Review: Death’s Sweet Embrace

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

Review: Death’s Sweet EmbraceDeath's Sweet Embrace by Tracey O'Hara
Series: Dark Brethren #2
Published by Harper Voyager on January 25, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 325
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
one-half-stars

After centuries of secret conflict, humans and parahumans have reached an uneasy truce. But unspeakable evil now threatens the tenuous peace.

Teenaged shapeshifters are being slaughtered by a sadistic serial killer who rips their still-beating hearts from their paralyzed bodies. A task force forms to halt the madness, including the vampiric Aeternus Antoinette Petrescu, as well as Kitt Jordan and Raven Matokwe, members of enemy Animalian tribes . . . and forbidden lovers.

A centuries-old blood feud has divided their shapeshifting peoples, and if their passion is discovered it will doom them both. But past hostilities must be put aside, for the killer they seek is but the first sign of the all-consuming nightmare of The Dark Brethren.

For the second installment, new characters come to the forefront of the story. Antoinette is back as a supporting cast member and Christian makes one cameo. The new heroine is Kitt, a felian (a snow leopard shifter). She is educated, a doctor, and is called in by Oberon’s new organization to perform an autopsy. Turns out there is a new paranormal serial killer on the loose and its up to these guys to stop the murderer. And of course, this will require Kitt to get up close and personal with her baby daddy, Raven (a canian/wolf shifter).

I am totally okay with the shift in main characters. It’s a good way to write a long romance series without having the main couple get together and break up and get together and break up, etc. What bothers me is that the construction of the book is different from the first in the series. Rather than following only the two main characters, the view point follows others, including the serial killer. The reason O’hara did this brings me to my second concern.

This book has three or four villains/organizations (although maybe they’re all part of the same cause?). There’s the serial killer, the aliens who originally brought the paranormals to earth as their slaves, the organization the baddie from book one was a part of and the crazy Aeternus who is creating a pack of Necrodeniacs. Overkill much? Because there is so much going on and the group has to split up all the time to deal with the many problems, she could not write from the perspective of just two characters.

I really don’t think that the addition of more view points or bad guys added to the book. Now the book is taking itself way too seriously; it is trying to be more fantasy/adventure than romance. This book has very few steamy scenes. What with the shifting between characters and all the action scenes, there just isn’t time. That is a shame. Books need to be what they are…and this is a romance series. O’hara needs to do what she does best.

P.S. And twins, really? (This will only make sense to those who finish the book.)

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