#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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I had a good week, summer is in full swing now. I had my first summer swim this last week. I went into the city and with a friend we crossed the harbour in a local ferry and spent the day at a popular bay. It was one of those perfect days.

What I read last week:

A fun romance, Fijian/Indian Bollywood style and set in Auckland, NZ.

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What I am reading now:

Different but interesting. I am half way through, some things revealed now so wondering where it will vere next.  It’s a bit of fantasy, time travel or door travel and story.

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Books and Authors from Childhood

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Well a good week, hope yours was too. Family time, reading, quilting, watching sport, a little bit of housework and gardening. Nothing too strenuous!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

I heard so many good things about this book I had to buy the Kindle copy awhile back. Sexy cover!

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Still listening to The House on Legare St and moving through it.

Up next:

I hope I like this, even if I don’t, this cover is totally gorgeous in hardback. I’d keep it just for it.

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Last Week’s Posts

An Every Day Hero.  Laura Trentham

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Book Connections

Series and Authors I Treasure

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As readers we all most likely get hooked into series we love. I have quite a number of them and another day I’ll post some more. Most of them other readers have hooked me into. I’ve just read a post and I’ve ordered #1 in a cozy mystery series from the library. It’s not my wheelhouse of reading but… I just might get hooked.

Outlander Series.

book cover Back in 1994 it all began for me. I was teaching and I can’t remember how I chose this book, but I did. On the staff another teacher was hooked too and we often talked about that Scottish Highlander Jamie. It’s time travel at its very best.

I have read everyone in the series since. Some of them are very long but I’ve loved them, sometimes skipping a few gory parts. There are eight books so far and number nine is in the wings “Go Tell the Bees I am Gone.” This series is outstanding in audiobook form and I have reread some of the books this way as well.

I once went to the city and listened to Diana Gabaldon speak after one of her books came out and she was visiting our country. She was very interesting as a speaker.

The Troubleshooters

book cover The Troubleshooters is fast paced romantic suspense. The characters carry on from book to book, with one character mostly to the forefront.  There are about seventeen main books in this series – I have them all. I want to do a reread at some point.  Navy seals – what’s not to like!

I learned about this series from readers on the Susan Elizabeth Phillips readers’ board before it disbanded and went to Facebook. There were always great recommendations there and I really expanded out into USA authors through  that.

Suzanne Brockmann has moved on to film making I think and no more books in recent years.

Virgin River

book cover Once I was stymied what to read. Nothing satisfied me. I’d read a little online about Virgin River and I thought well I’ll take a chance. This was pre-Kindle days. So I bought a second hand copy I think on the Thriftbooks website. The rest is history. I was hooked and ever after that I bought every one that came out. Mostly via Amazon I think

It’s set in a small town in North West America, and each book explores the lives of new characters while maintaining some of the previous ones. It’s romance with sometimes a little suspense thrown in. Another series I’d happily reread. And I am enjoying the Netflix series of it.

I loved it and since then pretty much have read everything Robyn Carr since.

Shenandoah Album Series

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There are five books in this series and I loved them all. They are what I guess are Women’s Fiction. They explore various issues and have very memorable characters. This series started me on my love of quilting.

 

I have reread most of them via audiobook which is really excellent via this format as well.

I had discovered Emilie Richards as an author myself by picking up one of her books at a book fair. Not one of this series but it started me on the road of looking out for her books. Now I wouldn’t miss anything she writes.

Pys/Changeling series

book cover The Pay/Changeling series I was slow to take up. I read others comments on the SEP board and was semi tempted. I thought it would be too hot for me. I saw a copy of one of the books in a staff members bag and I asked her about the series. She lent me some of the first ones.

I was hooked. I loved these shape shifters and the mysteries and evil they had to contend with. Nalini Singh has built this world so well. I didn’t think I’d like shape shifter books but this series is just so much fun, plus heart warming and heart reaching.

