Where did you get the book: Purchased
Publishing date: Out now
Publisher: Self Published
A hidden cipher…
A secret society…
And an ancient race hunted for centuries.
Annabel Grant always knew she was crazy. The unrelenting déjà vu that’s plagued her since childhood? Proof that she’s cursed with the same insanity that killed her mother, surely. So when her long-lost uncle kills himself, she chalks it up to her family’s genetic legacy. That is, until she uncovers the clues he left behind…
Aamon despises humanity. He’s spent eternity tormenting them, and now Annabel’s curiosity puts him directly in her path. But as the clues begin to hint at a dark secret in her family tree, Aamon soon realizes they could both be pawns in a deadly game between good and evil…
Side-by-side but worlds apart, Annabel and Aamon must work together to discover the truth hidden in her ancient lineage before the forces pursuing them get there first. But their search has dangerous consequences. And as their passion for one another deepens, so does the realization that one’s survival is inextricably linked to the other’s downfall.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
A few weeks ago, I was on Twitter and saw a book recommendation by the amazing Mandi from Smexybooks that perked my eye. I have been burned out on Urban Fantasy the past few years and have only stuck to a handful of autobuy authors because I felt that the genre wasn’t offering anything new. However, Mandi’s tweet was like catnip with a villain turns protector anti hero and an engaging heroine with a family legacy mystery. And I am so glad that I decided to pick this up because I got sucked into an eerie and haunting world filled with demons and nephilim and dark history.
Annabel Grant works in a struggling bar in New York, she lives a mundane existence but she has an interesting quirky ability of what she views as Deja Vu. She is aware of things or events that is about to happen but she dismisses it. One day she receives a notification from her long lost uncle’s lawyer who told her that he has left her his estate. Annabel’s uncle abandoned her when she needed him the most after her mother died over a decade ago but soon realises that his disappearance was to protect her from mysterious forces who have an agenda that would drag her into a dark world.
I really liked Annabel, she was snarky and witty and although she was struggling to attain her dreams and having a tragic past by being emotionally abandoned by her father, her mother’s suicide and uncle’s disappearance she refuses to let life kick her in the teeth. But she slowly fears that she is going insane like her mother when weird things happen to her that questions her sanity. But there is a demon called Aamon that is tormenting her that is actually driving her to go crazy because her lineage descends from a nephilim, a half angel and human being. This makes her a target for various factions who want to control her abilities. Yet, Aamon finds himself protecting Annabel, despite his orders to mentally torture her and is punished by his powers being taken away and living as a human being. Despite his punishment, his growing attraction and feelings drives him to protect Annabel from these forces and helps her to discover the mystery her uncle left her to help uncover her lineage.
I loved the atmospheric tone of the book, it was eerie and haunting and really helped to set up the mysteries surrounding Annabel and Aamon. I really enjoyed the take on secret societies monitoring angels and demons and their mythology. And the subtle tension as the mystery unfolds with each clue and mystery that Annabel’s uncle has left to discover her legacy.
Another aspect I really enjoyed was the relationship between Annabel and Aamon. I felt this was the strongest element in the book because Aamon is so conflicted with his feelings towards Annabel but despite his resolve to keep a distance and the guilt he has over his past torture he falls hard for her and at times can be really overprotective. I also like how Annabel’s growing feelings for him but I did find that she connects to him more quickly even though she is more guarded. But the romance is so strong in this book, and I loved their interaction together that it became a highlight of the book. There is especially a hot scene that is brimming with sexual tension and banter, when she volunteers to shave him, (hey he use to be a demon! I doubt grooming was ever a factor as an ex demon!) and the energy they generate between them really sizzles.
I did wish there was more background information about the secret society that observes the nephilim to maintain a balance and the other forces that want to influence Annabel to support a side of good or evil. I also felt the mystery surrounding Annabel’s uncle’s death only kicked up a gear at the end but the book ends with open questions and unresolved issues between Aamon and Annabel. In a lot of ways this felt like a prequel or a prologue for a bigger story although I did enjoy the mysteries and the characters setting these events in place.
Overall, I thought this was an intriguing start to an Urban Fantasy but the real gems in the story is the characters and the romance. I liked that this wasn’t a usual Urban Fantasy with a kick ass warrior but a slow burn mystery and a scorching romance that engrossed me into a dark and mystery laden world.
I give Harbinger a B!