Archangel’s Viper: Guild Hunters, Book 10

Archangel's ViperAuthor: Nalini Singh
Book Name: Archangel’s Viper
Series: Guild Hunters
Order: #10
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Really Good

4+stars

 

 

 

Blurb: Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

Years of reading and loving Nalini Singh has left me with certain expectations from one of her books. This is probably one of my least favorite in the Guild Hunter series.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still a great book (see all those stars), but, for me, I just struggled to really feel or get any chemistry from this pair. I liked them both, but this didn’t quite grip me emotionally like pretty much every single other Nalini Singh book out there. What I did get, and it was there, seemed to come way late and with not quite enough going on between the two to make the fast turn around work as well as it could have.

I guess this was just missing that bit more spark I’m used to.

Rock Redemption: Rock Kiss, Book 3

Rock RedemptionAuthor: Nalini Singh
Book Name: Rock Redemption
Series: Rock Kiss
Order: 3
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Excellent
5+stars



Blurb:  Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Review:  This is how you do broken beautifully.  Seriously.  There just aren’t many books with truly broken characters that I like quite as much as I like Noah.  He is seriously messed up, in a way that makes your heart want to bleed for him, and even though he thinks he is destroyed, he isn’t.  He still has heart and is willing to try.  There is no letting the brokenness be all that there is, but it is also absolutely there and a part of who he is, not written off or made to be a nothing bit of just history.  That is what makes it beautiful.

It would be easy to say that Kit’s character isn’t as strong personality wise, but hers is a quite, subtle strength that isn’t in your face.  It almost comes at you from behind the scenes, but it is a critical element to support and balance out Noah’s much stronger, obvious presence.

I think that what I love the most about this book (and it is similar in the other books in this series) is that the romantic relationship isn’t all perfect hearts and flowers and rainbow farts.  It gets a little gritty and ugly, but even with that, Noah and Kit are all about working through the ugly to get to keep the beautiful.  You may have those moments that are difficult trials and end up in the characters needing a bit of space, but they aren’t blown out into ridiculous proportions.  They are just real moments that need to be worked through.  Just really loved this all the way around.

To Have and To Hold: Nalini Singh

To Have and To HoldAuthor: Nalini Singh
Book Name: To Have and To Hold*
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Good
3+stars

 

Blurb:  The pact Jessica Randall makes with wealthy New Zealand rancher Gabe Dumont is simple: in exchange for marriage and an heir, he will save her family property. It’s calculating and completely devoid of any tenderness, just like the man himself. But things soon get very complicated as secrets and mistrust, jealousy and ultimatums take over, threatening Jessica’s ability to maintain her emotional distance. Worst of all, the sizzling attraction between them is suddenly making this marriage of convenience decidedly inconvenient!

A Reader Favorite Story originally published as BOUND BY MARRIAGE.

Review:  This has a very different style when it comes to a Nalini Singh book and I struggled with trying not to hold it up to all the others of hers that I’ve read and loved.  Even knowing the voices she uses in her two fantasy series and her Rock Kiss series are very different from each other, they still have this underlying unity that allows a reader to know it is a Nalini Singh book.  I had a very difficult time picking up that voice in this book.  I actually had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t written by another, lesser liked author as it had some similar tones that I don’t typically like.

Ms. Singh is no stranger to writing amazing dark and broken heroes, but Gabe is on a whole other level and I didn’t like him all that much.  It was hard to tie the scarred and broken Gabe into anything that Jessica could actually love.  Not with what very little she was given to work with.  Jessica was also hard to like as a character because she completely failed to stand up for herself until the very end.  Sorry, but no land or family legacy is worth selling yourself for.

One of the things that I’ve always loved about a Nalini Singh book is that they stand out from a typical romance, both in amazing characters that are full of personality on all kinds of different levels and a stellar story line that, even when I’ve reached the end of the book, I’m not ready to let it go.  This book was lacking in those elements and landed squarely into the standard level for a romance novel with just a decent story and okay characters.

