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Review: Death’s Sweet Embrace by Tracey O’Hara

18 Jan

Death’s Sweet Embrace by Tracey O’Hara
Mass market: $7.99
HarperCollins (January 2011)
ISBN: 9780061783142

Favorite Lines: “It doesn’t matter what you do, your daughters belong to us.” (p. 150)

After centuries of secret conflict, humans and parahumans have reached an uneasy truce. But unspeakable evil now threatens the tenuous peace.

Teenaged shapeshifters are being slaughtered by a sadistic serial killer who rips their still-beating hearts from their paralyzed bodies. A task force forms to halt the madness, including the vampiric Aeternus Antoinette Petrescu, as well as Kitt Jordan and Raven Matokwe, members of enemy Animalian tribes . . . and forbidden lovers.

A centuries-old blood feud has divided their shapeshifting peoples, and if their passion is discovered it will doom them both. But past hostilities must be put aside, for the killer they seek is but the first sign of the all-consuming nightmare of The Dark Brethren.

The first book in the Dark Brethren series was Night’s Cold Kiss. It followed a Venator (vampire slayer) named Antoinette Petrescu on her journey to find a serial killer who was a vampire. Her journey ended in a life altering manner at the end of the first book. Antoinette makes an appearance in Death’s Sweet Embrace, but the story isn’t about her. She has a minor role in the story and I could almost be comfortable with her not even being mentioned.

Book two in the series is Kitt’s story. Kitt is an Animalian (shifter), widow and mother of two who lives alone. She was kicked out of her pride and her children were taken from her and raised by the very pride which disowned her. During this same time a bounty was placed on her lover Raven because Kitt’s pride believed he had something to do with the death of Kitt’s husband.

Even though I read the first book in the series I felt a little bit unbalanced reading Death’s Sweet Embrace. The story flashed between characters other than the hero and heroine, and I didn’t really get the purpose. The story is a romance involving Kitt and Raven even though the back of the book doesn’t tell you that.

If I were to only consider the who-dun-it aspect of the book I would have to give it high marks. I knew who the killer was, but in a way I was wrong. I didn’t see the ending coming at all.

While I enjoyed the story I became aggravated. I was unable to suspend belief in key parts of the story. The mother in me couldn’t I know people give up their kids every day when they can’t provide for them. I get that Animalians need to be surrounded by their pride. What I have a problem with is knowing the dangerous environment the heroine let her children grown up in. Especially with the knowledge that is disclosed toward the end of the story.

Despite all of my personal issues, the story is well written and contains a great plot. The characters are likeable and there is a happily ever after. I don’t regret reading Death’s Sweet Embrace, and I’m sure that I’ll continue reading the series.