Nalini Singh is a NYT Bestselling author with three wildly popular series. is the story of Janvier and Ashwini. They have been a couple, yet not a couple, for many books starting with Angel’s Pawn. It is book seven in the Guild Hunter series.
Jen: Time for my confession of the day. Though Ms. Singh’s Psy/Changeling series is probably her most popular series, I adore the Guild Hunter series with everything in me. I actually like it more than Psy/Changeling. I think the reason is because it has a central couple with Elena and Raphael. Though it has that central couple we have seen several of Raphael’s seven find their mates. This story is not about one of his seven or about Elena and Raphael, but about another couple readers have been waiting for.
Angela: Yessssss! I love this series. I adore Elena and Raphael, but then again I’ve loved every book in this series. Even when it’s not about the central couple. When I heard this release would feature Javier and Ashwini I had to refresh my memory and go back and do a reread of Angel’s Pawn. My confession… I was a little bummed that we would have to wait longer for a more well known character. I am a little desperate for Blue Bell or Sparkle at this point. Or Blue Bell AND Sparkle. I wouldn’t be adverse to that happening. 🙂
Janvier and Ashwini:
Angela: So I had that thought before I started and then I was completely wowed by the opening scene. Completely blown away. I think I went back and reread it four times. Even if readers haven’t read Angel’s Pawn and this is the introduction they get to this couple I think they will be entranced from the very first page. I know I was.
“No apologies between us, sugar,” Janvier said and, scooping her up in his arms, ran up the stairs.
Janvier has wanted Ashwini for a while. They’ve played this cat and mouse game with each other, but they’ve always had a deep attraction. Their romance in Archangel’s Shadow is a slow build and it takes quite a bit before they ever consummate their physical relationship, but wow. The things Janvier thinks about her will make you sigh.
Because she was very much his lover, even if they’d never been skin to skin. The idea of being with any other woman after he met her had simply been out of the question.
While this book is much slower paced than the previous release, I thought it was exactly what was needed after the epic battle at the heart of Archangel’s Legion. All the underlying plot threads kept me thoroughly engaged. Ashwini’s personal struggles and her case with Janvier being what kept my interest the most.
Jen: Going in, I had heard it was a slower pace but I didn’t mind at all. I loved how Janvier and Ashwini were the main story but we got so much of everyone else. Yes, their romance is slow to develop, IN THIS BOOK, but we have been following this couple for so long. The build-up was incredible. By this point, we knew they were perfect for each other.
“You can drink my blood.” The words came out slurred, but she got off another shot when a clatter of sound betrayed an enemy vamp who’d poked up his head. It bought them a few more seconds. “For strength.”
“I would love to.” Pulse thudding against her as her face fell into his neck, the guns hanging limp from her fingers, he said, “But I’d rather you were sucking my cock at the time.”
And like you said, Janvier sure had some sigh worthy comments. What a smooth talker.
“No thanks between us, Ashwini. No balance sheet.”
Jen: So while the main part of the story is about Janvier and Ashwini, there are a lot other things going on. Archangel’s Legion introduced the Legion who are now loyal to Elena and Raphael. We see things going on with them such as their acclimation and the building of a new house to fit all seven hundred and seventy-seven of them. There is interaction between them and Elena that shows parts they might play in future stories.
There is also the lingering issues the war with Lijuan caused. The plot to this book is based upon something done by Lijuan yet everyone has to figure out what it was and who is doing it.
Angela: I think there is always a lot going on in this series. Every new release just builds on the ongoing story arc and now between the after effects of the battle with Lijuan, the Legion and even Raphael’s mother’s reappearance I’m wondering how long this story arc will go on. It seems endless, there is still so much to be resolved.
Angela: Oh, Naasir. So weird, so blood thirsty, so unique and wonderful. I have to know what the heck Naasir actually is. Nalini Singh has a gift for creating truly original characters and then only giving readers bits and pieces of their backstory to piece together until they finally get their own story. Naasir almost stole the show for me.
From Dmitri’s flashbacks of his childhood:
He’d never forget what Naasir had said to him when Dmitri yelled that he didn’t intend to bury another child and that Naasir needed to have a care for his life.
“Am I a person, Dmitri? Will you be said if I die?”
To his own perception of himself:
Naasir’s gaze was oddly solemn when he lifted his lashes. “I’m different, Ash. Deep inside. I’ll never be like other men.”
“I’m different, too,” she whispered. “Janvier loves me exactly as I am.”
I have fallen for him and can’t wait to see what Nalini Singh has in store for him as the series progresses.
Jen: Talk about a character coming out of nowhere! And I love him. 🙂 Aodhan is still my favorite but Naasir is making a valiant attempt to take his place. I am exactly like Elena and I can’t control my curiosity about him. I still think he has time before he finds his mate but won’t it be fun to watch him look?
“No,” Naasir said definitively. “I want a mate and I’ve decided to go hunting for her. The little angel didn’t smell like her.”
Elena and Raphael:
Jen: One of my favorite couples in all of romanceland and this book was packed full of goodness for them. We have seen them start to evolve as a couple and become stronger together. With the emergence of the Legion and their new roles in Elena and Raphael’s lives, we see where they might be heading in the future. Raphael might be the youngest Archangel but with Elena, Caliane and the Legion, he could easily be the strongest. I really hope the next book is more about them.
Angela: I love the relationship that has developed between this couple over the course of seven books. I love that they stick together no matter what. I love that even as Raphael and Elena develop new powers and defeat their enemies they value each other above all else. Elena is becoming stronger in her angelic form and Raphael is becoming a bit more human through his love for Elena. (just a bit though) There is literally nothing I don’t adore about this couple. I’m hoping we get another full length novel with them as the main characters soon.
Angela: While not my absolute favorite of the series I thought this was another fantastic addition to the Guild Hunter series. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the next book will be back to our favorite couple or if another one of the seven is up next. Still keeping my fingers crossed for Bluebell. Final grade- B+
Jen: I really enjoyed this latest Guild Hunter book. It didn’t rate as high as E/R or one of Raphael’s seven but it was still pretty impressive. The story arc is satisfactorily advanced and we see the city deal with the fallout of previous books all the while building for the future. Fans of the series will love this one and left waiting with great anticipation for the next book from this fan favorite. Final grade B+
Jen’s Favorite Quote:
“So, I ask and I receive. You’re in a generous mood.”
“Don’t get too cocky, cuddlebunny.”
His grin was bright. “What’s a cuddlebunny?” he asked, genuinely curious.
“You, at the moment. Sexy, non?”
Angela’s Favorite Quote:
The things he said. The things he meant.
Releasing her grip on the cotton of his tee, she slid her hand into his hair, tugged down his head, and kissed him soft and sweet and with every ounce of the heartbreaking emotion inside her. It lasted for a fleeting fragment of time and it changed the world.