Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review: Revelation by Erica Hayes + Giveaway

Hi guys, today I'm lucky enough to be part of the Bewitching Books Tour for Revelation by Erica Hayes. If you love dark and sexy angels, you'll love Luniel and the Tainted ;) At the end of the review there is a super tasty excerpt and Giveaway as part of the tour. Enjoy!

Title: Revelation
Author: Erica Hayes
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: 3rd January 2013 (UK) | 2nd October 2012 (US)
Series: The Seven Signs, book 1
Source: E-copy from the publisher as part of the tour.

Blurb from Goodreads:

A fallen angel with a mission and a medical examiner who’s lost her faith are fighting for their souls in a glittering, near-future Manhattan…
Blind faith is for fools. That’s what Dr. Morgan Sterling believes. And she’s going to prove it by curing the zombie plague ravaging her city’s slums. She’s certain it’s not a sign of the End of Days, but a nasty disease—until an angel appears in her morgue in a flash of glory.
Luniel is not just a fallen angel. He’s a powerful warrior sworn to fight evil in hopes of a chance at redemption. He’s after the demon princes who are stealing the seven vials of holy wrath which, when perverted, will unleash eternal hell on earth.
To stop the plague, Luniel needs Morgan’s help, and her faith. But Morgan believes science is their salvation. If the zombie plague is a demonic curse—and if Luniel is true—he’ll have to prove it. Even if he loses his heart to true love or his soul to Hell…

First Line: 'Today, of all days. It was Thursday. The world couldn't end on a Thursday.'
Yup, that's where we start, with our sexy leading man discovering that the world as they know it may actually be ending. Of course, as an angel, Luniel (Lune) had always known this was possible. There's just one problem. Heaven was supposed to control the apocalypse...and by the looks of it, right now, that isn't happening. So it's up to Lune and his fellow Tainted's to figure out what the hell (pardon the pun) is going on and fix it.
Set in a future New York City, renamed Babylon (yes, I have issues with the name, but I won't go into them here), unbeknownst to mankind, fallen angels, and demons alike roam the earth. There are seven signs of the apocalypse and here at the start of Redemption, Lune has discovered sign number 2 - oceans drowning in blood. However, there are supposed to be seven guardians keeping the seven vials of holy wrath safe and having not received a memo from above that He has given the apocalypse the go ahead, Lune and his fellow Tainted's deduce that all is not well and hell is attempting to start the apocalypse before scheduled. On top of all this, Lune has a second pressing problem. He hasn't been able to contact his twin brother for nearly a week. Putting that with the fact that there are probably two dead guardian angels around the city somewhere, and Lune has a base for his search for answers. Which leads him straight into the path of a rather sexy junior pathologist named Morgan.
About to unknowingly conduct an autopsy on Lune's twin, Morgan is surprised to say the least when this drop dead gorgeous angel appears from no where. Refusing to believe it's all not just some prank or weird dream, Morgan uses her scientific background as a shield against the magnificent specimen that is Luniel. Only Morgan was involved up to her neck before she even met the handsome angel. She's been investigating the Manhattan virus that's been plaguing the city, turning it's residents into basically zombies with a taste for human flesh. What she doesn't know is that this virus was the first sign of the apocalypse, and now her research will be key in the Tainted's search for patient zero, and thereby the demon princes that have let loose these plagues on the city.

Now to our hero and heroine. I have no problems with Luniel. He is a pretty awesome hero as heroes go. Dark, sexy and damaged...my kind of man. BUT Morgan is a little different. Admittedly  I have a problem generally with books where the two main characters are instantly attracted to one another. Sure in this case both of them are fighting it, but for two very different reasons. Lune's issue is a past horrific end to a relationship where his love got damned to hell for all eternity after being horrifically tortured in front of a chained Lune. Add to that the 800 years of self imposed celibacy and I can get why he's more than a little reluctant to jump feet first into a new relationship. However Morgan's problem seems to be herself. She's too much of a scientist to actually believe he's an angel, but she lets herself get caught up in the moment - and in one pretty steamy scene she was more than willing to go all the way, except Lune pulled back at the last second. Only then did she berate herself about how stupid it was. Rinse and repeat. It got repetitive to say the least. I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I just did not connect with Morgan the same way I did with Lune. Whether that's because I want Lune all for myself or not I don't know ;)

