Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cherish Hard

Cherish Hard (Hard Play Book 1) by [Singh, Nalini]
















Cherish Hard- Nalini Singh
TKA Distribution
Release Date: November 14, 2017

Rating:
πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š

Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead!

Synopsis: Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.

Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.

And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind. As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.

________________________________________

Isa Rain knows exactly what she wants from life: a loving husband, a happy home, and a job she enjoys- the opposite of her life growing up.  No hot gardeners who are married to their business need apply.  Unfortunately the hot gardener in question, Sailor Bishop, keeps popping up and flirting with her.  There may be some serious chemistry between them, and Isa may be falling more in love with Sailor every day, but is she ready for the inevitable time when he choses business over her? 

Cherish Hard brings us back to the Bishop-Esera family that Nalini Singh readers first fell in love with in Rock Hard, Gabriel Bishop's story and one of my most favorite books of all times.  Cherish therefore had a pretty high bar to reach and I was thrilled that it lived up to my every expectation.  Gabriel's younger brother Sailor is working hard to make his dream landscaping company a reality.  He's also working to prove to himself that he is nothing like the pathetic excuse for a man who fathered him.  Isa Rain wants to live a quiet life as an English teacher writing poetry and supporting her younger brother and sister.  But she's fought every step of the way by her mother, a shark of a CEO who plans for Isa to take an active interest in her company.  Both spend the book fighting their own preconceived notions about themselves and their futures, their plans and where they are willing to be flexible. I especially loved Isa- a smart, creative, and caring woman who refuses to give in to the cold corporate example her parents have set.  Instead of believing she is undeserving of love, Isa has vowed that she will come first in her husband's life.  She's willing to fight for what she wants and brave enough to take risks with her heart.  

Cherish Hard is beautifully written, full of heart, humor, and heat.  Sailor and Isa have incredible chemistry on every page, but are just as compelling in scenes with family or friends.  Now we just have to wait for the other Bishop boys to grow up a little so they can have their own stories!

A must read for Singh fans and a great book for new readers!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Daring Arrangment


A Daring Arrangement: The Four Hundred Series by [Shupe, Joanna]

















A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred Series #1)- Joanna Shupe
Avon Books/ HarperCollins
Release Date: October 31, 2017

Rating:
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Warning: Potentail Spoilers

Synopsis: Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match--leaving her free to marry the artist she loves. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course....
 
Julius is intrigued by Nora's ruse and decides to play along. But to Nora's horror, Julius transforms himself into the perfect fiancΓ©, charming the very people she hoped he would offend. It seems Julius has a secret plan all his own--one that will solve a dark mystery from his past, and perhaps turn him into the kind of man Nora could truly love.

______________________________

Lady Honora Parker has been sent to New York after a scandal in London involving a man her father deems unsuitable for her.  Nora hatches a plan to get engaged to an American so outrageous that her father will have no choice but to call her home and agree that her artist is a good choice after all.  And the incredibly rich, handsome, and scandalous Julius Hatcher fits her plan perfectly.  Julius needs to get into Society to solve a mystery, but riches alone won't buy him entry.  Nora's crazy scheme of a fake engagement seems like the perfect answer.   To Nora's dismay, the scandalous bachelor turns into the perfect fiancΓ© - and to Julius' dismay, Nora turns out to be his perfect match.

A Daring Arrangement is an entertaining story of (seeming) opposites attracting and a conveniently fake engagement turning into one both parties wish was real.  Despite very different backgrounds Nora and Julius are quite similar beneath the surface: both are intelligent, daring, and determined in all aspects of life.  One of the big themes to the book is change: circumstances change, people change, goals change, and the only way to live life is to accept that and be flexible enough to allow change to be a part of your life- sometimes at the difficult expense of pride.  Julius determined he would never marry or have a family because of the tragic, drunken ramblings of his father.  When he discovers how much he enjoys Nora's company, her wit, her conversation, and the intense chemistry between them he's still not willing to consider changing his mind about marriage. Nora was sure her artist Robert was the love of her life, and she's horrified with herself when she develops feelings for Julius.  How can she be so inconstant?  Fortunately her aunt has enough experience with life and love to explain to her the difference between a first love and a true love. 