I am still reading all the new ones now as they come out. I want to do a reread!

 

 

So what would be one of your favourite series?

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Review

A Madness of Sunshine. Nalini Singh

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Publisher: Hachette Australia
Date: December 5th 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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One chapter into a Madness of Sunshine I thought to myself “Nalini Singh has nailed it!”  What has she nailed? The setting – it is so west coast South Island New Zealand. Reading into it I got that same feeling within when I fly in from overseas and see the hills and I know I am back in “my place”. As well as drawing for us the picture of the atmospheric west coast in all its beauty she is also able to give us the darker side of it.  I also loved her use of Maori words, often she doesn’t give any translation – although  in other places where it might be more difficult to intuit the meaning she gives a little added hint.

It is a murder mystery, a thriller really. There is a murder and some possible cold cases. I hate being in suspense, I am the kind of reader who will peek at the ending, but this time I didn’t. I changed my mind a few times about who it was. Just when I made up my mind something was placed before me to  doubt that decision.  This is not a fast paced action novel but rather a painstaking step by step sorting through the gathering of details. With the type of murder and the culprit finally exposed I just thought it is so true and reminded me of recent court cases that have taken place in recent times here in New Zealand. Chilling and yet real.

Two of the main characters are in this small town with secrets and dark backgrounds of their own. We have Will who is a police officer who has come to this small west coast town. I very much liked his caring approach to those he was there to protect. He was an excellent detective but had a case go wrong on him. Anahera has returned to her home place after her husband has died. She escaped from Golden Cove many years ago. Her life experiences have contributed to making her into a strong, compassionate woman. Slowly Will and Anahera work together to bring peace and justice to this twisted situation. And they learn to trust again, forming a very positive relationship. But note, the relationship is not centre stage, it’s the murder and mystery that takes that.

It’s good! I do prefer Nalini Singh’s paranormal novels but … she has a talent for this kind of a story. I highly recommend it.

As an aside I was interested and delighted to see  New Zealand bookstores placing this book on their front tables. It has had good publicity on the radio as well. Nalini is a New York Times best selling author – but because paranormal is not widely read she goes under the radar. Her writing is so good she deserves to be to the forefront. I hope books like this raise her profile here!

A great review for this book can be found over at Caffeinated Reviewer – for the audiobook version. I notice Nalini Singh even included a quote from it in her recent newsletter.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Well I know! It’s December, so hard to believe. My reading is still slow but still getting a little done. At present I am watching cricket on TV and writing this post. Other things are getting in the road of reading!

Hope you have all recovered from your Thanksgiving celebrations and had safe travel if you had to take transport.

What I read last week:

Only book I read this week, and it was very good. Because it was a rather noir mystery/suspense I decided to leave Celine by Peter Heller to a little later.
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What I am reading now:

So I chose this lovely Christmas book that has been sitting on my shelf for a few weeks waiting for the right time.

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And no advance with my audiobook, I sure need to pick it up again and get going with it!

Up next:

I intend making a choice from one of these according to my mood at the time….

I’ll pick after finishing my present read.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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I had a good week of walking and reading. On Saturday we celebrated my sister’s 60th birthday at a café, my little great nephew decided I was an easy touch and by much throwing himself my way and then indicating the park managed to have me do his will!

I also went to see Downton Abbey this week, enjoyed it, I love the big castle and grounds. It was fun seeing all the characters up there on the big screen.

What I read last week:

I read A Curious Beginning for the Modern Mrs Darcy book club. It was a fun read, I had seen many bloggers sharing this series and while its not my usual genre I was happy to pick it up and read. It was good, but I am not sure I will continue with the series but you never know. Life on Loan is a book up for review – women’s fiction, more my fare and I liked it.

What I am reading now:

From a favourite paranormal series. I should have it finished by the close of September!

