Protected in Darkness
by Nicole Edwards
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Nicole Edwards Limited
Book #1 in the Misplaced Halos series
Number of Pages: 437
Source: ARC from author
Paranormal Romance M/F
Read 10/12/19 to 10/13/19
Heaven refers to them as Misplaced Halos. Humans don’t even know they exist. This faction of celestial warriors was sent here under the cover of darkness to protect humanity from Lucifer’s demons. In return for their servitude, these warriors expect only one thing: the eternal love they were promised, what angels refer to as an amsouelot.
The first of his kind, Obsidian has spent the past fifteen hundred years fighting alongside his brothers, protecting humans from Lucifer’s demons, all while keeping to the shadows. Their mission is simple. Right up until it isn’t. The day Obsidian learns of a traitor in Heaven is the day everything changes. The entire reason for his existence is put on hold because there’s a new assignment: find the female whose soul belongs to his and protect her, no matter the cost.
Penelope Calazans spends her days sleeping and her nights serving free drinks to the gamblers looking to win big in Sin City. It’s not a glamorous life, perhaps a tad lonely, but she’s content. Or she thought she was. Then he appears. The mystery man who would turn out not to be a man at all, but rather an angel. The angel who would turn Penelope’s mundane life upside down, revealing what really lurks in the dark.
Not only do they have to battle the demons looking to possess their souls, but Obsidian and Penelope must overcome the obstacles that come with falling in love. In the end, an angel and a human must make the ultimate sacrifice, all in the name of a love everlasting.
While Nicole Edwards is one of my top 5 favorite authors (the order is fluid and those top 5 shift as my mood changes and new books are released), this is her first foray into paranormal romance. Which is funny since she’s the one that got me back into the genre a couple years ago. Being a super-fan means I also subscribe to her newsletter and she sometimes tells us what she’s reading. She got me hooked on Rebecca Zanetti when I decided to give one of her recommendations a try. (There are also some paranormal books and authors in this story that I’ll be checking out as soon as possible.) I love this author’s writing style in her contemporary romance, so knew that wouldn’t be an issue here. But it remained to be seen if she could carry off the plot and world building of a paranormal story. She can and she does!
There are a lot of characters to meet in this book, but the story quickly zooms into our main subjects for this go around so as not to get too confusing. The reader needs to meet all of Obsidian’s “family” in order to understand the story, but it’s done in an organic way that makes sense and doesn’t overwhelm. Since Penelope is on the other end of the spectrum of friends and family, meaning she’s more of a loner, we get to know her through her interactions with coworkers, her inner dialogue, and her phone calls to her best friend in another state. I enjoyed getting to know Penelope in the context of her friendship with Winnie. Although it wasn’t face to face, the things they said and did while talking really gave me a feel for her character and endeared the character to me.
Obsidian and Penelope have great chemistry from the start. Things move fast, but I love a line later in the book about humans measuring depth of emotion on time and how time is irrelevant. How true that is! I enjoy that there chemistry is very sexual, but it’s also more. They spend time talking and getting to know one another and really connect emotionally and intellectually. Although it would be so much easier for Obsidian to do things another way, he attempts to ease Penelope into things instead of going all alpha on her and bulldozing into her life. He takes great care with her brother and best friend even though they complicate matters and it would be easier to push them to the side.
There’s a lot going on in this book in order for the author to build this world. There are unfamiliar words and customs. She does a beautiful job of keeping the confusion at bay. The words can be intuited from the text and things are explained in a way that is fluid and natural to the story. All the makings of an immersive paranormal romance series. (I have to note how much I love the title now that I’ve read the book, too.)
Now that I’ve had a taste of one of my favorite authors writing outside her usual genre, I’m ready for more. This one should satisfy Nicole Edwards’ fans and paranormal romance fans alike.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**