by Nalini Singh
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Category: Adult Urban Fantasy
Keywords: Angels, Vampires, paranormal romance
Format: Paperback, mass market paperback, eBook, audiobook
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best- but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option—even if the task is impossible.
Because this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.
The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break.
Yes, I’m late to the party. Several people have repeatedly recommended Nalini Singh to me and for whatever reason I haven’t read any of her books. Finally, I dove in with Angels’ Blood, the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Singh has created a twist on the typical vampire story. Archangels are the ones who can create a vampire and in exchange the vampire must serve the angel for 100 years. Of course, there are some vampires who want to get away and then vampire hunters must track them down.
Elena Deveraux is a highly skilled vampire hunter working for the Guild. Raphael, the Archangel of New York City, arranges with the Guild to have Elena work on a special assignment. Readers learn quickly that Raphael is temperamental and easily angered. Elena recognizes that Raphael is likely to kill her in some manner at the end of her job or usefulness to him. However, even recognizing that Raphael can kill her, Elena repeatedly finds ways to irritate him.
Angels’ Blood draws readers in from the beginning. In addition to finding Raphael and Elena interesting, there was excellent chemistry between the two. Both are flawed in many ways which was part of my attraction to them. There were numerous secondary characters that provided layers to the interactions and increased my interest in the story.
Overall, I really liked the book. However, despite how sexy and attractive Raphael was, he was never my favorite character. His arrogance and domineering behavior was often annoying, and I wasn’t fond of how he treated Elena. I wanted to like Raphael more and even at the end, I still had mixed feelings about him. Elena is strong on many levels but she is often left in the dark regarding who she is to hunt and why it is critical. There are also several “skeletons” in her past that Singh refers to but never resolves in this book. I assume Singh deals with those issues further in future books.
One interesting thing about this book, I was pleased to see that it was more than your average Paranormal Romance. I would probably actually classify this one as Urban Fantasy. Please don’t get me wrong, the romance in this book definitely has a “hot sexy” factor. However, the book wasn’t just about the romance between Raphael and Elena. Singh creates a balance between the general plot line of the book and the relationship between Elena and Raphael.
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely. Who would I recommend this to? Anyone who is already a fan of Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance. Additionally, I would recommend it to those looking for a twist on the typical angel or vampire stories that are out there. I know I will continue with the series in order to see where it goes and how my questions might be answered in future books.