Cover me with darkness–I cannot even begin to tell you how decadent this book is! I already knew that Janine Ashbless was brilliant as a writer, and eagerly signed up for her blog tour because it was Janine Ashbless! Cover Him With Darkness did not disappoint, it exceeded everything I could have wanted. Reading the novel, was like being consumed. I am not exaggerating, there were times I lifted my head from it and I was gasping for air. It is that intense. Not wanting to give any spoilers, there is a lot of sexiness from the time Azazel is introduced to us, he’s a great character and I could have been seduced by him…but it was Egan who became my crush while I was reading the book. He was always with Milja, and reminded me of a character in Louisa May Alcott’s A Long Fatal Love Chase. He is nothing like that character, but they do share something in common that again, I do not want to create any spoilers. I asked Janine–as any girl with a crush would do–to tell me EVERYTHING about Egan. And she more than satisfied my curiousity, so here is Janine with everything you need to know about Egan!
Egan … oh Egan. I’m so glad you asked about him! Many of the readers of Cover Him with Darkness are so busy watching Azazel (“Fallen angel! Big scary sexy jerk! OMG what’s he doing?!”) that they seem to overlook the other hot guy in Milja’s life.
Not that I can reveal too much – Sorry! There are more books to come after Cover Him, and Egan will be back. He hasn’t abandoned all hope of saving Milja, or of defeating Azazel. He’s still bound by duty. And by the end of that first book you should have picked up some idea where that duty lies.
Egan works for a group called Vidimus: “We Have Seen” in Latin – and what they have seen is something they dare not tell the rest of the world. He comes into Milja’s life innocently enough – or so it appears – he drops everything when she begs for his help, and calls in favors to save her neck and get her away from her family and the church that is hunting her down. He’s the perfect White Knight.
Milja adores that. She’s spent her life longing for a wounded and helpless angel. The real thing has turned out to be not as sweet as she imagined, and though she’s still obsessed with Azazel, Egan’s goodness is massively appealing to her.
But no one’s perfect.
In an early chapter Egan lets slip, while they are talking about dumb things they both did as teenagers, that he had a habit of falling head-over-heels for unattainable women who already had bigger sexier boyfriends. Oh dear. Old habits are hard to break! The white knight falls for the maiden he rescues. Her vulnerability – and the fact that Azazel could kill him stone dead for a single wrong move – make her an irresistible match. So he spends the rest of the novel being more and more torn between what he must do and what he wants.
When I was developing the characters and writing, I wanted to find contrasts between my two main men. Azazel is dominant, powerful, arrogant, narcissistic … and honest. He does not lie to Milja. He’s almost too simple to lie. He doesn’t understand the value of manipulation. Egan is respectful, clever, self-sacrificing, and he staunchly refuses to take sexual advantage of Milja, even as he becomes ever more attracted to her. He’s undoubtedly a Good Guy. But Egan is hiding so much stuff. There’s a medieval doctrine called ‘mental reservation’ that holds that while it’s a mortal sin to lie outright, anything that is not directly a lie is allowable – even if you know and intend it to be misleading. So for example Milja notices how surprisingly effective and brutal he is in a fight, and when she asks him about that, he tells her that he grew up playing hurling, which is a really rough Irish sport. Which is true as far as it goes; he just omits to tell her about his specialist military background…
All three of my main characters are damaged by their pasts. In later volumes we’re going to find out what it is that has broken Egan.
Egan’s not just in the book because love-triangles are hot (though they are) and to mess with Milja’s head (though he does). He’s the light contrasted with Azazel’s dark. And just as there is light in Azazel, when you look beneath the surface, there is darkness in Egan too.
Like there is in all of us, of course.
Darkness is a theme in Cover Him With Darkness, but there is a lot of light as well. I more than recommend you read it, because nothing goes the way you would expect. Janine brings you into Milja’s world, and you are there and you will get involved emotionally and physically in everything that happens. Cover Him With Darkness is published by Cleis Press and is available on Amazon. Take my word and Kate Douglas’s, as blurbed on the cover of the book: Janine Ashbless has created magic!