Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…
A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.
The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.
An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…
One of my favorite passages: "You asked me once what you should call me."
Elena scowled. "I think you said something like 'master,' but I've decided I had to be hearing things."
"What would you like to call me?"
That made her pause. "Husband" was too human, "partner" factually wrong for a being as powerful as an archangel, "mate"...perhaps. But none of it was quite right. "Mine," she said at last.
He blinked, and when he raised his lashes again, the blue was liquid fire. Yes, that will do. "But for public consumption, you are my consort."
Raphael and Elena are back in New York, the city he rules and the place that has been Elena's home all her life. Elena is stronger now, physically, than she was in the beginning of Archangel's Kiss, but she's still nowhere near as strong as she needs to be to hold her own against ancient vampires and powerful archangels. Vampires begin attacking all over the city, weather has gone crazy all over the world and even archangels are beginning to act strangely. None of this bodes well for the world but especially for Elena and Raphael. Add to that Elena still dealing with the painful memories of her past and the hateful attitude of her father while still trying to be there for the sisters who need her and the city and friends that she has sworn to protect as her own and Elena has herself a full plate.
I have always loved the relationships and interactions of the characters in Ms. Singh's books. The supporting cast of characters are always well formed and bring a life to the story that it just wouldn't have without them. Raphael's seven are devoutly loyal to him and we see more of them in this book. Elena's friends would walk through fire for her and she feels the same about them. We get more interaction between Elena and Sara, Ransom, other guild hunters and Elena's family. One thing that irritates me slightly is how Elena's family continually puts their crap on her and she just takes it. I would love for her to one day put them in their place. We also see Elena dealing with the realities of becoming an angel: knowing she will outlive her friends, how people on the street and even people she once worked with now view her and how much more she has to learn. I really enjoyed that aspect. Elena may have made Raphael a little more human, but he's definitely brought a huge amount of change to her own life as well.
With all the craziness going on and the imminent awakening of Raphael's mother, Raphael begins to act oddly and Elena is there to ride the storm with him. That is something I adore about their relationship. There is never a question of walking away, of not riding the storm with each other. Sometimes it's painful, sometimes it's ugly, but their bond is bone deep and shines with a purity that is simply breathtaking. I enjoy that they don't say the words "I love you" all the time. There's no need and they would seem rather pale in the light of what they feel, the lengths they would go for each other. I give much love to Ms. Singh for letting this series be darker and edgier than many romances. Their love is not a gentle thing, but then they are two strong-willed warriors and nothing is ever easy for them.
Final Grade: A
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