I was kind of surprised when it was announced that Venom would be the next member of Raphael’s Seven to get his own book. Maybe I’m too focused on Bluebell and Sparkle? Because yeah, I’m still on the Bluebell and Sparkle forever train. That’s not to say that I wasn’t intrigued by Venom and his uniqueness, I just, you know was focused elsewhere. Then I found out that Holly aka Sorrow would be his heroine and I was like… okay, you got me.
As far as timing, Archangel’s Viper takes place during the events of the previous installment, Archangel’s Heart. So you won’t see much of Raphael, and no Elena or Aodhan. The Tower has been left in the capable hands of Dmitri, Honor, and Illium. Venom is back in town and he and Holly pick up right where they left off sniping at each other and exchanging insults. So much so that I kind of wondered how this lust and love thing would develop between them. They are paired together pretty much from the get go when it comes to their attention that a bounty has been put on Holly’s head and someone wants her taken alive. But that’s not the only thing they have to worry about. Holly’s powers are growing and although she has fought hard to contain whatever Uram left inside her during his torturous last moments before Raphael ended his life, she worries that some day she will become too dangerous and therefore a liability.
Venom and Holly are both unique to the Vampire/Angel world. He is a vampire of only about 350 years who was made in the Archangel Neha’s court and bears many similarities to the vipers and cobras she is able to call. I didn’t know much about his background prior to Archangel’s Viper, but Ms. Sigh does an excellent job of allowing his backstory to trickle onto the page throughout the book so that by the end I really felt like I got to know him. Holly, if you remember, was the lone survivor of the Archangel Uram’s bloody rampage that ended when Raphael defeated him in the skies about New York in the first book in the series, Angel’s Blood. She is still living with the nightmares, but has decided to live life again and has embraced her family and is working and training at the Tower. No one really knows how Uram changed her with his blood. She doesn’t fit into any box and has abilities unseen in other vampires. They really are a perfect match for each other.
Their romance is slow and develops quite naturally. Two people who have suffered and come out the other side so different from where they started. Stronger, yet scarred by their memories and experiences. Their uniqueness and ability to accept each other as equals is what draws them to each other. I wasn’t too sure of them as a couple when the book opened, but by the last page I was a Venom/Holly fangirl. Their romance really was quite lovely.
Now that the only remaining members of the Seven are Illium and Aodhan, I’m hoping we won’t have to wait too long for their story. (Yes, I said story, as in one) I can’t imagine a more epic, romantic, passionate love story than these friends falling into love and realizing they are each other’s forever. Doesn’t that just sound amazing? Final Grade-B-
“Tushar.” That was all it took. His name. His long-ago true name on her lips and his back bowed as he lost control for the first time in hundreds of years.”