by Nalini Singh, fantasy (2009)
Berkley, $4.45, ISBN 978-1-101-02491-1
Angels' Pawn is a short story that kicks off Nalini Singh's new series that is more urban fantasy than paranormal romance. This is a world where archangels rule as heartless tyrants while humans and various creepy-crawly folks try to stay on their good side.
Meet Ashwini. She's a bounty hunter who retrieves rogue vampires for these vampires' sires, the angels. In this story, she works with Janvier, a Cajun vampire, despite her reservations in order to retrieve an MIA vampire for the seductive but sinister angel Nazarach. Lots of fun ensue along with, of course, sexual tension aplenty between Janvier and Ashwini.
It's a good thing that I read this short story after I've read the "official" first story in the series, Angels' Blood, or else I will be even more disappointed with that book, heh. This one has the pacing of the romance just right - it is woven very nicely into the story alongside the more dramatic urban fantasy elements of the story. Of course, it helps that the hero and the heroine have a more convincing working dynamic here that leads to a more believable possibility that they will work just well together when it comes to a relationship.
This is a short story, so there is not much to be said about it, really. But it is a well-written and well-paced short story that offers a pretty tantalizing insight to the author's new series. I really like this one, and, heh, I actually like it more when I can't help comparing this one to Angels' Blood.
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