Poor Jason. The mysterious spymaster for the Archangel Raphael is a man who carries a terrible past. In a fit of madness, his father killed his mother, then killed himself and left young Jason to clean up the mess left behind. If the heartbreak and gore weren't bad enough, the immature angel was alone on a secluded island and it would be decades before his wings were strong enough to fly him away. Those events and the ensuing years of isolation made him into the hardened shell of a man that he is today.
The story begins with the murder of Eris, the imprisoned consort of the Archangel Neha. To keep her grief from spiraling out of control onto an unsuspecting population, Raphael sends Jason to find the killer so that Neha can get justice. The only way she will let him into her territory, though, is if he agrees to a blood bond with her niece, Mahiya.
The princess is, and always has been, nothing more than a pawn to her aunt. She is the living proof of Eris' infidelity with Neha's sister. Mahiya has led a lonely life, marked by Neha's resentment and anger. All she wants is a way out of her hostile environment and she hopes that Jason's presence will help her find a way to do that.
A relationship between Jason and Mahiya is very slow to develop. This is only exacerbated by the POV jumps to Dmitri and Honor. I'm glad things are going so well for them, but it frustrated me every time we were pulled out of Jason's story for a random chapter about them.
I kept waiting for Nalini Singh to give me the kind of emotional pull I've felt in her other books, but I have to admit, I was disappointed. Jason seemed like the ideal candidate to be a tortured hero, but he is so closed off. I thought, in time, the floodgates would open, but they didn't. Mahiya acts like she could love enough for the both of them, but it made the romance lacking. It saddened me that she didn't think she deserved more.
That's not to say there weren't good things in the book. When Singh finally gave us the full flashback on Jason's worst moment, I cried. Not only that, but the murder mystery was interesting as it unfolded and the series story arc continued to build. I just wanted more from the central romance. I wanted Jason's frozen heart to fill to bursting the way Dmitri's did. I wanted... more.
Rating: B-*ARC Provided by Berkley