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Coming Home for Christmas. RayAnne Thayne

Christmas from the Heart.  Sheila Roberts

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Book Connections, Review

Five Favourite Author Books in 2019

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Favourite authors are authors I’ll always buy their books, or most likely pre-order them so they arrive soon after publishing date. Most of them don’t appear in our shops at all or take a week to get there. I did win Under Currents which was very nice. I love a win, who doesn’t! However Nora won’t lose out because I’ll buy the audiobook for my sister as she is a fan too.

Book Cover Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors from recent years – like the last decade! Her Psy/Changeling paranormal series is the one of hers I enjoy the most. Wolf Dance takes us back to San Francisco and the wolves den, plus the emergence of a new kind of E Psy. I loved the warmth and wit, the catch up with past characters, and the dual between darkness and goodness. Plus two new main characters who were such fun and of course had good sparks flying between them. Memory is one gutsy heroine and I loved her nose to nose encounters with Alexei the wolf changeling. Five stars from me of course. Ouch I want the June 2020 book now. Thinking I might go back and start rereading this series via audio.

book coverThere is no doubt about it – Nora Roberts knows how to write great romantic suspense. There are times of intensity and times of a wonderful family, friendships blossoming and gardens getting big time makeovers. I loved how both Darby and Zane overcome the awful things life has dealt them. Darby’s ninja skills especially were something to admire for sure. Zod the dog – what a darling. Britt – Zanes’s sister, another strong woman. So much to love and cheer for, so much to be sad about. Five stars from this reader.

book coverOne sister disappears, the other – Ryan, is called upon to take care of two girls – seven and five, who seem shell shocked and withdrawn. Add in one parent who is working out on a submarine and rarely heard of. The grandparents have their own stress with Ryan’s dad having had a heart operation. The sister who has disappeared seems to be key to the whole family situation.  A mystery that slowly unravels and a family that eventually realigns itself. Very engaging read.

book coverAh, Kristan Higgins can sure write a book! Such a mix of characters, some strong – some weak. What a great mother Emma is, Riley such a delightful teen. And yes to Tess! I think she is a rampaging 2/3 year old. What havoc she caused, would love to see her as a teen and young woman! For another character – what is it like to carry a secret that scars for life? We see what it is to be a great Dad, and a terrible Dad. Great story, full of emotion, sadness and joy, some humour – the trademark of KH. And by mistake I ordered two of these books – just too overly keen!

book cover I enjoyed this latest novel of Wendy Wax. I liked the author angle, showing the tough world of publishing and having to produce. And then there is  the angst of falling out with your best friend. That happens!  Mother / daughter relationships also feature. They too have a wonderful relationship but what about if there is a secret lurking in there? All the main characters are flawed, in a very realistic, relatable way. There is struggle, and  forgiveness is not easily extended. And I loved the photo at the front of the book of Wendy Wax’s aunt in a stunning wedding dress. I can see how a story needed to be written!

Month in Review

July Reading Round Up

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Total books read this month: 14

New to me authors:

Balli Kur Jaswal
Mary Beth Keane
Linda Holmes
Robert Hillman
Meg Mitchell Moore
Kate Quinn

Authors Come From:

USA: 9
Singapore: 1
New Zealand: 1
England: 2
Australia: 1

Reading Challenge Update:

Four books towards my library challenge completed this month.

Three audiobooks marked off.

Top Books for July

Well I need three! All different but all five star reads from me.

 

Looking forward to reading in August

Some of what I have planned.

Main Reading Goals for August…

  • include some library books in my reading
  • make a dent in some of the books I’ve bought this year
  • No review books allowed!
  • Give up on Lonesome Dove, I never picked it up in July, will put it aside for now – maybe forever.

Incoming Books for July

Purchased

I am buying all the Kindle books available of Lucilla Andrews – a nostalgic author whose books are out of print but they are publishing them on Kindle and I want them all!

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

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Won

I had a little win on Instagram – Thank you Hachette Australia.

