went from having angels classified as either warriors or joy bringers in the Lords of the Underworld to telling us now that the angels we know aren't angels at all but "Sent Ones". whaaat?? Idk, but it kind of feels like Gena is now writing these books out of obligation, not because she really wants to anymore.

I sat here going over the book and what I liked and what not, and I have to reevaluate my rating, because although this book pulled me in as Ms Showalter is infamous for, it lacked the usual excitement I feel whenever reading her books. I couldn't connect to the main characters at all, but I did find humor and intrigue with Thane and Axel. And while I felt no connections to some of the characters, I would still recommend this book to readers who've yet to read her previous works.

Maybe for us hardcore LOTU fans and lovers of her previous work, it's disappointing and saddening as well; but for newer Showalter fans I think you can enjoy this series for what it's meant to be. I'll still buy the next installment in this series, but I'm hoping she'll stick to her previous writing style for Kane's book. After all, the Lords may not be full fledged demons, but they sure can sin like one ;)
1 review
March 20, 2013
First time book review due to how disappointed I am in this author's new direction. Bought this book based on her older books and I deeply regret it. The storyline was overtaken by her relentless, preachy message of faith healing. Found it to be very obnoxious and atypical of her previous books. Guess she's recently found Jesus and while I'm happy for her newfound religious beliefs, I don't care to be hammered over the head with them. The book read more as a YA Christian novel, not what I was expecting to spend my money on. Also, there were too many different, brief, future storylines being set up. The writing felt very choppy and immature. Will not be purchasing any of her other books after this disaster. Sad to say I scanned through the vast majority of this book hoping it would get better, it didn't. Such a shame. Her need to preach her personal belief system ruined what could have been a great storyline. In future, Ms. Showalter, please ensure your books are put into the YA Christian/Inspirational Genre so that readers will not be mislead in what they are purchasing.
Profile Image for MelaDWolf.
136 reviews74 followers
June 19, 2016

I was so disappointed with this one. So,so,so much. I just can not believe that Gena Showalter wrote something like this.
Nothing special with main characters.
Nothing special with love part, action part or any other part.
I wanted so much to read this because Koldo sounded like one cool guy with tragic past.
But what i did not like most was all that part about how everything will be okay if you think it is okay. Good things will happen if you think that they will. Nothing bad can happen than.

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
April 22, 2013

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


Koldo lost his wings when he was younger, and we finally get a chance to learn how he lost his wings and why.He had a very tough childhood because of his parents and it really broke my heart when I learned about his relationship with his parents.
He just wanted his parents to be proud of him and acknowledge him but he doesn’t get it....

He strives to be different from his father and we see him struggle within himself as his story goes on.He cannot fly but he can teleport which is a rare ability.
We also get to see him interact with the other soldiers in Zacharel’s army which is awesome...Axel was awesome I hope the next book is about him!!


Then we meet Nicola...Nicola has a twin sister named Laila who is in the hospital when you first read the book.We learn that Laila has a demon inside of her and demons cannot be inside of you unless you welcome them. There are also two demons around Nicola which isn’t good.
I really liked Nicola but there were also times when I wanted to hit her because she was forcing her sister to do something she obviously doesn’t want to but that’s pretty much the only thing I didn’t like about her..


I think what I liked best about the story is how effortless the romance is between Nicola and Koldo.I can see how and why they fall for each other.Koldo just wants to be loved and Nicola is the balm to his tattered soul. It hit my romance happy buttons all over.


Unfortunately the book failed big time in the sexual arena.Usually Showalter's books really deliver with the sexy times.Here I reread their first sexual encounter three times and I'm still not sure what the hell happened. Then when they finally do seal the deal again, the language is vague and totally unsatisfying.

The story was overall great but the whole “Sent One” vs. Angels was kind of confusing because I thought they were all angels..
I was also confused with what Thane’s POV in some chapters had to do with anything.He always sounded crazy and angry at the world and it was different from Koldo’s POV.

Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews432 followers
August 8, 2014
Spoilers will probably follow...

3,5 stars

Once again I find myself in a dilemma! I don't know whether I liked the book or not. There were some black spots but the end sort of made up for most of them in my opinion but not all.

What I mean is...

The heroine of the book was -her words not mine, but sadly true- unexciting. Nicola is a 23 year old girl who is afraid to live. I totally understand that the condition of her heart made it impossible for her to have excitment in her life safely but honestly I found her boring until the end of the book when she at last -hallelujah- decided she had a backbone and annihilated an army of bad guys! I like my heroines to have balls (I don't know if this phrase exists in English).

