Published: September 6th 2011 by Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 0425243915 (ISBN13: 9780425243916)
Title: Archangel's Blade
Series: Guild Hunter #4
Characters: Dmitri, Honor, Sorrow, Venom, Illium, Elena Deveraux, Raphael (Archangel)
I received an eARC from the author for review.
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…
With each story Nalini Singh has always managed to sweep me away into another world and make me fall in love with her characters. But then there are those rare stories which just takes the reading experience to a whole other level. Archangel’s Blade is sheer perfection where every story element comes together and blows my emotions out of this stratosphere! There wasn’t a moment my attention faltered or where I felt a tinge of disappointment because plot or character development didn’t work for me. The intrinsically layered story allowed the characters to soar in their journey where rip-roaring action and soul claiming passion ruled. I was encompassed by Dmitri and Honor's trials and tribulations from page one!
Dmitri is dark, unforgiving, arrogant, he is brutal and has strength to match it, and Nalini Singh keeps him that way. He is called Raphael’s blade for a reason. I would almost call him an anti-hero but his backstory just sucker punched me. It doesn’t make Dmitri all of a sudden a goody-two-shoe but it deepens his persona in a profound way. He is complexity to the nth degree and is a challenge no woman can ignore! Complex men don't make for easy loving and Honor is about to find out how true this is.
Honor is a blend of fierce temperament, courage and vulnerability. She had to overcome a vicious attack and is now taking back the reigns of her life. Honor is the kind of character who can completely take me in to the moment and let me feel her fear, her potent fury, her passion and her strength. She shows Dmitri her own claws even as she feels the fear. She owns her sensuality again even as Dmitri challenges her boundaries in this. Everything about Honor spoke to me.
A huge part of the appeal in Archangel’s Blade is the interaction between Dmitri and Honor. Nalini Singh lets the exquisite sexual tension seep through in to the dialogues, the body chemistry and ultimately, the passion, which sets the pages ablaze! Watching that attraction evolve in to something so much deeper, essential and intense was quite the emotional roller coaster ride. The mystery brought external as well as internal struggles for Dmitri and Honor to deal with. It fused the plot and romance together to a point where it heightened the overall impact of the story. Early on there were small slivers of thoughts or feelings which made me connect certain dots and wonder about a possible plot twist Nalini Singh might have in store for us. My hunch gained more certainty as the story progressed and it drove home to an ending that had me in tears.
Next to Dmitri and Honor dealing with the mysteries and their sizzle and burn attraction there were a few other characters who I loved getting to know more. Sorrow for instance is a character with an acerbic tongue whom I liked on the spot. Venom , Illium, Jason, Raphael and Elena. They enlivened the dialogues even more with banter, humor or flat out arrogance or authority. They are larger-than-life personalities not of this world and they mesmerizes me. With each novel in the Guild-Hunter series I just fall more deeper for the core cast. It is something I love Nalini Singh for! She is able to put together such a memorable cast of characters and set them in a world you can’t help but want to go back to the moment you’ve finished a story.
While Archangel’s Blade absolutely wow-ed me it is partly because the writing voice of this author just makes me live and feel it all!
A sample of Nalini Singh's lyrical writing;
She’d taste of salt and wildflowers, intermingled with an earthy femininity that sang a siren song to the man beneath the civilized surface.
The tenderness of the moment destroyed him, singing to parts of him he’d thought long dead.
This is the kind of lyrical writing which bursts in to vivid imagery in my mind's eye or conveys the intensity of each emotion felt by the characters. This is writing where I have no hardships, at all, to connect to the characters. This is writing which plays my heart strings like a symphony and leaves me baffled by the end.
Dmitri and Honor's journey is one of sheer perfection where everything comes together and blew me away! Archangel’s Blade is unequivocally one of Nalini Singh’s bests stories to date!
Quotes for you to sample:
1: “You don’t want to say that to me.” He allowed the cold, dark predator within him to rise to the surface, to fill his eyes as he lowered his voice to hold pure, silken menace. “I don’t play nice and I never stop when asked.” Raising his finger, he touched it almost delicately to her cheekbone, the violence in him a pitiless blade as a result of the memories that had suddenly begun to surface. “Do you want me to hurt you?”
2: Getting out, she took in the picture he made in that car, a gorgeous, sexy creature, his skin kissed to warm perfection by the sun, the stunning blue of his shirt an exotic contrast. “You look like some rich playboy.” If said playboys were sharks.
“And playboys prefer the glossy model type, in bed and out. It’s a rule.”
“While you’re in the library, look up a painting titled Asleep by Gadriel,” he said, slipping on a pair of sunglasses. “That’s my idea of the perfect woman.”
3: Yes, she thought. To look at Dmitri was to think of sex. Rich, dark eyes, black hair, skin of a tempting, warm shade between honey and brown, lips that spoke of pleasure and pain, a body that moved with a lethal grace that incited sexual fantasies of how he might move with—inside—a woman.
4: Honor had seen the photos, of course, but the reality of a fellow hunter with wings was surreal. “I know I’m staring,” she said into the hush that had fallen, “but, Elena, you have wings.”
5: Her body continued to smolder from the slow burn of his kiss, his touch. Not even the fact that they’d gone little further after her flashback could mute the impact of it. His sensuality was potent, as raw as it was sophisticated, as dark as it was patient.
Lulling her. Seducing her.
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