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His Dark Embrace by Amanda Ashley

His Dark Embrace

by Amanda Ashley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 4 of 4
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: For fans of old school tame vampire romance. His Dark Embrace is a story that just doesn’t seem to know where it wants to go and will leave readers struggling to find a plot.

Opening Sentence: When Skylynn O’Brien McNamara came home to bury her grandfather and settle his estate, she was surprised to see that the house across the street was still vacant.

The Review:

Skylynn McNamara is used to tragedy in her life. Her parents and grandmother died when she was young. Her brother is currently missing in action in Iraq and now she has returned back to her childhood home to bury her grandfather. Sky runs into Kaiden Thorne, her childhood crush and the man who lives across the street from her grandfather. Kaiden has also recently returned to town, looking the find the recipe that allows him to appear and feel human. Unfortunately Sky’s grandfather has taken the recipe to the grave. Kaiden races to find the recipe before he reverts back to his vampiric self.

Sky enjoys the time her a Kaiden have gotten to know each other. She decides to leave her life, apartment in Chicago, a boyfriend she never really loved and her job at a lawyer’s office to be with Kaiden. It doesn’t take her long to see through Kaiden’s ruse but does she love him enough to stay by his side.

I struggled through His Dark Embrace. The plot meander’s from one point to another. Conflicts are added many chapters in just to prolong the storyline. The relationship part of the story could have ended the book at Chapter 20, while the main plot point of finding the recipe seems to be forgotten for the majority of the rest of the novel while dealing with a brother with amnesia to prolonged revenge from an old enemy. It felt like these elements were added just to make the story longer.

Normally I don’t have any problems with age in a vampire book. A four hundred year old vampire or even eighty year old vampire is going to be much older than the twenty or thirty year old they hook up with. Skylyn is currently in her mid-twenties and I never really think about the age difference but she had a crush on Kaiden since she was an awkward teenager. The only problem that leaves me a little squeamish is when Kaiden says he’s loved her since she was a little kid and it doesn’t come off as protective friend but a little creepy but maybe I just read too much into it.

Overall, His Dark Embrace is a strange and slow read. I have read Amanda Ashley novels in the past and loved them but this novel would not be among my favorites. I would recommend His Dark Embrace to those readers who are new to romance and don’t want to read any sex.

Notable Scene:

Throne drained his glass and put it aside. The wine warmed him, but it was as nothing compared to the heat Sky’s nearness aroused in him. How exquisite she looked, with the fire’s glow pinking her cheeks and gilding her hair. The steady beat of her heart was like music to his ears, the flowery scent of her perfume, the scent of the woman herself, sweetly alluring.

She was beautiful.

She was desirable.

She was here.


In his house.

And she had what he so desperately craved.

FTC Advisory: Kensington/Zebra provided me with a copy of His Dark Embrace. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Sep 21, 2012 |
Posted on Romancing the Book's blog
Reviewed by Shannon
Reveiw Copy Provided by ARC from the Publisher

I normally like my vampire books with hot vampires, hot sex and don’t mind if there is a bit of gore, as long as those three elements combined give me a storyline that has me by the collar of the shirt and won’t let go until the last page. While this doesn’t necessarily meet all those criteria, it was still a story that had an engaging storyline with interesting characters.

Skylynn McNamara has had a crush on her grandfather’s neighbor, Kaiden Thorne, since she was a little girl. As she grew, her crush went from that of a young girl to a teenage girl. She never imagined that she would run into Kaiden as she came back to her girlhood home to take care of her grandfather’s affairs. But running into Kaiden comes at a time when Sky is at a crossroads in her life. Recently divorced and contemplating a marriage proposal from a co-worker, Kaiden awakens Sky’s dreams and lust. With Kaiden, Sky comes alive and longs to enjoy life as long as it’s with Kaiden. She knows she’ll go to any lengths to make sure Kaiden is happy and remains in her life.

