May 22, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Embrace of the Damned by Anya Bast (Brotherhood of the Damned #1)

Paranormal Romance
May 1 2012
Mass Market Paperback
304 pages
Berkley Sensation
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Broder Calderson
Kick Ass Chick – Jessamine Hamilton

From Goodreads –
A damned Viking warrior.

Centuries ago Broder Calderson committed murder. As punishment, he was given over to the dominion of Loki, the Trickster God, made part of the Brotherhood of the Damned and condemned to an immortal life of battle against the Blight, blood-drinkers from Hel.

A mysterious woman he can’t resist.

One thousand years to the day he was damned, Loki allows him a woman as reward for his good service and repentance of his crimes. Once Broder sees Jessamine Hamilton, he is overcome with need. But Jessa is no ordinary woman, and the truth of who—and what—she is could have dangerous consequences.

A tormented man she can’t deny.

Though a future together is impossible, the warrior’s touch ignites an irresistible passion in Jessa. But every heated kiss pushes them closer to destruction. Forced to return to the brutality of his Viking past to protect her, will Broder surrender forever to his darkest impulses?


Embrace of the Damned it the first book in Anya Bast’s newest series, The Brotherhood of the Damned.  After reading this book, I decided to give it 3 stars.  But even if I gave it a decent rating, there were things about the book I really liked and there were things about the book I really didn’t enjoy.  Therefore, I think I’m going to write my ‘pro and con’ style of review because it will be the easiest way to write this.

The story/series is about almost thousand year old Vikings who performed unspeakable acts of violence when they were young and are now cursed to serve the god Loki, fighting the Blight and trying to prevent a war amongst the gods that would destroy humanity.  Each Brother is cursed with something else too as an extra punishment for their acts committed.  Broder can’t have sex for 1000 years.  Then he can but only for a bit then Loki will make him not be able to anymore again.

What I liked about the book:

I like the idea of the Brotherhood and how each member has their own ‘special’ curse.  We don’t know anyone’s but Broder’s so it will be interesting to learn more about each member of the gang in future books.  Assuming there will be more.

I really liked the bad guys.  Well, I should say I loved how different they were.  The Agent of Blight are essentially vampires but aren’t called that.  They are demons.  They have fangs and suck blood but they are also very cold.  They are so cold that you get frostbite where they touch you.  Even their saliva freezes.  And when they are killed, instead of turning to dust, they turn to ice crystals!  I just found these twists to be pretty neat.

I liked the idea of Jessa’s character, how she’s discovering she has new powers that she can’t explain and that she’s looking for answers.  And I liked that she didn’t just accept everything she learned right away.  I also sort of liked how she didn’t just jump into bed with Broder as soon as they met.  I didn’t like how she teased him but we’ll get to that in the next part of the review.

Even though this was a first book in a new paranormal series, there was no info dump.  You learned all you needed to but it was spread out nicely throughout the book.  So when you read about the Brotherhood’s background or about Loki and Hel’s feud, your eyes don’t cross.

The way the story was written was good.  What we learn early on is that the Blight want Jessa dead but we’re not sure why exactly.  The mystery of what and who Jessa truly is quite well done.

What I didn’t like about the book:

I didn’t understand why Broder’s ‘other’s curse was what it was.  I mean, why celibacy?  He didn’t rape thousands of women or anything so why was that Loki’s curse for him?

As you probably guessed, because this is a paranormal romance book after all, at the beginning of the book Broder reaches 1000 years working for Loki.  That means he can do the nasty and he’s itching for it.  When he meets Jessa, he knows that she is the one who was sent by Loki to um…help him out.  He feels an intense connection to her and needs to have her Now.  As you can well imagine seeing he’s been celibate for 1000 years.    Jessa feels a connection too but she’s also got a lot to deal with.  So what does she do?  She gets turned on by Broder, lets him get too far then…stops him.  Again and again and again.  Actually, I lost count as to how many times she did this.  Yes, I get it, you don’t know him much and that ‘so not you’ blah blah blah, but don’t be a cock tease!  How many orgasms do you let a man give you before you realize that maybe you’re being a little bit of a hypocrite here?  It’s frustrating for poor Broder and annoying for the reader.  I just found that if she wasn’t wanting, she shouldn’t have let anything start.  No matter how hot she found the guy.

Broder was constantly after Jessa.  And I mean the *wink wink nudge nudge* “after”.  Yes buddy, we know you’ve been without a woman for a loooong time, but that don’t mean you can just grope her in the middle of a conversation.  And that’s what was happening.  They are talking then suddenly bam!  Jess would talk about witches then Broder would answer about witches then the next sentence – and not because they were finished talking about witches – would be Broder saying something like “you are mine and I will have you” then he’d start licking or touching or whatever…then after it goes “too far for Jessa’s comfort”, she would snap to her senses and say “I’m sorry, so sorry but…”  So basically, the whole sex thing with these two was just done…oddly.

What didn’t help either is that I just didn’t really click with the characters in this book.  They were fine and all but overall they didn’t grab me.  The strange part is that I can’t really put my finger on why not.  Perhaps there wasn’t enough depth to them?  Perhaps all the groping was getting in the way?  I was very curious about what would happen to them and that kept me reading, but I never really truly cared about them.

So there you have it.  All in all, it wasn’t a terrible book.  There were lots of neat parts and twists, but nothing that really wowed me.  I didn’t find any information about the future of this series, meaning I’m not sure how many more books are planned, but I’m not sure if I’ll continue on with it.  Maybe I’ll wait to see what you guys think of the next book before deciding.

3 stars

Giggle worthy quote

“She tore her gaze away from the doors to meet a pair of startling blue eyes that were attached to one of the most gorgeous men she’d ever seen.  If she was hallucinating this, between this man, the mysterious Dmitri, and Broder, her insanity had good taste.  Maybe she’d stay a while.”

  1. Eh, good enough I guess 🙂
    Though the guy looks freaky

  2. Good review! I too really liked parts and wasn’t a fan of other parts. But I feel on whole this series has a lot of potential. Thanks!

  3. I so hate groping, so not going to read this. Sounds like too many sex scenes, and not enough story.

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