Secondary characters like her aunt and Julius' friend Tripp don't get quite as much development or 'on screen' time as they deserve but they make the most of every second they have. It's obvious Shupe has done plenty of research into New York and the Gilded Age of the 1890s.  The city and time period are practically characters themselves, immersing the reader in the glittering life of the ballroom and the earthiness of New York dance halls with a perfection that matches her earlier Knickerbocker Club series (MagnateBaron).

I was hoping for more to the mystery that Julius is trying to solve.  He wants revenge against the Society men who ruined his father- but he doesn't know who they are or have much of a plan on how to figure it out. Nora comes up with a scheme to draw them out, but the whole revenge idea fades disappointingly into the background.  As a plot point it had great potential, especially for the emotional dilemma Julius finds himself in on discovering one of the names, but it pretty much fizzled out.

Despite hoping for a bit more depth to the plot, I enjoyed A Daring Arrangement - especially Julius and Nora and the great chemistry between them (both mental and physical!) and am looking forward to Joanna Shupe's next Gilded Age story.

Monday, October 23, 2017

American Wolf

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by [Blakeslee, Nate]
















American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West- Nate Blakeslee
Crown/ Random House
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Rating:
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Synopsis: Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.

With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.

But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.

These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West—between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.

__________________________________________ 

In American Wolf author Nate Blakeslee chronicles the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, focusing their story in particular through the life and experiences of O-Six.  O-Six grew up to become one of the most famous wolves in Yellowstone: a strong alpha leader, a caring mother, a skilled hunter, an intelligent fighter.  She raised three generations of pups in the Lamar Valley where wolf-watchers could follow the comings and goings of her pack and learn more about wolves than they had ever hoped.  Unfortunately, O-Six and her family have not only natural dangers to face inside the park, but increasingly hunters, ranchers, and politicians outside the park.

Blakeslee's American Wolf is a carefully researched, well-written book that uses notes kept by local wolf-watchers to chronicle a multigenerational account of the return of wolves to Yellowstone, seen particularly through the incredible stories of the Druid Peak Pack and the Lamar Valley Pack. New packs form, yearlings become alphas, pups are born, clashes between rival packs establish new territories, and American Wolf is written in such a way that the reader feels they are experiencing the events along with the wolves. Or at least the wolf-watchers. As with any good documentary, American Wolf doesn't try to gloss over the harsh aspects of life as a wolf in Yellowstone- there are violent fights for prime territory, lean winters, and leadership disputes right along with the cute pups.

For me, the hard part of reading American Wolf was also in the writing.  The style and brilliant narrative that make you experience the wonder of watching wolves with naturalist Rick McIntyre also means that you feel the other side of the culture clash: the hatred of hunters and ranchers in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.  Blakeslee has carefully researched both the personal and the political saga of wolf reintroduction and brings the reader courtroom drama fit for the movie screen as hunters, Fish and Wildlife, the state and federal government, and environmental groups fight in court.  As a wolf lover, I found these scenes terribly depressing. I will also admit there were a few parts where I cried when wolves I'd been following for chapters until I felt like I knew them met up with hunters.  The frustrating understanding of how environmental science and the beauty of nature are so often casualties to politics makes you feel especially helpless.

American Wolf is a rich environmental drama with a rare ability to balance a story between nature and politics, haunting emotional awe with down-to-earth practicality, love of wolves with a lack of romantic sentimentality.  A difficult, must-read book for anyone interested in environmental conservation and the amazing story of wolves and their return to Yellowstone.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review








Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Slap Shot


Slap Shot: An Aces Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]
















Slap Shot (Aces Hockey) - Kelly Jamieson
Loveswept/ Random House
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Rating (out of 5):
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Synopsis: After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces.

So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to scratch that itch. A fling with Kendra Armstrong in her posh hotel room could be just what the trainer ordered.

Not only is Kendra smokin’ hot, she’s dynamite in bed—one of the perks of being a sex toy designer. Since she lives in New York anyway, we agree to keep things casual, no strings attached. The arrangement is perfect . . . until one of us falls in love. And it’s not me.

_______________________________

Max Hall took a leave from the Chicago Aces two years ago when his wife was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer.  Now he's trying to move forward with his life, deal with his grief, and return to hockey.  Beginning to interact with teammates again means weddings and weddings can lead to all kinds of interesting things . . . What starts out as a one night stand with Kendra becomes a casual, no-strings fling and friendship.  Max doesn't believe he's ready for more and never wants to go through the pain of losing someone again.  But life sometimes doesn't give us what we think we want- it gives us what we need.  If we don't screw it up.

