Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1)

By Nalini Singh

82,212 ratings - 4.07* vote

USA Today bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a world of beauty and bloodlust, where angels hold sway over vampires…Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she’s the best—but she doesn’t know if she’s good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear—failure is no USA Today bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a world of beauty and bloodlust, where angels hold sway

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Book details

Mass Market Paperback, 339 pages
March 3rd 2009 by Berkley Sensation
Original Title
Angels' Blood
ISBN
0425226921 (ISBN13: 9780425226926)
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

Kat Kennedy

A number of child-angels gather around their mother up in heaven somewhere, each taking a seat on a fluffy cloud of perfection to eagerly await the forbidden story: How Mum and Dad Met.

"Mother!" the eldest, almost a teenager, chirps. "Tell us, please!"

A chorus of cherub voice cry out in agreement like the tinkering of old church bells.

"Yes, mother!"

"Tell us!"

"Please tell us!"

The mother laughs, her face a beacon of light and joy as she gestures for the children to sit quietly.

"Very well then, children," she replies serenely, gazing at each of her children in adoration. "Your father was an angel, and I was a Guild Hunter - which means that I hunted vampires for Angels. He had a very special job for me. Now, back in these days, your father was a very scary man. He almost killed me several times!" Elena chuckled at the joyous memories. "He was a cold-blooded, ruthless monster yet there was a strange, inexplicable attraction to him that I fought against. At first..."

The teenage daughter squeals involuntarily and interrupts her mother. "How romantic! I'm going to find a man who wants to kill me! Then I'm going to marry him!"

Elena looks concerned. "Erm-"

"Well," says her next eldest daughter, "I'm going to find a man that ACTUALLY tries to kill me, and then he's going to fall in love with me and then we'll get married."

Elena shakes her head in confusion. "Wait-"

"Hmph," scoffs the youngest daughter, not to be outdone. "Well, I'm going to find a man that wants to kill me, and then tries to kill me, and then changes his mind. BUT, while I'm with him I'm going to get so badly injured that he has to sacrifice who I am in order to save me so that we can still be together in some form or another!" she bursts out, almost turning red from the exertion.
"How romantic!" the other two croon before all three turn and begin to compete over who can come up with the most romantic scenario.
Finally, the youngest and Elena’s only boy chirps in, “Well, when I meet a girl, I’m going to keep reminding her how much better than her I am and then hit on her relentlessly, even if she shows not sign of wanting me at all!”
His older sisters stop. “You are such a sweetheart!” They swoon.
“Every girl’s going to want you!” another says with dreamy eyes.
“Stop!” Elena says, finally managing to settle the children down. “Son! You can’t act like that! When you find someone you love, you need to treat them with respect and be in partnership with them. Sure, you can be attracted to them and make advances-“
“I'm going to find a man that can't keep his hands off me, no matter how many times I tell him to leave me alone!" the first daughter says, interrupting her mother again as her face glowed in eagerly awaited anticipation.

"Well, I'm going to find a man that can't keep his hands off me, even if I SHOOT HIM!"

"Well, I'm going to find a man that can’t keep his hands off me, even if it could mean his own death!"

“Yeah?” the little boy says, his voice rising above the rest with his enthusiasm. “Well, when I meet the girl of my dreams and her association with me eventually gets her grievously injured, I’ll choose to die with her rather than continue my lonely and forever altered existence!”

Elena sits and stares at her squabbling daughters in shock and confusion until she eventually breaks in. "Girls! Girls! You need to find someone safe! Someone you can love, who loves you without threatening or manipulating you! Can't you see? These fantasies aren't healthy, girls!"

"Why not?" the eldest daughter asks in shock.

"Yeah, mother? Why can't we?" the middle child adds.

"It worked for you, didn't it?" her youngest asks.

“Don’t you see?” Elena begs. “It simply isn’t realistic or healthy to fantasize about these things! And son, your life doesn’t stop with the death of a woman! She wouldn’t want you to give up and dramatically sacrifice everything, just because she died!”

Her son scratches his head. “Why not?”

Then Arnold Schwarzeneggar rushes in and starts break dancing while telling everyone to, "Run! Run to the chopper!"

Before dashing out after her sisters, brother and Arnold Schwarzeneggar, the youngest daughter stops and reassures her mother, "It's okay, Mum. Really! We're bound to have a dues ex machina ending where everything works out perfectly. Just like you!"

