Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Guild Hunter, #1
Publisher: Berkley Books
Heroine: Elieanora P. Deveraux
Date of Publication: January 1, 2009
Started On: November 30, 2015
Finished On: December 12, 2015
Angels’ Blood is the debut book in the Guild Hunter series by the oh-so-talented-author-that-she-literally-takes-your-breathe-away, the one and only Nalini Singh. The praise comes backed by the thousands of fans who adore her books, of which I am definitely one. Her Psy-Changeling series is what got me hooked on her writing, the vivid beauty that is Nalini’s world building and of course the emotions that can go from zero to hundred with just a flick of the right words at the opportune time, which makes her books a treat in all the different ways that matter. Compared to the Psy-Changeling series, I would say the Guild Hunter series is a whole different ballpark. The Guild Hunters is darker, edgier and holds more fascination the part of me that actually wants darker reads of romance. By darker I don’t mean books that go into taboo areas, but by darker I mean books that explore sides of characters that are not generally accepted by the larger population of romance readers these days.
Angels’ Blood tells the story of Vampire Hunter Elieanora P. Deveraux (Elena), who is summoned by Raphael, the archangel of New York himself in the quest to hunt down one of their own, an archangel. Armed with little information to hunt and shut down the archangel who grows into a more formidable enemy by the minute, Elena’s frustrations are doubled by the fact that her response to the beautiful Raphael is far from what she projects it to be. There is an answering need that flares to life and grows stronger by the second, every single time the same desire burns in Raphael’s eyes that makes Elena breathless with wanting. And there is also the teeny tiny fact that Elena herself walks a thin line when it comes to her own life which hangs in a precarious balance given how unpredictable Raphael can be.
I love Nalini’s books for various different reasons, one of them being the fact that she gives each hero the space to be true to themselves. While most of us get pissed off about heroines who turn into doormats, I hate it equally as much when a hero changes the essence of what he is, all just to suite the sensibilities of the heroine. That is just plain wrong in my opinion, as the hero loses out on what makes him stand out, what makes him essentially himself, and I also believe that it is an author’s way of taking the easy way out rather than being true to the character that is crafted. Raphael is a hero of the kind I am talking about. Demanding, ruthless and powerful; Raphael has little choice but to be all that and more. Any sign of weakness and it would be the blood of thousands that would line the streets and he has no intention of letting that happen.
When Elena walks into his life, Raphael responds to her on a level that frightens, even him – if there ever was an instance where an archangel would feel fear, that would have been it. But there is also a beauty to that savagery inside of him. And then there is the loyalty offered to him by his closest, without him demanding any of it. That alone tells a story of the kind of man he is. Elena, while she struggles with giving into her needs when it comes to Raphael, at first refuses to see beyond the obvious. But slowly and surely, Elena starts to see a man who not only would be able to handle ALL of her, but a man worthy of being handled by.
There are so many things I want to know about when it comes to Elena, Raphael and the rest of the cast of characters that makes up the series, which I am 100% certain would have been the case with every reader upon starting this series. I bet that this story just skims the surface on the depth of the characters that Nalini has brought to the table. Raphael and Elena with their pasts mired in blood, Raphael’s more so in a way that made me want to curl into a ball and just weep. The fact that these two survived insurmountable odds to become the warriors they at present are serves as a testament to the strength of their characters.
Nalini’s descriptions of her world settings always comes with the right touch; not too much, and neither too little. I could almost envision the angels, their ethereal beauty as their wings take flight.
Absolutely recommended. If there is one paranormal/urban-fantasy romance author you should be reading, it is undeniably Nalini Singh.
Final Verdict: Ms. Singh’s world building continues to amaze and awe! Beautiful craftsmanship.
The bald way he pointed out his power, and her lack of it, made her fingers itch for a blade.
“You shouldn’t look at me in that fashion, Elena.”
“Why?” she asked, prodded by some heretofore unknown suicidal streak. “Scared?”
He leaned a fraction closer. “My lovers have always been warrior women. Strength intrigues me.”
Lust in her throat, brutal and demanding. “But then, we both know about my self-destructive streak.” Stepping away, she put her back to the wall and faced him, willing her body to stop readying itself for a penetration she’d never allow. “I have no desire to be your chew-toy.”
The lines of his face might’ve been starkly masculine, but at that instant, his lips were pure temptation, soft, bitable, sensual in a way only a man’s mouth could be. “If I were to splay you out on my desk and thrust my fingers into you right now, I think I’d find different.”
His lips touched hers and she moaned. The hands on her hips tightened as he lifted her without apparent effort and began to kiss her in earnest. Fire traveled through the raw eroticism of the openmouthed kiss to curl her toes, coming to pool in the vee between her thighs. “Hot,” she whispered when he let her breathe. “Too hot.”
Ice silvered the air and it was a cool mist that surrounded her, seeping into her pores in a stroke of possession. “Better?” He kissed her again before she could answer, his tongue inside her, his body hard and perfect and—
Nothing else mattered.
He changed his hold to accommodate her. “Why should I kill you when I can wipe your mind?”
“I don’t want to lose my memories.” Even the bad ones, they were what made her who she was. Now, today, she was a different Elena to the one who’d never known what it was to kiss an archangel. “Don’t make me forget.”
“Will you trade your life to keep your memories?” A soft question.
She thought that over. “Yes,” she said quietly. “I would rather die as Elena, than live as a shadow.”
“Is that like a cat marking its territory?”
Raphael followed her gaze, flaring out the affected wing. “Michaela isn’t used to being denied.” Picking up a fancy cloth serviette, he came to her. “Wipe it off.”
The urge to rebel against the command smashed up against her need to rub that bitch’s mark off his wing. Stupid possessiveness won. “Turn around.”
He did so in graceful silence. Standing, she dampened the cloth with water before touching it to his wing. She was very careful not to get any of the sticky stuff on herself, but her caution appeared to have been unnecessary. “It’s coming off easy. Not like the one you dusted me with.” Even now, the light caught on stray flecks embedded in her skin, flecks she was sure Michaela had seen.
“I told you—yours was a special blend.”
Something warm and melty spread through her body. “Marking me, angel boy?”
“I prefer to do that with my cock.”
“No. I’ve never taken Michaela up on her offer.”
“Why not? She’s hot—tits and ass are all men ever see.”
“I prefer lips.” He bent and bit down a fraction too hard on her lower lip before raising his head. “And yours are quite succulent.”
Michaela’s, she thought on a crashing wave of pleasure, were nicely shaped but thin. But—“I’m not buying.” She didn’t change her position. “Who the hell cares about lips?”
“If you were on your knees with your lips wrapped around my cock, I would care a great deal.”
“You don’t strike me as the sharing type.” Her voice was raw.
“No. If one went to another man”—he began to pull out with slow deliberation—“there were dozens ready to take her place. It mattered little to me.”
She was almost beyond thought now, her entire being focused on the point where their bodies joined. What reason remained collapsed under the heady, seductive force of his words.
“If you take another lover, Elena”—he thrust back in, making her gasp—“what I do to him will become a nightmare etched in human memory.”