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Book CoverShannon C.’s review of Angels’ Blood (Guild Hunters, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
Paranormal romance/urban fantasy released by Berkley 3 Mar 09

Nalini Singh is easily one of the best writers writing romance these days. She manages to create vivid and compelling worlds, as well as love stories with enough sexual tension and smoldering sensuality to require ice buckets while reading. So I’ve only read two of her Psy-Changeling books, but I was curious about her new series, and eagerly read it as soon as I got the ARC. Sadly, this book was a victim of too much hype. 

Elena is a Guild Hunter who works with angels to track down rogue vampires. The angels are the only ones who can create vampires, and the process is undertaken with the understanding that a new vampire will be in service to his creator for a century because they’re a menace to society otherwise. Anyway, Elena’s really good at her job, which brings her to the attention of Raphael, the archangel of New York City, who has an offer she can’t refuse. This time it’s not a rogue vampire she must track, but a rogue archangel. She can’t turn down the job, and she knows her chances of surviving it are slim.

Overall, I liked this book and would keep reading the series. Elena was a strong character, which is good because most of the book is told from her POV. She’s had a difficult life, a life that’s not going to get much easier after she meets Raphael. Raphael was fascinating, too, though it took me a bit longer to warm up to him. I’m used to arrogant heroes. I’m not so much used to ones who feel completely alien. But after a while he did grow on me, and I found the romance to be quite satisfying.

The plot is interesting, but I felt it took a bit too long to get going. Only toward the end of the book, when Elena was able to do her job did it take off. Prior to that, there were a lot of seriously draggy sections which slowed me down considerably.

This book got so much hype before it came out from the blogosphere that I was expecting it to be brilliant. The fact that the plot took a while to get moving and that it took me a while to warm up to Raphael disappointed me. I really wanted to love this book, and had expected that I would, but I didn’t.

Still, if you like Singh and you like darker settings, this is a strong book. I just wish I’d loved it more.

ShannonCGrade: B

Nalini Singh introduces readers to a world of beauty and bloodlust, where angels hold sway over vampires.
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But 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 doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.
Read an excerpt.

Other books in the series:

Book Cover Book Cover and Book 2, “Angels’ Judgment” in Must Love Hellhounds anthology, Sep 2009