~*~THE END~*~

Lora

You know how if you eat too many sweets you eventually throw up? Well, I think that's where I'm at with the paranormal romance genre. It just isn't for me anymore.
Angels' Blood is listed as an "urban fantasy with romance" - well, I'm here to tell you that if this is urban fantasy, I'm Donald Trump needlessly living out my writing fantasies by having a GR account as a girl named Lora.
It is ridiculous to call Angels' Blood an urban fantasy. It has all of the classic PR traits: an oversexed, dangerously attractive "hero" whose past issues account for his boorish attitude and make him oh so mysteriously erotic; a cookie-cutter heroine with nothing interesting about her except that every male within a ten mile radius wants to bonk her; a "romance" between said hero and heroine that wouldn't even exist if they both weren't so horny; a paranormal "story" that is seriously overshadowed by myriad scenes of near sex encounters, sexual innuendos and double entendres - and the aforesaid are all just the prelude to The Real Thing.
Any chance that Singh might have had at writing a good, entertaining, well thought out UF series went right out the window when she chose to go the paranormal romance route; at least, IMHO.
I was naïvely hoping that this series would be reminiscent of the Fever series: a flawed heroine with a lot to learn but equal amounts of potential; a hero(?) that is mysterious and, yes, rude, but that has good reason for the way he is (albeit unknown to the reader as of yet); and, most of all, a world that is intriguing and maybe (dare I hope?) semioriginal. IMO, you get none of that with Singh's Angels' Blood.

In Singh's Guild Hunter series, the entire world's population is not only aware of angels, they are also ruled by them. Angels are Top Dog. All government officials - be they mayors or presidents, ambassadors or prime minesters - are just for show, apparantly.
This idea actually sounded appealing to me - except - it is all abandoned for countless scenes of sexual tension and talk of how panties-melting Raphael is.
It also bothered me that it is set in our current world; for some reason I've never been able to like something where the author has created a completely different existence for people in the present. I don't know what you would call this besides an alternate universe, but it seriously irritates me.
Also, there is no explanation for where the angels come from, their origins, who made them - only that they are "all powerful" and have been in existence for eons.

And if you extracted all of the passages dedicated to fawning over Raphael's "menacing gaze" and the sentences about how "lethally attractive" (Yes! He's so attractive you'll DIE if you look at him too long! "Help me! I'm dying and swooning at the same time! It's a horrible juxtaposition!") he is, you'd literally end up with half of Angels' Blood. There is that much page time spent on how he looks and the affect he has on Elena.

The thing is, I sincerely tried; I tried to ignore the endless sexual interludes and references to Raphael's scorching masculinity in order to attempt to find an actual plot somewhere in the mess; I tried to give Angels' Blood the benefit of the doubt because I figure that the urban fantasy genre will only become more sex oriented as people (women) continue to purchase this type of "literature."
But, in the end, I have to be honest and say that I'm looking for an actual story with some depth and world building and character development as apposed to just a sh!tload of halfway sex scenes that lead up to The Real Thing.

And, whenever the story does finally start to gain some focus, it's basically just a lot of macabre scenes with people strung up with their entrails taken out.
It was like I kept getting slapped in the face with sex sex sex and then gore gore gore. And there's even a reference to necrophilia!

Bottom line, Angels' Blood just wasn't for me.

Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession

*Reread 2/12/2020*

(Just want to make a side note. I listened to this book on audio the first time and I didn't really connect to the book. It was good but not great. I read it with my own eyes this time round and it was much better! I am changing my rating from 4 to 5 stars)

4 Making you Human Stars



I knew after reading Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series that I would want to read more from that author, so when I seen she had a angel series I started buying books. Here I am book one, and I am really glad I started this series. I will say it took a bit for me to warm up to Raphael, but by the end of the book he owned my heart.



Elena was awesome and kicked some serious ass. I loved her from the start. She was smart, sweet, and bad-ass all in one. Elena was very relatable and lovable. She was brave and she did well even when she didn't get a choice in her own life. Raphael was much harder to connect to for most of the book. He was so closed off and cold. I understand he was powerful old Archangel and so he lost almost all his humanity, but it was hard at times to see what Elena liked in Raphael other than his looks.



