From the BLURB:
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find that she has become an angel-and that her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, likes having her under his control. But almost immediately, Raphael must ready Elena for a flight to Beijing, to attend a ball thrown by the archangel Lijuan. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan's power lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena...
This is the second book in Nalini Singh’s ‘Guild Hunter’ paranormal series.
Be warned – there was a HUGE twist at the end of ‘Angels’ Blood’ and no way to write a spoiler around it in this review. . .
'Angels' Blood' SPOILERS AHEAD
Elena Deveraux was a successful Guild Hunter. One year ago she was on the hunt for a maddened Archangel, and almost lost her life in a fight against him. Now, waking from a year-long coma Elena finds herself a made angel. Thanks to her lover and Archangel, Raphael, Elena’s life was spared and made immortal. Now she has wicked black wings, longevity and the interest of every Archangel in the world.
Elena is the first angel to be made (not born) in recent memory. She is an anomaly and has drawn the interest of the oldest and most dangerous Archangel, Lijuan. Elena and her lover, Raphael, have only just found each other, and sacrificed a lot to stay together. Now, they must fight to keep their love safe.
I am in love with Nalini Singh’s ‘Guild Hunter’ series. One of my favourite things about the series is the romance between Raphael and Elena. If you like Jeaniene Frost’s ‘Night Huntress’ books, then ‘Guild Hunter’ is for you. Elena and Raphael found each other in first book ‘Angels’ Blood’, and now the ‘will they or won’t they’ is over. As Raphael repeatedly states, he and Elena are going to be together forever. They are each other’s soul mates, now found, never to be parted. I love a good romantic tension as much as the next person (hello Kate and Curran!) but there’s something equally satisfying about a series HEA couple getting their ‘ever after’ from the get-go.
“Yes,” he whispered against her mouth. “I think you’ll intrigue me through eternity.”
Now, a big focus of the series is how Raphael and Elena adapt to each other. Elena is still suffering the scars of a haunted childhood, and has never given love or intimacy easily. Raphael is a hundreds-year old Archangel who thought his heart hardened. . . Now, these two misfits have to figure out how they fit together. There’s no doubt that they love each other, but it’s a matter of figuring out the nuts and bolts of their relationship.
I love how Singh combines the sex and sensuality of Elena and Raphael’s relationship with the harder side of being together. Yes, theirs is a ‘happily ever after’, but Singh is illustrating how they have to work for the ‘happily’. It’s especially heart-warming to read Raphael learning about trust and honesty with his once-human Elena.
“Blades,” he whispered, “and sheaths go together. And your sheath will only ever hold my blade.”It took her a second – desire had fogged up her mind. Her face flamed. “Raphael, that’s –” She shook her head, unable to find the words.“Fighting is not sexual.”“Oh?” Eyes full of sea storms, violent and wild and exhilarating.
The action and drama of this book is fantastic. Lijuan is a wicked villain. Not only is she a mightily powerful Archangel evolved beyond caring about petty things like humanity, Lijuan is also fascinated by death. Lijuan raises the dead, and it has been rumoured that she takes them to her bed too. Her scenes are chilling for their subtlety – Lijuan’s double talk and the spymaster rumours that leak to Raphael about her goings on.
Singh’s angel mythology keeps getting better and better, mostly because it’s entirely Singh’s own. Forget cherubs and the Bible – Singh is recreating angels. These winged characters are evil and sensual - conniving and political, and completely fascinating. I love that Singh is using the bare bones of the angel mythology to create a whole new breed of supernatural.
Nalini Singh’s ‘Guild Hunter’ series is phenomenal. Everything about it is utterly unique – from the firmly established coupling to the entirely new angel mythology. I am completely in love with this series.