I've probably said this in other blogs but I'll admit it again here: I very rarely like books written in the first person.  I like seeing things through both characters' eyes, I like seeing what's going on in their heads, how their past experiences shape who they are and how they react to things. And of books written in the first person, it's even rarer that I like a book written in the present tense where the character is narrating events as they happen instead of a past tense remembering (which has a different set of pitfalls in my opinion).  I have no idea why I find it annoying, distracting even, but I usually do.  All that lead up is something of an explanation and an apology for why I didn't like Slap Shot as much as I usually enjoy Kelly Jamieson books- especially her hockey books.  It's the first among the Aces books (maybe all of her books) I've read that is written in first person and I'm sure it was done to focus on Max's internal struggle between holding onto his grief and his guilt at starting to really live again after the death of his wife.

Although we meet Kendra through Max's eyes and see their entire relationship from his point of view (which, spoiler alert, includes falling in love with her) I never really felt like I got to know her as a person.  I knew things about her: she's a psychologist who eventually switched careers and started her own business with a friend to make sex toys for women.  She has an instinct for 'fixing' people that's gotten her into lousy relationships in the past and she has a terrible relationship with her parents.  She's caring, fun, outgoing, and loves dancing and dogs.  But for all of that, I never felt like she was a fully developed, three dimensional person. Of course, I also had that problem with Max.  I didn't like him.  He would possibly have been a more likable (or at least sympathetic) character from the outside, but when the whole book is told from his point of view he really mostly came across as a self-absorbed jerk. His goal was getting in shape for training camp and getting back on the team. It's a great goal and I loved that he was so motivated and willing to work hard to get there.  But the self-defense process of not looking at his emotions to try and avoid being hurt again came across (in his own head) as not even wanting to admit to a caring friendship with Kendra, let alone falling in love with her, but just focused on good sex.

While following Max's progress out of grieving and back to living and admitting to emotions could have been a very reflective and touching story, I was left feeling a little flat about Slap Shot in general.  There are a few great scenes at the end where Max finally gets his head on straight and very well written and emotional apology and reconciliation scenes.  But overall, I was left wanting a little something more. Whether that was a bit of additional plot or more emotional introspection or more depth of character, I feel like Slap Shot was one of Jamieson's more mediocre books, with the potential to have been one of her best.    

Long time readers of Kelly Jamieson's Aces Hockey series (Back Check, Icing) have been aware of Max and his tragic story, but he's always been a very peripheral character.  So readers new to the series don't have to worry about having missed any backstory if they start the series with Slap Shot.  Personally, I recommend reading the rest of the Aces series first so that Max's return to the team at the end will give you a bit more emotional satisfaction than the rest of the book.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Grant

Grant by [Chernow, Ron]

















Grant- Ron Chernow
Penguin Group
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Rating (out of 5):
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Synopsis: Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as “nothing heroic... and yet the greatest hero.” Chernow’s probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.

_______________________________

As someone who loves history, I have a terrible confession to make: Grant is the first Ron Chernow book I've ever read.  It will certainly not be the last.  Chernow's Grant is meticulously researched, well-written, with an easy style and flow that make a biography feel less like a lecture and more like an intimate conversation.  He provides descriptions and details that bring the time period and the people to vivid life.

Grant was a complex man: both brilliant and naive; overly trusting in civilian life while able to perfectly predict what others would do on the battlefield; a man who claimed to have no great political ambitions yet was a rare (at the time) two term president.  Chernow reminds us of the personal connections of the generals of both the North and South- Grant attended West Point and fought in the Mexican War alongside William T. Sherman, Robert E Lee, and a veritable who's who of later Civil War leaders.  The best man at his wedding was James Longstreet, who would go on to be a great Southern general in the war.  Chernow also brings front and center Grant's hard work for African Americans, supporting the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, with equality and voting rights among his lifelong crusades.  While Lincoln is remembered in American history as the President who ended slavery, readers of Grant will see that President U.S. Grant should be remembered as a tireless proponent of civil rights and militant enemy of the Ku Klux Klan.

Chernow doesn't turn away from Grant's failures in civilian life: his poverty before rejoining the army for the Civil War, his constant struggle with alcoholism, or Grant's repeated mistakes in trusting the wrong people in matters of finance- and occasionally in government.  Grant's personal traits: pride, stubbornness, loyalty among others are shown as what made him the greatest general of his time, but also caused a steep learning curve as President.  

