Embrace by debut novelist Jessica Shirvington is getting a lot of buzz right now in America and so imagine my surprise when I found out that it had already been published in the UK last year. How did I miss this? Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the cover. I know that we shouldn't just a book by its cover but the cover is the first thing that attracts you to wanting to know more about the book, just like you have to be attracted to a person to want to know more about them. The UK cover is dark and not eye catching in the slightest. I actually think it blends in too well with all the other dark romance books on the shelves. Now compare that to the vibrant, violet beauty that is the US cover and to be honest, there's no competition. I've ordered the US version based on that alone as I loved the book.
It's no secret that I'm a bit of an angel girl and as such, I do like reading YA fiction about angels. I will admit to becoming a bit fatigued with the subject though especially as there has been an influx of angel books in recent times. So, what makes this book different? It's darker, grittier, sexier and just VERY, VERY GOOD!
The main protagonist is Violet Eden and she's just a normal girl trying to get over something awful that happened to her. I very much like her mantra (don't run and don't quit) and am thinking of adopting this for myself or at the very least, it's begging to go on a t-shirt. Violet is a 3 dimensional character with personality and integrity. Ever since she was attacked, she has been learning to defend herself through kick boxing, I mean this is not some chick that is going to lie down and let life walk all over her and that makes me want to high five the crap out of her. She's been working out with a guy called Lincoln and they're pretty much best friends now only Violet has been in love with him for some time and he's still playing the friend card. Funnily enough, Lincoln is a guy who I felt sorry for throughout the entire book. He is bound by his fate, dutiful to the core (apart from that one SENSATIONALLY HOT kiss) and he always seems to be the one coming off worst. I know he lied to Violet about who he is and who she is even and I don't condone it but she needs to look a little deeper into WHY he withheld the truth from her and then learn the art of forgiveness.
Just when Violet couldn't be any more vulnerable, here comes Phoenix. As you might know, I am an absolute sucker for the bad boy trying to be good. In fact, I didn't really see Phoenix as the bad boy in the end. He can't help who he is and where he comes from. He never lied about who he was although really, I guess he kind of did if you think that withholding something is the same as lying. There are definitely shades of grey when it comes to Phoenix.
I have to say though that the romance was one of my favourite things about the book. On one hand it was heartfelt and on the other it was hot and steamy as hell. I guess it is a bit of a love triangle but I was rooting for Lincoln the whole time! Having said all that, another thing I liked about the book was that it's not just about the romance, there is actually a decent plot. There's obviously more to come and I can't wait to read the sequel later on in the year. I'm actually quite jealous of the Australians as the sequel entitled Entice is already in print over there.
I know what you're thinking - you probably think *groan* another angel story and *groan* another love triangle but please, please give this a go as you won't be disappointed. This is a seductive story that's action packed and full of tension featuring a kick ass heroine who is more real than a lot of other book characters out there. Embrace is an excellent start to a brand new series that I will definitely be following.