Title: Archangel’s Blade
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Series: Guild Hunter (Book 4)
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425243915 (Berkley Sensation)
ISBN-13: 978-0425243916 (Berkley Sensation)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
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…
Quick and Dirty: Dark, sexy and one heck of a ride.
Opening Sentence: Crouching on the concrete pier lit only by the dull yellow glow of a flickering streetlight several feet away, Dmitri tilted the severed head toward him with a grip in the dead male’s damp hair, not bothering with gloves.
The setting of this fourth installment of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series is “modern day” New York with an added twist. In Ms. Singh’s world the angels and archangel’s run the show and vampires are common place. In order to become a vampire, a mortal must submit to testing, and be physically compatible to the venom secreted by the angels that turns mortals into vampires. The vampires are then required to serve under those angels for a period of time before they are given their freedom. Then there are the Guild Hunters. These are mortals put in charge of policing the rogue vampires, ones who break their contracts with their angels, or break the rules of living within the mortal realm. It is these hunters that the series is based upon.
Honor, this novel’s heroine, is one of the Guild Hunters. Well, she used to be anyway. After being kidnapped and tortured for two months by a group of vampires, Honor finds herself unable to perform her duties, and hides out among the archives. But, when her expertise is needed, she faces her demons head on and teams up with a vampire *gasp*to solve a string of murders and find her kidnappers.
I am a lover of Ms. Singh’s writing in this and her other series. She has a knack for writing characters that are truly believable, and admirably strong and resilient. I am in awe of Honor’s tenacity in the face of adversity (and I believe I’ve heard that somewhere before). A quote from Dmitri says it best. “So soft,” he murmured. “Feminine, beautiful, and tough to break.”
Dmitri is the baddest of the bad. As the archangel Raphael’s second in command, he is the vampire that all others of his kind and everyone else fear. Dmitri was also kidnapped and tortured, long ago, but by an angel named Isis, who also murdered and tortured his wife and children. When this bit of bad news rises up from the past, Dmitri must bring in Honor to help him find out who and what is going on. Also, after meeting the lovely Honor, he makes it his personal mission to hunt down those vampires that tortured her, and make sure they pay in kind.
In every book in this series, Dmitri comes off as one scary SOB, and I’ll be damned if that isn’t what makes him so sexy. Gifted with the ability to attract with his scent, and who wouldn’t want a man who smelled of “a drugging whisper of champagne and desire molten as gold, orchids under moonlight, chocolate-dipped berries kissing a woman’s skin.” I don’t know where Ms. Singh gets her inspiration for her heroes, such as Dmitri, but I think we’d all like a chunk of it. Add into the mix his tortured soul, and this vamp reaches heartthrob status.
All in all, Archangel’s Blade is a perfect follow up to Archangel’s Consort, and Nalini Singh knows when to give her readers exactly what they want. So, this reader would like to put in a request for a book for the delectable Bluebell. Pretty please?
When Valeria bared her teeth at Honor, refusing to answer the question, he shot the other woman through the thigh, in almost precisely the spot where the female vampire liked to feed.
Valeria screamed high and shrill.
Honor understood that the punishments used for immortals, their bodies able to recover from brutal injuries, weren’t the same as for mortals. But she’d never been up close and personal with the merciless reality of it. “Does it bother you at all?” she asked Dmitri when Valeria’s screams died out into sobs.
He shrugged, shoulders moving with muscled grace beneath the thin cotton of his T-shirt. “No.” Putting his gun down beside the crystal bowl, he said “Valeria, be a good hostess and answer Honor’s question,” before popping one of the chocolates into his mouth.
“I don’t know anything else,” the vampire sobbed, her eyes rimmed red with her tears. “J-just about T-Tommy.”
“Oh don’t worry,” Honor said, remembering how Valeria had sipped at her own tears, how she’d giggled when Honor screamed so much her throat turned raw, her voice gone, “we’ll get to Tommy.” She didn’t know what Valeria had heard in her voice, but the vampire suddenly looked afraid in a way Honor would have never expected in a vampire of her age and power.
“He did everything, remember?” Valeria said, hands rising to her throat again as the wound began to heal around the heavy hunting knife.
“I wouldn’t.” Dmitri ate another chocolate.
Dropping her hands in spasming fear, Valeria continued to speak to Honor, eyes shimmering with tears. “He was the one who hurt you—I just wanted to feed.”
Yes, Tommy had hurt her, as only a man could hurt a woman. But only because Valeria had egged him on. Before that, his psychical assaults had been relatively minor in the scheme of things—the bastard had enjoyed her blood more than anything else. Valeria, however, has always been very inventive when it was just her and Honor in the dark.
“Oh, did that hurt?” A whisper-soft laugh. “Naughty me. But a girl has to feed.”
“Dmitri,” Honor said, “I’ve changed my mind.”
And then she shot Valeria through the other thigh.
Guild Hunter Series:
FTC Advisory: Berkley Sensation provided me with a copy of Archangel’s Blade. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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