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Monday, July 2, 2012
Book Review: Embrace Me at Dawn by Shayla Black
Author: Shayla Black
Series: Doomsday Brethren, book 5
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Source: From author for review
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For more information visit Shayla Black's website
Lucan barely survived after his bond with his longtime mate Anka was forcibly broken. After seeing her again, he thought he had a second chance to protect the woman he loves but instead he watched as she chose another. Anka experienced firsthand how sadistic the evil wizard Mathias truly is. She's no longer the gentle woman Lucan once called mate and to spare him the darkness that now resides in her, Anka turned to Shock for the protection and life giving energy she needs. Ready to have the revenge she desperately craves, Anka looks to become a member of the Doomsday Brethren, magical warriors who fight to rid the world of Mathias. But when Lucan is chosen to train her, Anka has a hard time keeping him at arm's length and when a power more deadly than Mathias threatens all magickind, Anka and Lucan will need to work past the hurt and dark secrets if they're to survive.
Anka was completely broken by Mathias. She returns a different woman than who we first met in book one and she believes that Lucan will not love the woman, who now craves a certain level of pain, she has become. To protect him from further heartache, she puts distance between them. Lucan believes that it was his inability to protect Anka that has her running to Shock for protection and the sexual energy those of magickind need for survival. There's a lot of miscommunication and misinterpretation of feelings between them. I felt sorry for them because they've been through so much but after several chapters, I felt they kept repeating themselves but little was done to try and improve anything. I became a bit weary of this but thankfully about halfway through the book, after a serious 'oh my freakin' god!' moment, progress and effort started being made towards healing their relationship.
Once they tore down the barriers that were keeping them apart, Anka and Lucan make a really good couple. Both determined and loving people, I was a little surprised at how dark and emotional things got between them but it all made sense to who their characters have evolved into. Anka's unusual relationship with Shock is explained and I have a little more respect now for the man. Not a whole lot because he does have personal motives but I now see him in a new light and have hopes for his character.
Anka and Lucan's personal struggle takes up a large part of the book but there's significant change in the overall plot of the series. In the last book, Morgana le Fay was released from her prison and is now close to exposing magickind to the world. There's been a battle brewing for some time between the Doomsday Brethren and Mathias and with Morgana thrown in, everything finally comes to a head. The last 20% of this book really took off and I had a hard time putting it down. This book did not disappoint when it came down to the final battle. It was just as epic as I hoped it would be and felt just right for the buildup it received. I've read several books that dropped the ball during this crucial end battle, so I give kudos to Shayla Black for getting it right.
I think fans of this series will be happy with this book. It's dark and emotional and has twists I didn't seeing coming that kept me on my toes. The romance is both sweet and heart wrenching. There's a lot of depth and complicated layers to these characters that have them sticking with you long after the ending. I believe fans of the series will find this installment satisfying and if you're new to the series, don't start with this book. To really understand what's going on with the stories and characters, you'll need to go back and start from the beginning. There are some BDSM scenes.