ARCHANGEL'S KISS continues from where Angels' Blood left off with Elena waking from her year-long coma (I prefer to think of it as healing sleep) to rise as a newly-made angel. Wow.
Didn't see that coming, right?
Well played, Ms. Singh.
*** minor spoiler alert for those who haven't read Angels' Blood ***
I guess what I can't get over was the devotion Elena inspired in Raphael, to the point that he was willing to die with her than chose to live eternity without her.
That was, like, wow. I read that scene over and over, for what seems to be like at least five times.
*** end spoiler alert ***
Normally, when the hero and heroine get together, that's the end of the book, that's what we term the HEA. Well, HEA is very misleading, because as we know, the beginning of a relationship is where the hard work comes in. In this book, Ms. Singh takes us into the dynamics of Raphael's and Elena's very fragile relationship, where they have to learn each other's boundaries and idiosyncrasies, and learn the give and take of any relationship. More so especially where Raphael is an archangel, so high above in stature than a mere angel, how much more a newly-made baby angel. Not that there's anything "baby" about her.
And there's Raphael's draw--Archangel, very powerful, very beautiful. And most women readers would identify with (and as) Elena, in thinking, "How could this very powerful Archangel want me?"
Not that Elena allowed Raphael to run roughshod over her. She very wisely knew that if she allowed Raphael liberties now that she normally wouldn't (like Raphael taking over her mind), then their relationship's foundation would be weak, and it wouldn't bode well for their future. I think it helps that Elena has a very strong personality as well, due in part to her profession as a hunter.
Raphael and Elena's developing romance aside, evil is brewing in the Refuge, with a power-hungry angel making trouble among the Cadre in a bid for an Archangel seat. They have to find out who the perpetrator is that would hurt even innocent children. And then, there's the problem of Lijuan (Archangel of China) who is said to be playing god and raising the dead...
Action-packed and suspenseful, Nalini Singh takes you on a sweet ride from the first page to the last, as you learn and discover more about the angelic world together with Elena. I love the scenes where Elena trains with the Seven (Raphael's trusted group of powerful angels), and I wish there were more of them. I thought it's realistic that the Seven didn't immediately "love" Elena, and that they gave her a hard time. Of course, they'd want to test her, to make sure she is worthy of their sire, because ultimately, they are loyal to Raphael and would view anyone or anything that weakens him as a threat. I can't wait though for the day when Elena fully wins them over.
"Love was an agony beyond compare."
Looking forward to reading the next book, Archangel's Consort.