Formats available: ebook
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Order #3
Length: 251 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Edge
Date Released: February 24, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance
There are no monsters, only good guys and bad guys. That’s the creed by which Detective Inspector Faith Connolly has always lived.
When Faith discovers that she has a time bomb counting down in her head, she has one goal; to solve the murder case she’s working on—a young girl who was found drained of blood—and in doing so gain closure for a long ago murder never solved. Her investigation brings her in contact with Ash Delacourt. Ash is all black leather, big guns and sexy bad attitude—definitely not one of the good guys.
As payment for a debt, Asmodai AKA Ash Delacourt, finds himself working with the Order of the Shadow Accords. He’s the demon representative on the newly formed Committee for the Integration of Mankind and well…everything else. It’s a chance to be near his daughter, make a new start, and—once he’s met the delectable detective—maybe have a little fun.
There are no monsters. But as Faith’s investigation deepens, her beliefs are eroded and for the first time, she is falling in love—with one of the bad guys. But how can she ever let Ash close when her time is running out…?
I always believed that “bittersweet darkness” was just a description for especially delicious dark chocolate, until I got into Nina Croft’s Order series. The books are every bit as yummy (and addicting) as the best pure dark chocolate.
Like the other books in the series (Bittersweet Blood and Bittersweet Magic, both absolutely marvelous) Bittersweet Darkness is the story of a woman who has unknowingly been living a lie about her relationship to the supernatural, and a man who embodies everything that is dark, dangerous and otherworldly.
It’s not just about exploring the fire between Faith Connolly and Ash Delacourt, it’s about Faith finally discovering the truth about her past, and Ash figuring out that even a demon is capable of loving and being loved, even a second time around.
Ash Delacourt is a demon. In the first two books, he has been better known as Asmodai, a Prince of the Abyss. He’s also the father of Tara Roth, vampire Christian Roth’s wife. (Their story is the heart of Bittersweet Blood).
Tara and her dad have issues. Ash was using Tara to get back at Christian. By the time he discovered that Tara was the daughter he thought had died, Ash had done one heck of a lot of damage, and most of it to Tara.
Both Tara and Roz, the heroine of Bittersweet Magic, are mixed-blood. Tara is half-demon and half-fae. Roz is part-Angel. The fae hate mixed bloods, but the angels are positively rabid about it. They believe that any part-Angel is an abomination, and they want Roz obliterated.
Meanwhile, The Order of the Shadow Accords has created a Council that represents all the races, in the hopes of keeping all this internecine warfare from spilling over onto the unsuspecting original-recipe humans.
But it already has. They wiped out one crazed vampire who was going around exsanguinated young women, and leaving them for the human police to find. But one team of human police got a little too close for the Council’s comfort.
One partner was recruited, but the other refuses to admit that there might be anything supernatural in the world. Ms Oblivious is Faith, the heroine of Bittersweet Darkness. There’s a block in her mind that absolutely prevents her from believing in anything that goes bump in the night, even when confronted with incontrovertible evidence.
But she can’t let her last case alone. She believes that if she finds her serial killer, she’ll find a link to her own past. She doesn’t know that the Council has already wiped him out.
She also doesn’t have a clue that she’s absolutely right. There is a link to her past. The question is whether she can find resolution to her case, to both her cases, before the aneurysm in her head blows up and kills her.
And whether Ash is able to let another woman he loves die without a fight.
Escape Rating A-: Unlike the first two installments of the series, Faith starts the story as 100% human. A little too human in fact, as she has a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an inoperable aneurysm. She wants to close that serial killer case, and find some answers, before she dies.
She has had an involvement with the supernatural, but she’s been blocked from remembering it. While it’s pretty clear early on that somebody messed with her mind, exactly who and exactly how is quite a surprise in the end, but it doesn’t change a lot about who Faith essentially is.
Faith doesn’t want to get involved with Ash because she knows that she can’t give him a future. She’s interested (very) in a fling, but she is dying and doesn’t want to break anyone else’s heart in the process.
Ash is the one who changes the most in this story, and in the course of the series. He starts out on a selfish quest for revenge in Bittersweet Blood, but by the time he meets Faith, he’s on the road to becoming a better man. He desperately wants a good relationship with his daughter, and he’s having to work damn hard to get halfway there (with good reason). But his need to make things up to Tara turns him outward in general, makes him less self-centered. It also helps him to heal from his loss of Tara’s mother, and he’s ready to let others into his life and heart.
He doesn’t plan on falling for Faith, but watching it sneak up on him is terrific. And nearly heart-breaking, both his and ours.
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
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