Readers of Stephen W. Sears' Lincoln's Lieutenants will find this a perfect companion to their understanding of the generals of the Civil War, their successes and failures, radically different personalities, and their relationships with Lincoln. It continues to amaze me how individual personalities and personal ambitions shape the course of military history.

Fans of history, biographies, and military history will rejoice in this new biography of General Grant- which will stand unchallenged as his definitive biography for a long time. An easy, flowing narrative, Ron Chernow's Grant will change the average American's view of Grant forever.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Immortally Yours

Immortally Yours: An Argeneau Novel by [Sands, Lynsay]

















Immortally Yours (Argeneau Series)- Lynsay Sands
Avon Books
Release Date: September 26, 2017

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Rating (out of 5):
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Synopsis: One hundred and twenty-five years is a long time to nurse a crush. That’s how long it’s been since Beth Argenis first met Cullen “Scotty” MacDonald and he instantly became the star of her most X-rated dreams. Back then, he was rescuing her from a Rogue Immortal. Now Beth’s a Rogue Hunter—a damn good one. She doesn’t need saving anymore, despite what Scotty thinks. What she does need is the fierce, wild desire that finally erupts between them.

Scotty has hesitated to claim Beth as his own. But one explosive kiss confirms what he’s long suspected: She’s his life mate. But Beth is tough, fearless, beautiful…and in immortal danger. Unless he wants to lose her forever, he’ll have to rethink everything he once believed about love and destiny as well as confront an enemy who’s terrifyingly close.
________________________________________

With most of the North American Rogue Hunters down in Venezuela dealing with trouble there (Immortal Unchained), Beth Argenis is stuck working with Cullen "Scotty" MacDonald and a group of hunters from the UK who have volunteered to help out in Canada until things get back to normal.  Scotty may star in all Beth's most interesting fantasies but in real life she's pretty sure he can't stand her. So why is he suddenly acting so protective and kind?  Scotty has known for over 100 years that Beth was his life mate but he's waited until he decided she was over past traumas before making his move. The problem is that now that he's decided she's ready, someone else has decided they want Beth dead.  Can they survive a series of violent and creative attacks, figure out who's trying to kill Beth, and manage to work through their own issues to reach a happy ending?
I absolutely loved Beth Argenis. She's had more bad luck than any person should have, dealt with incredible trauma and abuse as a mortal, been turned against her will, spent over 100 years trying to deal with issues that would break other people, and still managed to come out a strong, independent, compassionate, and kick-ass person.  After being attacked by a Rogue she not only learned how to defend herself, she trained to be a Rogue Hunter and protect others.  It took a long time, but she managed to put aside her anger at life and begin to enjoy life and to lover herself for who she is.  Although she has had a crush on Scotty for pretty much her entire immortal life, on discovering that they are possible life mates she isn't willing to drop everything and become who Scotty thinks she should be (or thinks he thinks she should be).  Walking away from him might break her heart but she would rather do that than not be true to herself.  In fact Beth has probably one of the greatest self-affirming speeches ever written where she tells Scotty all that and more.  You are heartbroken by all the suffering she reveals in her life and cheering for her as the person she is today all at the same time.
Scotty is kind of a jerk and takes much longer than he should to arrive at these same conclusions (although in the end at least he admits he's been an arrogant idiot).  He may have spent the past century trying to protect Beth and waiting for her to be ready for a life mate, but he hasn't spent that time getting to know himself or learning from other mated couples the meaning of words like "compromise" and "teamwork".  His actions and ideas may come from the desire to keep Beth safe and happy, but they fall short of the mark.  He actually wants her to have her mind wiped blank to she won't have bad memories! Scotty is slow and Beth has to beat him over the head with the truth a few times (and shoot him a few times) but he does eventually get there.
Immortally Yours gives us plenty of time to think about how we are shaped by out life experiences- both the good and the bad.  It also makes us question how each of us would live as an immortal.  Would we hold on to the terrible things that happen and let them make us bitter or drive us insane?  Would we learn to live in the moment and be proud of who we are and how we've worked to get there?  Scotty and Beth both have traumatic pasts and each had a seriously terrible parent but while Beth has worked hard to overcome her 'daddy issues', Scotty (who's more than 800 years older) hasn't ever admitted that he might have some skewed ideas because of his mother. I wanted to hit Scotty more than once about assumptions he makes when he should have the life experience to know better. Fortunately, so did some of the other characters- and they were more than willing to do it!
Although a part of Sands' Argeneau/Rogue Hunters series, you don't have to have read all the other books to enjoy Immortally Yours.  It's removed enough from other characters or series threads that it would be a good introduction for readers new to Lynsay Sands and her Immortal world, while being connected enough that long-time readers will enjoy glimpses of a few familiar faces.  Fast-paced, with lots of depth to the main characters, and written with Lynsay Sands' trademark humor, Immortally Yours is a fun and fulfilling new addition to the Argeneau canon.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ArchAngel's Viper