To give her something exciting I'll imagine her like this:

Then there was the plot. Although there wasn't anything "bad" with the plot, it was just SO predictable. We had the emotionally scarred hero, with an awful past and a bitch of mother, who craved love, and of course our loving, sweet heroine managed to heal him with her unshelfishness and her kindness of heart. This pattern has been used way too much lately. Still I liked the story. I do love my cheese.

Also I think GS opened too many storylines in this book. We have hints for Kane, William, Axel, Thane,Bjorn. We also have two different battle fronts (one resolved in this book, the other not). And then we have the females, a harpy, a phoenix, a fallen angel, whose stories also get hinted at. It was a typical case of too many things crammed into one book! You just can't open all these stories because they can't all be resolved in one or two books. At some point I was totally lost because of all the info dump.

The book wasn't bad. It had some very interesting twists that kept you going, and I liked the fact that we had just one sex scene which was kind of realistic since it was a little awkward -we are talking about two virgins one of which hasn't even watched an adult movie ever in his life-. I liked the fact that GS didn't turn our heroes into horny rabbits going at it every other chapter. And I liked Koldo. Koldo was entertaining with his misunderstandings of figurative speach and he was after all our wounded hero(so you had to love him), but again I felt like I have read his story 100 times.

I think the most serius problem can be summarised in 3 words: lack of originality! Despite this, I will give it 3,5 stars mostly because I think my expectations were higher than they should be and they are clouding my opinion of the book and because the end kind of rocked!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
374 reviews578 followers
October 14, 2013

I love everything Gena Showalter writes. I forgot how I literally cannot put a Gena book down. She is the queen of paranormal romance. This book did not disappoint. It wasn’t my favorite, although she has written so many books, that not all of them can be my favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever not enjoyed something she has written.

This book was definitely different than her usual. It was a little more serious at the beginning. Gena has a wit in her characters and makes you giggle and snicker. I didn’t giggle or snicker until about 50% in, but I was still hooked.

My Koldo:

He was silken heat, a smooth whiskey that intoxicated, melting away inhibitions.

Vin Diesel

My Nicola:

her smoke-and-dreams voice

Redheaded Honey

This book broke my heart!

No one has ever loved Koldo. He has been through the worst as a child. His mother continually rejected him. His mother literally ripped out his wings when he was a child. She hid him away from everyone, and when he did anything to try to please her, she would punish him, especially with her words. His father beat him over and over. As a result, he became hard and mean and serious.

Until he sees Nicola. It isn’t insta-love, but he knows that he wants to be near her. She is fragile, literally has a weak heart, but he sees her inner strength, and he draws it out. Nicola is doing everything she can to take care of her dying sister. After meeting Koldo, who makes a bargain with her, giving her more time with her sister in exchange for spending time with him and training her to become a more joyous, positive person to fight off the demons that are after her. Of course, this time together is electric and sweet. Koldo is a virgin (Gasp!!!), which is contrasting to his personality, but I loved it. Koldo is still hanging onto his revenge and bitterness toward his parents, and Nicola is still hanging onto her sister. In the end, they help save each other.

This was a different book from Gena’s usual. There was a lot more spiritual “stuff,” but this is book and series is about a group of fighting warrior angels, so I wasn’t surprised or put-out by all of the spirituality. I loved all of the fighting and action.

I have to say that I didn’t care for the relationship between Nicola and her sister. It seemed a little immature, and her sister was completely selfish!!! I was so angry when I was very happy with the ending though.

Side Note: Axel!!!!!! I want your book!!!! I could not stop laughing at everything you said!!
Profile Image for Kaila.
741 reviews13 followers
July 19, 2018
3.5/5 stars

“Even the smallest light can grow until there’s no darkness left.”

This was really fun! It's been quite a while since I read the first one and I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Angels are by far my favourite paranormal creature to read about, so this series is basically everything I could possible want in a paranormal romance. Since I love angels so much, I was always so drawn into the descriptions of wings or them flying. I could vividly picture all of the characters and how they interacted with the world. I really loved the characters of Koldo and Nicola, perhaps even more so than our main characters of the last book. They just had such effortless chemistry and so many sweet moments that just made my heart go crazy. Their romance was heartfelt, innocent at times and very sweet.

Nicola and her twin sister were born with a defective heart. Her sister is dying and she knows that any extreme emotion or event could be the end of her too. But despite her fragility, she is trying to hold on and attempt to remove the burden that seems ever present in her life. Koldo is a warrior. He is scarred, powerful and full of hatred towards the people who have wronged him in the past, especially the person who ripped out his wings. He seems like the unlikely choice to protect a frail, dying human but as soon as he sees her, he feels undeniable compassion towards her. Koldo is now the key to Nicola’s health and with his help, maybe she'll be able to be rid of the burden and literal demons surrounding her.