Kaiden has watched over Sky since the little chubby girl came to live with her grandfather, along with her brother, after the death of their parents. He’s always felt like a lecherous old man by the feelings Sky evoked in him, but he kept his distance due to his friendship with her grandfather. Without that friendship, and his magical elixir, Kaiden wouldn’t be able to lead the somewhat normal life that he does, but all that pales when he meets a grown up Sky. She makes him want to have a normal, loving relationship with the only woman who has made him feel this way.

Kaiden and Sky’s relationship has a few bumps, with the evil Demarias (ex-vampire hunter, now vampire) bent on revenge against Kaiden, but they stick together and work as a team. I think that was the most refreshing aspect of their relationship. Kaiden didn’t try to lord over Sky because he has 400+ years more experience than her. When they disagreed or fought, he listened and more importantly apologized when he was wrong.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and one I highly recommend, especially to any reader who may not have dipped into the Vampire romance genre and wants an easy one to try out first. ( )
  RtB | Jul 28, 2012 |
Skylynn “Sky” returns home after her grandfather, who raised her and her missing brother Sam, passes away. Now she must settle the estate but while there she starts contemplating staying. She is surprised that the hot, mysterious neighbor Kaiden Thorne, has also returned home. Kaiden and her grandfather were close during Sky’s childhood and she has always had a secret crush even if he mows his lawn in the dark. She starts to think back to the times that she would try to overhear what her grandfather and Kaiden were discussing in their many late night meetings in their basement lab.

Kaiden has found the secret formula to living life like a human and not being hindered by his vampiric nature. Now that formula is missing because it lived in the brain of his neighbor who passed away. Kaiden and Sky’s grandfather had an unusual relationship. Kaiden allowed him to experiment on his person in return for being the beneficiary of the elixir that was created. Kaiden was always fond of Sky and now that she is a grown woman, temptation is going to be hard to resist. Circumstances throw these two together when an old enemy who use to be a vampire hunter and now is a newly turned vampire is after them on a quest to get his revenge on Kaiden. Kaiden must protect Sky if is the last thing he does, keeping his vow to Sky’s grandfather.

His Dark Embrace is standard in terms of a vampire story and was what I expected when reading an Amanda Ashley book. I would categorize it as a sweet paranormal romance. I found it to be a quick, fun read without any heavy plot lines to tangle thru but with some nice twists thrown in to keep the reader interested.

(Book was received from publisher for an honest review) ( )
  Kelsey_O | Jun 14, 2012 |
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

There’s something very old fashioned about Amanda Ashley’s vampire romances. The time periods are often nominally modern with characters and dialog that seem more suited to historical settings. There’s a charm in this approach for readers looking for a nostalgic flavor with their paranormal romances. In the case of HIS DARK EMBRACE, that nostalgia wasn’t quite enough to compensate for a somewhat bland story.

The premise was appealing enough with a women returning to her childhood home and finding the older neighbor she grew up loving still there…and somehow doesn’t look any older. Suddenly the hot neighbor is looking at her as a woman and passion quickly sweeps the two away. There were a couple uncomfortable moments where Kaiden remembered Sky ask a child and later as a developing teen, but fortunately those were few and far between. In typical Ashley fashion, the romantic plot quickly gives way to supernatural suspense when a vengeful vampire hunter comes after Kaiden and a formula that lets him live as a human. That’s unfortunately where the story really floundered for me.

The romance was basically resolved by then, so the introduction of a villain didn’t really feel all that harrowing, especially since he mostly filled his chapters with plotting revenge but not actually taking any action. To further drag down the story, Sky’s MIA brother shows up and has an equally uninspired side plot.

If HIS DARK EMBRACE had stuck jut to the main romance storyline, and maybe gone for novella length, it would have been a sweet, subtly sexy story that I would have enjoyed (despite the somewhat weepy heroine). But with the toothless villain and boring brother story thrown in, the book just left me a little underwhelmed.

Sexual Content:
Non graphic sex scenes/references ( )
  pollywannabook | Jun 8, 2012 |
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Amanda Ashleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barron, MiaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Returning to her childhood home after eight years, Skylynn will stop at nothing to have Kaiden Thorne, her gorgeous and reclusive neighbor, and when she discovers his true nature, she agrees to help him battle his darkest desires.

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