This was a really slow burn as far as the relationship between Elena and Raphael go. They didn't get together until almost the end but the sexual tension was thick from the start. I love that even though they didn't care for each other in the beginning, they both were fascinated with the other. You could feel the pull between them even when Raphael was at his coldest. By the end of the book Raphael was really starting to change and I loved the new side to him. The second half of the book was a lot better for me. I thought that at some point Elena would become vampire but I was really surprised at were Nalini Singh took Elena. I really can't wait to see what happens next.

Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)

I've been a fan of Nalini Singh for several years now. I started reading her with the Silhouette Desires she published, and I liked the way she wrote intense love stories with magnetic heroes and heroines I liked. I waffled for a year or so before deciding to try her book Slave to Sensation. I was just getting into paranormal, and I wasn't sure about the sci-fi elements. Finally, I read it, and I was hooked from that point on.

When I heard that Nalini Singh was venturing into urban fantasy, of course I was going to buy Angels' Blood. She's autobuy for me, and urban fantasy is one of my absolute favorite genres. It also helps that I have this unhealthy love for angels. I'll read most books with an angel theme. Let me tell you, I was so impressed with this book.

Nalini Singh took the theme of angels and made it her own. She captured the essential elements of angelhood (except for the messengers of God part), and gave it some dark and sinister aspects. In Singh's world, Angels are very carnal, sexual beings who involve themselves with the human world, exploit the fact that humans are drawn to, adore them, and sometimes worship them, and have put themselves at the top of the hierarchy. Basically, angels run things. They even Make vampires to be their servants. Of course, absolute power has a way of corrupting. In this case, there is an archangel (the most powerful type of angel) who has gone beserk and is on a killing spree. A scary thought there, an absolutely beautiful, pretty much invincible being on a killing spree. Who's going to stop him? Raphael, the Archangel of New York, has appointed himself to do that. But he needs the help of the best Hunter (vampires) in New York, Elena. And, he decides that he wants to have more than a business relationship with this powerful warrior woman (that's his type, you see).

Raphael was some kind of character. He defines the 'gamma' hero. Not gamma as in the mix of alpha and beta. Gamma in the sense of mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Raphael is utterly ruthless. He knows just how powerful he is, and he's not afraid to use that power to achieve his goals. He is not controlled by human morals. He follows a higher law, the laws set by himself and the Cadre, the group of ten archangels who pretty much rule the world. This guy was one of those heroes that sends a chill down your spine, but also has you gaga over him because he was so gorgeous and just had that masculine appeal that turns your bones into water. He thought about killing Elena several times, because human life has no value for beings that are essentially immortal. I was like, "Okay?" I admit, I like that dark/edgy hero, but I could see how that would be chilling for some readers. But, somehow, Elena found the small aspect of this scary dude that could love. He was drawn to her for the essence of who she was, the fierce hunter, the vulnerable woman beneath the tough facade. She made him more humanlike just by reaching that core of him that yearned to be truly loved and to love someone. Even more than a millenia of having whatever lovers he wanted didn't leave this archangel satisfied. But Elena had to power to give him what he yearned for.

Elena was a very likeable character. She was tough, a survivor, but also very humane. She had a great sense of humor, and didn't let anyone push her around. She takes her job very seriously, and is determined to find this archangel who is leaving a grisly pile of bodies in his wake. She has no idea how to react to Raphael. He's gorgeous, because all angels are. But he is moreso than any others to her. She's attracted to his strength, and the unearthly beauty and functionality of his wings, and the intrinsic deadly appeal of him, with his volcanic sex appeal. At the same time, she's not signing up to be anyone's toy, seeing the way angels manipulate vampires and people like puppets. She's got to get this job done and somehow try to keep Raphael from killing her or seducing her into his bed until he gets bored and casts her aside.

Ms. Singh managed to capture the razor edge of the attraction, the unfolding relationship between Elena and Raphael and pair it to a very dark, very noir murder mystery. I was actually surprised at how grisly the murders are in this book. It was well done, and Ms. Singh didn't flinch away from those aspects, so I couldn't either. Uram, the angel that went blood-thirsty, was one scary, despicable creature, all the more so for his unearthly angelic beauty.

