His Dark Embrace by Amanda Ashley

Available : June 5, 2012 Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Kensington

My Copy: Sent

A VAMPIRE’S KISS. A WOMAN’S SURRENDER.

Tall, dark, mysterious—and with a faint scar on his cheek that only makes him more gorgeous—Kaiden Thorne is one schoolgirl obsession Skylynn never forgot. Now, returning to her childhood home after eight years, she can’t believe her reclusive neighbor is still living across the street—and hotter than ever. Skylynn doesn’t know how Kaiden manages to stay so young, virile, and impossibly attractive. But she knows she wants him…even if he harbors a fearful secret he refuses to tell her.

When Kaiden sees the beautiful young woman Skylynn has become, he can no longer control the bloodlust that is his true nature. Once he pulls Skylynn into his arms, presses his lips against hers—and accidentally draws blood—he longs for more. Only she possesses what he wants and what he needs. Only she can save him or destroy him. But once Skylynn agrees to help Kaiden battle his darkest desires, there is no turning back…

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Coming home is never easy, especially when the reason is a funeral. Skylynn is mourning the death of her grandfather and in order to take care of his possessions she comes home to the house he raised her in. With a brother missing in action overseas, a funeral and a lover she really doesn’t care about, Sky is ready for a change.  She’s surprised to find that the hottie neighbor across the street is not only still there, but hasn’t aged a day. As they enter into a tenuous relationship strung tight with the developing heat between them, Sky will learn what it means to love and that coming home is exactly what she needed.

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I went into this one knowing the last book I had picked up from Amanda Ashley was a good read. I was excited to try to capture that same feeling again with His Dark Embrace. It opens with a flash back in Skylynns life. She’s young, divorced, currently seeing a man she doesn’t really love and has just gone home to bury her beloved Granda, the one that raised her and her brother alone after Skylynns parents died in a car wreck and his wife died several years later. With a brother missing in action overseas and believed dead, Skylynn shoulders all the responsibility associated with a funeral. Looking onto the house across the street she remembers the elusive man who lived there when she was a child. She is enamored by him just thinking his name and when she sees that he has come home as well after being gone many years, she is just as happy to see him as he sees to be seeing her.

Kaiden is basically in love with Skylynn from the start and to be honest I found it all a bit creepy. The guy has known her since she was six….now she’s all grown up (24 yrs old) and he’s got the major hots for her. He’s even been following her around the country and keeping tabs on her all these years at her Grandas insistence.  An elixir that her Granda concocted allows him to basically revert back to human but with the old mans passing, Kaidens time is running out on being “normal”. Instead he is quickly becoming a full-fledged vampire again and the sweet and tempting Skylynn is like handing a steak to a starving man.

I understood his blood thirst after reverting about to his full vampire nature. Though it bugged me that instead of telling Skylynn he goes out and drains a bunch of people and is gone for days without telling her what was going on. Especially right after she got done telling him how everyone in her life has up and left her. Men. Waiting till he gets her in bed and then having her accidentally seeing his blood red eyes probably isn’t the way you want someone to find out you’re a vamp. I sure wouldn’t want to be naked and writhing under some dude and then “oh by the way, can I suck your blood?” No thanks. Skylynn probably should have put two and two together on her own anyway. The guy hasn’t aged a day in years, he used to only come out at night until he became buddies with her Granda and was over in the basement lab all the time, he seemed to be able to hear her coming a mile away…ect ect.

I didn’t think there was near enough relationship building for these two before they were standing at the altar. In fact I didn’t like the epilogue either. Everything was way to neat and tidy for my tastes. I love HEAs but come on now, the book was only 380-ish pages. They hadn’t seen each other for years. All of a sudden they are together, then bam they are wanting to get married and then a few other bombs are dropped. The addition of the “missing in action” brother was both clever and boring. I can’t explain it. I liked that he was essential to the story but damn he was all over the map in personality. He is kinda just thrown at the reader after a few vague paragraphs prior to him appearing. I wish he would have just shown up at the end with the knowledge he carried and been done with it.

The main protagonist, a hunter who is bent on revenge because Kaiden killed his wife years ago, just wasn’t scary. I found him to be an incredibly weak villain and I wished more was done with his character. He does a lot of skulking around planning a revenge that never comes quite to fruition. I wanted something a bit more mean…a bit more “in my face”.

I liked the actual love story, before things got hectic. I liked the tenderness they found in each other. The awakening of senses and the realization that together they were whole. The sex scenes are tame for those readers that don’t want to delve into the graphic descriptions and so this one will work for a broad range of readers. I liked that on its own. All that other mess just brought the book down for me.

I give His Dark Embrace by Amanda Ashley 3 stars! 

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