Reviewed by JenOverall, I really enjoyed this book. It's the second in Claire Ashgrove's Curse of the Templars series. And one of the things that I like best about these books is that each one features a tortured hero with a heroine who can save his soul.
In this case, our hero is Farran. Like Merrick before him, he doesn't want a seraph. He thinks he is too far gone. He wants one of his brothers to receive the gift. Beyond that, though, he is still nursing a 900 year-old heartbreak brought on by a treacherous and unfaithful wife.
Noelle is an unlikely choice for a seraph. She doesn't even believe in God, which makes the whole immortal Templar thing sound all the more insane to her. She does, however, trust in science. She dates and authenticates ancient relics for a living. She doesn't have much of a life beyond her work. Apparently, Noelle is plain and flat chested and no man has ever really been interested in her.
Once the angel Gabriel does his thing and orchestrates a meeting between Farran and Noelle, he realizes immediately that she is his fated match. He decides he must speak his oath to bind with her, in order to honor his duty, but he will never allow anything real to grow between them. He essentially kidnaps her, drags her back to the Temple and spends the rest of the book trying to force her to speak the oath back to him while he fights he growing feelings for her.
I like the world-building and the story is rich with great secondary characters. It gives the entire book such a great canvas. I enjoyed the tender moments between Farran and Noelle, but he also frustrated me at times with his thoughtless comments designed to put emotional distance between them. He wasn't a bad guy, but he was thick-headed. And 900 years is a long time to hold a grudge against women. As for Noelle, it kind of stretches credulity to think that any functional 29 year-old woman can be that innocent in 2012. Beyond that, I liked her well enough. She has a sharp mind and demands the kind of proof that most rational people would need. I just hated to see her feelings hurt so often.
When the walls finally start to come down between these two, the heat factor was fantastic. The love scenes were great and there was a fair amount of action worked in --as well as enough intrigue to keep me guessing. --Not everything is tied up neatly. There are definitely loose ends that will branch over to the next book. But the ending gives good closure on the relationship, so it's by no means a cliffhanger.
I liked it. And I'll read the next one when it comes out. I'm hoping for Sophie's story... with Tane perhaps? Or maybe Declan? I'm looking forward to it.
*ARC provided by author for review
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Immortal Surrenderby Claire AshgroveRelease Date: September 25, 2012Publisher: Tor