Release Date: December 17, 2018
Received From: Review copy from the author
“Everybody has their own agenda. Everybody.”
Hunted for the unique blood that runs through his veins, half-angel, half-demon Gabriel Sinclair lives without expectations. On the run from forces on both sides of an ancient conflict, he searches for strength and peace in a world which only seeks to use him.
When Gabriel is forced to stop running, assigned a team—and a mate—he doesn’t want, and reluctantly tasked with a mission, he must overcome obstacles both real and imagined. Otherwise, the world as he knows it, and the mate he’s reluctantly come to care for, may cease to exist.
“I will do as the Creator bids me. Always.”
Evander Ryan is special, and he knows it. The final handcrafted immortal warrior for the light, he is the Creator’s greatest masterpiece. For fifty-eight years, he’s lived his life in black and white, coddled by his Maker, while leading his team to countless victories against their enemies. Those fights were easy. Working with a new, uncooperative mate who sees the world in shades of gray? Less so.
As Evander’s eyes are opened to the existence of light warriors who are not good, dark warriors who are, and the wider world of supernatural beings, he learns nothing is as he thought it was, and his mate isn’t who he thought he was either. Maybe there’s something to be said for not always following the rules. . .
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: homoromantic
TROPES: hate to love, enemies to lovers, angel x demon (but more like angel x half-angel half-demon), teammates to lovers, fated mates
TAGS: adult, urban fantasy, fantasy, paranormal, romance, queer romance, queer characters, POC characters, Native character
WARNINGS: ableism, bullying mention, rape mention, physical injury, prejudice, torture mention, slurs, gendered slurs, captivity mention, suicide mention, cissexism/anti-trans language (no interest in pussy because he’s gay), mental illness (panic attack), binary language, misogyny (getting upset being called “acting like a teenage girl”), human trafficking, violence, death, parental death, blood consumption, anti-native language (“savage”), explicit self-harm
Gabriel’s last sight of his mate before he walked into the bathroom was of him laughing, head thrown back, in pure joy; the picture was one Gabriel would hold on to in his darkest hours.
As a start to a new urban fantasy series, I really liked this book! It opened up into a contemporary fantasy world that wasn’t difficult to get used to reading, while at the same time, there was enough mystery to leave the reader wondering what was happening, who would show up next, how things would develop. Turner includes a wide variety of mythologies, spiritual, and religious beliefs as part of the world she’s created, which was fun and exciting to read. It was so interesting to see the different beings all interact and see the ways they’d been incorporated into modern society.
Though, for a first book, it was perhaps a little more action-packed than was necessary. At times, it felt like more dramatic turns were being thrown in just to keep the action going, instead of letting things slow down a bit. Certain things could’ve probably been cut, with the novel remaining mostly the same, but overall, it was an enjoyable read.
I enjoyed pretty much all the characters, especially the two main characters–Gabriel and Evander. Their relationship starts out antagonistic and develops into something sexual as well as a friendship, until Evander messes up royally, and it was interesting to watch the ups and downs they went through, as well as their reluctance towards accepting their mates turning into denying the urge to complete their mating until the other is fully ready. Their relationship is fairly complex and, at times, can give one whiplash, but it was one that I enjoyed and look forward to seeing more of in future books.
All the secondary characters were great as well! The only one that I was a bit skeptical of was Luc, first for his treatment of Gabriel, but then for the unnaturally swift turn around in his attitude. Whether that came Whether the turnabout came from the punishments he received or something else, it’s not one hundred percent clear, but it was a bit too abrupt. Knowing this is going to be a series and not a standalone novel, Luc’s change in behavior felt way too rushed. Much as I disliked the way he spoke to and treated Gabriel before, it could’ve been drawn out a bit more instead of going from “I hate everything about him and absolutely will kill him if given the chance” to “We need him on the team, he’s one of our brothers” in less than 275 pages. And I had similar feelings about Evander’s rapid turn-around as well, but his made a bit more sense given that he sees more of Gabriel and the fact that they’re mates.
All in all, I really did enjoy this book and am looking forward to the next installment after that explosive ending!
Miranda Turner is a single mom of eight living outside a small, hippie town in the middle of Ohio. She’s surrounded by children, chickens, and one temperamental editor kitty who is silently judging her on a daily basis. She is a voracious reader and an editor who decided she had different stories to tell. She firmly believes a happily ever after is there for everyone, but she likes to make her characters earn it.