Title: Embrace of the Damned
Author: Anya Bast
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
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?
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I stumbled across this book while searching through Goodreads one day and the summary really sucked me in. I love the idea of a redeemable hero and the Viking mythology sounded really interesting as well.
Broder is a Viking warrior with a very tortured past. He is currently a member of the Brotherhood of the Damned, a group overseen by the trickster god Loki. He has been forced to live a life of celibacy for one thousand years and Loki rewards him with the woman of his dreams for a limited time. He expects to be happy with her for a short time, but does not expect to fall for her or have the overwhelming desire to protect her. He was the perfect brooding hero and I instantly fell in love with him.
Jessa was an interesting character. I really wanted to like her, but for the first half of the book she was hard for me to warm up to. She was just a little rough on Broder and I felt bad for how badly she was teasing the poor guy. She even admits to it at one point and this particular character trait made it difficult for me to like her at first. However, there is a breaking point for her and after that I really enjoyed her. She finally just let herself go for what she wanted and I enjoyed watching her take control of her life.
The Brotherhood was very interesting and something that Jessa found intriguing as well when she sees all of the together for the first time.
“Broder led her out of the room, and she cast a final suspicious look over her shoulder, wondering like crazy what the hell was going on in this place. Was it a halfway house for wayward underwear models? Some secret organization of crime-fighting superheroes? Oh, crap, the set of a Norwegian porn movie?”
Looks aside, all these warriors have very tortured pasts and we only get a brief glimpse into their world in this book. We know some of the other members of the Brotherhoods names, but that is the extent of our knowledge. We have barely scratched the surface of this group of men and I look forward to seeing more of them in future books.
While we do get to see a couple of the warriors interact with Broder and Jessa in this world, the most interesting secondary character to me was Dmitri. He is a supposed ex member of the Blight and his true intentions are unclear. He appears to be helpful at points, but we are not sure what he is really thinking. It is always the mysterious ones that I am drawn to the most and Dmitri is very mysterious. I am not sure he will get his own book one day but I am keeping fingers crossed that we have not seen the last of him!
The only real negative I have is the repeated information. There were some things that were talked about multiple times and the repetitiveness was frustrating. I know this is the first book of this series and therefore we need to be filled in on the workings of this world, I just felt the same information was conveyed multiple times and it was unnecessary.
This is a paranormal romance novel, but I have to say there were quite a few points there where I did not see this working out for Broder and Jessa. Anya did a great job of keeping me guessing how all the events would come together for the conclusion. I could not walk away from the second half of this book because it was just too engrossing.
Overall, I really loved this book. I thought the way Loki and the other Norse mythology played into it was fascinating and the whole idea of the Brotherhood was very intriguing. This is a thrilling start to a new series that I cannot wait to see more from! I highly suggest this book to any fans of adult paranormal romance.