Guest Author: Nalini Singh

Today, Literary Escapism is ecstatic to welcome Nalini Singh, author of fabulous novel Archangel’s Kiss.

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of either Angels’ Blood or Must Love Hellhounds – winner’s choice – to one lucky individual.

Sympathetic Characters

I watched a low budget horror movie the other day. I’m deliberately not identifying the movie because I want to talk in generalities, but the movie was a pretty good one – great acting, setting, pace. No complaints there.

The basic plot, too, was fine. And it was one I’m sure you’re all familiar with – our hapless heroes & heroines find themselves in a dark and scary situation where a monster starts to pick them off one by one. Blood and screaming ensue.

But if I had any popcorn left by the end of the movie, I would’ve been tempted to throw it at the screen—because only one person survived…and it was the wrong person! People gave up their lives for this person to survive. And as a viewer, I didn’t feel this character deserved it.

Not only had they played a large part in precipitating the killings, but there was nothing sympathetic about this person – there was whining, and complaining, and more whining. Yes, there was one scene where the character was shown to be stronger than they seemed – but it wasn’t enough to cancel out all the other parts. Don’t get me wrong – I love flawed characters. After all, perfection tends to be boring. But to truly reach me as a viewer, there must be a balance.

This applies to books as well. If a character is really, really flawed, then the redemption must be really, really powerful—otherwise, as a reader, I’m never going to believe that this person is worth cheering for.

My hero in Angels’ Blood & Archangel’s Kiss, is definitely not the prototypical hero. Some people have called him an anti-hero. Raphael is over one thousand years old, and as he says, “Cruelty seems to be a symptom of age and power.” He thinks nothing of the most brutal punishments, nothing of using mortals as he sees fit…and yet, he is also willing to put his immortal life on the line to save a world that may never understand what it is that he has done, and he is blood-loyal to those who are his own.

Are his acts enough to inspire readers to back him and his actions? That’s up to each of you to decide, though as a writer, I sure hope so!

Today, I thought we’d talk about your favorite redeemed heroes and heroines, the ones for whom you think the author has hit it out of the ball park, making someone who started out unsympathetic, a character you ended up cheering for. I recently went on a historical reading spree, so one of my picks would be Harry Rutledge from Lisa Kleypas’s Tempt Me At Twilight. I still thought he was arrogant and a very bad man at the end of the book…but I liked him anyway. And I believed the heroine had found the right man for her.

Your turn. Who are your favorite redeemed characters?


Thank you Nalini for taking the time to visit Literary Escapism!

Contest Time! Nalini has graciously offered to give away a copy of either Angels’ Blood or Must Love Hellhounds – winner’s choice – to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer one of this question: Who are your favorite redeemed characters?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
  • +1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the bottom of the sidebar)
  • +10 purchase for any of Nalini’s, or any print, novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace.  Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter.  Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until February 4th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

Also, I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. As an Anita Blake fan, I choose Jean-Claude. He starts out very manipulative and retains those traits throughout the series BUT you begin to understand him. Glimpses come through of how the monster thinks and a strange monster compassions forms. This all occurs while the “good guy” digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole! The roles almost reverse, or maybe turn inside out is a better phrase and now I feel that the Jean-Claude has redeemed himself as much as a monster can.

    I am adding your blog post to my blog post for today as well as including it in my contest side bar.

    I am a facebook follower, twitter follower, blogger follower and receive your email updates.

    AND I agree to review this novel should I be the winner :D

  2. Do not enter me — I have Angel’s Blood and Must Love already.
    I just want to say I love Angel’s Blood and I am so excited to read the next one.

    Redeemable characters — Xadist (JR Ward)/jean Claude (in the beginning – his character has digressed)/ Stryker (Kenyon)/Adam Black (KM.Mooning) — some of my faves.

  3. Please don’t enter me in this contest because I have ALL of Nalini Singh’s books. I just wanted to stop by and gush on how awesome Angel’s Blood was(is) and cannot wait to get my hands on Archangel’s Kiss. I’m really curious if the 3rd book will be a different character or if Singh will continue with Elena and Raphael….?

  4. Nalini! Your books are the best–and success couldn’t happen to a nicer or more deserving person. :)

    I don’t know if I exactly *like* this character I’m about to name, but I thought the narrator of THE KITE RUNNER might be an interesting example here. I have never despised a character more, and I thought it was really interesting that, by the end of the book, he was being portrayed as a major hero. He did earn hero status through his actions, but I couldn’t shake off what a morally weak person he used to be….

