The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…
Book 0.6: Angels’ Pawn
Book 1: Angels’ Blood
Book 2: Archangel’s Kiss
Book 3: Archangel’s Consort
Book 4: Archangel’s Blade
Book 5: Archangel’s Storm
Book 6: Archangel’s Legion
Book 7: Archangel’s Shadows
Book 8: Archangel’s Enigma
Book 9: Archangel’s Heart
Seriously. Between this one and Archangel’s Shadows, that I haven’t reviewed yet, I’m not sure what’s going on with me. But it does give me a handy excuse to re-read the series…because I could never just re-read the two books that need reviews. Nooo. That would be impossible. Nicely, I’ve also been re-reading with a bunch of friends over at Goodreads – some who’ve read the series/books before and some newbies. It’s always so much fun to talk about books with other people, I’m enjoying this series more than ever.
Having just finished this book I can see why it didn’t get a review from me the first half-dozen times I’d read it. It’s beyond emotional, beyond heart-wrenching, it breaks me every single time, over and over again.
Trigger warnings: Captivity, rape, abuse, violence against children (and innocents)
Not only does Honor have to overcome a vicious history, that struck me on many different visceral levels, but Dmitri’s past is just as horrific. These two characters are damaged. But what works for me is that they’re handled with care. Dmitri and Honor are who they are, they’ve been hurt – beyond belief – and came out the other side. Not always for the better, but they came through. And sometimes that’s enough to give you time to get better. Better might not be what one would think before such atrocities have touched their lives, it might not be sunshine and roses, but it can be happiness, security, love, and contentment.
And because this book does give them love and happiness again, without making it perfect and, worse, as if the trauma in their lives never happened, I absolutely adore this book. Even while I rage against and my heart cracks from the pain that each is suffering, I’m completely invested in seeing them both find a way through. It’s not easy, and Dmitri makes one horrible move, but I even liked how that was handled between the characters. It could have been unforgivable, and in the hands of a lot of people would have been. Some readers might find it unforgivable still. It worked for me though, because the contrition was immediate and forgiveness asked for without pride.
Though the world is still the same, amazing world that we’ve been living in for the past three novels, and the plot is tragic and suspenseful, the real draw here is the characters. I’ve loved and been excited for Dmitri’s book for a long time. He was the broken one, with more than a touch of cruelty, that I wanted to see have some happiness again. So I was a little surprised when it turned out to be Honor that I adored and fell in love with.
This woman has a core of strength that, quite frankly, astonishes me. I related to her, though my experiences have never been anywhere near this level, and I loved watching the way she fought to come back from it. It wasn’t easy, wasn’t gentle, and she needed some of the tough, no-nonsense treatment that she got from others, but she fought to be herself again, to show them that they didn’t get to own the rest of her life, no matter what they’d done. From the first moment we meet her, where she’s not sure she wants to step out into the world again and some small piece of pride pushes her to take that first, hesitant move, I adored her. I understand her. I love her. She deserves everything she fought so hard to achieve in this book.
And Dmitri is lucky to have her. Luckily, he knows it.
This book battered me at points, thankfully it gave just as many happy, sigh-worthy moments as well. I loved it, beginning to end.