Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #4
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is back in the shadows of a deadly, beautiful world where angels rule, vampires serve, and one female hunter must crawl out of the darkness to survive…
The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…
When a head washes up from the Hudson river and has undecipherable tattoo markings the vampire Dmitri, Archangel Raphael’s second in command, calls in the Guild Hunter’s help. The Guild calls in Honor St. Nicholas. But Honor isn’t ready to go out into the cold cruel world and hasn’t been for some time. You see she was kidnapped, held captive, was tortured, abused and used as food for vampires for two long interminable months before she was rescued. She’s been a shell of her former self since that time but Sara, who is in charge of the Guild, knows that it’s time for Honor to start living again. Sara knows it will be hard for Honor to enter the Tower – which is the home base for Raphael and his people. Honor is to report to Dmitri but is scared out of her mind as she walks into the Tower but even though she’s scared spitless of Dmitri she attracted to him nonetheless. Good to know she still can be attracted to men.
Dmitri is a thousand year old vampire who is strong and merciless. Any care or caring that was once in him disappeared forever when his wife and children died…or so he thought. When Dmitri first sets eyes on Honor he is drawn to her but he honestly believes that she will just be one of the many women who warms his bed and then gets sent on her way. He has no idea that as he spends more time with Honor that something that he thought was long gone from his soul makes a reappearance.
Honor and Dmitri not only work together to discover what the markings on the head mean but they also work together to find out who the person was behind Honor’s capture and torture. Both mysteries take the pair to many different places but they always work together – sharing their thoughts on the cases but also intermingling their lives together in a way that neither will be able to untangle themselves from.
In this story Dmitri is the hardest. He is one bad ass mofo and he’s not taking shit from anyone. Women are things to manipulate and then set aside. He’s not a bastard but he gets bored quickly. On top of that, he gave his heart to a woman many, many, many years ago and there has never been another that has even tempted him a little to even consider doing it again. Then Honor comes into his life and not only does he have to re-evaluate things but memories of a time long ago come back to haunt him. I loved that even though Dmitri and Honor got their HEA he never compromised on who he was and what he had become over the years. He may have shown more of the compassion that he had hidden inside but he knew when to let it out and with whom.
Honor was a pretty tough cookie herself. She finally realized that she had let fear run her life for too long and had let the anger through to help her get through her the rough times. She knew that she wanted Dmitri and she felt at first that it would only be for a short time but as the story moved on she knew that she wouldn’t be giving him up any time soon – and she let him know that as well. I loved that she didn’t immediately fall into bed with Dmitri. The woman had been used and abused and she was damned skittish. It took a while for her to get it together enough to be able to handle sleeping with a man – and a vampire to boot!
What can I say? I absolutely ADORE Nalini Singh’s writing. The world’s that she builds – in this case the world of angels, vampires and humans – once again engaged my mind and took me to places that fascinated and, I’ll admit, sometimes grossed me out. The fact that she writes such fantastic love stories that involve such hardened characters makes the books, imho, that much more interesting. I can’t wait to see where the next story will take us. I loved reading about Elena and Raphael but it was great reading about the secondary characters from the first few books. Hopefully we’ll be reading more about Raphael’s Seven and their romances in future books.
Rating: 5 out of 5.