Not every author can keep the spark alive for one central couple over the course of multiple books. But I have grown more and more interested in Elena & Raphael and their world with every successive story in the Guild Hunter series. Both characters are truly evolving as individuals, which makes the evolution of their relationship so much more believable and satisfying.
The main foil in this installment is Raphael's mother. She is waking from the sleep of Ancients. It's wreaking havoc with mother nature. And much of the vampire population seems to be going crazy with violence. It puts Raphael in a horrible position, as he still struggles with love for his mother, while knowing the depths of horror she is capable of rendering.
Elena continues her efforts to become a stronger angel, while still dealing with her own emotional demons from childhood. New developments bring her younger sisters back into her life and she once again must face her father and his cruelty.
What makes this book so good, though, is that while both Elena and Raphael struggle, they are relying on each other more and more. They are both becoming stronger as a result of the connection they share. And they are still really, really hot in the sack. The secondary characters continue to intrigue me. (I want stories for Illium and Jason... stat.) Plus, the action keeps me on the edge of my seat, page after page, without every growing tiresome.
What is growing a little tiresome, is all the parental angst. I'm ready for Elena to conquer some of her heartbreak, especially where her father is concerned. 4 1/2 stars.