This was my first read by Nalini Singh and the first book in her new Guild Hunters series. It was just fantastic. I received this as a Christmas present from a girlfriend who has been trying to get me to read this for months. I so glad I took the plunge!
Singh’s new series is very exciting, dark & fresh! The hero is sexy Archangel Raphael, who runs the territory of New York. Fit body, gorgeous strong wings (which actually consist of muscles/tendons) and black hair that tends to fall slightly over his eyes. And oh yeah, his wings are actually an erogenous zone ;) In this world, at your death, and if you’re the appropriate candidate, you can be turned into a vampire by the angels & archangels in exchange for 100 years of service. Not all vamps want to complete this servitude and try for escape. That’s where Elena Deveraux, one of the elite Guild Hunters, steps in. For a fee, Guild Hunters will retrieve vampire escapees for the angels. Elena is probably the best hunter in the area, so Raphael hires her to track a rogue Archangel<--completely out of her league!
The tension quickly builds between the Raphael and Elena for multiple reasons. Though she’s generally not been feminine or docile enough for past lovers, Raphael is extremely attracted to her as all his past lovers have been warrior women. But he’s extremely dangerous and can kill her in an instant. Raphael does use his mind-control ability to hurt Elena initially, and you don’t really know if he will or won’t do it again. I found this very thrilling, as Elena tended to push him to the edge.
In addition to the dynamics of Raphael and Elena’s developing relationship, the side characters were awesome and I hope they get stories in the future. Raphael has a loyal guard of The Seven, consisting of vampires and Angels. Great scenes with vampires Dmitri & Venom – both untrusting of Elena, both wanting to kill her, although Dmitri wants to f**k her 1st. Then there’s the beautiful angel Illium, with blue wings. And finally, the sexy spymaster, angel Jason. I see the world Singh is building here. With the market being crammed with PNR right now, some good/some bad, I’m always happy to find a winner. I read a snippet of Archangel’s Kiss (#2) and it picks up right where Angels’ Blood leaves off. Just one more month of waiting!