Archangel's Viper (A Guild Hunter Novel) by [Singh, Nalini]
















Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter Series)- Nalini Singh
Berkely
Release Date: September 26, 2017

Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead!

Rating(out of 5):
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Synopsis: Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it's not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman--it's the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.
 
Now, someone has put a bounty on her head...
 
Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael's private guard, and he's as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly's. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself--because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening...
 
No one is safe.


_________________________________________________

Taking place at the same time as Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Viper follows the members of Raphael's Seven who stayed in New York to hold down the fort while Raphael and Elena are away.  Specifically, it follows everyone's favorite venomous vampire as Venom, rather accidentally, finds true love. Long time readers of the Guild Hunters series may remember Holly Chang, once known as Sorrow, as the girl Elena and Raphael rescued from the insane Archangel Uram in Angel's Blood.  Holly is beginning to accept her new life as a not-quite vampire but no-longer human.  She works with Janvier, Dimitri and others to keep New York safe. She has reconnected with her family, and the nightmares of her torture by Uram aren't quite 24/7 anymore.  But, like Vemon and Nassir (Archangel's Enigma) Holly is unique.  And in this world of immortals and angels, unique is not always a safe thing.

Because of her fast reflexes and poisonous bite, Holly is assigned to Venom for training.  Where others treat her gently, Venom treats her the same as any other new recruit.  He pushes her, annoys her, and makes her test her limits. When a botched kidnapping attempt alerts them to a bounty on Holly's head, Venom is the natural partner to help her figure out who's behind it.  But things become complicated and past becomes present as Uram's shadow continues to haunt Holly and it turns out that the past may not be quite as behind them as everyone thought.

As enjoyable as Elena is, the Guild Hunter books who follow the 'secondary' characters are just as good, if not better.  Each of Raphael's elite Seven is unique in some way and we've been able to get to know the men behind the warriors in these books. Venom may be one of the ones we know the least about, so it's no surprise how eagerly anticipated Archangel's Viper is by fans!  I think everyone will agree this story was worth their wait.  Holly has grown into a strong woman who may still be working on her confidence, but is learning in leaps and bounds and carving a place for herself in the Tower.  She and Venom have a nicely antagonistic relationship from the beginning that shows a great chemistry- even though neither believes it at first.  Venom thinks she's too young for him, Holly thinks he's a jerk.  But in the best Nalini Singh tradition, the more they work together, the more they discover about each other- and themselves.  Emotions like love sneak up on both of them, which really worked here.  Neither was looking for a relationship with anyone, especially each other, so it felt like a genuine journey of discovery on both sides.  I also liked how, even though Venom thought Holly was too young for him as a woman, he treated her as an equal partner in their investigation from the beginning.  She didn't have to prove herself to him, if anything he proved to her what she was capable of.

Much of the conflict in Viper comes from Holly's past trauma and what Uram did to her, but I don't think readers who haven't already read Angels' Blood will be lost.  There's enough background given and Holly does enough flashbacks, that new readers will catch up quickly.  Holly's story is one that she herself is still discovering, and the questions readers (new and old alike) have are questions Holly is looking for answers to: what did Uram do to her? What is she now? Why does she have the abilities she has, and what is the darkness inside of her?  The answers we get by the end are both a surprise and not a surprise. Holly has to learn what Nassir and Venom, and plenty other Nalini Singh characters, have learned: you are unique, an individual, and it is your choices that make you what you are, not what others try to label you.  

A great addition to a great series- Nalini Singh fans and paranormal romance fans will love Archangel's Viper!


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review