Review: Haunting Embrace

Posted October 31, 2011 by Jen in 5 stars, Paranormal Romance, Rating A Tags: , ,

Haunting Embrace
Author: Erin Quinn 
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Mists of Ireland #4
ISBN: #978-0425243138
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Within Meaghan Ballagh surges the blood of an ancient sorceress whose long ago love for the druid Áedán ended in treachery—a fate that ensnares Meaghan herself when she is thrust into the past. She can feel the desire between the sorceress and the handsome druid rise inside her. To ensure her survival, she must piece together the history of the woman who haunts her and the man who needs her. 
Áedán recognizes Meaghan. He always will. For the spirit of his one true love—and immortal enemy—is in her. A woman for whom Áedán once risked everything he ever had only to be repaid with betrayal and eternal damnation. This time, he’s not going to let Meaghan escape—because together they have the power to change their destiny. 
As the passion between them grows, so do their fears of arousing an ancient, haunted, and forbidden love, and for changing a past that could irrevocably destroy the future.
What VampBards talking about:
Haunting Embrace, the fourth in this series by Quinn, was an excellent read! Even though I’ve not read the prior three books in the series, I felt perfectly at-home in the beautifully crafted paranormal world the author created. Confession time: I participated in an author chat with Erin Quinn, and found her to be very forthcoming about her writing process, as well as down-to-earth. Yup. I wanna meet her for coffee on a weekly basis! Even her responses to the questions posed were well-written and thoughtful!
What to gush about first… the BAD GUY!!!! Cathan MacGrath is the original bad-seed-turned-evil. Just because he was born in the right place at the right time, he was destined to be SOMETHING… and the plot of the story portrayed him as Mr. Overcome-With-Evil-And-Power-Because-He-Was-Compensating-For-Other-Shortcomings. Sucked into the Book of Fennore because of his compulsive desire to be powerful, Cathan managed to boot a powerful Druid out of the Book, and usurped his power – and then some. Towards the end of the story, I really loved how Quinn described Cathan as the spitting image of his father, Brion. The malevolent spirit that chased down the main characters – derived from Cathan and his quest for power – kind-of had Invasion of the Body Snatchers written all over it. His spirit (or a portion thereof) would inhabit and do the dastardly deeds necessary to ensure that Cathan would ultimately achieve absolute power. MMMmmmmhhhmm… I sort-of got into this baddie.
Love. Meaghan! She’s pretty much a younger version of myself (imagine that…). Opinionated, outspoken, and truly unique, Meaghan struggles to keep her ‘filters’ in the ‘on’ position. ‘Internal Monologue’ isn’t really her forte. Destiny has dealt her a tough hand – by the end of the book, she sees dead people and can read emotions. Intense, true? Oh yeah…she’s in love with a Druid, too. One that used to live inside the Book of Fennore, and used to run around with the White Fennore…Ayayuh. He loved her. Had to learn to live without her. Meaghan is pretty much a self-sufficient chica; She’s always had to rely upon others, and is used to fending for herself. Most of all, she is used to wearing her heart under five labels that can be time-consuming and difficult to manage, even on a good day. She managed to stay alive whist inside the Book of Fennore, time-traveled, ended up in a time period prior to her birth, and seemingly didn’t miss a beat. Wowza. This girl’s got it together! Me? I would have been a blithering idiot, with a puddle of drool for a pillow. Never once did she question her sanity, even in all of the odd situations that were presented.
Evil-turned-lover-and-protector. Yup. That’d be Aedan. While imprisoned in the Book of Fennore, Aedan was the evil Druid ‘everyone’ talks about. Funny thing, the entire time we see him, Aedan gives us nothing but positive behaviors and heroic deeds to discuss. No mind-games. No trickery. Even when he does use magic, it’s because he feels that he’s in a situation in which both he and Meaghan are threatened, and magic is the only way out. What truly draws me to Aedan, however, isn’t the magic potential, the Druid-ness, or the sexy brogue. This attentive hottie falls head-over-heels for Meaghan and completely dotes on her. His moral imperative is keeping her safe, even at the cost of his own life. While Quinn does give us a physical description of Aedan, it’s not the crystal-clear, inch-by-inch description that we’ve all grown to know and love from the typical romance author. She leaves a bit to our own imagination. 
All the White Fennore stuff aside, Aedan fell quickly for Meaghan. The occasional glimpses of Elan – the ghostly White Fennore – that caught Aedan off-guard, I feel, were meant to bring him closer to Meaghan. Elan knew they were meant to be together, and she truly wanted Aedan to have his HEA, and realized that he needed this happiness for them both to be able to let go of one another in some fashion, thereby enabling the Book to be bound in a different manner for safety’s sake.
Minor characters really played a major role in this novel. Actually, I wouldn’t really consider many of them ‘minor’ in the traditional sense. Jamie, Kyle and Eammon – the Keepers of the Book of Fennore – were instrumental in convincing Meaghan, indirectly, of her purpose in the grand scheme of things. 
Over-all, the grammarian/English teacher rarely cringed whilst reading Haunting Embrace. LOVED the dialectical Irish brogue and language patterns. The setting was spot-on, based on my own personal research. Love paranormal romance? Irish lore? Magic and the Druids? Pick up Haunting Embrace by Erin Quinn. I can’t say enough about her authenticity and attention to detail, as well as her command of language. Kudos!
VampBards Rating:

Personal favorite – a must read (A+)

Books in the Series:

2 responses to “Review: Haunting Embrace

  1. Hello there VampBard! Saw your tweet this morning and had to pop over–can I just say that I enjoyed “meeting” you too? That chat on Writerspace was so much fun!

    And the review! Well, what a way to start a Monday. 🙂 Hope you find the other books as good.

    Happy Halloween…and just let me know when you’re in town and we’ll grab that coffee. 🙂