Author: Nalini Singh
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
Opening two years forward from the conclusion of the previous book, it’s been a fairly quiet time since the Ancient Alexander awoke early and the world last saw Lijuan. The Cascade has paused, and everyone is waiting for things to get hinky again. Because of the potential imbalance in the Cadre with Lijuan missing, the Luminata, an independent, neutral, secretive group, has called the Cadre together. The Cadre must decide if she’s dead, Sleeping, or other, and what to do with her Territory. With the meeting being held in the homelands of Elena’s maternal grandmother, she decides it is time to do some digging into her own little-known past.
Archangel’s Heart is another great story in what has become one of my favorite series! I absolutely LOVE the Guild Hunter stories, most especially when they are Elena/Raphael-centric. While overall I’d still call it a paranormal romance series, this go-around is more on the urban fantasy side of the equation. Raphael and Elena’s relationship is now one hundred percent solid, and while they will continue to experience growing pains and have to deal with changes, their romance wasn’t the focus of the book. This time the focus was on Elena’s past and Cadre politics. It was exciting and gripping, but also tender and sweet. I continued to enjoy Raphael and Elena’s many-tiered encounters: intelligent dialogue, playful sparring, tender moments, sexual and sensual lovemaking. It’s all so three-dimensional and fulfilling on multiple levels.
One of the things that stood out most this time is how the powerful Archangel of Manhattan is embracing his touched-by-mortality heart. Not only does he respect his Guild Hunter angel, but Raphael listens to her counsel and allows her to take her own risks. He changes are most apparent as Raphael helps Elena understand the politics of the Cadre, and how mortal lives have little meaning to these immortal Archangels. His earnest efforts to protect human lives is directly the result of Elena’s influence. I hope to see a shift in the thinking of the Cadre as Raphael’s powers grow during the Cascade.
While the tone of the Guild Hunters series has always hovered a shade or two darker than Ms. Singh’s other PNR series, this time around, I also found it to be heart-stoppingly suspenseful. While staying with the Luminata, Elena and Raphael uncover dark secrets that tie into Elena’s own past. Each time Elena investigated a lead or looked into a rumor, my heart raced: the tension was outstanding. I seriously was on the edge of my seat… pacing… nervous… as they made their discoveries, guessing and knowing what they would find. It was hard for me to read without skipping over sections just to discover the truth more quickly. The dialogue was perfect for the scenes – the horrified anger, yet the mutual love and respect. I haven’t been this engaged in a suspenseful scene in a long time. Ms. Singh is a masterful storyteller, and her abilities truly shine in Archangel’s Heart.
In the end, Archangel’s Heart is a fabulous story, filled with action, suspense, and genuine love. Learning more about the Cadre’s politics and Elena’s own ancestry gave incredible depth to an already richly developed world. Additionally, Ms. Singh provided more insight into two of Raphael’s Seven, setting up future stories in this amazing series.
One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.
Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…
Nothing will ever be the same again.
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Series: Guild Hunter #9
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Format(s): paperback (400 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher
Reviews in the Series:
Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #2)
Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #3)
Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #4)
“Angel’s Wolf” by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #4.5) (Angels of Darkness)
Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #5)
Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #6)
Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #7)
Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #8)
from ARCHANGEL’S HEART by Nalini Singh
Raphael’s response was silent, his wing brushing hers as he . . .
“Raphael!” The damn archangel had dusted her.
Glittering, sparkly stuff stuck to her, delicious beyond compare when she parted her mouth and it licked onto her tongue. Her thighs clenched. “This is not funny!” She glared at him even as arousal flooded her system, but he was laughing too hard to care.
Her heart, it just stopped.
Even now, the Archangel of New York rarely laughed and never like this. Until she could see the youth he must’ve once been, with eyes of a wild, astonishing blue that asked a woman to laugh with him. She’d never before seen him as truly young. How could she? He had so much power that it pulsed in his every touch, burned in his skin.
Hauling him close to her with her hands fisted in the cream linen of his shirt, she took a kiss, took him. He sank into her, his wings sweeping up to wrap around her until all she could sense was Raphael, all she could taste was him. And angel dust. The special blend he’d created just for her.
He pushed one hand into her hair, fisting it as he wrapped his other arm around her waist and backed her up against a wall. Something fell with a dull thud. Maybe the vivid painting of wildflowers that had just been put up, all the art having been taken down during the repainting.
Elena loved that simple piece Honor had found in a thrift shop, but right now, it could’ve been a priceless artwork by the Hummingbird and she wouldn’t have cared. She was far too happy to be pressed up against the hard warmth of her archangel tip to toe after spending the previous night on watch. No time for shenanigans with Dmitri away and Illium off-shift, Aodhan assigned to patrol the sea border, and Raphael dealing with the overall security situation.
She’d flown a proper defense grid, both to stay in practice and because none of them could afford to be blasé with the Cascade an unpredictable foe that could unleash itself at any moment, smashing the world back into chaos and, possibly, war.
Today, however, the others were on‑shift and she could kiss her lover. He burned hot, Raphael, but he was a crashing sea in her mind, a tumultuous, passionate storm that swept her up and thundered through her veins.
We can talk to Dmitri later, she sent to Raphael, sliding her hands up the ridges and valleys of his chest. Let’s go upstairs to our suite.
She tried to ignore that pointed cough that held a biting amusement.
Raphael’s lips smiled against hers. I think my second has other ideas.
Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2016.