I don't tend to read a lot of paranormal romance, and when I do I often notice that it tends to get a bad rap. People are often of the opinion that these paranormal books lack depth, world building and complex characters, and often I tend to agree. Gena Showalter completely defies this with her books which are full of interesting and unique characters, a complex world and layers of depth. I wasn't just interested in the main romance, but I was also intrigued by the world. This includes all the warring factions and different creatures that appear in the stories. The characters, especially in this book I noticed, were quite intriguing to me. They weren't two-dimensional, but instead had layers of history and an interesting personality that was explored. I was really blown away with how much I enjoyed these small aspects of this book, because I was really just hoping for a good romance but came out with a whole lot more.


I'd say that the only thing that really bothered me with this book was the strange ‘message’ behind it. Koldo said that Nicola must be positive to be rid of the demons that followed her. This was a repeated message throughout the book and I couldn't help but feel like it was out of place. It was also quite cliche and overall, it just gave me a bad feeling.

The romance in this book was fabulous. I was a little worried at the start because everything seemed to be moving quite slowly, but before I knew it I was completely hooked on their relationship. Despite Koldo being very powerful and seemingly ruthless, he wants domineering or controlling over Nicola. In fact, the romance was much sweeter and calmer than I was initially expecting. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all cuddles and cutesy but it still left me with a warm feeling in my heart. Both of the characters were able to completely open up and be vulnerable with the other, which probably added to why I thought it was quite sweet rather than rough. I also just loved how the characters behaved towards each other, especially Koldo. He would sacrifice anything for Nicola, in order to protect her and make her happy.

Another thing that I really enjoy about Gena Showalter’s books in particular is the focus on other characters, not just the main couple. There were many characters that were introduced in this book which made me intrigued about their stories. This included characters of future book in the series and other series from this author. Some of the charters were from different points of view, which kept the story entertaining as there were many plots intertwining. This has also got me really excited to read other books by this author because

“She yielded to him without reservation, accepting him, burning for him, loving him, enfolding him in her arms.”
Profile Image for axola.
293 reviews6 followers
April 29, 2013
If you are a fan of previous GS paranormal books, you probably want to skip this one. Or be ready to be disappointed.
When trying to explain my disappointment to a friend I made this comparison:Is like going to your favorite bakery to buy your favorite chocolate cake. Nothing in the bakery is different. The tag doesn't say that the recipe has been changed, but as soon as you open the package you realize it looks different. The first bite tells you the recipe has been changed to worse (like using skimmed milk or low fat chocolate, hahhaha). By the end, you realize you don't like the changes and you get pissed off because no one at the shop told you about them before you bought it.
GS is in my automatic buy list or she was. She was before she decided to market this book as her usual paranormal romance and what I got was a religious themed YA book. I've never complained about established author books being slightly (or not so slightly) more expensive than other authors. I believe they have earned that privilege. I pay more, but I know what I will get for my money (or at least I used to) and therefore my expectations are high. Those expectations weren't met in this book and therefore unfortunately I won't be buying any more books from this author before reading the reviews and check the story is interesting enough and I won't be preached to.
You fool me once, shame on you. You fool me twice shame on me!
Profile Image for Melanie.
515 reviews140 followers
March 4, 2013
3-3.5 stars

While I liked this one ok, I will say that 'Beauty Awakened' is NOT one of Gena Showalter's better creations - and I'm kinda feeling rather ambivalent about it.

Generally, I really enjoy Ms. Showalter's stories - they're (usually) fun and sexy and guaranteed entertainment. But the last couple of releases haven't been as... spicy, shall we say, as her usual fare.

Now I enjoy some steam in my books, and when I expect it and don't get it, it can be a tad disappointing... unless a great story is there to bring it all together. But sadly, in this instance the story just wasn't strong enough to compensate.

Instead of fun and sexy, I got mediocre and preachy.

IMO, it really came across in 'Beauty Awakened', that GS is struggling with the world she's already established in 'Lords of the Underworld' and now in this spin-off 'Angel's of the Dark'... and if she's not buying it, I'm not buying it.

It was like she was backtracking to redefine what these angels and demons are, and this just served to make everything messy and convoluted.

All in all, Koldo and Nicola were pretty blasé characters and their story was pretty weak on the scale when you consider what Gena Showalter is really capable of... but I'm still gonna check out the next one. Although their roles were small, Axel and Thane were the real stars in 'Beauty Awakened' and I'm hoping Ms. Showalter steps up her game again.

