This is book 10 in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. It is written in third person from Holly Chang and Venom’s POVs.
Venom is one of the Archangel Raphael’s Seven, making him a very powerful individual. Venom is a vampire, but a very unique one. He was Made my the Archangel Neha who is the Queen of Poisons, and she has a fondness for snakes. She is very proud of Making Venom. He is unique among vampires, for he has a number of snake-like traits.
Holly survived a horrifying experience and near death at former Archangel Uram’s hands. Since that experience she has been changed in many ways. It is almost like she is half vampire in ways; she needs blood to survive, but she also needs food. She is also similar to Venom in how she moves when she lets the otherness inside her loose and she is venomous. But with that otherness she is also experiencing dangerous voices in her head. She doesn’t know if she is losing her mind or not, but she has a strong will to live and will not lose herself after working so hard to live.
Bounty Hunters are after Holly, and the question is why? Best that can be figured is it must have to do with her affiliation with Uram and her uniqueness among vampires. Though there are similarities to Venom, she is a mystery in the angel world that cannot be completely understood. Now someone is looking to capture her, but to what ends?
In order to make sure Holly is guarded, Venom is assigned to her. This is frustrating for Holly, but she isn’t one to cut off her nose to spite her face; she knows people are after her, and Venom is scary strong and good to have at one’s back. There is a lot of antagonism between Holly and Venom, but that just makes them more fun to experience. Being stuck together gives them a chance to really go at each other.
The romance here is a slow build. There are glimpses early on in the book, but the characters need the time to get to know each other before that next step even becomes a possibility. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy watching how the relationship evolves from a bickering banter to a more united companionship. And the wittiness of the dialogue is the best part.
Though probably not my favorite Nalini Singh novel, this one is solid. Venom and Holly each have some personal obstacles to overcome, and they work together to get it done. Outside of the romance, the story is interesting. The world Ms. Singh has created with the angels and vampires is very interesting. Though convoluted at times, and some questions continue to hang in the air, she keeps you on your toes. Vampire junkies and freeloading angels are just a part of this sophisticated world she takes us to and I love revisiting it.