Archangel's Blade
Grade : A

All right Nalini Singh, just look what you did. You made me cry! And over that ass Dmitri of all characters. So bravo; great job with Archangel’s Blade.

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// We thought we knew Dmitri well from his interactions with the main characters in the previous three books. He’s the original smooth operator – controlled, cold, dangerous, beautiful. We knew he liked a little pain with his sex, and a lot of pain with his violence. But what we didn’t know is that he is in constant, unremitting emotional pain from events that occurred a millennia ago. Archangel’s Blade explains these events and shows Dmitri in an entirely different light.

The heroine, Honor, is appalled when she is ordered by the head of the Hunter’s Guild to assist the Tower in a murder investigation. Despite her secret fascination with the vampire Dmitri, she is doubly upset when she finds out that she’ll be working with Dimitri instead of one of the resident angels. Honor’s been hiding out at Guild HQ following her rescue from a basement where she was held and tortured for weeks by rogue vampires. The last place she wants to be is with more vampires, but her skills with language are needed to interpret tattoos found on the murder victim, an extremely young vampire.

Well used to hiding his feelings, Dmitri keeps his cool when he realizes that Honor’s interpretation of the tattoo’s message points to an old, and impossible, foe. He finds it harder, though, to be cool when he finds out that most of the vampires involved in Honor’s torment were never apprehended. As more fledgling vampires are found murdered and Honor and Dmitri track down her attackers, the mystery deepens along with their improbable attraction to one another.

When Dmitri first meets Honor he’s immediately attracted to her full-figured body, her incisive mind, and the fear that she fights the entire time she’s in his presence. Since she’s a Guild Hunter but not Hunter born, she’s invulnerable to his scent attractors, and Dmitri finds her an interesting challenge. She unfortunately only whets his appetite when, during his first attempt to get close to her, she freaks out and slashes his face. Honor, still extremely jacked-up emotionally from her ordeal, has decided that maybe, someday, she’ll be ready to have a relationship involving sex again, but only with an understanding, patient, gentle man. She’s in no way prepared for Dmitri’s idea of seduction. Nor is she prepared for his dominant style of lovemaking, which involves bondage, spanking, and velvet whips. You have to wonder how in the world the author could create a romance here, but she does, and it is an awesome journey.

New readers should beware if you don’t like a little grit with your romance. This is a violent book, as are the previous three. There are stabbings, beatings, gunshots, disembowelment and beheading, and that’s just from the good guys. But it’s also a great mystery and a surprisingly tender love story. The love scenes are as hot as Texas has been this summer.

The absolute best thing about Archangel’s Blade are the insights into Dmitri’s character and the fleshing out of the little information gained about his past from the previous books. His evolution, between the first chapter where he says “I lost my humanity a long time ago”, to the last chapter “I’m yours. Always”, is an extremely fulfilling read.

While Archangel’s Blade centers around a different set of characters than the previous books, all the star players are present. The main story is mentioned several times as well, so this book does not disrupt the flow of the series. The previous books earned two Bs and an A here, exactly matching my opinion, and this one is by far my favorite.

Who is going to be next, Illium? Venom? Ashwini and Janvier? Hurry up, Ms. Singh!

Reviewed by Wendy Clyde

Grade: A

Book Type: Paranormal Romance

Sensuality: Hot

Review Date : August 30, 2011

Publication Date: 2011/09

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