Title: Archangel’s Heart
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter Series #9
Date: November 1, 2016
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.
That annual date with the authors I follow has come again, and this time it’s one I have talked (and praised) before, Best-Selling Paranormal Romance Author Extraordinaire Nalini Singh!
I introduced Mrs. Singh’s Guild Hunter Series last year with her Archangel’s Enigma and today I bring you yet another treat in the form of the next book in this amazing series about angels, vampires and overall Urban Fantasy goodness for the lovers of the genre. So, without further ado, enter Archangel’s Heart!
More information, visit the author’s website: http://nalinisingh.com/
The Review ———-
Back to the New York of The Guild Hunter Series. There, the Archangel Raphael, one of the all-powerful archangels of the Cadre of Ten, rules over North America with a severity and power that are awe-inspiring. By his side are his Seven, an elite guard of angels and vampires tasked with protecting Raphael and his domains, and Elena, Raphael’s ever-adored, Guild Hunter consort.
Ever since Elena was turned into an angel some short years ago, troubles have rained down non-stop over her and her archangelic lover, testing their bonds and those of the city of New York as a whole. But for the last 2 years, things appear to have settled down. Or have they?
For this book, and in true Nalini Singh’s fashion, the author once more takes on the couple that started it all and launched this series into bestsellerdom, Raphael and Elena Deveraux.
Unlike my usual Romance reviews, these characters are in no way unknown to fans of the series, and for those who are new to it, some advice: don’t make #9 your series starter, kids. Play by the rules! So this time I’ll try to review any changes in attitude and behavior for this particular book.
Raphael is the Archangel of New York and undisputed lead male of the Guild Hunter series (even though he sometimes cedes the spotlight to one of the members of his Seven). In Archangel’s Heart Singh takes on Raphael again now as a “married” or “mated” angel who is very much in love with his consort and very much involved in her affairs. Raphael and Elena’s love story happens basically during Angel’s Heart (Book 1), but the aftermath of that love story is what has fueled or the books since, and to be honest, it never gets old.
It’s fascinating to see this extremely powerful, extremely dominant man butt heads with a woman that will never be a damsel in distress, who throws out as many punches as she receives and it’s never afraid to tell the supreme ruler of North America when he is being an a*hole. In this book, we get to see a Raphael more used to dealing with Elena (versus earlier books where he was often bewildered by her) and more confident in his part of her mate. It is also endearing how he tries to protect her without undermining her, and how he always tries to cultivate her strength instead of demanding that she conforms with being protected by his far, far superior abilities.
To be honest I like Raphael’s character, his and Elena’s relationship dynamic is very fluid. They are always exchanging barbs and teasing each other and the chemistry between them is very smooth. This book was no different, except for the fact that Raphael, unlike previous books, took a veritable backseat compared to Elena, who gets much more development. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t get more couple time, but other than that I cannot fault the interactions.
Elena, on the other hand, gets her workout for this book. We discover a lot of new things about her and her background, and we also see how she has finally adapted to her place as an Archangel’s Consort and how she is slowly growing into her strength as a “baby angel.” It was very interesting to see Elena more comfortable in her position as Consort, to see her moving among the Cadre with ease and sure in her skin for once.
We always get Elena strong in her warrior suit, but this book proved that she can be interesting when she is not fighting as well. Archangel’s Heart Elena is on a mission to find the truth about her roots and to discover herself and the story of her lost family. She will have to put down the knives and use the head first and foremost, and the wiles and wit that are unavoidable in the sharp political environment of the Cadre of Ten, where relationships are threaded on the finest silk and any small misstep can mean war. We got to see some of this in Book #2, Archangel’s Kiss, but we get to revisit it, very successfully, for this book.
Now, I’ll be honest, I liked this book. I enjoyed reading it and I had a good time revisiting old characters and getting glimpses of past couples. I am also excited to see what will Nalini Singh bring us next. Now that said… I really don’t understand what is this book’s objective. The plot-line doesn’t tie up to the rest of the series’ central arc, and at the end of this book, nothing has changed in the overall story versus the beginning. Sure, we know some new things, have a couple new interesting characters, but all in all, it’s same old. This book can be skipped completely and readers would barely notice it, because the characters that appear are not relevant to any future development, and the story that unfolds is completely separate from the main line.
A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.