I thought this story had such an appeal. I could see very vividly the physical loveliness and allure of the angels and the vampires, and how they could turn deadly in a split second. Ms. Singh captured the appeal of these beings so very well, along with the inherent menace and danger they represented to humans and hunters. In my estimation this story represented the underlying theme of how society is set up to favor the powerful and endowed, whether it's with money, sex-appeal, or beauty. And the rest of us have to struggle to keep our heads above water if we lack any of the above. But, we don't give up. We keep fighting. Elena represents the everyday person who is fighting that battle against the system and the 'big fishes'. I admired Elena for having the guts to immerse herself in this world, knowing that her hunter-born strength only gave her a slight edge over the average human.

Because this is the start of an urban fantasy series, Ms. Singh is somewhat stingy with some details. She tantalized me with the romance elements, giving me enough to be somewhat satiated, but knowing there was more to be told about Raphael and Elena's relationship. I wanted to know more and see more of this world she created, and all the fascinating characters she has introduced. I am already invested in this series, because I crave more of this world of alluring and lethal creatures. This was a book that grabbed me and did not let go.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish


Amaaaaaaaaazing!!!

I've been getting a lot of recommendation requests for solid PNR or UF series', something that will hold a readers attention while they wait for the next Black Dagger Brotherhood book. The truth is, there's nothing that compares to the BDB and looking for something "the same as" will only lead to disappointment. So don't bother. Instead, look for something just as compelling, exciting, sexy, and gripping, even though the world is entirely different. When people ask my opinion, Angels' Blood, the first book in the Guild Hunter series comes to mind again and again.

My Review -

I don’t even know where to begin when raving about this book. Do I tell you about Raphael, the Archangel in charge of New York City, and how amazing and sexy he is and how much I love, love, love it when an author can change a character from someone I really don’t like into someone I adore, someone whose transformation from complete jerk to hero is totally believable and someone I cheer for, someone my heart aches for and someone I want to see find his happily ever after.

And there’s always Elena Deveraux, the Guild’s best vampire hunter. I could talk about how refreshing it is to see a heroine who is truly that, a female hero. She’s strong and amazing and clever and all the things you’d expect a vampire hunter to be. Plus, she’s feisty and sassy and feminine and… well… you get the picture.

Maybe I should rave about the unique, incredible world this author has managed to create in a genre so saturated with books that coming up with anything different is nothing short of miraculous! I could tell you about angels and how when I think of them, especially archangels, I imagine winged beings seated on heavenly thrones on high, halos shining brightly and harp music being played in the background. Well, let me tell you, these angels and archangels are nothing of that sort. In fact, I find them to be more on the devilish side of the spectrum which really blew me away! From the foods they eat to the places they live and the people they take to bed, they are very decadent beings who enjoy pleasure in whatever form they can find it. Theirs is a dark world, one of greed, lust, and power plays. Real life politicians have nothing on the backstabbing maneuverings of these angels!

And what a supporting cast of secondary characters! I’d love to see any one of them have their own books, even Michaela who I’d love to see slowly and painfully killed in hers.

So which of these things do I talk about when telling you how much I love this book? I don’t know, but I will say this – if you don’t already own this book, buy it now.. If you own it and haven’t yet read it, read it now! I’m certain you won’t be disappointed!

Jennifer Kyle


”I was born to be what I am.” A hunter. A tracker. A loner.”

description

Elena Deveraux is a vampire hunter and has been requested to work a job for the Archangel of New York, Raphael. This story has an equal amount of action, attraction between Elena and Raphael, great cast of supporting characters and a lot of excitement.

“The man wants you – but I’m not sure if he wants to fuck you or kill you.”

The attraction and chemistry between Raphael and Elena was steamy as they work towards catching a rogue Archangel and save innocent human lives.

”If I fail, if I fail, the vampires go completely free, and New York drowns in the blood of innocents.”

Overall, the story was well written with just the right amount of information about the cast of characters, their powers and the plot. I totally appreciated that because I wasn’t lost in the story at all and loved all the characters presented. I’m excited to see what comes next for Elena as things ended on a life changing note for Elena and Raphael.

Thank you Anjee for gifting me this story!

description

Jo ★The Book Sloth★

5 Deserves All 1.000 Re-reads I'm Gonna Do Stars



So after I read this book for the millionth time I decided that it deserves a review.

Let me begin by saying THIS BOOK IS ONE OF THE BEST EVER! This book and generally this series is a 10/5 stars! It isn't just one of my favorites. It is one of MY ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE fantasy-romance series!

