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339 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published March 3, 2009
"She looked into that perfect face and knew she’d never met a more deadly being in her life. If she displeased him, Raphael would kill her as easily as she might swat a fly."
"“And if I fail?”
“Don’t fail, Elena.” His eyes were mild but his smile, it spoke of things better not said aloud. “You intrigue me—I’d hate to have to punish you.”"
"The bald way he pointed out his power, and her lack of it, made her fingers itch for a blade.
“You shouldn’t look at me in that fashion, Elena.”
“Why?” she asked, prodded by some heretofore unknown suicidal streak. “Scared?”
He leaned a fraction closer. “My lovers have always been warrior women. Strength intrigues me.”"
"“I’ve seen enough. Let’s go.” She struggled in his hold.
He tightened it, his wings coming around to cut off her view of the room, his chest hot and hard at her back. “Are you sure?” His lips whispered over skin so sensitized, she had to fight the urge to shiver. “I have not taken a human lover for eons. But you taste . . . intriguing.”"
"The bastard kissed her. She was so mad, she bit him hard enough to draw blood. Raphael pulled back, lip already beginning to swell. “We are no longer even, Elena. You’re now in debt.”
“You can deduct it from my slow and painful death.” She dropped her leg from his waist. “It’s time to talk murder.”"
"I’m crazy about you, Archangel. You scare the shit out of me at times, but I want to dance with you anyway."
"... with a master at the art, all pain is pleasure."
October 2017 - Kick-ass Elena is just what I needed after my last disasterous book.
14/09/2016 Buddy reading with the awesome UF addicts over at BB&B!
“What happens if I don’t kill her?”
“Then she will kill you. She will make you mortal.”
In a world that's ruled by archangels and where vampires are made by archangels, Elena Deveraux is the best vampire hunter the Guild has. So when lethal archangel Raphael asks for the best, Elena is given the impossible task of finding an archangel who has gone bad. Failure to find him would not only mean her death, but the death of thousands.
He leaned a fraction closer. “My lovers have always been warrior women. Strength intrigues me.”
She refused to let him play with her like this, even if her body disagreed. Vehemently. “Do knives intrigue you, too? Because touch me and I will cut you up. I don’t care if you throw me off the nearest balcony.”
Archangels are merciless with very little humanity and Raphael is no different. He’s dangerously beautiful, ruthless, and used to getting what he wants. And what he wants is Elena.
Can Elena resist the powerful seduction of Raphael, and find the rogue archangel? Or will one or both leave her broken in the end?
This was a man she couldn’t take on and hope to win. A hotly feminine part of her appreciated that kind of strength, even as it infuriated her.
Elena is my kind of heroine. She’s kick-ass, feisty and doesn’t let anyone walk over her. She has a terrible and heartbreaking past, and an asshole for a father. I loved that she never allowed Raphael to get the better of her, no matter how frightening or how much of an asshole he was.
“Am I a monster, Elena?”
She looked into that perfect face and saw the echoes of cruelty, of time. “Not yet,” she whispered.
Raphael is very powerful, he’s pitiless and hard and he has no problem using manipulation and threats to get what he wants. I had a hard time liking him in the beginning. The way he treated Elena, how cold and cruel he was pissed me off. But he's an archangel, so expecting anything other would have been untrue. I did in the end come to love him, especially with how protective he became over her and how jealous he could be :-D
And he realized . . . that fragile, mortal life wasn’t just important to him. It was more important than his own.
The romance was fantastic. The chemistry between these two were passionate and intense, and I loved it. The sexy times were VERY hot, and I loved how being with her changed him for the better, and how much he loved her in the end.
Plot-wise I really can’t go into much detail, but I will say that I really like Nalini Singh’s take on angels and vampires, and how ruthless and merciless she portrayed them. As immortals it makes sense that compassion and morals would not be part of their setup. I also loved the fact that vampires are made by archangels, and for their first century the vampires have a binding contract with the archangel that made them. It’s so awesome that the wings of each angel is unique and different from any other angels’. I thought the final battle was fantastic, and I loved how Elena and Raphael worked together.
The Cadre of Ten, made up of the ten most powerful archangels were also very impressive and interesting. Some of them like Michaela, who I really disliked, and Lijuan who is super freaky with her new deadly power gave me chills. I also love Raphael’s seven, the warriors he has chosen to surround him with. They are loyal, deadly and doesn’t follow orders blindly. Illium “Bluebell” with the beautiful blue wings is definitely my favorite, and Raphael’s second, Dmitri, with his viciousness and love of pain my least favorite.
The world-building in this series is definitely a lot slower, but I enjoy the slow pace, learning more about angels, archangels and vampires as Elena learns.
It’s no secret that Nalini Sing is my favorite author. No one writes better romance than her, and this series proves once again why she is the queen of romance. If you’re looking for a kick-ass heroine, a lethal archangel, passionate romance, fantastic characters and a fascinating plot and world, this series if for you. A must read for all UF and PNR fans.
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Hate That I Have Changed So Much*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱
Sara held up a hand. “How, exactly, did you ‘decline’ his offer?”
“By slitting his throat.”
The silence in the garage was broken only by the sound of water drip-dripping somewhere in the distance. Sara just stared. So did Ransom. Then the idiot male started laughing hysterically. He laughed so hard he fell off the bike and onto the scarred concrete of the garage floor. Even that didn’t stop him.
Lijuan and Michaela, likely Charisemnon and Astaad, too, would never understand that kind of loyalty. Perhaps only Elijah and, in this matter, Titus, had any hope of comprehending what the Seven had given him. Dmitri was the oldest, Venom the youngest, but together, the three vampires and four angels had been with him for a remarkable number of centuries, their allegiance unwavering—but that didn’t mean they were ciphers. No, his Seven had all fought with him at one time or another, arguing against his decisions even to the point of putting their lives on the line.
Say what you would about Raphael, she found herself thinking, but at least he was no tyrant. She had no illusions about the fact that he ran North America with an iron fist, but he didn’t meddle in inconsequential human affairs. A few years back, they’d even had a mayoral candidate who’d pledged to flout the archangel should he be elected. Raphael had let the campaign run, his only response a slight smile when some reporter dared approach him.
This was the kind of job that made legends out of hunters. Of course, to be a legend, you generally had to be dead.
“Oh my God! I'm crushing an angel. Let me up!”