(Guild Hunter #5)
Release: September 4, 2012
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.Review:
Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.
With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.
First of all, can we pause for a moment to appreciate that epic synopsis? Whoever writes the blurbs for Nalini's books sure knows how to make them sound exciting, that's for sure.
Archangel's Storm is the fifth installment in Singh's Guild Hunter series and this one centers on Raphael's spymaster, Jason. In previous books we have seen Jason as a shadowy figure who brings Raphael needed information. He is not a character I was dying to read about since his part in the past has been minimal, but this book turned out to be my favorite in the series since book one!
Jason is indeed dark and shadowy, but he is also strong, loyal, wise, and deep. His childhood was traumatic and he spent time as a mute by choice which has led to him now being a man of few words whose trust you must work hard to earn. I really liked his character a lot and I especially loved the way he treated the heroine.
Our heroine is new to the series, a member of archangel Neha's family and a princess in her court named Mahiya. She has been almost like a prisoner in Neha's court, hated and abused but then expected to act like a princess. She was strong and able to keep secrets and I felt like she was a perfect match for Jason. She had experienced a crazy childhood and over that they could bond.
Readers might remember Neha as the archangel based in India. Over the course of the last couple books we have seen her start to lose her cool, so to speak, after a series of events that led to the death of her daughter, Anoushka. The fact that this story is mostly set at Neha's palace in India was a big draw for me because I love Indian culture and loved everything about this setting. After all the other stories in this series have been set mainly in New York and focused on Raphael's Tower, it was a breath of fresh air to see how another archangel ran her territory and to spend some time in her court.
Jason and Mahiya's relationship is slow and steady for a while. They have both experienced tragedy and its left them each kind of empty and afraid of love. What I loved here was their growing attraction, their mutual respect and adoration, and how their trust developed slowly and at a believable rate. When they first met they were not instantly attracted to each other. Their love grew and the sexual attraction came with that. (Of course, because its Nalini Singh, we get some awesome and hot sex scenes!) I was completely drawn into their relationship, especially Jason's attempt to keep Mahiya at arm's length despite the fact that he was clearly deeply in love with her.
"Mahiya, don't see more in me than there is."
She tilted her head a fraction to the side. "Perhaps I am my mother's daughter after all - I have decided on you, Jason. And if that is a foolish choice, it is also one I will never regret."
He clamped his hand over her wrist when she would've turned away, holding her to him. Instead of struggling, she stilled, her eyes glimmering with determination and another emotion far more dangerous.
"I can't give you what you want," he repeated, some unknown thing tearing and ripping inside him at the thought of having to sever his connection to her, when it was the first time in his life he'd trusted even a part of himself to a lover.
[...] "Will it be enough to love and not be loved?" he asked, knowing it was a brutal question. "To give and never receive?"
Her smile grew impossibly more luminous. "You have no idea what you give me."
This Guild Hunter book is a little different than the previous books with the fresh setting and the sweet and reluctant love shared by the main characters, and keeps the series from becoming monotonous and repetitive. Lovers of this series will not be disappointed with this one!
Recommended for fans of: paranormal romance, angel stories, broken characters, stories with palace and court settings, Indian culture, and other Nalini Singh books.