Profile Image for Vanessa.
26 reviews
June 11, 2013
I liked the premise, as well as the message. Here is where I was so crestfallen: the love scenes. I didn't know if this was a showalter book written for ya, or for ADULTS! I read her books because I love her love scenes being HOT HOT HOT! This book was NOT NOT NOT! If I could say something to the author, I would say this, "you set these expectations of your readers, and you are the one who labels your books adult, when you write a book as being part of an adult series, but you write it for Tweens, and disappoint your fan base, because the expectations YOU set are not met, what do you think the reaction to be? If I want a biblical lesson I'll go to church, I read your books for romance and hot sex scenes that I know I won't get until I allow whoever I allow to go that far with me to get some, in the mean time you, Kresley Cole, Nalini Singh, among others are my go to gals, you let me down, and you can think all you want that you shouldn't have to use sex to sell, but that's what you've used thus far, those are the bars that YOU have set, just tell me now if this is the direction you are choosing to go for your future books, if so, I can make an informed decision as to whether I want to purchase your novels any longer." That is what I would like to say, and ask, and I would honestly like an answer from Mrs. Showalter. I am a woman, and I am a sexual being, just like any other woman brave enough to admit their needs, if instead of watching porn or buying toys, I read books that bring my sense of romance alive and allow me to live in a world where a male is strong, virulent, and honorable, as well as sexy, then call me crazy for wanting to claim that short amount of time where I get to imagine being the heroine that get ravished by a man who focused on her as if there is no other female in existence, because I know that while I may eventually find it here in reality, it doesn't hurt for my homie, Gena Shiwalter, to find a hero to sweep me off my feet for just a short amount of time. And that as they say is that.
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,988 reviews868 followers
February 24, 2019
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance

Beauty Awakened is book two in the "Angels of the Dark" series and I am in love with this story. Gena Showalter is a queen in writing such riveting paranormal romance novels, and Beauty Awakened is no different. There was something so much more tangible about this book that just gravitated towards this reader. I deeply loved the development of this series so far and for those who are solid fans of the "Lords of the Underworld" series than this trilogy is a must read for you because it is connected to the same world although a bit different. For those new to the "Angels of the Dark" series, it's about archangels that work for the "Almighty" and fight demons to save humans and innocents from their evil machinations.

In Beauty Awakened, we have our hero, Koldo, whose life was rough. He was raised partly by his mother who abused him as a child and tore his wings from his back and then he was sent to live with his father who was just as cruel but more manipulative and evil. Koldo was forced to participate in actions he abhorred but had no choice in. Now he is working with Zacharael's Army, the only one without wings but he does have other abilities like "flashing" from different locations in a blink of an eye. While on a mission, he is sent to a hospital which is where he sees Nicola Lane and he is fascinated and wants to know her but he doesn't fully comprehend the feelings he has for Nicola, only that they are something he has never felt before.
You speak what you believe, and you believe you’re doomed. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the years, it’s that what you believe is the impetus for your entire life

Nicola Lane is in the hospital because her sister is dying from a poison that can't be stopped. Nicola's family was killed by a drunk driver, and her sister is all she has left. But Nicola herself has special abilities, she can see the demons that torment them. But when she meets Koldo, she is fascinated by this brawny tough man that has a heart of gold and honest to a fault and innocent in the way of romantic entanglements. She doesn't know if she can trust him, but she knows the truth when he tells her of the poison in her body and how she must fight it. Soon Koldo and Nicola join forces, and there is some powerful chemistry between these two damaged hearts but they will have to fight a great enemy to find their HEA.

Beauty Awakened is a breathtakingly bold romance that will captivate the hearts of its readers. I was immediately pulled into this book and I never wanted to leave this story. It was magnificent and so beautifully told. In Beauty Awakened, we have a story that brings together a hero who is also a virgin, but so naive about relationships. He doesn't fully understand about intimacy and love but he knows its there and he wants it with Nicola. He knows what he is feeling for her is more powerful than anything he has ever experienced in his life previous. Of course, he has a lot of emotional growth he develops because he has never truly known love and acceptance, the kind that he received from Nicola who is all about love and acceptance. Nicola herself has her own growth and learning curves too, she has issues with trust but together these two pack a punch. I love how willing and open they are in the relationship, that they don't fight too much what they are feeling for each other.

The conflict that we see in the story is an outside force and we some different evil forces that are coming against Zacharael's army, Koldo and Nicola. I adored how Koldo and Nicola fight together to overcome the evil against them including Koldo's father who was believed to be dead. But what occurs in the last half of the story is AWESOMESAUCE!! I love how committed Koldo and Nicola are to each other and the different ways we see them sacrifice for each other. We see how much they are willing to sacrifice to help one another and this is what real love is all about and I love that Gena Showalter shows this in her storytelling.

Overall I found Beauty Awakened to be a beautifully portrayed romance that delves into a world of demons and angels, of sacrifice and true intimacy between two people..... AN AWE INSPIRED ROMANCE

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Profile Image for Carla-Everything Romance.
115 reviews183 followers
February 27, 2013
INCREDIBLE! I <3 Koldo!!

