Guild Hunter #7
Adult Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.
This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…
Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.
Nalini Singh is a reader's dream author, someone tried and true who can be relied upon to continually write stories–no matter how high in number her series get–that satisfy the hedonist in us, delight the romantic we can't help but be, and terrify the morbidly fascinated part of us that loves a good murder mystery. Many times with series where any single book follows a number of different characters rather than sticking solely with the main couple, we can sometimes find ourselves frustrated, unwilling and uninterested in spending time away from our hero and heroine as the protagonists of future books have their foundations laid. Ms. Singh, however, has created such a rich cast of secondary characters in the Guild Hunter world that time spent with them is not something we must endure before returning to our lead couple, but rather a series of beloved moments we cherish every bit as much as we do those spent with our romantic pair.
For longtime fans of the series, both Ash and Janvier are characters with whom we've spent time before, but those who haven't read the novella featuring the two of them will easily be able to slip into their playfully flirtatious relationship. Ash, as is always the case with Ms. Singh's female characters, is a strong personality, easily able to go toe to toe with those who inspire both fear and lust from anyone who crosses their path. Her history with Janvier adds something special to their romance, the affection between them present from page one to beautifully alter their path to coupledom. We don't have the tension that exists between two strangers who find themselves attracted to one another, instead we have teasing, banter, and the ache of longing that only comes from a place of deep familiarity. Ash's clear love for Janvier wraps around us from chapter one, a comforting presence all the way through that lets us know these two will find their way to happiness no matter what supernatural horrors or personal issues they face.
Janvier is every bit as enjoyable as Ash, his deep cajun drawl something that echoes in our ears as we flip the pages, creating the kinds of mental images we don't ever want to forget. He's every bit as in love with Ash as she is with him, and his confidence in the rightness of their relationship adds a few new creases around our mouths from the amount of smiling we do while reading. He's endlessly patient and supportive, understanding Ash has very serious and valid reservations about immortality but refusing to let her retreat from him and cling to her humanity out of fear. His love for her is eternal, something that sounds grossly exaggerated and the type of thing only to be found in the pages of a romance novel, but Janvier could easily persuade even the staunchest of romantic cynics to believe in the strength of his love for–and loyalty to–Ash.
Overall, Archangel's Shadows is another winning installment in the Guild Hunter series, Ash and Janvier an utterly memorable couple who manage to make our hearts flutter even amidst the violence threatening the security of Raphael's beloved New York City once again. Both Raphael and Elena, as well as treasured members of his Seven, are all present and accounted for, deepening our connection to this series by reminding us just how much we love them and the world in which they live. Illium and Naasir in particular have large roles in this installment, and I can only hope that means their stories will be coming down the pipeline in the not-too distant future.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.