Title: Embrace of the Damned
Author: Anya Bast
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Brotherhood of the Damned (Book 1)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback, 304 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425247961 (Penguin/Berkley)
ISBN-13: 978-0425247969 (Penguin/Berkley)
Reviewed by: Kristie
A damned Viking warrior.
Centuries ago Broder Calderson committed murder. As punishment, he was given over to the dominion of Loki, the Trickster God, made part of the Brotherhood of the Damned and condemned to an immortal life of battle against the Blight, blood-drinkers from Hel.
A mysterious woman he can’t resist.
One thousand years to the day he was damned, Loki allows him a woman as reward for his good service and repentance of his crimes. Once Broder sees Jessamine Hamilton, he is overcome with need. But Jessa is no ordinary woman, and the truth of who–and what–she is could have dangerous consequences.
A tormented man she can’t deny.
Though a future together is impossible, the warrior’s touch ignites an irresistible passion in Jessa. But every heated kiss pushes them closer to destruction. Forced to return to the brutality of his Viking past to protect her, will Broder surrender forever to his darkest impulses?
Quick & Dirty: Anya Bast has created a dark and thrilling world of demons and damned men. The romance is H.O.T. hot! Embrace of the Damned is completely engrossing; I didn’t want to put this book down.
Opening Sentence: Other people’s blood seeped into Broder’s wounds, making every slash and scratch on his body burn.
Imagine a good-looking (but at the same time scary-looking dude) frightening the crap out of you in a dark parking garage basically telling you “They know what you are. They are coming after you. Good Luck!” That is what happens to Jessamine Hamilton. She doesn’t even know what she is. She has only just become suspicious of little things that she can do. She is looking into her past when she is attacked in the parking garage by a demon.
Broder Calderson comes to Jessa’s rescue. Broder has been a member of the Brotherhood of the Damned for one thousand years and on this day Loki has given Broder his freedom to be with a woman and not just any woman. Broder feels the pull of Jessa once the veil has been lifted and he finds her just in time. The demons want Jessa dead. It is up to Jessa and Broder to find out what she is and why she is being hunted down.
As a member of the Brotherhood, Broder is a part of an army that hunts demons for the god Loki. The demons are part of the war to create Ragnarok. The Brotherhood must fight to prevent it. All the brothers are damned and immortal. Loki recruited them for his army after they participated in unspeakable crimes. Broder is a big man with no emotion. He lost all rights to emotion when he became a brother. He fights his battles but what he really wants is to die.
When Broder meets Jessa she starts to break down his shields but she doesn’t have to work very hard. Broder wants her. Jessa wants Broder too, but she doesn’t want a quick fling, a love ‘em and leave ‘em relationship. She has been hurt badly in her past and she doesn’t want the heartbreak of another relationship. They both know there can be no future for them after Jessa learns what she is and because Loki will eventually take her away from Broder.
Embrace of the Damned starts off action-packed. Broder and Jessa are on the run but when they make it to Broder’s house in Scotland the action slows down a bit but not too much. Jessa learns how to protect herself while having to endure mental manipulation and kidnappings. Jessa isn’t the strongest of heroines. In fact she is quite a bit of a tease, so much so she even admits it to herself. But she knows her limitations and that is what I liked about Jessa.
Broder and Jessa aren’t the only points of view during the story. Roan is a bad/good guy. He provides more insight into what Jessa is and the people she comes from. Roan was one of those guys that I hated during the story but in the end I just felt sorry for him and the situation he was put in.
The tension of Broder and Jessa’s relationship is what kept me riveted. I wasn’t sure how this story would end but when everything was said and done it was warm and heartfelt. I think this is a great start to a new series and I can’t wait for the next book. There are several characters that I hope to get to see more of in the future.
Embrace of the Damned is a sexy, dark paranormal romance. If you like sexy Vikings, smart-ass women and Norse mythology then this is one Viking romance I definitely recommend.
Jessa leapt out of the way, narrowly missing the swipe of an enormous hand. This was probably a low-level demon and he looked it—an unintelligent grunt. Pivoting on the ball of her foot, she brought her boot around and clipped the thing in the side of the head.
The demon staggered to the side, shaking his ringing head, as she spun away. A split second later he lunged for her again, catching her by her shirt. The material ripped as she lurched to the side and nearly tripped, her sword swinging wildly. Her heart thudded. This was not the time to lose control.
Listing to the side to catch her balance, she madly swiped with the sword, cutting only air. The demon sensed he had her, growled something in a foreign language, and leapt.
Staggering backward, she swung again. This time the tip of the blade sliced through fabric, bit into the demon’s upper chest. It had been purely luck.
The thing roared, blood coursing down his chest, but this was no Loki blade she wielded; he didn’t explode into ice fragments. The wound only seemed to enrage him. He stalked toward her again.
Jessa retreated backward, sword hanging loose in one hand. She had to kill this thing. It was her life or his. She stumbled over a piece of refuse, nearly falling on her ass.
When the demon smiled, sensing he had her. Whimpering deep in her throat, she slouched her shoulders. Oh, God, she was going to die. The agents smile widened. Good. Stupid, gullible thing.
Jessa leapt forward, right into the demon, bringing her fist around into the tender flesh of his nose. The demon howled, his head snapping to the side. Her hand burst with pain, but that was no matter now. With a two-handed grip on the sword handle, she pivoted, bringing the blade around to bite into the nape of his neck with as much force as she could muster. The blade was incredibly sharp and it slid into the demon’s flesh like butter.
The Brotherhood of the Damned Series:
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided me with a copy of Embrace of the Damned. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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