BEAUTY AWAKENED, the 2nd installment of Gena Showalter's Angels of the Dark series is finally here and it was so worth the wait!

The book starts off with a young Koldo at the age of 7 years old. This was by far the most heartbreaking chapter I have ever read. A little boy starved for his mother's attention and love and getting nothing but hatred and abuse in return. No matter what he did to please her, she hated him and punished him more. We finally learn what happened to Koldo's wings and I sat here with a box of tissues balling my eyes out through this chapter. We also find out who his father is and I just can't decide who was worse, his mother or father. I finally decided they were both just as equally horrible. Poor Koldo!

Koldo is a warrior in Zacharel's Army of Disgrace, a group of warrior angels that are in danger of falling. I loved Koldo when he was introduced in WICKED NIGHTS but now he has my heart forever. I'm a sucker for the tortured souls and we all know Koldo went through torture when we learned his wings were removed but in this book we learn the full extent of the hell and anguish he went through. Koldo was the warrior with few words and no emotions, but he does have emotions. He just covers them up and pretends to not care because he is scared of rejection. Through everything that he has been through he still fights for what's right and he's a hero which he proved in WICKED NIGHTS when he made huge sacrifices to save his leader Zacharel. When he learns to open up and discovers his feelings for Nicola he is also very possessive but in a sweet, melt your heart kind of way.

Nicola and her twin sister Laila were born premature and with underdeveloped hearts. They have lived their lives not truly living at all due to fear of overdoing it and having a heart attack. They both know they don't have long to live but they are too weak and scared to fight. Nicola isn't a kick ass hero like Annabell was in WICKED NIGHTS but she is awesome in her own rights. Nicola is the stronger sister, always looking out for and taking care of Laila who is the weaker more afraid sister. She's easy going but not a doormat and she's not afraid to stand up for herself and let anyone push her or her sister around. She's kind, good hearted and funny and I really enjoyed her character.

Koldo first notices Nicola while on a mission in a hospital. He finds Nicola leaning over a very sick, almost dead Laila. He notices right away that they are both being poisoned by demons who are shadowing their every move and are filling them with toxins. They feed on their fear, sadness, pain, doubt and any other negative emotions and the demons are slowly killing them both. Koldo takes an interest in Nicola and decides he's going to teach her how to get rid of the demons and keep them away for good. Because to have any shot at living, they need to keep the demons away for good.

A lot of the healing Koldo teaches Nicola and Laila was all about the power of positive thinking. Some people may be put off by this but I truly believe that positive thinking does help. If you think negative thoughts then those thoughts will start to bring you down. We may not have demons sitting next to us feeding us negative thoughts and toxins like the sisters do, but to me negative thoughts and words are toxins. If you think negative about yourself you start to believe it and live it. I love how Gena incorporated this into her story.

This book is NOT full of steamy sex scenes like some of Gena's other books. There is pretty much one full on sex scene but there is plenty of sexual tension. Both Koldo and Nicola are virgins and Nicola needs to take things slow otherwise her heart can give out. This book has just the right amount of sex and tension for these two characters and I think Gena told their story perfectly! Honestly, I get tired of the hero and heroine jumping into the sack by the 100th page of most books. It takes a talented author to write a romance book with only one actual sex scene and keep it sexy but if anyone can pull it off its Gena and she totally nailed it!

We get to see a lot of Axel and Thane is this book. While Axel acts extremely immature, you can't help but LOL at his crazy antics and the absurd things that come out of his mouth. Thane was on a mission to take out the demons responsible for killing someone they all cared dearly for. AND….for all you Lords of the Underworld fan girls out there, William makes an appearance! Squee!!

Overall this book was incredible! It was heartbreaking at moments and LOL funny the next. It was sexy without a lot of sex and full of non-stop action. BEAUTY AWAKENED pulled me in from the very first page and consumed me to the last.

*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

I give BEAUTY AWAKENED 5 out of 5 skulls
Profile Image for Lindsay Avalon.
Author 12 books331 followers
March 21, 2013
2.5/5 Blue Duckies


This is the second book of her Angels of the Dark series and, as with all of her books, it's standalone. The story was pretty interesting and I have to admit to being quite intrigued by Koldo after reading Wicked Nights. We get more of a look into the world of angels and I really liked the idea of an angel as wounded as Koldo by his horrible parents. I wanted to love this book, truly. Parts of it were really interesting, there was some great humor in areas and some of the snappy dialog I loved from the Lords of the Underworld books.


