Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Goodreads: Embrace
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #1
Source: ARC

Goodreads Summary: It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

ReviewEmbrace is an exciting, solid paranormal romance.  It has a ton of the expected elements: a girl who finds out she’s not quite human, her disbelieving reaction, the people who want to help her believe, and the dangerous events that prove it’s all true.  Luckily, Shirvington has packaged them all in good writing and made her main characters quite attractive (in both personalities and looks).

All things considered, Embrace should be read for the romance more than anything else.  More than once, the explanations of how the magic works in this book had me laughing out loud; it was slightly ridiculous.  The angel/religious themes could also have been better.  So far, I think Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly has tackled this best.  In Embrace, readers learn that some religious stuff is sort of true and some isn’t and there is some stuff no one really knows about—including angels.  So there could be a God and there could not be.  Only the highest angels actually know.  The effect is confusing and almost wishy-washy.

The action is pretty intense, but this is a case where the protagonist actually invents most of it by being overly dramatic (i.e. If Violet were a reasonable person who didn’t overreact every time someone did something, there would be a lot less plot.)  Hopefully the drama is out of Violet’s system now, however, so that the second book can feature her acting on good instincts, and some outside forces acting more strongly.

BUT the romance is good.  Violet has a choice of two guys, and Embrace is a novel in which there truly seems to be a choice; she is not obviously drawn to one far more than to the other.  Both also have a ton of good qualities, so readers can be torn, thinking Violet could really be happy with either one.  (The down side is, of course, that one girl spending equal amounts of time flirting with and kissing two different guys means it can feel as if she is cheating or leading someone on.  Hazards of a love triangle.)

Again, this is a solid paranormal romance, and certainly one that is better written than many.  It is not unique, but it will be satisfying for those who like the genre.

Published: March 6, 2012

2 thoughts on “Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

    • Briana says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of excitement about this book, but it ultimately struck me as standard for the paranormal romance genre–besides the love triangle which was unique in that it actually worked.


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