Publisher: Gollancz

Rating: 5/5 stars

Pages: 391

Category: Adult, Paranormal romance

Trigger: massacre, abuse, torture, neglect

Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.

My most anticipated read for 2021 and it did not disappoint me at all. It even got me out of a reading slump. Nalini is my automatic buy author.

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Illium and Aodhan. Aodhan and Illium. For centuries they’ve been inseparable: the best of friends, closer than brothers, companions of the heart. But that was before—before darkness befell Aodhan and shattered him, body, mind, and soul. Now, at long last, Aodhan is healing, but his new-found strength and independence may come at a devastating cost—his relationship with Illium.

As they serve side by side in China, a territory yet marked by the evil of its former archangel, the secret it holds nightmarish beyond imagining, things come to an explosive decision point. Illium and Aodhan must either walk away from the relationship that has defined them—or step forward into a future that promises a bond infinitely precious in the life of an immortal…but that demands a terrifying vulnerability from two badly bruised hearts.


I was in a reading slum and wondering how to get out of it, so I turned to my favourite author. This is the fourteenth book in the Guild hunter series. This story has been developing from book one of the series and even beyond that, because Illium and Aodhan’s story has been centuries in the making. We are now in China with the new Archangel Suyin, who has to rule a land devastated by her aunt. Aodhan has been in China assisting Suyin as her second since the end of the Archangel war and her ascension. He is really good at the job that Suyin has taken permission from Raphael to offer Aodhan the position. Taking this position will mean that Aodhan leaves the Seven and his best friend Illium, who he is currently fighting with. Raphael has given his permission for the position to be offered to Aodhan but he is not going to fight fair, so he sends Illium to China to assist Aodhan.

Illium and Aodhan’s friendship was just so solid that even though they were at odds with each other, the love was never in question, so the transition into a couple was effortless. The story was smooth as butter to read; it just flowed seamlessly. We finally hear the true horrors of what was done to Aodhan after all the allusions in the previous books. This story was a snap shot of their existence at a critical time that they decided to redefine their relationship.

I loved how the POV flowed from Illium to Aodhan as though they were extensions of each other and their childhood story told as though not a lot of time has passed with insights from the critical people who watched them grow up. We see how far they have come and have kept growing with each other.

I gave 5 out of 5 stars. When I started this book, I finished it in 5 days because I was so engrossed in it. Unlike some of the other books in the series, I loved both the US and UK covers, I am thinking of obtaining the US copy as well. I would recommend this book to readers who want a heart warming romance between two men who have built their friendship to be such solid foundations in their lives that when they made the progression to lovers, it was angst free.

If you like this review and are interested in reading this book, you can purchase it using the links below:

Waterstones (UK) –

Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide) –

Audible (audio books) –

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