Never in a million years did I think that even Gena Showalter could make me fall in love with Zacharel. Sure, he had his moments. He saved Haidee and he came to the rescue with Paris and Sienna, but even then, he showed no emotion at all. Those acts were simply done out of choice, respect and duty. Nothing more. Little did we as readers know that the author was just setting the stage for a complete and utter personality transformation. I will never doubt Ms. Showalter again. Zacharel and Annabelle’s story was the perfect start to her new Angels of the Dark Series.If you’re going to melt an angel’s heart of ice (not to mention his snowing wings) there is no better way to accomplish that than to throw an abused, defenseless but resilient human in their path. Annabelle is amazing. She should be totally broken and crumbled, but she’s not. She fights back every chance she gets and the best part is, she totally doesn’t trust Zacharel at all in the beginning. She even requests to be protected by one of the other angels instead. Zacharel has no idea why this bothers him. He cares nothing for Annabelle, especially since she is merely a human. *sigh*I think what I liked most about this book is the fact that Annabelle and Zacharel weren’t immediately in love with each other. Of course there was attraction and curiosity, but the love between the two of them took time to build. It was believable, satisfying and logical when they finally gave in to each other. Zacharel’s hesitation made perfect sense. Although the love scenes weren’t explicit (by LOTU standards), they were still hot and perfect for the characters that were involved. Annabelle had been abused and Zacharel was a virgin who had abstained for many reasons. Anything more graphic and explicit wouldn’t have remained true to the characters involved.I loved the glimpses that we got of the Lords. Annabelle’s interactions with them were priceless. Her only interaction with demons up until that point were anything but congenial. Zacharel’s explanation to her about their possession was great. I look forward to more interaction between the angels and Lords in the coming books. I’m sure that there will be. This war isn’t going to allow anything less.There was a lot of action, plenty of mystery and some twists and turns that led to an amazing climax. I had a suspicion about the identity of the ‘bad guy’ but I’m not giving anything away. Even though I guessed, the premise wasn’t ruined. The players and the way they were used were executed perfectly. The final twist was the typical ‘knife in the chest’ situation that Gena Showalter is known for, so be prepared to hold on and enjoy the ride. The pain, sacrifice and final battle is totally worth it. Honest.Beyond everything else, the one thing that really impressed me with Wicked Nights was the humor. I absolutely loved the banter between Annabelle and Zacharel. The taunting between Zacharel and his army was also great. There were a lot of heavy, depressing, painful moments in this book and the humor that was interjected throughout helped to give readers a much needed break. I shared some of the funnier quips in a recent Teaser Tuesday post.Wicked Nights is the perfect beginning to this series. The next angel that is featured is Koldo in Beauty Awakened. He, along with the other angels in Zacharel’s army have a lot of emotional and physical ‘baggage’ that they carry around with them constantly. I can’t wait to see what Gena Showalter has planned for the rest of this rag-tag crew.