I am loving the foray into the romantic lives of Raphael's Seven. Dmitri's book was wonderful and this one was it's equal, imo.
Jason is Raphael's spymaster. He's quiet, lives in shadows and has a solid, enigmatic core.
He is dispatched to the Archangel's Neha's territory to help investigate the death of her consort. Raphael is amenable to Jason helping Neha for awhile because it pust his spymaster in a place where he can get some inside intel, Neha has her own reasons for wanting Jason there.
In the previous books of the series we've met quite a few of the angels and archangels including Neha. She is one of the scarier ones. Actually most of the angels in this series are scary. They may be insanely beautiful but they are primarily just insane.
But back to Neha, she is the Archangel of India, the Queen of Snakes and Poisons. Her daughter was executed in an earlier book because of heinous crimes she committed (the discovery of which was largely thanks to Elena, whom Neha now hates with the heat of a 1000 suns). So in addition to he beloved daughter she's lost now she's also lost her beloved consort. Sure he was a cheating bastard whom she kept imprisoned, but she loved him anyway. And he was disemboweled and left for her to find. So she's hurting, feeling loss and since she's a little crazy herself she wants to hurt people.
Thus we have Mahiya. She is Neha's niece and Neha's favorite person in the word to hurt and torture. And Neha isn't just contend with locking Mahiya in a room for weeks on end with poisonous snakes. Oh, no. Neha also enjoys mental and psychological torture for poor Mahiya.
But Majiya is no mere punching bag. She has long known what she is to Neha and refuses to break. She's knows she is just a pawn, but as she assists Jason in his investigations, she has plans of her own. She is just as silent and plotting in her own way as Jason is.
I liked how her romance with Jason unfolded. It wasn't all 'Sturm und Drang' like Raphael/Elena or cheating-death miraculous like Dmitri/Honor. No theirs was more quiet. Like a dark pool, deep and reflective. They exchange life stories, they learn about each other. They understand each other's pain and each learns that some of the healing comes simply from sharing with someone who cares. It was sweet and yet profound. Also it doesn't hurt that she was a classic princess in distress and he helps to save her.
I figured out the mystery very early on thanks to a simple omission from a story told to Mahiya. So I kept waiting for Jason and Mahiya to cop to it. They did in good time. I was very happy at the outcome only because it actually added to Mahiya's happy ending. And it was yet another blow to Neha.
Dmitri and Honor have a few shortish chapters sprinkled throughout the book so we get to follow up with them and see how they go on. It was kind of nice to see dangerous Dmitri all schmoopy in love (yet still dangerous).
Really good book, I devoured it.