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Audio Books Purchased from Audible

Linking up with Nicole at Feed my Fiction Addiction

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Review

My Top Books of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday was created and is  hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  
It is rather difficult to chose the top books of 2016 for me. So many good reads, although not necessarily outstanding reads. Some haven’t made the list but could easily have. I haven’t included audiobooks although some were fabulous. Thank you to all the authors who entertained me in 2016. I apologise that your book is not here, mainly because the post would just be far too long!
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This was my first book of the year and it turns out to be one of my top reads for 2016. It was fantasy and a real saga.  I was reluctant to leave these people. I held my breath, I wondered, I wept, I smiled. I’ll be reading Foxmask in 2017, the follow up of this book. First time reading author Judith Marillier – New Zealand born and educated now living in Australia.

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I was impressed by this one and it was my first book by USA author Kristina McMorris. Historical fiction. The climax was tense and I wanted to close my eyes and jump a few pages! Perhaps it ended a little too tidily some might say, however I  found it very satisfying, and loved how the story circled around itself and even with one element having a bittersweet mirror image.

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Rachael Johns – Australian author produced two books in 2016 I loved, this was one of them.  Outback Sisters –  all that I love in a good romance novel. Add to that a good dose of rural Australia. There were plenty of little twists and turns, much drama and heartache, and of course love. If that wasn’t enough, I was also reminded of good times, when Rachael Johns mentioned The Magic Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton) which took me off in a little indulgent reminiscence. And she also has two characters who love reading and love to discuss the books they read.

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Another Australian author I enjoyed. Historical fiction and debut novel. Set in the USA in the 1920’s. I loved the whole historical background and what it was like for women in those days. It was rather horrifying to read of some of the childbirth practices and attitudes prevalent in that time. A woman’s touch was certainly needed. penned an absorbing, clever book, with characters that came alive off the page. I enjoyed the drama, the humour, the sadness, the romance and the time period. Fantastic read. And totally adore the cover.

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I have come to love the romance books of UK author Sarah Morgan. Loved the #3 in the Puffin Island series. To my mind Sarah Morgan is tops at writing today’s romance stories. This one was charming and enchanting. Set in the winter wonderland of snow and Christmas – a wonderful backdrop. At first I was disappointed it wasn’t all on Puffin Island, but the English countryside was magical too. Loved the tension between the two main characters, the humour and the growing love. There was plenty of wisdom in the story and loved that too. Love her writing and the similes were often spot on. Perfection.

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Allegiance of Honour is #15 in this wonderful urban fantasy/paranormal series. I have loved every book in the series and this was another winner for me. As Nalini Singh (NZ author)  says it has an ensemble cast. Many of the characters from previous books are given updates on how life is going for them. As I love each and every one of these characters that was a delight for me. I took my time reading it. No skipping lines, I just wanted to savour it. Delicious!

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USA author J. R. Ward does it again. This soap drama series has intrigued me and the second one – this one – just left me wanting more of this dysfunctional family. I couldn’t wait to find out all the scandal that has gone on since last year’s book The Bourbon Kings. Of course I had to wait! A whole year, but it has passed and I eagerly began this book. I might even have peeked at the end – although it didn’t tell me that much. This is a book that you have to read every line because you just might miss something of one of the characters evolving story.

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I always love a new book from USA author Cathy Lamb. Toni is the narrator, one of three sisters who have a very special bond. They began their lives in Russia in the 80’s where it was dangerous for them. They were under the eye of the KGB and their large extended family were quietly escaping to the USA. While the story begins in America, every so often we go back to that time in Russia until every little horrific detail of that time is revealed. One of the mysteries that Toni holds a little part – how did their brother arrive to them one bloody night?

