Review: Death's Sweet Embrace by Tracey O'Hara

, by Kt Clapsadl

Death's Sweet Embrace by Tracey O'Hara
Dark Brethren #2

Teenage shapeshifters are being slaughtered by a sadistic serial killer who rips their still-beating hearts from their paralyzed bodies. A task force forms to halt the madness-a union of avengers including the vampiric Aeternus Antoinette Petrescu, as well as Kitt Jordan and Raven Matokwe, members of enemy Animalian tribes...and forbidden lovers.

A centuries-old blood feud has divided their shapeshifting peoples, and if their passion is discovered it will doom them both. But past hostilities must be put aside, for the killer they seek is but the first sign of a blossoming terror rising from ancient history: the all-consuming nightmare of The Dark Brethren.

After losing her brother, Dylan, in the last book, Kitt is just trying to start over. When her ex-lover and their shared twins that she hasn't seen since their birth show up at the academy she is teaching at Kitt nearly loses it. She doesn't even get a chance to breathe before she is thrown into a investigation into a serial killer that is preying on the students of the academy. Things get really messy when the group realizes that the symbols that are carved into the victim's chest point to an evil ancient threat that could mean the death or enslavement of every last parahuman. They must all work together to stop the killer before it's too late because the threat is bigger than any of them could possibly realize.

The main characters from the last book returned for this one. While Christian only shows up for a small cameo appearance, Antoinette and Oberon play an important role. However the focus of this book really is the star crossed lovers, Kitt and Raven. Their history is extremely complex with a ton of baggage. When Kitt gave birth to their twins, she gave them up to protect them and spent the next 20 years trying to get her status in the pride reinstated. Raven disappeared at the same time, only to reappear when the pride found the girls. Their attraction to one another is so strong that neither can really resist even though being together is a recipe for disaster.

I loved Raven's character. When things went bad and their twins were hidden from Kitt's pride, he abandoned his pack and traveled with the girls to stay with them and help raise them. After they were found almost 20 years later, he came back with them at a great risk to himself despite the bounty on his head. He is highly trained and is definitely someone you would want to have in your corner. He also didn't seem to lose any of love for Kitt despite all that time apart. My feelings about Kitt's character are a little more murky. There isn't really a definable reason, but I just couldn't seem to feel a real connection to her. Perhaps it is because she chose to abandon her daughters to be raised by someone else rather then standing up and fighting to keep them. She just didn't seem to have much of a backbone and I prefer my heroines to be strong.

I enjoyed this book even more than I did the first one. While the first one served as a good introduction into the world and characters, this one really cemented my connection to the characters. I really liked how all of the characters were important to the story and not just the two lovers. The "big bad" threat is just starting to reveal itself and I think the group in in store for a world of danger. In the next book I'm hoping Oberon will be the focus, as the grumpy old bear could use a little love in his life. All in all it was a good read with some really interesting characters and I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment.

(Received from Netgalley)

Pre-Order at Amazon:
Death's Sweet Embrace: A Dark Brethren Novel

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Paranormal Romance
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