****4.5 ‘Angel Wings & Dark Marks’ STARS****

Prose that flew through my brain like a gallery of photographs, or more like one of my favorite action suspense movies, this tale hit all the marks of a fast paced, gritty thrill ride of a love story.  A little dirty, a little dark Celia Aaron brings to life the nomadic, apathetic hitman with his secret love for an unattainable florist and I loved every second.

“Tell me your darkest sins, and maybe I’ll tell you one of my hundreds.”

Watching through the window of his vehicle, Conrad/Con has made it a habit to watch after the beautiful florist who snared his attention months ago.  Aching for more than the clandestine glimpses he gives himself, deep down he knows he can never have her – his life is too dangerous and she’s…too innocent and good for a man like him.  A hitman.  A boogeyman.

“A woman like her wasn’t meant for a man like me.”

It’s not lost on Charlie that a handsome yet somewhat scary stranger has been stalking her from across the street of her flower shop.  For months he’s sat and stared, watched her every move…but nothing else.  No stranger to pain and violence she’s understandably hesitant to engage with the sexy man in shades.  Until the day watching is no longer adequate because Con has a lot of enemies.  Enemies that want to teach Con and use Charlie as the lesson.  He’s just become essential to her survival.

“His body was a masterpiece of muscle, scars, and ink.”

Dodging bullets, rival hitmen and crime families – Con and Charlie took me on a crazy journey while I watched the inevitable fall into lust and love.  I loved Con’s alpha anti-hero hitman compared with Charlie’s seemingly innocent good girl florist.  Underneath both of these damaged characters lies a deep hurt and hidden depth of feeling.  As I slowly learned their secrets and hard knocks my heart hurt for them.  They’re both on a path life forced them to, not what they might have necessarily chosen.  For all their good and bad decisions, they’ve both made peace with who they are and never once think they deserve or will get a happy ending.  Charlie’s got some surprises under her belt and loved seeing her go toe-to-toe with Con.  I adored the introduction of Nate the hot, hilarious sidekick to Con and hope we haven’t seen the last of him – he really needs his own story.  The twist in the story was easy to see but never effected my enjoyment and I was gleeful to see the ‘bad guys’ get what they deserve.  Filled with beautiful, atmospheric prose and relatable characters I felt like I was watching the adult rated version of one of my favorite suspense movies or crime dramas; I never lost interest and finished this book in a couple hours.  Although this story deals with some dark elements and an illegal profession, I wouldn’t classify this as a dark romance – more so edgy suspense with dark elements running throughout.

“Maybe the man I wanted her to find didn’t exist, maybe I’d murdered him bit by bit with each life I’d taken.  I still had to try.”

Action packed, suspenseful, atmospheric and gripping I loved this hot, sexy peek into the gritty underworld of organized crime.  Perfect pacing, engaging characters and fast moving story line all combined for an excellent reading experience, recommended!

“You make murder sound more romantic than it should.” 

K’s Category: 2nd date, second novel read by author to date.

Characters: M/F

OM/OW: No

Sex: Yes, descriptive

HEA: Yes

Standalone: Yes

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