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Archangel’s Heartis #9 in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. In this book the focus is back on Elena and Raphael and their ever maturing relationship. This time they are off to Morocco where the Luminata have called all the Cadre (the group of archangels who rule the world), because one of the Cadre – Lijuan ruler of China is missing. Is she dead? Hiding out? Or gone into a deep Sleep that lasts for centuries?
This book made me want to reread and reacquaint myself again with the whole series. It was an absorbing and emotional read. Every detail needs to be read, you can’t afford to skip a line, everything counts. Fabulous writing, satisfying reading, the very best!

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This was my first introduction to USA author Karen Rose and her romantic suspense. Every Dark Corner introduces Kate Coppola – an agent I just loved. Despite stress and a personal history that might have levelled another, Kate dedicates herself to helping others, working to save those caught in the nets of depravity.  I highly recommend you get to know her.  She sits within a 5 star read.
I have since gone on to read the first one in the series and have the next one as well. Then I will be all caught up and waiting for the next one in the Cinncinnati series.

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Ah…USA author Mary Alice Monroe. Another in her Lowcountry series. It was everything I love in a story and it was just so good to go back in Taylor’s life to when he first was discharged from the Marines, after experiencing a terrible explosion that left him shattered and suffering from PTSD. He can’t cope with returning to his family for Christmas, finds crowds threatening, and his family are bewildered and find it difficult to understand.
This is a beautifully written story, it sucked me in right from the beginning and I loved every word and minute of it. It is a perfect Christmas story and is linked with little quotes and references to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Uncategorized

Archangel’s Heart. Nalini Singh

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Published: Hachette NZ
Date:1st November 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 381
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Thanks to Hachette NZ
Rating:
           Add to Goodreads

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared.  No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of the immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangel lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, Guild Hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within – truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…..

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Archangel’s Heartis #9 in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. In this book the focus is back on Elena  and Raphael and their ever maturing relationship. This time they are off to Morocco where the Luminata have called all the Cadre (the group of archangels who rule the world), because one of the Cadre – Lijuan ruler of China is missing. Is she dead? Hiding out? Or gone into a deep Sleep that lasts for centuries? They must find out, at the moment now that Caliane (Raphael’s mother) and Alexander have arisen from Sleep there could be eleven archangels. There can only be ten.
We also have some focus on Aodhan and Illium, two angels from Raphaels Guard. Mostly it is on Aodhan who accompanies Elena and Raphael to Morocco. We learn more about him, see him developing  and healing a little more from the atrocities he suffered. I really enjoyed his part in the story and know his full story must be on the horizon!
The Luminata are meant to be monk like men who are seeking enlightenment, however as soon as they land Elena and the others sense something is not right. The tension builds as they explore the place and visit a nearby town. A few of the Luminata are helpful, especially a young one called Ibrahim who helps them out where he can. But is he too young and innocent?
I enjoyed seeing the mother / son relationship between Caliane and Raphael and Tasha her second in command and that of Elena. Tasha is still doing things to try and tip off Elena into jealousy but not with any success. 
This book is political as the cadre deliberate, so much power all together. It seems to move slowly, however it depths the  characters, is tension filled and there was always something happening that engaged me. Elena’s past is rooted in Morocco and that angle of the story was totally addictive but no spoilers!
This book makes me want to reread and reacquaint myself again with the whole series. It was an absorbing and emotional read. Every detail needs to be read, you can’t afford to skip a line, everything counts. Fabulous writing, satisfying reading, the very best!
Other reviews:
Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About : Archangel’s Heart gives it an A rating.
Melinda at Bookish Devices is also very happy to have read Archangel’s Heart.
Guild Hunter Series
Angel’s Blood        #1
Archangel’s Shadow  #7
Archangel’s Enigma  #8

Nalini Singh

About the Author
Nalini Singh was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She spent three years living and working in Japan, and travelling around Asia before returning to New Zealand now – although she’s always plotting new trips.  She has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher, not necessarily in that order. Some people might call that inconsistency, but she calls it grist for the writer’s mill.
Website:   Nalini Singh