I don't know where to begin. The last few books, culminating with this one, have been less than exciting and borderline boring as hell. Not only that, they've gotten preachy. Every once in a blue moon, I'll read an inspirational romance but it's rare. The Lords of the Underworld were magnificent, some of the funniest books I've read, great dialog, fast paced action, and amazing sex scenes.

This though? This was lacking so much. As I said before, parts were pretty funny but much of the book was slow and felt dull. The sex was practically non-existent. Where's the passion, the heat of the old books? I mean seriously, they don't even have sex until just before the end. I'm not all about sex but when your previous books are incredibly erotic, you come to expect a certain heat level. Even when we got to the scene it felt rather chaste.

The action was a poor imitation of what I expect from Gena and I found myself skipping around. I sometimes read books out of order, but if I love the book, I'm drawn to read it straight through. It's a weird habit I know, but what I've done for years. This book, however, I skipped around and never felt compelled to read straight through. Nothing captured my interest long enough. Every time I tried to start reading consecutively, I found myself skipping pages looking for the author I loved so much.

OVERALL VERDICT: 2.5/5 Blue Duckies

If someone had told me the first book I gave this rating to would be a Gena Showalter book, I'd have laughed my ass off. Perhaps if I wasn't so used to the Lords, I wouldn't have been so disappointed. I'm not sure what happened to Gena, I just know her writing has changed significantly. While there were attempts at bringing back the rapid pace, intense action scenes, it pales in comparison to the older books. There's a new Lords of the Underworld coming out in June and frankly, I'm almost afraid to read it for fear of ruining one of my all time favorite series.

If you're reading Gena Showalter for the first time with this book, please read her Lords of the Underworld books because they are far far better than this. If you're an avid fan, I'd still give this a read to keep abreast of the mythology of her books, but don't go into it expecting anything on par with her earlier works.

I just realized in trying to sum up this book to someone that I had to consciously think about what happened in this story. I've read Gena's previous books so many times, the stories are imprinted in my brain pretty damn well. This one? I read the majority last night and already I'm having to think very hard about what actually happened. It makes me sad to think of how forgettable this one is.
Profile Image for Asounani.
533 reviews
July 10, 2017
*Talvez cambie la reseña cuando se me baje la indignación y tenga la cabeza en frío*

Ummm este libro si soy sincera me dejo decepcionada. No se complico muchas cosas y no era necesario y fue bastante lento repetitivo en algunas cosas.

Personaje odiado: Laila (es muy molesta e inútil el peor personaje va a la bolsa con París y su reina)

Que te molesto o irritó? Lo del rey, el agua, Laila, la inutilidad, Laila, la mamá de Koldo, el trío malvado, Laila, lo del esclavo,

Umm en general lento e irritante en algunos momentos y enserio esta complicando demasiado la saga y queda 1 libro más de ángeles espero que hagan más porqué me esta quedando corta.
Profile Image for Alba M. .
1,640 reviews121 followers
November 14, 2017
« Incluso la luz más débil puede crecer hasta que no quede oscuridad»

¿Veis porque cuando empiezo una saga no suelo leerme todos los libros seguidos? Porque así cuando leo cada uno de ellos, cuando el tiempo ha pasado entre cada uno, los disfruto como si fuese el primero.
Y eso me ha pasado con esta historia y con Koldo y Nicola... me he enamorado de estos dos ❤️ me ha dado mucha pena mi grandullón Koldo todo lo que ha tenido que pasar y lo que tuvo que sacrificar por Laila para que después... aysss bueno los que ya os lo habéis leído ya sabéis a lo que me refiero.
Sigo pensando que soltar a su madre no fue buena decisión, sí había que soltarla, pero pudo llevarla ante los jueces. ¿Que clase de madre hace lo que ella le hizo? Maldita... 😡😡😡
Y Nicola, dios me ha encantado como personaje. Fuerte, dura, luchadora... y al mismo tiempo tan dulce, cariñosa y bondadosa. La protagonista perfecta.
Lo único que me ha fallado en este libro es que quizá quería algo más al final. Me ha parecido un final que le faltaba algo, que debería haber sido un poco más largo... por lo demás, que alguien me traiga un Koldo please 😬
Profile Image for Kelly.
616 reviews150 followers
July 21, 2014
I’d never read any of Gena Showalter’s books before trying Beauty Awakened, but I’d gotten the idea they were fun reads. Unfortunately, I did not have fun with Beauty Awakened — in fact, it made me angry — and I abandoned the book partway through.

The setup is that Koldo, a physically and emotionally scarred dark-angel type, and Nicola, a self-sacrificing young woman with a heart condition and a dying twin sister, meet and eventually fall in love. But Showalter made Koldo so insufferable that I couldn’t root for them as a couple. At one point, he performs a miraculous task and Nicola asks him what he is, to have this ability. He berates her for not doing research. The woman is working two jobs and her sister is in the hospital! She explains, but he keeps lecturing her about priorities and excuses. After a while, even the fact that I was envisioning him played by Jason Momoa didn’t make him palatable.