This book is the start of an epic love between the Guild Hunter, Elena and the Archangel of New York, Raphael. Elena is hired by Raphael to find another archangel who has gone rogue and started killing humans without cause.

NS has created a world where angels and humans live together but it is obvious that angels hold all the power.Angels are the creators of vampires. Every year a percentage of the humans applying gets immortality and a thirst for blood and in exhange they offer 100 years of service to the angels. Guild Hunters are like police for vamps. When vamps break their contracts a guild hunter is sent out to catch or kill them.

Raphael is an archangel, one of the 10 in existence, a powerful being with little regard for humans. NS has created the most sexy hero out there in my opinion. Raphael isn't the typical "Alpha male". He is undeniably an alpha but NS has emphasized the fact that Raphael isn't human. He doesn't think or act like a human being. He is at the top of the food chain and he knows it. Arrogant, powerful, cruel at times, inhuman always and hot as hell, Raphael has one weakness and her name is Elena.



Elena is a Guild Hunter. She is one of the few of them who are born with the ability to detect vampires by smell. She has suffered an awful childhood but she is a survivor. Now all her abilities will be tested since she has to work with a being completely out of her league. Elena is stubborn, strong, smart, courageous, she goes against a man she knows can kill her and never feel a minute of remorse and yet she doesn't back down. She has a mind of her own and doesn't let Raphael's domineering tendencies dictate her life.



Nalini Singh develops her universe in such a masterful way that you never get overwhelmed. When dealing with UF or Fantasy books(especially the first in a series), you usually get a dump of information that cause you a headache. In this book I didn't for a minute feel a TMI attack.

This book is the beginning of an addiction. Everything from the setting to the story to the heroes to the secondary characters is unique and beautifully done. I recommend it without a moment hesitation.


“I can smell blood, Elena,” Dmitri drawled, walking back into the room. “Are you trying to flirt?”

“How long have you been with Raphael?”
“You ask a lot of questions for a dead woman.”
“What can I say? I prefer to die well-informed.”

“I don’t want to lose my memories. Don’t make me forget. I would rather die as Elena, than live as a shadow.”

“He was trying to make me his bed buddy. I declined. He gave chase."
"How, exactly, did you 'decline' his offer?"
"By slitting his throat."

Kristen

4 Stars

I didn't realize this series was more Urban Fantasy than Paranormal Romance. I'm not a huge fan of the Urban Fantasy genre (the focus centers more on the plot than the romance), but I very much enjoyed reading this story. Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors and she has the ability to captivate and enthrall me no matter the genre. I won't lie, though; I prefer her Psy-Changeling series to this one. That said, Angels' Blood is one fantastic read!

Blacky *Romance Addict*


Nalini Singh!

This book!

Raphael!




Amazing series, but after reading the other books, this one still remains my favorite. Just brilliant <3


Some of my favorite quotes <3



"She looked into that perfect face and knew she’d never met a more deadly being in her life. If she displeased him, Raphael would kill her as easily as she might swat a fly."


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"“And if I fail?”

“Don’t fail, Elena.” His eyes were mild but his smile, it spoke of things better not said aloud. “You intrigue me—I’d hate to have to punish you.”"


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"The bald way he pointed out his power, and her lack of it, made her fingers itch for a blade.

“You shouldn’t look at me in that fashion, Elena.”

“Why?” she asked, prodded by some heretofore unknown suicidal streak. “Scared?”

He leaned a fraction closer. “My lovers have always been warrior women. Strength intrigues me.”"


------------------------------------


"“I’ve seen enough. Let’s go.” She struggled in his hold.

He tightened it, his wings coming around to cut off her view of the room, his chest hot and hard at her back. “Are you sure?” His lips whispered over skin so sensitized, she had to fight the urge to shiver. “I have not taken a human lover for eons. But you taste . . . intriguing.”"


------------------------------------


"The bastard kissed her. She was so mad, she bit him hard enough to draw blood. Raphael pulled back, lip already beginning to swell. “We are no longer even, Elena. You’re now in debt.”

“You can deduct it from my slow and painful death.” She dropped her leg from his waist. “It’s time to talk murder.”"


------------------------------------


"I’m crazy about you, Archangel. You scare the shit out of me at times, but I want to dance with you anyway."

Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

Unfortunately I was in the minority on this book. I just didn't feel it ?

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