Angel in Chains (The Fallen)
Brava / November 27 / $14.00 print, $11.99 digital
As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters. No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death.
Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower. She's spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions. . .
First, let’s establish a simple fact: angels are hot. There’s the whole forbidden fruit thing with a hero who’s an angel. There are wings, and what’s not sexy about wings? And a fallen angel whose former job description included a killer touch—literally—and the transport of souls from the newly deceased? Angel and bad boy all tied up in a neat bow.
Cynthia Eden’s Fallen series has the hot angel thing nailed. In each of the books, an Angel of Death—Keenan, Sammael, and now Azrael—have fallen, and fallen hard.
Azrael is big, blond, can form balls of flame to toss at unsuspecting demons or, in this case, evil panther-shifters…and has lost his wings. He can heal anything except the scars across his shoulder blades where his wings have been torn away—and his desire to return home. You know—his heavenly home. He misses his role as a death angel, where he didn’t have to deal with messy things like pain and emotions and, well, lust.
Which of course sets him up perfectly to rescue a beautiful woman being attacked by a trio of panther-shifters in a New Orleans alley at the height of Mardi Gras. Jade Pierce needs help getting rid of Brandt, the alpha panther-shifter who’s obsessed with her—and has already killed and tortured to get her back. And Azrael thinks he wants redemption, and a chance to go home.
There was a job to do. Jade needed him and if he played this game just right, she mind wind up helping him.
A human, hunted by Other. Saving her would be noble. The right thing to do.
A task that might even earn him…redemption.
It’s not going to be that easy, of course. Jade’s obsessed shifter is no ordinary panther—he has a couple of secret weapons of his own that will make it hard for Az to take him down. Maybe even hard for Az to survive. And there’s a vengeful death angel flying around with an axe to grind in Az’s direction, plus a dangerous witch who’s already betrayed Az once before.
Then there’s Jade. One of the things I like most about Cynthia Eden’s Fallen series is the fact that her heroines aren’t good girls. These are not vestal virgins caught up in the big bad world of the Others. No, her heroines come with some serious baggage, and Jade, the heroine of Angel in Chains, is no exception. She has her own dark secrets, and—at least on paper—she’s no angel’s means of redemption.
Her hand touched his shoulder. “I-I’m not sure what you’re exactly expecting. I can’t give you back heaven.”
Funny thing about redemption, though. Sometimes the things we think will bring us redemption bring us something even better, and despite double-crosses, triple-crosses, shifting allegiances, and a fine line between heaven and hell, this is a paranormal romance. So the love story between Az and Jade hinges on their serious chemistry.
He wanted to touch her again. Touch had been denied to him for centuries, and he hadn’t realized just how pleasurable it was to feel a woman’s skin against his. So he stalked forward and let his fingers skate down her cheek. Soft.
“You shouldn’t…” Her voice was like a whisper during sex.
“I should.” What else did he have to lose?
Oh, he can lose much, much more, as he learns before it’s all said and done. But sometimes, losing can mean winning, and the fallen can rise above their circumstances.
Suzanne Johnson writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The most recent book in her Sentinels of New Orleans series is River Road. You can learn more about her at her daily book blog, Preternatura.