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Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Renegade Angel by Kendra Leigh Castle

Title: Renegade Angel
Author: Kendra Leigh Castle
Series: Harlequin Nocturne #95
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 09/01/10
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It's been thousands of years since Raum's angelic wings turned from white to black, and the Destroyer of Dignities and Robber of Kings never looked back. These days he's also on the outs with Hell and works with a motley crew of ex-demons on a new mission: snuffing out lesser demons and their half-human progeny.

Raum's latest assignment brings him to a small Vermont town -- and a sweet, funny half-demon, half-human he'll risk everything to save. Ember Riddick stirs him as no woman ever before -- and she holds the key to what Lucifer will move Hell and Earth to prevent: his team's redemption.

But Ember's secrets are as dark as Raum's midnight wings. And their fate may leave them entwined... but destroyed...

Plot: 4 Stars
My favorite part of this novel was the lore surrounding the angels and demons. I liked that it wasn't tied to religion for the most part, but some of the players were still recognizable. I really enjoyed the demons (or fallen angels) that were trying to repent for their falls and help out the angels. Although this is a common theme in many paranormal novels involving angels, I liked that these fallen angels were sort of like hired assassins. Except they were hired to help out the good guys. And they weren't trying so much to be good, as they just wanted out of the underworld.

Pace: 3 Stars
This novel started off with a bang and drew me in almost immediately, so it was a bit of a bummer when the pace hit a kink after a couple chapters. Right when it looked like everything was really going to hit the fan, there were a number of chapters in which there wasn't a lot of plot progression. The main characters were in hiding, and there wasn't much more than that happening. Everything picked up again as plot finally came together for the epic showdown at the end, but there was a couple points where I almost put the novel down. I'm glad I didn't though, because there was a couple twists and turns that I wasn't expecting that really redeemed the novel in the end.

Characters: 3 Stars
Ember and Raum's interactions and the progression of their relationship came across very realistic. They didn't rush right into bed, and actually butted heads at a couple points. They were also very interesting characters, each with their own demons from their past to deal with. The rest of the cast of characters seemed a bit glossed over. Besides the other fallen that Raum was working with, we didn't learn that much about anyone else. A lot of the politics of the Underworld were glossed over, and their motivations weren't always apparent. A number of these characters were interesting, and I wish we could've learned a bit more about them.

Cover: 3 Stars
My eye is immediately drawn to the male cover model, and what looks like a mullet. On closer inspection, it is actually part of his wing sticking out behind his head. I'm not a mullet fan, and it still looks like a mullet every time I look at it. But other than that, I've got no issues with the male cover model. The female cover model, on the other hand, doesn't really embody Ember's characters. I envisioned her being a bit younger, smaller, and definitely a bit more innocent. I understand that this is a romance cover (and it definitely reads romance), but Ember wasn't constantly throwing herself at Raum like the cover elludes to.

Overall: 3 Stars

Disclosure: I bid on and won a signed copy of this novel from the author via Operation Auction.

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