Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter Series #2)

Archangel's Kiss  - Nalini Singh Originally posted at Alive or Undead.Rating: 5My opinion: I literally just finished Archangel's Kiss and I have to wake up in less than 5 hours for a long day, but I needed to pour my feelings into a review, because there's an overload. Well, not an overload, not really. Just a need, one that doesn't overtake me, but doesn't go away either. I think I liked this book better than the first one. It was amazing, to be honest. I had already read her Psy-Changeling series and I must say, I love Nalini's writing. I love her multiple POVs. I love the dangerous male leads and kickass female protagonists. I love the universal roots for all the characters, no discrimination and a clear worldwide culture, plus making each single entity unforgettable. I even love her clear obsession with possession. What I have yet to read is a homosexual or bisexual character in her novels (not-so-secretly shipping Aiden and Vasic in P-C), but she doesn't really stand against them either. And, even if not all of her books earn a full five stars rating, she never disappoints. Like it or not, her books are always her. Her unique mark is in every one of them, filling the page with exceptional writing and crossing boundaries. Not only Raphael and Elena's stories are extremely well-thought, so are the ones for the secondary characters, and even some who are not even allowed that spot. I feel like the author could write a spin-off for all the characters. We're teased with some stories like Jason's or Aodhan's in a big level, but we're also given little but powerful information by just looking into a reborn's eyes. It's wonderful because we know there's a whole world there—a story to be uncovered, one Nalini Singh knows—, but we can't reach it. And we want to, at least I really do. The fact that she's written so many book and just as much short-stories is proof enough. But, like I said, it's in the eyes, the fake smiles and the ones they're trying to hide. You see it in the way characters move, when they speak and when they remain silent. It's a whole thing many may not recognize, but I'm sure everyone enjoys it regardless of their ignorance. I feel like the summary for the book is misleading, and at the same time it's incredibly accurate. Lijuan's ball is a very short, yet meaningful, event by the end of the book. It's a resolution for all that happened during the first 85% of the book, which is Elena's awakening. That's the only way I can name it. Archangel's Kiss is the story of the beginning of this character's journey of her new immortal life as an angel. She has to learn how to fight and fly, but first she has to actually be able to walk. And it's not all physical. She may have wings now, but her heart and mind are still very much human. And she knows NOTHING of life as this new species she's become. It's like we learn with her, not only follow her but are a part of every step she takes. Once again, I'm stunned by how strong she is. Like Raphael once thinks, where many may see a weak being—because she is—, he sees a warrior, a woman who won't give up. It's inspiring, and somehow different of so many badass, tough leading females in all genres. She's not only strong because she kicks ass and has some brave comebacks. She outwits everyone with her intelligence and ability to admit weakness, and becomes better and not worse for it. The same happens with Raphael. From the very beginning he has accepted the weakness Elena represents, yet he embraces it. For a male, arrogant, powerful love interest to admit reaching the place of a god is to lose yourself, it's wow. Yes, just wow. Another thing the description got right is that this book challenges Raphael and Elena in a whole new level. Because they may love, would sacrifice anything for each other, but they don't really know each other. Not enough. I like that Nalini made a point of this, because it's true. So many author have had their characters fall in love but never explaining the why they would work, the how. I think that this was accomplished here. By the end of the book I can safely say that they're not just a Guild hunter and the Archangel of New York. They're Elena and Raphael, a team. If one falls, so does the other. There's an understanding, a trust that wasn't there before. They confide each other with their darkest secrets, some never spoken of. And, of course, they have some sexy scenes really swoon-worthy. I mean, seriously, h-a-w-t. They even have the advantage of having sensitive wings. We have yet to see them dancing in the skies, angel style. But I can see it in a not-so-far away future. I was about to give this a lesser rating because it took me some days with lots of stops where I could've been reading, but then I remembered that every single time I took the book again I was instantly hooked. I will dare to say that there wasn't one scene that was uninteresting, even if it wasn't always the higher of paces. It was not necessary addictive, but all the better for it. I didn't need to read this book, I just wanted to. That is simply awesome for me. Anyhow, this was both a closure and a beginning. I feel like I was given the answer to a lot of my questions, while I also got the sense that I know need more answers and want more questions. I will, indeed, be following Raphael and Elena's future adventures. I also wouldn't mind to know more about Venom—or any of the Seven, really—, and give Bluebell a HEA.“They call us immortals, but we, too, eventually end up dust on the sands of time.”