Redonk Nutshell: Highly skilled vampire hunter is contracted by a powerful Archangel to hunt down a rogue supernatural killer

Here’s the low down on why I picked up this puppy.  I was intrigued by Archangel’s Blade, the newer release in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, but it’s the 4th in the series.  And I’m something of a stickler about following chronological order, if I can.  So I picked up the first, Angels’ Blood, from my library and began to devour what would gradually become a favored series of mine.

So. Here we go.

Angels’ Blood is the story of Elena Deveraux, a vampire hunter that works for the Guild: a  collection of specially skilled humans that track rogue vampires.  Vampires are created by angels, and the angels and their progeny are kept in line by the Cadre of Ten, ten Archangels that rule with ultimate authority.  When Elena is contracted by Raphael, the Archangel of New York, she is both terrified and intrigued.  But Elena is not easily cowed, even by a supernatural entity that has the power to crush her with the briefest of exhales.

“Power. 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.”

Thus begins the elaborate dance between Elena and Raphael as they work together to track down what Elena is led to believe is an immensely deranged rogue vampire.  What Raphael doesn’t tell her is that it’s no vampire – it’s an Archangel gone off his rocker.

Elena is nothing but kick-ass at what she does.  She fears little, though she is haunted by her violent past.  Her ability to scent vampires makes her one of the best in her field, the primary reason Raphael chose her for his task of hunting down his fellow Archangel.  What Elena doesn’t count on is her unending attraction to the dangerous THING that is Raphael.  Raphael himself is something entirely “other,” and his own pull toward Elena not only intrigues him but also disturbs his Seven – the closest fellow angels and vampires he trusts with his life and his domain.

What we get is a fantastically bloody and sensual trip down paranormal fiction lane.  Angels’ Blood straddles the line between paranormal and urban fiction, incorporating the best of each into one.  Our characters are uber-alphas, each not taking any sh*t from anyone, including the other.  Which, of course, makes for some interesting discourse.

I liked Angels’ Blood, but it wasn’t rocking my world while I was reading it.  When I continued to read on into the series it grew on me, aging finely like an old wine in an ancient oak barrel.  I see myself re-reading the first now that I’ve read all the Guild Hunter books, and I’m imagining that I’ll enjoy really seeing how these two begin and evolve.

Violent, gritty and sensual, Angels’ Blood is a fun start to a wonderful series.

Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh, 339 pgs, 3/3/9

Rating: B

Romance: 2/5            Raunch: 3.5/5

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