Embrace The Darkness by Alexandra Ivy

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Lady Shay is the last of her kind.  Half human, half Shalott, her blood is a precious aphrodisiac to vampires, who consider it more precious than gold.  Though Shalotts are renowned assassins, a curse held over Shay lands her on the slave auction block, where her fate is uncertain…

Viper, the beguiling chief of a deadly vampire clan, can’t explain his longing to possess the beautiful Shalott who once saved his life, but now he is free to do anything he wants with her.  Strangely, while he desires both Shay’s blood and body, he wants her to surrender willingly.

A hidden evil has been stalking Shay since she left the slave market with Viper.  It is an evil that endangers the very existence of Viper’s kind, and there’s no reason he should court such danger just to protect a Shalott.  But the love he feels for Shay is enough to make him willing to go to hell and back if it means spending an eternity with her in his arms…

The Review:

This is the second book in the Guardians of Eternity Series. Towards the end of book 1 “When Darkness Comes”, we were introduced to the stars of this book.  Shay and Viper. The sexual tension was there and so was a sure thing of a long and lusty chase!

Shay is a human/Shalott mix,or as Viper made the mistake of calling her….a mongrel. Shalotts are on the extinction list, mostly due to their powerful blood. Her blood is like catnip to a vampire and since vampires killed Shay’s father, she thinks Viper’s intentions are to do just that.

In book one, Shay was a slave to the witches who held Abby. We find out in the beginning of “Embrace the Darkness” she had been “loaned” out to the witches by a troll named Evor, who uses an auction house as his cover for slave trading. Shay has a curse on her and whoever has possession of the curse, owns her completely. They can call her back to them at anytime and any harm she does to the curse holder, comes back to her twice as bad. If the curse holder is killed, she will die too. Unfortunately Evor is the current curse holder.

It is at the auction house we meet Shay’s new friend and now one of my ABSOLUTE favorite characters in this series. A French gargoyle named Levet.

You can’t help but love the little guy, and little he is.  He’s a small gargoyle, only 3 ft tall and instead of having thick, strong wings that are capable of flying, he has delicate wings, similar to a fairy’s, that couldn’t even attempt to hold his stubby little body up in flight.  So you can imagine the humiliation poor Levet endured growing up. You can’t help but love him and he’s SOOO funny!!!

“Cherie, did the table do something I did not see or were you just attempting to teach it a lesson?” Levet demanded, his voice low and laced with a lilting French accent.

Not at all the sort of thing to improve his status among the gargoyles.

Shay smiled wryly. “I was imagining it was Evor.”

“Strange, they do not greatly resemble one another.”

“I have a good imagination.”

“Ah.” He gave a ridiculous wiggle of his thick brow. “In that case, I do not suppose you are imagining I’m Brad Pitt?”

Shay smiled wryly. “I’m good, but not that good, gargoyle.”

“A pity.”

See Why I love him!! Ok, now that you know a little about Levet, let’s move on to the main story.

Shay goes up for auction and she is shocked who she is bid on and bought by.

There was something about that silky dark voice. Something… familiar.

“Step forward,” Evor demanded, his eyes shimmering red, “Step forward and offer your name.”

There was a stir as the crowd parted. From the back shadows a tall, elegant form glided forward,

A hushed whisper spread through the room as the muted light revealed the hauntingly beautiful face and satin curtain of silver hair that fell down his back.

It took only a glance to realize he was a vampire.

No human could so closely resemble an angel that had fallen from heaven. And fallen recently. Or move with such liquid grace. Or cause the demons to back away in wary fear.

Shay’s breath caught in her throat. Not at his stunning beauty, or powerful presence, or even the flamboyant velvet cloak that shrouded his slender form.

It was the fact that she knew this vampire.

He had been at her side when they had battled the coven of witches weeks ago. And, more importantly, he had been at her side when she had saved his life.

And now he was here bidding on her like she was no more than a piece of property.

Damn his rotten soul to hell.

………………………

“You may call me Viper,”

Voila! The formula for an amazing “I hate you!” “I love you!” scenario!

There are many unexpected events, which keeps the book exciting, one of which is finding out who actually put the curse on Shay to begin with. Another is who’s fighting to gain control of it.

I also loved the comical moments between Shay and Viper. The one that stands out the most is when she drove his car for the first time. You know men and their cars? Well Viper is no different!

Shay was abruptly cut off as a roar split the night air. “What the hell was that?”

Levet hopped off his chair to go to the door and pull it open. “The howls of the damned. Or a very angry vampire. They seem to be coming from the garage.”

“The garage.” Shay slowly lifted herself to her feet as a sense of dread filled her stomach. “Oh.”

“What is it?” Levet demanded.

“I might have had some difficulties with Viper’s car.”

“What sort of car?”

“A Porsche, I think. What does it matter?”

Levet rolled his eyes heavenward. “Holy mother of God.”

Shay frowned as the gargoyle grabbed a loaf of freshly baked bread and headed toward the stairs to the basement.

“Where are you going?”

“To find shelter from the coming storm.”

There was another roar and Shay pressed a hand to her cramped stomach. “You just promised you would remain to protect me.”

Levet sent her a raspberry. “You wrecked a man’s Porsche. You are on your own.”

The rest of the dialogue is hilarious! Wait till you read what happens when Viper confronts Shay about it!

This was a really great book and had me laughing out loud quite a few times. But I have to confess this wasn’t my favorite in the series, but it wasn’t far behind.  I fell in love with both characters in book 1, so it was nice to have their story be told. You will also catch up with Dante and Abby and they still have supporting roles in this book.  So it’s nice to see their story continuing to unfold.

I gave this book 4 stars because it lacked a little something. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but it didn’t hold me completely captive the way the first book did. Maybe it had way too much being chased by demons and not enough “bow chicka wow wow” that I had become addicted to in Dante and Abby’s relationship.  But it was still a wonderful read and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone who will listen!

And of course there is another reason to read it…..Levet!!

~Robin