Title: Cover Him With Darkness
Author: Janine Ashbless
Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads
Publisher: Cleis Press: Tempted
Release Date: September 22, 2014 (ebook) | October 14, 2014 (paperback)
Genre: Fantasy, Erotica, Dark Romance
ARC Received From: Edelweiss
In a remote and mountainous part of Europe, a priest keeps a dark secret beneath his chapel—a prisoner. Even the holy man does not know how long he has been there—hundreds of years, perhaps, or even longer. The priest's fear is that anyone in his parish would ever come in contact with his mysterious and unholy charge.
But what happens is even worse than he could have ever imagined. His lovely young daughter Milja, whose innocence and devotion to God he prizes over all else, trails her father into the cavern and catches a glimpse of the prisoner, a beautiful being like the most handsome of men, and yet not. She looks into his eyes and sees pain and wisdom and eternity. Unable to keep away from this silent creature chained to an altar stone, she is torn between family loyalty and her growing connection to their prisoner. One day her father discovers their forbidden intimacy and sends Milja off to America to be raised by her aunt in Boston.
Cover Him in Darkness is a dark and thrilling story of an archangel banished from heaven and the human woman with whom he falls in love.
This story was darker than I thought it would be, so much so I worried several times a happy ending was not going to happen for Azazel and Milja. I was tempted to put the book down, mark it as a DNF and let the publisher know my reasons for not finishing it (honestly, this girl can only take so much anger and sadness and loss in a story!), but turning the pages was like finding another reason to keep reading.
There was sympathy for Milja who'd fallen in love with the fallen angel, and Azazel who lost so much before he was captured. There was hope they'd find a friend in a world filled with enemies. There was desperation for understanding and help in a world that didn't understand her attachment to Azazel.
There was so much they endured to be together. Disapproval came from others; confusion, maybe even denial, came from Milja. Azazel... Well, he's fallen. It was difficult at first for him to be less aggressive, less domineering, less everything. It was funny. Milja's countless rejections of him didn't break him; her words did. Something she said in anger reminded him of something said ages ago, and ended up being what hurt him the most. He was not the Azazel she knew when she found him again.
Amazing how damaging words can be, even to a creature as powerful as Azazel.
Don't worry. They get their happy ending but not before an epic battle that cements how much Milja means to Azazel and forced her to voice the love she's had for him for most of her life.
In the end, I was exhausted from the emotional roller coaster I'd been on with these two but I has glad I hadn't given up on them too.
Will there be another book? I hope so! There's this lingering feeling of happiness at the end, but there's also a sense of renewed purpose in Azazel. He has the love of his woman and a place in her heart and home. Yet there is unfinished business from eons ago that demand his attention. If there is a second book, I hope it comes soon!
Janine Ashbless is a British author of erotica and hot romantic adventure. Janine likes best to write paranormal- and dark-fantasy-themed fiction and has a lifelong interest in mythology, folklore and history.