He angled his wings, driving the air to breeze as he flipped and rolled. Blue light flashed. Blood splashed, black and fetid, and decapitated bat bodies flew, heads splattering the pavement. The creatures screeched, and speared for him, teeth gnashing, their leathery wings a blur.
One flew for Morgan’s face, cackling, wicked talons outstretched. She shrieked and swatted at it, shielding her eyes.
A neon- blue bolt seared her cheek, and the bat- thing dropped in two halves at her feet with a stinking squelch.
The premise of this book isn't exactly unheard of, however the way Erica Hayes goes about this makes it instantly more charming. Firstly, the secondary characters in the form of the band of Tainted's are absolutely fantastic. These men and women are warriors through and through, Dashiel, Trillium, Jadzia, Iria, Japheth and Luniel, they make one hell of a team. They have great chemistry and a lot of good natured teasing and fighting goes on...you know, warrior stuff. I'm a big fan of humour in my books and Revelation has just the right amount to offset the more gritty and serious aspects of the book, such as demons that are into pain, and certain Archangels who don't seem very Archangely...*cough* ..Michael ..*cough*. Speaking of the grittier aspects of the book, there are some scenes of violence that made me cringe a little. In some places they are used well to show exactly what they Tainted's are really up against, and to show Lune's loss of his last love some 800 years ago. However in others, I didn't think they were really necessary  Not that it detracted from the book's appeal once I got over the initial shock, but some scenes, like when we first meet the all powerful Archangel Michael, took me a re-read to understand why it was wholly necessary.

The second reason this team of rogues charmed their way onto my bookshelf is because some of the most unexpected phrases are used by this band of unruly fallen angels. The one that literally had me in stitches, purely because of the way it was used was this one:

Jesus Christ on a jelly sandwich. Lune tugged his hair, rough. Him and his bleeding heart. Michael would laugh his righteous blue ass off.
And trust me, there are many more like that. It's that offbeat sense of humour that had me falling in love with these characters and Erica's writing style as a whole.The story is pretty damn interesting, though I have read similar things reasonably recently. To me Revelation is almost a blend of Larissa Ione's Lords of Deliverance series and J.R. Ward's Fallen Angels. There's some awesome fight scenes, some gritty violent stuff, steamy sex scenes and a beautiful topping of fresh humour. Where the series will take us next I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. I did have some misgivings to begin with, what with the violence and Morgan's almost unbelievable instant attraction to Lune, but all in all, Redemption is most definitely a very promising start to the series, and I will most definitely be keeping up with the Seven Signs series.

My Rating: 3.5/5


White light erupted, brighter than any flashbulb.
She gasped, dazzled. Breeze ruffled her hair. Her elbow hit the trolley, and the camera jolted from her fingers.
A hand gripped her arm, steadying her. A man’s voice, deep and unfamiliar. “Sorry, lady. I didn’t think anyone would be here. Are you—oh, shit.”
Her vision cleared, and she scrabbled on the floor for her camera. “Jesus, you scared the hell outta . . . oh!” She looked up, and fell right back onto her ass, her nerves in disarray.
Whoa. Not just tall, or big. More, in every way compared to . . . well, compared to a normal man.
This guy wasn’t normal.
Black hair, blacker than soot and wilder than music. Blue eyes, hotter and deeper than summer sky, luminous pale skin, long dark lashes any woman would kill for. Arms thicker than her thighs in a dark shirt with no sleeves, strong wrists that made her weak, hands that could crush rocks. And his thighs in those jeans . . . long, powerful, rippling as he moved.
His face was familiar, she realized. Those carved cheekbones and, umm, luscious lips. The bird man. Only Birdy was blond, and this guy was dark and . . . tasty.
His gaze lasered onto hers, relentless, and she shivered. He looked dangerous. Driven. Not a patient man.
Morgan scrambled up, struggling to keep her mind on the issues. This was Babylon, the psycho-killer capital. Well-adjusted guys didn’t break into morgues after-hours. But how Mr. Huge-dark-and-oh-by-the-way-totally-hot had gotten in here was beside the point. So was how easy it’d be for a guy his size to tear her limb from limb, or worse.
He’d seen Birdy’s body. She couldn’t call security. Not yet. Not before she’d preserved the evidence.
She licked her lips. “Um. Hi. I was just . . .”
He strode up to the trolley, and his fingers clenched the edge, hard enough to dent the steel. On drugs. That explained the crazy swirl in his eyes. “You found my brother,” he said stiffly. “I guess asking how he died is redundant.”
“Umm . . . he’s . . . well . . .” Morgan stuttered, unable to keep it in any longer. “He’s a frickin’ bird man! Who the hell are you?”
He turned, and to her surprise, he laughed.
Her guts melted, like warm honey, and she shivered again. So beautiful. So smooth and melodic. She wanted to press her thighs together, feel his tingling warmth . . .
Or not. Her indignation sparked. He hadn’t answered her question. Who the hell was he?
The guy with the Rohypnol laugh shook his head. “Bird man. Christ. You people. Never believe what’s right in front of you.”
“Sorry, but I’m a scientist. I believe what I can see.” Morgan folded her arms, defiant, and edged closer to the wall where the alarm button was. Screw collecting more evidence. This guy was seriously creeping her out, and it wasn’t just because he had her thinking about sex instead of squirting him with capsicum spray.
“You do, do you?” His gaze flicked to the alarm button, and back to her, and swift as the flashbulb he dived forward and grabbed her arm. “Then believe this.”
Light shimmered again, dazzling. And glossy black wings burst from his shoulders in a rain of golden glitter.

