Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TBR Challenge: Shayla Black - Embrace Me at Dawn

Anka MacTavish lost everything when Mathias D’Arc captured her, shattered her bond with her mate, and broke both her body and spirit. Determined to heal her bleeding soul, she joins the Doomsday Brethren’s fight to vanquish the evil wizard and seize her revenge. But becoming a magical warrior will require close contact with her former mate, the love who’s never left her heart, Lucan. And she’ll have to explain why she left him and fled to the arms of another lover…
Lucan’s world crumbled when Anka escaped Mathias and sought protection from his long-time rival, Shock. Now she has returned, and Lucan must train her to confront a new and terrible danger that threatens magickind. With every punch, blow, and parry, Lucan discovers that Anka isn’t the demure wife he once knew, and his growing desire for this woman is a need he can’t control. He vows to do whatever it takes to reclaim her heart and make her his once more. But when the Doomsday Brethren are forced to make an unlikely alliance, it will test Anka’s resolve like never before. To survive, she and Lucan must rely on one another, face their deepest fears…and expose the dark secrets that threaten to destroy everything, including their love.

Comment: I've had this book to read since august of last year and I've picked it for the challenge just to change genres a bit, as I don't foresee paranormal in the challenge in the upcoming months.

This is the 5th story of the Doomsday Brethren by Shayla Black. It's a world of wizards, witches and magic in a classic battle between good and evil. 
Lucan and Anka, they have been mates for a long time until the day the bad guy kidnapped Anka and raped her, severing the mate bond wizards have with the women they love. It was a cruel thing and the mental shields of the two of them broke and Anka forgot about her former life for a few months. At the same time, Lucan experienced pain and craziness in his mate-mourning, even more so because when Aka was released from captivity she went to Shock, a childhood friend and the double spy of the god guys, also a bit the enemy of Lucan. However, the feelings between them never changed even if in a hiatus for a while. Now, after a long time seeing each other again, dreading seeing the other exchanging energy with somebody else (wizards and witches recharge their energy and magic levels through sexual contact), they are teaming up to fight the bad guys and still trying to get their common life again.

I've been a fan of this series since book #1 although it only got better at book #2. I liked this idea of a special mate for each wizard and witch, but as Shayla Black also has erotic books, this series despite being paranormal, also has a bit of sexual importance here, especially in the characters need to have sex to increase their magic levels, otherwise they would waste away. In a way, it's an interesting topic, I've seen it in other series out there, but in here it's done in a good way too. 
In the previous books this idea of sharing that experience with others was meant as a friendly task, also a pleasurable one. But once mated, usually the characters would stick to their mates, except in special cases. Anyway, I was eager to see Anka and Lucan sharing that again, but unfortunately this was ruined by one or two situations I didn't think were that well done by the author and which caused this book to feel weaker than the previous three to me.
Anka has suffered abuse and rape in the hands of the bad guy and never really recovered. Now she wants to fight to battle not only the wizard that raped her but her own fears. A bit like a cathartic move on her side. This idea has merit but since her awful experience, her never mentioned before submissive needs have come to the surface and she wants a bit of control in her sexual relationships to let own frustration and fear. Also understandable. But I can't help feeling this was a bit too handy, the character never showed any of this needs and now here she is, an almost perfect Sub. Hummm....I wasn't convinced of this, but I let it aside. 
Lucan has suffered immensely when Anka was kidnapped from their house and abused. Their mate bond was severed and he had trouble to recover and seeing her with an enemy was too much, but as he never stopped loving her, he put it aside to love her again as show her. Once again, it was quite handy he welcomed the idea of controlling her sexually despite it never had happened. I mean, it was an interesting change, and surely people are different after an abusive ordeal, but there was something about it that I don't think it was that special about the whole situation, although I knew this series had a strong sexual side. I guess only by reading someone gets the point..despite many readers have welcomed this "healing" for the main couple. I liked seeing them mending their relationship, but it didn't have to be like this, I think.

Apart from this was the plot subject f teaming up with the bad guy to find an object. Of course the good guys were the winners of that meeting but I can't help thinking that it was a bit shocking to see them working together after so many awful deeds by the villain. In the end he got what he deserved and I'm happy with it, but still...

The secondary characters play a special part in the book too, many scenes had their presence and I think it's always a good thing, to make the reader see the bond between people, to see them working together, being part of something, not there just to fill space. I'm curious over the next characters having a book, which I hope they will, because the author is now self publishing this series and I fear this might mean lateness...I just hope she doesn't stop before writing the books of the two final main characters.

The book is full of interesting things, the writing is fluid and good, the settings and descriptions aren't boring or too informative and I liked it. Despite this and that, things I wish could have been done differently, this book was god, not as the others, but still in par with the usual feel of the series. I finally caught up with it and now can't wait for the next one, which I hope it's better than this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment