The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri's need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel's right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…
And here is SonomaLass's review:
I love Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series, but I was worried at the end of the third book, Archangel’s Consort ( A | BN | K | S) that it was a little too stuck on the same characters. The first three books were focused on the archangel Raphael and the hunter he loves, Elena. Those three books told their love story beautifully, but I didn’t want to see them become the Eve and Roarke of paranormal fiction. So I was very pleased to find that Archangel’s Blade, the fourth Guild Hunter book, really shakes it up, focusing on one of Raphael’s seven lieutenants. Dmitri was a dark and rather mysterious secondary character in previous books, and he is a fascinating main character. Talk about your tortured romance hero! And Honor, the hunter to whom he's attracted, presents a huge challenge.
Honor is a great heroine; she is made of strong stuff, and she can kick ass, but she isn't superhuman — the recent victim of a group of vampires, she's in no hurry to trust Dmitri, despite the very strong attraction between them. She has some healing to do, and Dmitri is not known for being caring or gentle with the women in his life. But they are working together to track down the vampires who hurt her and prevent them from doing the same or worse to others, so a degree of trust is necessary.
Watching these two wounded people come together — making mistakes, having setbacks, facing danger from outside but also from each other — was a powerful reading experience. I thought the balance of internal and external conflict was just about perfect. I never felt that the author was keeping the couple apart artificially, and I really believed that all they went through led to a real bond and the ability to trust each other completely. Also, the sexual tension was amazing and the sex itself was HOT.
I can be a wimp about violence in books; I can’t read about too much death or torture, and if I get really scared for the heroine, I have to back away. There are some very dark moments in this book, but Singh always managed to pull back before I felt overwhelmed, and shift the mood to another emotion. This book is scary, sexy, tender and funny in turns, and I loved reading every page. What a terrific love story!
To top it off, this book has cameo appearances (worked in very well) by most of the characters in the series who I can't get enough of, including the ones whose love stories are (I hope!) forthcoming. The overall series plot arc continues to be interesting as well, and I'm eager for more.