Book Review: Alexandra Ivy’s Embrace the Darkness

Posted January 27, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Alexandra Ivy’s Embrace the Darkness

Embrace the Darkness


Alexandra Ivy

paranormal romance that was published by Zebra on November 1, 2007 and has 334 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Supernatural, Blood Assassin

Second in the Guardians of Eternity paranormal romance series revolving around a group of vampires friendly with each other. The couple focus here is on Viper and Lady Shay.

My Take

As cliché as the beginning was, the story still had a nice flavor to it with unique touches, but when it got to the denouement, it all went downhill fast although I liked that too brief section where the imp gloats. Ivy provided some great ground that, if watered, could have really gone somewhere. It was just too simplistic an ending as was the whole memory scene of when Shay was first cursed. Too surface, no depth, very little tension. And can you say CLICHÉd up the wazoo although the romancing was sweet.

Part of the irritation was Ivy’s inability to use commas in some patches. Most of her sentences were logical with a nice use of punctuation. Then there were the run-on phrases The number of times I had to backtrack to figure out which part of the phrase applied where…arghhh.

Then there’s the little matter of possessives. Usually I run across authors/editors who don’t understand that a plural does not come with an apostrophe. This is the first time I’ve come across one who doesn’t understand that possessives require an apostrophe.

Yup, Viper’s mind is obviously a mess ’cause he keeps falling into traps. It’s sweet that he’s so gallant, but, hullo, the Phoenix is supposed to be so powerful, there’s no reason to take off into the night. Although the whole sinister purpose for the evil presence to send his minions after Shay was definitely a first. It’s too bad Ivy got tired of writing. She could have really gone to town on that one. The whole encounter between Viper and Styx was halfhearted. I kept waiting for Ivy to dig in.

I did enjoy Abby’s desire for friendship with Shay as well as Shay’s appetite. Dang, I felt like ordering up some eggrolls! I also liked that Shay could and would hold her own in a fight! Yeah, no shrinking violets in this bunch. It was also heartwarming how their friends stepped up to help. Ivy did crack me up with her feminine unity both in Shay and Abby having their girlfests and the boys realizing that the ladies are formidable.

And then the oh-so-obvious set-up for the next in the series, Darkness Everlasting.

The Story

Trapped by the curse Evor holds on her, Shay will never escape his grasp. Doomed to be sold again and again for as long as Evor lives. Not that it’s any help as his death will trigger her own. Her brief freedom with the death of the witches is at an end and Evor has another slave auction scheduled. The only brightness in her life lately has been little Levet, the gargoyle she has been protecting in this prison.

Little does she realize her promise to Levet will be fulfilled so easily for Viper buys her at auction. A Viper who caters to her desires for he is obsessed at the thought of her. Viper must have Shay in his bed, his life. And she will end up there, but he only wants her on her terms. He has eternity in which to seduce her to come willingly — there will be no boredom in this seduction. Now if they can just get by that little issue of the evil shadow that seems to be after Shay as well as her hatred for all things vampire.

First the human at the auction’s end who attacked, the Jeep that tried to run them off the road, the Lu demon, the hellhounds, then his old friend betraying them. Turning his back on vampire law.

The Characters

Lady Shay is a half-human, half-Shalott demon whose blood can cure anything — and its’ fragrance will entice any vampire into draining her. After Dante and Abby took down the coven enslaving her, Shay escaped but was cursed to return to the troll who held her curse.

Viper is an ancient vampire, a clan chief who has survived the Battles of Durotriges. He has matured enough that his only interests are in enjoying himself and protecting his clan. In the battle in When Darkness Comes, he fought at Dante and Abby’s side and met Lady Shay. An obsession he cannot deny. Santiago is one of his elite vampire guards.

The gorgeous Dante was a vampire caught and enspelled by the coven to function as the Phoenix’s guardian, her beast. Experimenting caused the Phoenix to be mortally wounded and her companion Abby Barlow attempted to help only to be infused with the Phoenix herself, becoming a goddess that all otherworldly creatures fear. Luckily, Dante had already fallen in love with her — mate, guardian, it’s all one to Dante.

Levet is an undersized French gargoyle voted out of the Gargoyle Guild, struggling to survive on his own — his magic is…unreliable. Meeting Lady Shay in Evor‘s slave dungeons was pure luck for Levet. He’s a fun guy — lots of attitude and that French accent, ooh-la-la. Bella is the water sprite Ivy tucks in for gratuitous wishes which, naturally, Levet misuses.

Styx and his Ravens are an elite vampire guard charged with protecting the leader of all vampires, Anasso. Damocles is an imp serving Anasso who seems to have his own agenda. Ivy could have done something with this; he seems to have been more of an afterthought, an excuse.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a vertical gradient shading from a reddish-orange down to a deep reddish-brown, a thin veil of red softening the androgynous face staring out at us.

The title is accurate enough for Lady Shay does Embrace the Darkness that is Viper.


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