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on 4 October 2011
This is the debut novel from Australian author Jessica Shirvington. I've been waiting months for a UK release, so I was incredibly excited to finally receive a copy. I picked it up almost as soon as it fell through my mailbox and I was glued to the pages for the rest of the day!

Violet Eden has just turned seventeen and the only thing she wants for her birthday is to have Lincoln, the guy whom she's known for two years and fallen in love with. Lincoln however, seems determined to keep her at a distance. Violet eventually accidentally discovers a secret surrounding her heritage which changes her whole world and makes her reassess everything she thought she knew and felt about Lincoln and her life.

When I started this book I wondered whether I'd have to read on through most of the story before the big secret about Violet was revealed. Happily that wasn't the case and Shirvington wasted little time in letting the plot unfold and clueing readers in on the important choice that Violet faced. She was then left with more time to devote to the love triangle which forms between Violet, Lincoln and mysterious new guy Phoenix, who suddenly appears on the scene and who seems to have a magnetic hold over Violet. I have to say that I'm definitely a Lincoln fan! He is utterly adorable! If you like the strong, silent and mysterious type then Lincoln most certainly fits the bill. I never really felt entirely won over by Phoenix. He does do some incredible things in the romance department but I spent a good part of the book willing Violet to open her eyes and see his true character.

I adored the angel mythology and the depth and detail in which their history is described. Although it seemed incredibly complex at the start, it was also absolutely fascinating and I was intrigued by the different ranks of angels that are in existence. Most of the questions I had about exiles and Grigori (people who are part human and part angel) were answered and Shirvington had obviously spent a great deal of time mapping out the story because there were no gaping holes in the plot and even a handy chart at the back of the book to help you understand the angel hierarchy.

It took me a little while to warm to Violet, the main character but she really grew on me over the course of the book and I liked the way she eventually grew to accept and embrace her new role. I would have preferred to have seen Violet's relationship with her father develop further as I always like stories which devote enough time and development to family relationships and I found theirs to be a little one-dimensional, but this is only a small point and didn't distract from my overall enjoyment of the book.

Paranormal fans will love this exciting new series which really puts angels back on the map! 'Enticed' the second book in the series will be published by Egmont in February 2012 and I shall be queuing up to get my copy
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VINE VOICEon 15 March 2012
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.
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on 29 May 2012
I just want to start off by saying I love reading! I read up to four books a week. So I have read lot's of interesting books.

When I saw the cover to this book, I thought, wow this looks interesting and the cover is simply beautiful. When I read the blurb, I thought this is definitely my kind of book; fast paced, engaging, fun, romantic and unique all at the same time. I bought it immediately having seen it and was not dissapointed when I read it. It's brilliant and well worth buying. LIke I said, I've read loads of other books and this is one of my favourites. I cannot wait to read the second book 'Enticed'. The cover on that looks amazing too and I just want to find out what happens with the love triangle.

It's not your typical book which I liked because you could never predict what would happen in the end. Also, when you thought it couldn't get any better, or not much more would happen, it did! It kept me on edge and I really felt a connection with Violet and felt the emotions she felt. It sounds weird, but it's true!

I loved both Lincoln and Phoenix because they are both a big part of the story and it's hard to dislike one of the two. I found Phoenix more intriguing because of his past and his outrageous character; you never knew what he was going to do! They both ooze sexiness and Lincoln is very charming. I am hoping to buy the next book soon and find out what happens between all the characters; whether Violet's dad will find out, if Phoenix will mess with Violet's emotions again, if she will be able to be with Lincoln.

I hope this helps!
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on 6 March 2012
Violet Eden is not your average teenage girl - even without what awaits on her 17th birthday, a day that she isn't looking forward to since it's also the anniversary of her mother's death. It's always just been Violet and her father. They have a good relationship, but he isn't around much due to his busy schedule. That is one of the reasons Violet is very independent. Her father trusts her completely and she is the type of person who would never misuse that trust in anyway.

Control is very important to her since an incident when she was younger. Since then she has done everything to never feel like she felt that day. During a self-defence class, she meets Lincoln, who has become one of very few important people in Violet's life and continues to train her. She gets the training she wants while fulfilling the desire she has to be with him. If only he had the same need.

Something unexpected happens on Violet's birthday with Lincoln, but before she can fully process what, he runs off. Violet never runs and goes to gets some answers. Nothing could have prepared her for what she finds out. Lincoln a Grigori ' part angel and part human ' and so is she.

I've been anticipating Embrace since I first came across it in 2010. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I found out I'd be able to read it. Since I've been anticipating it for so long, I had high hopes and doubts after wanting this book for so long that it would meet those expectations. It didn't, it surpassed them! The mythology Jessica created is exceptional. Some of the myths used are known and the combination of the familiar and what Jessica created and expanded on blurred the lines between fantasy and reality in a way that I never felt the need to stretch my imagination.

