Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Review: Cover Him With Darkness

Title: Cover Him with Darkness

Author: Janine Ashbless

Publisher: Cleis Press

Genre: Paranormal, Erotic Romance Fiction

Length: 228 pages

Published: October 14, 2014


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.


Cover Him with Darkness is kind of a miracle. I make it no secret that I frankly am not a huge fan of the paranormal romance genre for reasons that I still can't quite pinpoint why. And yet, once in a while, I take a chance on another and another, to see if at least one just might seduce me to "the other side." Cover Him with Darkness took me to that other side, and bewitched me. 

And I know exactly why. 

Janine Ashbless's writing style is beautiful. It shines like gold. She has this kind of magical way of sucking you into the story. Not only could I see what was going on in this story, but I could feel it as if I were Milja: her wonder, her pain, her despair, her urgency, and her forbidden love. And the archangel, as dark and mysterious as he is, and downright scary, I couldn't blame her for falling for him. The writing takes you into that danger, page-after-page. This book would be a page turner if it weren't for the writing that left me so breathless that at times I had to pause and take a break because it really is that exquisite. But then there were times that I couldn't just rest. I had to keep reading on. I was swept away by how daring this book is---how it's blasphemous, menacing, and just so dark. This may isolate some readers, especially those who are religious and who're expecting angels in their paranormal romance to be all warm and uplifting. The book's religious themes and the liberties it takes with them might offend some. This book won't make any apologies about that. And the eroticism here is just as bold---and it's sexy as hell. The church settings and religious undertones augments that eroticism and makes Cover Him with Darkness a pretty intriguing reading experience. It has murder, violence, and so much more. It's also a very well-researched book where I can tell that the author put much love into: that's a bonus! 

I'm not sure what else to say about this excellent novel except simply: buy it, read it for yourself if you want to be seduced, bewitched, and bewildered by this dark side. Even if you aren't sure if you want to go there, by all means, give Cover Him with Darkness a chance. It's worth it!

Rating: 5 

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