Sep 19 2017 8:30am

Nalini Singh Excerpt: Archangel’s Viper

Nalini Singh

Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

We lost our minds when Nalini Singh shared this tantalizing snippet from Archangel's Viper on Instagram in July...

...So we are thrilled to share that AND what happens on the next page! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Nalini Singh's Archangel's Viper, Holly and Venom's book, out September 26, 2017...

He found her at the very top of the Tower, her eyes on the glowing red golds of the Hudson under a startling sunset. Venom had called this land home for nearly two hundred years, but he still appreciated the magnificence of it. As he appreciated the wild nature and unbreakable spirit of the fine-boned woman who stood staring at the setting sun.

After what she’d undergone, Holly Chang should’ve been a candidate for what mortals had once called insane asylums. She’d teetered on that edge for a while, but she’d never fallen. Today, she stood dressed in a sleek black cheongsam that celebrated her femininity. Hitting her midcalf, it was printed with tiny flowers in indigo blue. She’d pulled that silky hair full of color up into a high and equally sleek ponytail.

In her hands, she held a clutch.

And on her feet were four-inch black stilettos that brought her closer to his height.

When he reached her position and she deigned to glance at him, he saw that her makeup was both subtle and masterful. She’d loved fashion once, he remembered. As he’d once loved working with the textures and flavors of food.

“I see you did grow up a little in my absence, kitty.” He’d witnessed her increased control over her abilities from a distance—but seeing her like this, so totally a woman who had now lived twenty-seven years on this earth, he realized she’d changed in deeper ways than he’d understood.

“Why do you think I care about your opinion?” she asked in a politely reasonable tone that held just the right amount of perplexed bemusement.

Venom laughed, delighted with her—though he’d never allow her to guess that. Holly had always challenged him in a way that ignited his instincts, and she did it with a cutting intelligence that spoke to his own. It appeared her increased control over her temper had only honed the razor edge of her wit. “Let’s go have dinner.”

She didn’t take his offered arm, instead giving his hand-tailored suit of darkest brown and crisp white shirt a slow and critical once-over. On his way up to the roof, he’d been subtly invited to bed sport by four vampires and two angels, one of whom had run her hand down the lapel of his impeccably fitted jacket and murmured that he looked “good enough to eat.”

Holly sighed. “I see the shares in Cheap Suits Co. are paying off.”

“It did seem a wise investment.”

Her eyes sparked laughing green fire at him before she spun on her heel and strode to the elevator, the back of her dress hugging the tight curves of her body. “Keep up, old man.”

Venom felt the urge to bite her. Of course, she’d probably bite back harder. Walking into the elevator by her side, he rode down with her in silence. It was prickly, of course. It always was—as if the strangeness that lived in them both was irritated by the proximity. Just to see if contact would further the prickles, he touched the curve of her lower back as they stepped out of the elevator.

“Do you want me to break your wrist?” she asked with acerbic politeness.

“You’re being very reasonable today.” He did drop his hand, but only because he had to slide on his sunglasses. After three hundred and fifty years, Venom was well accustomed to using his looks to distract or to cause fear or to charm.

It turned out women liked the eyes if he gave them a certain look.

However, he didn’t particularly enjoy dealing with horrified gapes. It reminded him too much of the most painful day of his existence, when he’d seen the same expression on the faces of those who meant more to him than his own life. Oddly, Holly had never given him that gape. Instead, she’d told him that if he left his fancy contacts in too long, his eyes would rot and fall out. Venom had known from that instant that the girl everyone thought broken would survive.

“I’m hoping it’ll rub off,” she said after they exited the Tower. “That you’ll learn a few manners.”

Venom had come from Neha’s court, had been one of her favorites because of his smooth manners and charm. With Holly, however, he reacted from a more primal place. “Here,” he said, opening the passenger door of his low-slung car. “A lady should go first.”

“Oh sir, how gallant of you.” With that breathy statement worthy of an ingénue, Holly got in and crossed her legs, her purse in her lap.

Lips curved, Venom shut the door and got into the driver’s seat. “Put on your seat belt.” Vampires were near-immortal, but losing the head would finish them both off. And Holly wasn’t quite a vampire. Like another one of the Seven, Naasir, Holly was unique. Neither one thing or the other. But while Naasir was at peace with his dual nature, Holly either ignored it or fought it.

“Of course,” she said. “Safety first.” She put on her seat belt with exaggerated care. “So nice of you to care.”

“I always care for the kitties I babysit.”


Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2017.

Learn more about or order a copy of Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh, available September 26, 2017:

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New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the temples of Japan, and the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer.

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1 comment
Shefali Iris Singh
1. Shefali Iris Singh
Awesome!!! The chemistry between these two has been killing me till now. Can't wait to read the rest of this book!!!
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