Sunday, May 9, 2010

Review of Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh - I want to earn me some wings!

Title: Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter #2)
Author: Nalini Singh
Pages: 323 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Standalone/Series: Series
Release:  Already Out
Publisher: Berkeley
Purchased by me
Author info:
Spoiler Alert: Spoilers for book one if you haven't read it
GoodReads blurb: Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena… 

Elena wakes up after a year long coma to discover her life completely changed. She awakes laying on a pair of beautiful midnight and dawn colored wings which she "earned" through being loved by the sexy and dangerous archangel Raphael. Now the two of them cautiously get to know each other more, though both of them are still haunted by the terrible things that happened to them in their past. Elena is greatly weakened by her year long sleep and has alot to learn about her new life including how to use her new wings. Unfortunately she must learn fast since she is being pulled into the world of angel intrigue and will soon have to face one of the scariest archangels, Lijuan. As Elena starts to recuperate and work with her new wings, murders and grave attacks occur on vampires and angels in the Refuge where she is now living. Elena who despite the wings is still a guild hunter and still feels the need to hunt down murders and protect the innocent. As she begins to track down what is happening she also finds that she might be a target in someone's plot to grab more power.

Raphael finds himself battling between the need to protect and shelter Elena and the need to let her be his sexy warrior woman. One of the more heart-pounding parts of the book for me was when he holds off on taking pleasure from Elena for fear that his savage passion will break her since she is still so weak. Though that doesn't stop him from pleasuring Elena in other ways - the sexy lovin' in this book definitely gets the pulse pounding. This book is more paranormal romance than urban fantasy that was more prominent in the first book Angel's Blood as it  focuses on Elena's and Raphael's developing relationship. I thought the relationship was well developed, since these are two independent and powerful individuals they didn't instantly find their balance in the relationship but had to work at it. Elena is caught between her all too human heart and finding out how to find her balance with her archangel lover. And Raphael is sexy and sensual as well as hard and cruel in the same heartbeat.

The mystery in the book about who was destroying the peace and protection of Refuge and the need to get Elena in shape to meet Lijuan also gave an excellent backdrop to introduce us to the other members of the Seven. Illium is my favorite of the seven and he also seems like the one least likely to kill Elena to protect Raphael from having a weakness, unlike Galen and Dimitri. Though I worry over "Bluebell" as Elena calls him since I'm afraid that his feelings for Elena will put him at odds with Raphael in the near future. Though I do hope we get to read more about the sexy and lethal Seven in future books. Elena regains her strength in time to face the challenges surrounding her and Raphael and with Raphael's promise to soon teach Elena how angels dance I can't wait for the next book!

Overall this is a 4.5 out of 5 stars for me - the powerful and lethal archangel Raphael giving wings and his heart bit by bit to his warrior woman lover ... heartwarming and hot!


Tori aka @ggs_closet said...

*happy sigh* Lovely review. "bluebell" is my fav too. I cannot wait to read more about them.

Karen said...

LOVE that cover!!

Smokinhotbooks said...

I want Illium HEA like yesterday.

Fiction Vixen said...

Wonderful review! I've never read a Nalini Singh, can you believe it? I need to get on this!!

Dani said...

Well, NS said in her blog that the next book is also about Elena/Raphael, no Seven books in the horizon yet... I wish she could write more Guild Hunter instead of lots of Spy...

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Tori - we should start a bluebell fanclub :D

@Karen - me to -actually looks like how I imagined Elena

@K.C. - I wonder if he can have a HEA after what happened with the last human he fell for..

@FV - you'll love the Guild Hunters - I have read her other series yet but it's pretty popular

@Dani- yeah I really want some Seven books or maybe she'll do some anthology stories to cover them..

Tara SG (25 Hour Books) said...

I wish I could say that I liked this as much as you did! I LOVED the first in the series and was missing the action in this one. It was just too much flashbacks for my taste. I'm not giving up on the series though and am very much so looking forward to the next book!

Sue said...

From Nalini's Blog:

Doing some final editing on GH #3. Thought you all might like another sneak peek.


She raised her blades. “Once more through.”


The clash of steel, the slide of sweaty, slippery bodies, the wild life of it all, it exhilarated Raphael. He sparred with his Seven once in a while, but it had always been a practical exercise, to keep his physical skills sharp. Elena fought like it was part of her very self, and her joy in it infected him until it was a pulse beneath his skin.

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Sue - thanks for the snippet! I can't wait for the next book - I need to run over and check out her blog!

@Tara - Yeah the flashbacks got kinda repetitive.. I just loved the Elena and Raphael good parts so much I excused those ;)

Emily said...

Great review! I just picked up Must Love Hellhounds, and I'm excited to see that there's a Guild Hunter short story in it. It's so hard to wait for new books in either of Nalini Singh's series!

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

You have a nose for great books, haven't you? :)
This sounds delightful, I really like to get to know Raphael *grin*. Wonderful review, hon! :D

Marq said...

This is such a great series. I like that each book is about Raphael and Elena. Their relation thus far has not been boring. I saw on her FB page that she does have plans for Illium. I hope he gets his own book. I love Bluebell. But not as much as I love Raphael!

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

@Emily - it was a good Guild novella in Hellhounds!

@Janna - Raphael is quickly shaping up to be one of my favorite leading men ;)

@Marq - so true about the relationship - they have alot to figure out with each other ;)

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