Embrace the Night by Karen Chance

(Cassandra Palmer Series, #3)
Published April 2008
Urban Fantasy

Recently named the world’s chief clairvoyant, Cassandra Palmer still has a thorn in her side. As long as Cassie and a certain master vampire—the sizzling-hot Mircea—are magically bound to each other, her life will never be her own …

The spell that binds them can only be broken with an incantation found in the Codex Merlini, an ancient grimoire. The Codex’s location has been lost in the present day, so Cassie will have to seek it out in the only place it can still be found—the past.

But Cassie soon realizes the Codex has been lost for a reason. The book is rumored to contain some seriously dangerous spells, and retrieving it may help Cassie to deal with Mircea, but it could also endanger the world…

“I wasn't entirely sure, but a polite John Pritkin might be a sign of the apocalypse.”

This one was superior to the first two. That seems to be a trend with Urban Fantasy books. There is still plenty of action and a lot of time travel, and even though I’m not a fan of time travel, I’ve finally realized the inevitable – it’s a major part of her power, and therefore the story, so it’s not going anywhere.

The second wrapped up with a minor cliffhanger development with the geas. This book focuses full frontal force on that plot line. It’s a pretty major deal for the vampire Mircea and Cassandra. Not only to save his sanity and eventually his life, but her own as well, and to clean away any dangers from the Circle and the Senate because of her involvement. It may not be her fault and it may not be fair, but it’s just something the poor girl has to fix. Or else.

Cassandra is a little silly with some of her actions and not always the smartest cookie, but she’s likeable as a sympathetic, independent, and non-bitchy heroine. She has horrible luck and it’s just funny. Her power is clever, even if a little weak seeming with all the limitations on it.

Pritkin as the war mage and now mentor has softened toward her and realized she’s not the evil incarnate he originally thought. His scenes with Cassie are now much more enjoyable and I like their banter. There is a major revelation about him in this book, and this spicy tidbit makes the story that much more interesting. There’s so many directions that can go. I wasn’t crazy about the flashback scene with him but there was a whopper there. He’s a character who has certainly grown on me.

Mircea is around to a degree, but mainly in a weakened, hear about sense. There is an incredibly hot scene between him and Cassie that made my heart speed up dramatically to where I just HAD to keep reading past my bedtime. He’s definitely an interesting character and yummy to boot.

This one has as much action as the others, and it’s still confusing to a degree, but it’s staked enough interest in characters to where I’m hooked and really wanting to know what ends up happening to everyone. The start opens with the issue at hand from where the second left off and doesn’t let up on it’s frantic rush to a satisfying finale that wraps up the issue and solves it. Thankfully. I dislike if a story drags something like that on too much.

Karen Chance writes action scenes well, even if they are a bit too long. Her dialogue skills are excellent, especially for humor and convincing lines, but sometimes exclamation marks are overused. The world she’s created is complex for the society, time travel and its implications, and future potentials of all kinds of disasters merging with today’s Urban Fantasy creatures and yesterday’s mythology.

   Book Quotes:

“Mircea must have heard us come in, but he continued what he was doing. He stood with his back to us, the candlelight on his bare skin causing his muscles to fall into sharp relief. He’d washed the river gunk out of his hair and now he threw it back, the water droplets shimmering in the light. The scene looked for all the world like a really good romance novel cover.” 

“To know Pritkin was to want to kill him, but so far I'd resisted temptation.”  

“He had all the self-preservation instincts of a bug near a shiny windshield.”

   Author Extras:

Download the full tarot pack from Karen Chance's Website 

   Book Trailer:

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