*Please not that apparently this book has been published under two different names.  I’m reviewing under the title I read, but it was also published as Bound by Marriage.

Archangel’s Enigma: Guild Hunters, Book 8

Archangel's EnigmaAuthor: Nalini Singh
Book Name: Archangel’s Enigma
Series: Guild Hunters
Order: #8
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Excellent
5+stars

 

Blurb:  Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required—those more common to predatory animals than to man.

Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets is fascinated by his nature—at once playful and brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it’s too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows…and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare…

Review:  Absolutely loved this!

I think that Naasir became my favorite character in this entire series.  His wild innocence makes him this deadly adorable mix that is undeniably wonderful.

Andromeda is no slouch.  She is this bright, strong character that is a perfect balance to Naasir.  While Naasir is a bit more in your face with his personality, Andromeda is much more subtle.

One of the many things that I love about this series is that with each book you get more from the other favorite characters, but they are rarely just cameo appearances.  They have vital parts to the story.  This book is no different and I loved what we see going on with Illium.

This is one of those series that I hate having to wait to get more.

Shards of Hope: Psy-Changeling, Book 14

Shards of HopeAuthor: Nalini Singh
Book Name: Shards of Hope
Series: Psy-Changeling
Order: #14
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Excellent
5+stars

 

Blurb:  Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.


And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what. This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

Review:  Love, love, LOVED it.  Yet again, Nalini Singh shows that she is an example to follow when it comes to writing a truly excellent fantasy novel.

The world she created for the Psy-Changeling series is amazingly done.  There are so many times where something that would have, under any other author, blown my ability to stay enmeshed and believing in the stories right out of the water, but she always follows through and makes it work so smoothly that I don’t even realize it until much later and I think back on how well she crafts her stories.

I adore the blend of cultures she has created for this world and that each one has their own unique abilities and vulnerabilities.  I have to say that my favorites are the changelings.  Though we didn’t get to spend as much time with them in this book, I was not disappointed.  We did get to see how much the world has begun to change after the fall of Silence and the fact that it impacts more than just the Psy.

Both Aden and Zaira in this book are strong characters and I love that, even with Silence in place while they were young and becoming Arrows, they stayed connected and loyal to each other.  Their story has some similar characteristics we’ve seen out of other Psy pair stories from this series in the past, but it is still very unique.  Even though this is book 14 in the series, it is far from cookie cutter.

Zaira has her damage and with that, her doubts, but they way Ms. Singh brings her to life in this story still allows her to have those doubts without the character becoming so doubt filled she is unable to still be an amazingly strong character.  That is sort of a signature in her writing and a facet that I love about all of her books.

I really enjoyed the revelation of Aden’s actual strength and his uniqueness.  It makes me wonder if his abilities are hints at what some of the Forgotten children, that are mentioned in passing in this book, will develop in later books.  Lots of new potential for new, future, issues were hinted at and I’m anxious to see where the next book is going to take us.

 

 

June 2015 Releases

June has quite a few new titles that I’m looking forward to.  Not all are on my purchase list, but they are definitely books that I’ve been anxiously awaiting their release.

Shards of HopeAuthor: Nalini Singh
Book Name: Shards of Hope
Series: Psy-Changeling
Order: #14
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date:  June 2, 2015

 

 

Dead IceAuthor: Laurell K. Hamilton
Book Name: Dead Ice
Series: Anita Blake
Order: #24
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date:  June 9, 2015

 

 

Song of Midnight EmbersAuthor: Dana Marie Bell
Book Name: Song of Midnight Embers
Series: Maggie’s Grove
Order: #4
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date:  June 22, 2015

 

 

Ride SteadyAuthor: Kristen Ashley
Book Name: Ride Steady
Series: Chaos
Order: #3
Genre: Romance
Release Date:  June 30, 2015