I also had issues with the metaphysical setup. I had heard there was a strong Christian bent to Beauty Awakened and was prepared for it. But what I found was not the Christianity I know, but a yucky victim-blamey Law of Attraction sort of thing where people cause their own illnesses by thinking negative thoughts. This is a personal peeve, I suppose, but I’ve seen too many good (and positive!) people facing horrible illnesses that I just can’t buy into this belief system, especially not when I’m looking for escapist fun.

Also on the subject of the belief system, some of Koldo’s fellow angels are horrible people. I’m OK with books that go all the way with amoral angels and create an internally consistent world around that idea. I’m less OK with a group of angels that are meant to be on the side of Good but include, say, a guy who discards lovers like “dirty tissue.” (It appears he’s the hero of the next book, where he meets a heroine and no doubt changes his ways.)

The prose is perfectly fine and I’ve heard good things about other Showalter books. I’d be willing to try another one sometime. But I’m done with Beauty Awakened.
Profile Image for ☽ Rhiannon ✭ Mistwalker ☾.
1,074 reviews32 followers
July 1, 2012
Well, now I am worried. If Gena is going to be using the AotD series to preach her religion, I'm not going to read the series. I just hope that LotU doesn't go this route! If Gena keep going for the Christian-inspired romance, I'm done.

This book was just way too prosthelytizy. I mean, given the steaminess of her other books, it feels weird that there are like two sex scenes that come at the end of the book and only after the couple is married. And they're super super vague! No actual descriptions of sex happen in the book, just vague references to it.

The book is clearly just a vehicle for talking about god. The whole message is about the importance of faith - and unbelievers are punished. All of the battle scenes and messaging about demons, it's all about preaching Christianity. So disappointing. If I want to be preached at, I will read specifically Christian romance - which is what this should be shelved under. I won't be reading more of this series (unless someone tells me the next isn't preachy) and I can only hope she doesn't ruin LotU by using it as a platform to push her religious views on her readers.

Profile Image for Lindsey.
18 reviews2 followers
March 4, 2013
This book was totally untypical Showalter. I'm sorry, but you can't go from writing super awesome smexy books to trying to lead people to Jesus. I felt as though Nicola got accepted into a religious cult at the end. It was just way too much with the religious undertones in this book. I've read several authors who have done this. For gods sake, look at Anne Rice and the dramatic shift in her writing. And look at Catherine Anderson. That woman used to write some damn good books, now it's all going to counseling before marriage, taking communion, and completely unrealistic scenarios involving marriage to save someone from a mysterious death. I have a horrible feeling that Showalter is on the same path. I'm afraid that she may soon become a check out author only and not an immediate buy author for me. The I only saving grace that this book had was Axel and William and I'm terrified to see how she will write William's story now. I've read New Adult books lately that were 100x better and had much better scene building and emotion between the characters than this story had. And what's with all of her heroines being these tiny little heroin chic girls who's bones could crumble if they're held too hard? Is Ashlynn the only heroine she wrote that was normal?! Maybe Danika, but I'd have to reread that one to be sure. She might as well just start writing stories about frail little girls who are entering the convent instead. Probably be more interesting!
501 reviews
August 23, 2014
Hmmm. This was better than Last Kiss Goodnight, but it still had some patchy spots with the plot and characterisations. There were no great highs, even though Koldo was a tortured hero (usually a no brainer for me). The heroine really was insipid. The religious overtones that were overwhelming in Last Kiss Goodnight were toned down a bit here; but were still present and noticeable, which leads me to believe this is the direction Gena Showalter is heading in with her writing. That is OK, if that is the direction she wants to take that is her right; but I think the marketing and labelling of the books needs to be a lot clearer in that instance. This book was very, very tame in terms of sex scenes, and I would be comfortable with my teenage niece reading it it was so YA.

One thing that did bother me a lot was the faith healing aspect. The heroine was miraculously healed of a serious, life-threatening heart complaint simply by "increasing her joy". I don't begrudge anyone thier faith, but I think sending a message that the only reason people die is because they don't believe enough in the "Most High" is insulting, and downright dangerous.

I am a bit torn, GS is usually a must buy for me, but she is quickly falling off that shelf. I will probably get the next LoTU novel in the hope that series has escaped the change in direction; the Otherworld Assassins series is a lost cause; and Angels of The Dark I am undecided about.
Profile Image for Feminista.
831 reviews1 follower
April 21, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5.

A beautiful story about an angel with no wings and a girl with a frail heart. This is a story about finding love in a world full of hurt.

