Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best - but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option - even if the task is impossible. Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad. The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other - and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break.
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Not having read anything but this Author, the reviews are what tempted me to give it a try. I am not a fan of cheesy romances or books of this genre that can be just one sexual escape after another. I mean, come on, how bout a page turning plot that happens to have a hot romantic story to it too. And this is what Singh delivers. This book is sexy and riviting with an interesting original take on the angel/vampire story. I found this writer much better than others like Christine Feehan or Karen Moning who i found utterly predictable and boring. Loved it. So much so that i went out and bought the second of the series (which was equally well written!) Shame on Audible for not carring more books from this series. i have every intention of looking into the psy/changling series by Singh through other vendors. You wont regret dropping a credit on this one.
Finally finished listening to the story this morning. Ugh. I think this was supposed to be a romantic adventure, but it felt like a horror novel through and through. I didn't like any of the characters, and I had serious issues with the ethics and morals of pretty much everyone in this story. They were either actively evil, amoral, or supporting the activities of said evil and amoral characters.
I should have stopped when I hit the end of part one, and Elena, our supposedly-intrepid vampire hunter chick, still hadn't actually started the job she'd been hired to do in chapter two...hunt down a serial-killer angel. Instead, Elena spent most of Part 1 trying to fend off Raphael, the creepy, possessive, sexual-predator "hero," who spends the first half of the book mind-raping her, stalking her, and sexually harassing her. He's the one who hires her for her unique talent in hunting down runaway slave vampires, but then he keeps her from doing her job because he really wants to have sex with her and make her "his toy." (That's actually how he refers to her.)
So many things wrong with this book. A "hero" who implausibly (as in, we're told this but don't see any actual evidence of his character change) falls in love with our supposedly-spunky (read, rude and mouthy for no good reason) heroine after she repeatedly tells him "no" to his various attempts to seduce her.
In the course of the story, Raphael takes advantage of his position as the ruler of New York to do various creepy things like taking control of Elena's mind, feeding her aphrodisiacs, repeatedly groping her, kidnapping her, and oh, yeah, turning her into a supernatural being at the end of the book quite against her stated will (in fact, she pleads with him not to do it). And all of this is presented as somehow okay and romantic because the author tells us it's True Love. I dunno--on *my* planet, if someone has power over another person, and keeps making unwelcome sexual advances despite being told "no," that's harassment and sexual assault.
And Raphael is supposed to be the romantic lead, the "good guy." The "bad guy" angel is a predictably over-the-top serial killer, but we don't spend much of the book focusing on him, so his characterization and motivations are sketchy at best. Honestly, this would have been a more satisfying story if Raphael had been the bad guy, and Elena finally managed to get rid of her stalker and overthrow the angels. Instead, she eventually decides that his pretty blue eyes and bulging biceps excuse the mind-rape and other indignities, and falls in love with him.
And the world-building, which had a lot of potential for conflict--despotic, frequently-cruel angels who are the absolute rulers over mankind, with vampires as the angels' slaves and bond-servants--is used by the author merely to create a circumstance under which our spunky heroine finds it impossible to refuse the hero's job offer or to slap him with a restraining order. Otherwise, there's really no exploration of a fundamentally unjust society ruled by an oligarchy of supernatural tyrants who can murder, rape, and otherwise do whatever they want to mere humans without consequence. A vampire slave who tries to break free of their angelic masters is recaptured or killed by vampire hunters, like our heroine, humans who are actively supporting the angelic tyranny. And the angels have no oversight and very little compassion for their subjects. Might makes right in this universe, and the angels are the mightiest so if they say something's okay, it's okay. For example, when the serial-killer angel goes off the rails, there's a concerted effort to cover up the true extent of his crimes, and keep the oppressed masses in ignorance. And this is presently as a perfectly okay thing by all the characters.
In short, this was a novel filled with unsympathetic characters, sexual assaults disguised as romance, and poorly-thought-out moral conflicts. Add to this mess a narrator with a flat, nasal voice, and I'm really glad I picked this up during one of the $4.95 sales and didn't pay full price for it.