Guild Hunter, Book #10
By Nalini Singh
Author’s Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
Archangel’s Viper takes place at the same time as the previous installment, Archangel’s Heart. Raphael is in Morocco with Elena and the rest of the Cadre. So Dmitri is in charge when trouble arises.
Venom just got recalled to the tower after being away for a couple of years. However, his ride from their private airfield got stuck in traffic, so Holly got the call to go pick up the irritating (to her) vampire. But on their way back to the tower a trio of thugs attempts to abduct Holly, not expecting her to have the lethal vampire with her. They discover that someone has put a five million dollar bounty on Holly’s head. Now they must work together to find out who is behind the bounty and to eliminate the threat once and for all.
Meanwhile, the otherness inside of her is growing and Holly is scared what it means and knows that her days could very well be numbered.
I really enjoyed this book. I’ve discovered that I always like the books about the other members of Raphael’s Seven more than I do the ones that feature him and Elena anymore. I think because the Raphael and Elena books have lost their romance and spark over time and are more political now. I love Venom though and knew his book would be a hit for me, and I wasn’t disappointed! I was a bit disenchanted to hear that his love interest was going to be Holly/Sorrow though. I expected her to be weak and boring, but I was pleasantly surprised!
Venom was a big part of Holly’s training after she was rescued from Uram’s torture, but he hasn’t been as big of a part of her development as he would have liked since he’s been gone. However, he plans to make up for lost time. She is the closest creation to him in their world and feels he’s best equipped to help her grow into her power. He’s found the other trainers have used kid gloves around her, but not him. He knows she won’t break and pushes her in ways the others don’t.
This book kept my interest throughout and I enjoyed watching the romance slowly develop. Holly didn’t like Venom in the beginning. But as she spent time with him, she saw the beauty within him, even when she didn’t want to.
“Venom didn’t answer until they’d crossed the street, his body moving with liquid grace. Holly couldn’t help it; she watched him. There was something deadly about Venom. Not just power, but him. She wondered if he’d been like this as a human, too, dangerous and beautiful.
She blinked, shook her head. Obviously, if she was starting to think Venom beautiful, it was time to break her self-imposed celibacy and go get laid.”
I loved the way these two interacted, how they teased and needled each other. It was just a lot of fun.
“They let you drive now?” he said in a wondering tone of voice calibrated to get under her skin. “I leave for a couple of years and miss kitty’s first steps. Did anyone take photos for the baby album I sent you?”
“It’s full of pretty pictures.” Holly bared her teeth at him in a caricature of a smile. “Honor is a little concerned about how I keep drawing you with your head cut off,” she said in a deliberately thoughtful tone, “but an artist must follow her instincts.”
We also saw Holly develop in Venom’s eyes from the little girl they rescued to a beautiful and colorful young woman. Holly forced him to face his past and to feel things he never wanted to feel again, things that put his heart at risk. I loved watching how Venom took care of her, from feeding her, helping her develop her skills, to protecting her from potential threats, and then to tend to her when it all goes wrong.
I also enjoyed watching how the feared Dmitri was around Holly. He was a friend, a protector, and truly like a father to her. I liked how he threatened Venom if any harm came to her while they went on their mission for answers. And, I like knowing that Dmitri will always look out for her and keep Venom on his toes!
This was another fun and emotional story featuring one of the seven and I can’t wait to see the other members of that close knit group get their stories and loves as well. And, of course I hope we see more glimpses of Venom and Holly in the future!