Archangel’s Kiss is the second book in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh, and after absolutely loving the first book in the series, Angels’ Blood, this one had a lot to live up to. I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. I loved it. The prose is just as lush as the first book, Elena and Raphael are still fantastic characters and the world-building just as vivid.
However, I did feel as though the balance between urban fantasy and paranormal romance was slightly out of kilter. The first half of the book definitely sits in with the latter genre as there is a lot of sex, verbal adoration, basically lots of lovin’s! Don’t get me wrong, I love the romance between Elena and Raphael but I felt for the first half of the book I was a bit saturated with it and it did get a bit repetitive. But the second half of the booked kicked into high gear with lots of action, suspense and Elena back in the role she fits so well, that of the kick-arse chick. I was worried she was turning into a love sick puppy but her fighting personality won out – yay! I do adore the relationship between Elena and Raphael, it is swoon-worthy and very intense, but I’m pleased it didn’t dominate the entire book.
The story picks up a short time after Angels’ Blood ended and Elena’s friends are wondering if she’s dead or alive, or more accurately one of the undead, as in vampire. But nobody is telling them anything and they are becoming increasingly frustrated. They decide to break into where they think Elena is being held, but once they set eyes on what she’s become they can’t believe their eyes…
There’s a big learning curve for Elena and she needs her friends and Raphael to help her through, especially when she is invited to a ball by the eldest of Archangels. Raphael is worried as this could be the perfect opportunity for others to kill Elena for real and so he instructs his most loyal and dangerous vampire to train Elena in the fighting skills she will need if an attempt is made on her life. Unfortunately for Elena she’s still weak from the transformation, but Dmitri does not go easy on her.
Apart from what’s going on in Elena’s personal life, she is asked to help when there’s a new bout of fresh vampire kills, and one of the angel children is kidnapped and found brutally beaten to the point of death. Elena has to use her abilities to track the scent of the killer and it leads to an unexpected source.
We get more of a glimpse in to Elena’s painful and horrific past. She begins to lean on Raphael more and more to give her strength and support. Her memories of her past are throwing up all sorts of visions about her mother and father. The more that is revealed the more I want to know. Elena is a complex character and she is fast becoming one of my favourite heroines.
There is a lot going on in Archangel’s Kiss and I lapped up every word. This is a wonderful series with gorgeous prose, fantastic characters and the world-building so vivid I could be living along side Elena. Elena and Raphael are becoming two of my favourite characters as well as one of my favourite couples. A great addition to the series!
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