Morgan’s heart catapulted, and she gulped for breath. The golden light glimmered, and dissolved.
But his lush midnight feathers didn’t. And he held her, his body close in the heady scent of altar smoke. His whisper rumbled through her chest. “I’m sorry. I can’t let you call your security. You never should have seen any of this, but it’s too late for that now. My name is Luniel. That’s Ithiel, my twin. He’s an angel. And so am I.”
Morgan struggled, her mind blanking. It couldn’t be true. Not possible. She must be dreaming. Yet . . .
She wriggled, beating at his massive forearm. “Let me go!”
He let go.
She stumbled away, rounding on him. More fool him. Whatever this guy was, he wasn’t to be trusted. “Sorry. Not possible. I don’t believe in angels.”
“Not my problem.” The man—Luniel—shrugged, feathers ruffling. His accent was elusive, a mixture of exotic and familiar, like he came from no place in particular.
“It’ll be your problem when I call the cops, you freak.” The dude still wore a shirt with no sleeves, and the wings—his wings—fit easily into the cutaway space. Blacker than black, like soot, broader than his massive shoulders, and long, the tips of the feathers reaching to mid-calf. It looked so real.
Morgan’s mind stuttered. She must be dreaming. But if this was a dream, surely he’d be wearing white robes and a halo? Instead of all dark and smoldering and . . . and sinful, like some insane Mardi Gras biker?
She sidled backwards, towards her desk in the cutting room. A girl didn’t grow up in Babylon without learning some self-defense. Her pistol was in the drawer. Maybe she could get away, lock him in, call security. 9-1-1 was a waste of time, despite her threat. Resources were stretched, and police response to anything short of a terrorist plot in progress just didn’t happen.
Luniel stalked her, midnight wings flaring. “Freak? Wow. I’m so pleased to meet you . . . I’m sorry, what didn’t you say your name was?”
“I’m Dr. Morgan Sterling. This is my mortuary. You’re trespassing.” Behind an autopsy bench, a few steps closer to the desk.
He circled, leaning over the bench on two hands, muscles flexing. “As they say these days, Dr. Sterling: whatever. Tell me where they found my brother.”
She fumbled against the desk, feeling behind her. “Screw you.”
“Is that an offer? I’m touched.” His hot blue gaze drilled her, magnetic. “But not distracted. Come on, Doctor, it’s important.”
She ripped the drawer open and grabbed the pistol, leveling it at him two-handed and thumbing the safety off. “So’s this. Back off.”
“No.” He vaulted the bench with ease, landing silently before her on wafting wings. Careless of her pistol. Unruffled, like a panther facing a hissing pussy cat, some small, insignificant creature who posed no threat.
His delicious scent paralyzed her, a rich toffee sweetness. Her mouth dried. He was luminous, dazzling, too perfect to be real. Certainly too perfect to be telling the truth. “Get away.”
“Wait, let’s see. Umm . . . no.” He cocked his head, and reached for her hair, stroking it with one finger. “You’re very pretty, Morgan Sterling. Pity if that got spoiled. Tell me about my brother.”
Now her gun was trapped between them. Her hands quivered, her memory of defensive moves a blank. “Get away! I’ll shoot!”
“No, you won’t.” He wrapped her hair around his fingers, and leaned closer, sniffing her. “You’re a doctor. You don’t hurt people.”
“Don’t bet on it.” She inhaled, and squeezed the trigger.

As part of this amazing tour there is a tour wide giveaway! We all love giveaways I know so let me fill you in. The prizes are: 1 $25 bookstore gift card (winner's choice of bookstore), 1 a signed set of the Shadowfae series (4 paperbacks) and 2 Kindle copies of short vampire romance HUNTER’S BLOOD. All you have to do to enter is fill in the form below. GOOD LUCK!

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*V's Book Life is not the host of this giveaway and is in no way responsible for the allocation or distribution of prizes.

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