The setting for the Angels of the Dark is commendable. A setting of angels, demons and a bit of inclusion of her Lords of Underworld series, Gena Showalter threads a rich fantasy setting.

The characters are very well written and they have depth. In other words, they are not shallow, they don't follow the same path that other heroes and heroines follow. In a world where books are written everyday, it is hard to read books that are unique and good, even more so - characters that are genuinely different in a good way. This is one of them.

I have to say, however, that I am not always a fan of Gena Showalter. I have sort of skim read some of her Lords of Underworld series, and I seriously did not like her heroes/heroines there. Characters make or break a story for me. So for me to love two of her books from the same series :) --- It's a miracle...

Except, maybe it has something to do with virgin heroes... I may be slightly biased. I have to get back to you guys on that :P
September 12, 2015
4.5 stars

Gena Showalter is back and with another hit. BEAUTY AWAKENED grabbed me from the very first pages when it tells the tale of a little boy starved for his mother’s affection. A love that he never got. And the suffering that came after.

Koldo is a tough warrior in Zacharel’s Army. But I think I would do better at introducing him by giving you some visual stimulation because this is pretty much what I thought of…(minus the hair because Koldo is bald)

If that doesn’t get you jumping up and running to read this, I don’t know what else could. :) But hot warrior with beaded beard aside, Koldo captured my heart both as a child, and then as an adult. He fights for justice and what is good. After all the darkness in him, he can still open his heart to others. A true hero to fall in love with for all of you who like your men tough and extremely caveman alpha, but with the sweetest marshmallow inside.

Nicola and her twin sister Laila have always battled disease and known they won’t live a long life. Now almost in Laila’s deathbed, Koldo finds Nicola and realizes the sisters’ problem is that they are shadowed by demons who whisper fear into them, and the fear is slowly killing them both. Koldo makes it his job to teach them how to keep those demons at bay and heal.

While I’ve seen some may think this was a bit too much into the spiritual and the power of positive thoughts, I was fascinated that the author included that element mixed in with angels in her book. It makes perfect sense to me!

And while Koldo is top claimed material, Nicola was a good heroine for him. She’s not the kick ass type, nor is she a doormat. She doesn’t try too hard to be funny. She’s just real. Love that about her!

This might just be one of my favorite paranormal romance reads this year. I think BEAUTY AWAKENED is a perfect blend of all the elements I love about Gena Showalter’s writing. It’s laugh-out-loud funny at times, sexy and full of sexual tension, and with non-stop action that keeps you intrigued and turning those pages.

If you are looking for the sexy times, I have to warn you….you won’t be finding them in this book. There is actually just one sex scene. Not what you were expecting me to say, huh? But when a book is well written and the story makes the progress it should, at the pace I think makes sense, I don’t have a need fo sexy times to be stuck in there just because they HAVE to be. And that’s not to say there isn’t plenty of sexual tension and almost there moments, because that was definitely there.

But Koldo is a virgin, an innocent when it comes to matters of attraction and lust. And so is Nicola. She’s only gone on a few dates her whole life and they always made her uncomfortable. They both needed the time to adjust to their feelings and to heal their emotions as well as their bodies.

Then there’s the overall plot of Zacharel’s Army. Things are getting interesting. We get more glimpses of Axel and Malcolm and THANE. Mmmmmm Yes please give me some Thane soon! For the Lords of the Underworld readers, William (my love) makes a cameo in this one as well. I sense some books with warriors with dark pasts coming up. As usual…I can’t wait for the next one!

Favorite Quotes:

How sublime. I got stuck with the only winged warrior with ADD.

He was what he was.
He was what his parents had made him.
He’d tried to be more. He’d tried to be better. Each time, he’d failed miserably.

“The words we speak are important, powerful, and since names are spoken every day, directed at specific individuals, people often become what they are called. I like to know who I’m dealing with.”

“I’m staying.” Just try to get rid of me. See what happens.”

“Glad you could leave Chesticles long enough to make an appearance.”
“Call her that again and I’ll cut your heart from your chest and give it to her as a trophy.”…
“May I recommend you peel my skin from my body, too?”

“Good thing I strapped on my big-boy panties today.”

“You threw alcohol at a puny human male.”
“He’s lucky to still be alive. I could have thrown daggers.”

*ARC provided by author
Profile Image for Seena Seena .
664 reviews212 followers
March 18, 2013
A new way my tantrum throwing son does to get his way is hold his breath so he gets what he wants! I wonder if that shall work if I did that so I can have this book now. And all the remaining books for that matter! For the people's who do know me, know I hate effing waiting! I am the most un patience person you shall ever meet. And I now have to endure this wait! FML
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