  5. One of my favorite redeemed characters is Judd Lauren from Caressed by Ice, actually. A member of a group of assassins known for their ruthlessness, he found his way to redemption through love . . . and not only the love of a woman, but love of his family.

    Speaking of Kleypas, I was always fond of Derek Craven from Dreaming of You. The Snape mention above was brilliant; talk about true love and its power to make a person do the right thing. The assassin from Susan Wiggs’ historical, The Raven and the Rose. And the Duke from Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm. Sigh.

    Thank you for the glimpses you give us into wonderful worlds, Nalini!

  6. Please don’t enter me in the contest as I already own both books. I just wanted to put in a plug for Amara as a great redeemed character. I would love to see her as the lead in an upcoming Psy-Changelings book.

  7. Thanks for the great comments everyone! Really enjoying reading them.

    I picked up one question – if I missed any, please nudge me.

    K.C. – yes, it looks like book 3 will continue with Elena and Raphael :)

  8. One of my fave redeemed characters is Kerrigan from the Lords of Avalon series by Kinley MacGregor

    +1 follow on twitter @throuthehaze
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  9. I have “Angels’ Blood”, am anxiously awaiting “Archangel’s Kiss” but would love to be put in the pot for “Must Love Hellhounds”!

    Redeemed characters…does Daine from Loretta Chase’s “Lord of Scoundrels” count? I *loved* him and the entire novel. Daine does unsympathetic things, but you understand why he’s doing them.

    I’ve also been reading urban fantasy a lot and I must say that I’ve become a fangirl of Rob Thurman’s Cal Leandros. (“Nightlife” “Moonshine” etc). He’s sarcastic, snarky, and lazy but also a very sympathetic character. Very different from Raphael, but there’s depth :)

  10. My favorite redeemed character is Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. When I started reading Halfway to the Grave, I remember really wanting to punch him in the face during the first couple chapters he appeared in. But as the story progressed, I found myself changing my mind. By the end of book three (I haven’t gotten around to reading four yet) I absolutely love him, especially his humor.

    I actually just finished reading Angels’ Blood last week, so I’d love a chance to win Must Love Hellhounds!

    +1 follower on twitter (@sara_UFblog)

  11. I would have to say Jean Claude from LKH’s Anita Blake series. He was so self-motivated and so deceptive. Now, he truly focuses on his vamps and Anita’s happiness.

    ?+1 Joined the Literary Escapism Facebook page and follow LE on Twitter
    ?+1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via reader & e-mail

  12. My favorite redeemed character is Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress novel.

    +1 Joined the Literary Escapism Facebook page
    +1 subscriber to Literary Escapism

    thanks for the contest!

  13. My favorite redeeming character is Adam Black, Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series, he is full of mischief, chaos and damm sexy!

    Love Nalini Singh’s Psy and Angel series

    I also am a subscriber

    Thank you

  14. P.S.:I’ve also become a fan of your facebook account, now have a subscription of your blog via email, and posted an entry at my blog about the contest (
    I would also like to add Viscount St. Vincent from The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas, and Alexander Cameron from Pride of Lions and Blood of Roses by Marsha Canham to my sympathetic characters list.
    Thanks Nalini and Literary Escapism!

  15. Also an Anita Blake fan, i have to say that Jean-Claude redeemed himself, and thankgod. At the start he was a manipulative little bugger and was so punch worthy, but through out the books he got better and was less of monster-as in personality wise-.
    But i also have to agree with Snape from Harry Potter redeeming himself and being a goody. :)

    +1 Twittered
    +1 Following on facebook (Bianca F) and on twitter (bianca_riot)
    +1 Subscribed to posts

    Thanks =)

  16. Please don’t add me to the contest. I have all the GH books. I just want to tell Nalini I love her Guild Hunter world! It’s so unique and complex.

    I love Raphael + Elena, Lijuan, Michaela, Ilium, and even Dmitri!Please keep writing about them and their world. All the characters have such depth to them that it makes it so interesting to read. I like that the characters are not black and white, all good or all evil or all mad. It’s not an easy world to craft and you did it brilliantly. You’re right up there with Jeaniene Frost, Kresley Cole, Suzanne Collins, and Kelley Armstrong as my favorite authors.

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