I really like Violet, who is just one of many fantastic characters. Each with very distinct personalities that set one apart from the other. When meeting each character, I felt like they had a back-story and didn't start existing the minute their names were written and that their stories would support their actions, which is something that makes them more realistic to me. I look forward to getting to know them better ' the good, bad or the ones in a gray area.

Embrace is an amazing debut. An action-packed, intense and unique read that's truly captivating and will leave you eagerly anticipating the sequel. The excitement of an entire series in one book ' which is just the start. Books like Embrace are the reason I love fantasy so much.
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on 6 March 2012
Violet Eden is not your average teenage girl - even without what awaits on her 17th birthday, a day that she isn't looking forward to since it's also the anniversary of her mother's death. It's always just been Violet and her father. They have a good relationship, but he isn't around much due to his busy schedule. That is one of the reasons Violet is very independent. Her father trusts her completely and she is the type of person who would never misuse that trust in anyway.

Control is very important to her since an incident when she was younger. Since then she has done everything to never feel like she felt that day. During a self-defence class, she meets Lincoln, who has become one of very few important people in Violet's life and continues to train her. She gets the training she wants while fulfilling the desire she has to be with him. If only he had the same need.

Something unexpected happens on Violet's birthday with Lincoln, but before she can fully process what, he runs off. Violet never runs and goes to gets some answers. Nothing could have prepared her for what she finds out. Lincoln a Grigori ' part angel and part human ' and so is she.

I've been anticipating Embrace since I first came across it in 2010. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I found out I'd be able to read it. Since I've been anticipating it for so long, I had high hopes and doubts after wanting this book for so long that it would meet those expectations. It didn't, it surpassed them! The mythology Jessica created is exceptional. Some of the myths used are known and the combination of the familiar and what Jessica created and expanded on blurred the lines between fantasy and reality in a way that I never felt the need to stretch my imagination.

I really like Violet, who is just one of many fantastic characters. Each with very distinct personalities that set one apart from the other. When meeting each character, I felt like they had a back-story and didn't start existing the minute their names were written and that their stories would support their actions, which is something that makes them more realistic to me. I look forward to getting to know them better ' the good, bad or the ones in a gray area.

Embrace is an amazing debut. An action-packed, intense and unique read that's truly captivating and will leave you eagerly anticipating the sequel. The excitement of an entire series in one book ' which is just the start. Books like Embrace are the reason I love fantasy so much.
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on 5 March 2012
When I picked this up, I was immediately skeptical. I had seen and read far too many angel books last year and in my opinion, the subject of angels is wearing itself out; the same goes for werewolves and vampires. I asked myself, "Is there anything even remotely different that makes this stand out from the rest?" and there was, and there wasn't.

I'd seen the concept of Grigoris before in the first angel series I'd picked up: the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I liked those well enough. There were all the usual Grigori elements in the story, and as usual there was a war going on that Violet was thrown into, along with a love triangle with two amazingly hot men. However, Shirvington did manage to throw her own ideas into the Grigori world and make the story unique to her, which I enjoyed because it made the concept a thousand times more interesting. Violet was... an iffy character in my opinion. At first, I found her relatable. She was in a love with a guy who thought her as nothing than a friend and she knew that Lincoln would never see her any other way. Then as the story went on and Phoenix was thrown into the mix, I found her kind of naive and blind. The fact that there was more to Phoenix, something sinister and dark, which she at first recognised but after several appearances and him catching her as she fell while rock climbing, she was ultimately won over. It just seemed slightly too easy for me. I was a bit frustrated with her also as she didn't really Lincoln much of a chance to explain why he had kept the huge secret from her; I understood where Lincoln was coming from and why he didn't tell her. I just thought she was being a bit childish. Violet does have redeeming qualities however. She was selfless and strong at times, and slowly came to terms with the situation; she matured. Lincoln was a gorgeous character and I sympathised with him at times; he is ultimately the best guy for her in my opinion. Phoenix was a dark and conflicted character. I liked him though: he was there for Violet and ultimately great support. I was rooting for him and Violet to get together and they made a good couple. But like I said, I had suspicions. The events and plot of the book were very engaging and interesting; an enjoyable read. I'll be picking up the next in the series... Maybe I'm just too easy to win over.
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on 1 October 2014
Its ok I think i could love this book but something was just missing, I’m not exactly sure what it was so maybe it is just me, but it falls just shorts of a good book in my eyes.
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on 2 March 2015
Amazing series of books :-) have read them over and over again. The imagination gone in to these stories are mind blowing and brilliant
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on 21 January 2014
could not put it down . . . absolutely brilliant!!
I would recommend to anyone!!!
off to read the next one!
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on 6 December 2011
I loved this so much - it was full of suspence and it flowed so well. A series that I will be continuing with
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