Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Immortal Hope by Claire Ashgrove

Immortal Hope: The Curse of the TemplarsImmortal Hope: The Curse of the Templars
by Claire Ashgrove
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Tor Books
ISBN 0765367580 
Courtesy of Author
Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll that revealed the locations of the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they now roam the earth, protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation—the return of the seraphs.Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul, releasing him from the clutches of their enemy. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers that she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As Merrick struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.   Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache that he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she is destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.
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Crystal’s Thoughts:
A riveting tale of honor, destiny and romance – where good could very well turn evil in a heartbeat! 

Almost a thousand years ago nine Knights of the Templar uncovered a forbidden scroll that revealed the secret location of portals that open to Hell. Cursed by the Archangels for their disobedience, they now walk the earth immortal, protecting humans from the evil they have unleashed onto the world and fighting dark creatures back to the gates of Hell. But there is a price, with each demon they destroy a part of their soul captures the darkness from them and eventually the Knights will turn into the very thing they fight against. Their only hope for survival is to find their destined Seraph, the one woman that can conquer the darkness with her light.
Merrick du Loire is the last remaining knight from the original Templars. Fighting the darkness that seeks to consume him more every day, Merrick returns to a safe house after a recent battle to find a stranger in residence. Thinking at first that the woman is a demon in disguise sent to seduce him, Merrick nearly takes Anne’s life but when she convinces him of her humanity they retreat to the Templars’ temple to discover that Anne is a Seraph. Now she must find her destined mate, a Knight that carries the same mark as her and the Archangel Michael charges Merrick to help Anne discover him. But not even the knowledge that Anne is destined for one of his brothers can dim the fires that burn inside him when he is close to Anne. However, Anne is carrying a secret that could either be his salvation or his destruction. Anne bares the same mark as Merrick but tells no one because she had a vision and is convinced that if she bounds herself to Merrick then it will mean his death. 

Wow, I was utterly absorbed by Claire Ashgrove’s Immortal Hope start to finish! The author weaves together an intriguing story rich with history and overflowing with vivid characters. I was enamored with the Templar Knights and the plot that the author built around them. The author was knowledgeable about the Templars’ history and it came through in the pages.

Anne and Merrick’s journey into love was heart wrenching, filled with torment and tension. They each have a wall up blocking vital communication between them, thinking that they are doing what is best for the other but we all know how that usually works out in romances. I suppose if heroes and heroines were straight with each other from the get-go though we wouldn’t have any full-length novels out there, just a bunch of short stories and novellas! However, this didn’t make me want to wring Anne’s neck any less! Throughout the novel she keeps the important secret of her tattoo to herself, which harms not only Merrick but all of the Knights. Making them go through the process of hope and then disappointment, it was really sad and I felt for each of them. As secondary characters I found each of the Knights multi-dimensional. I was surprised by the amount of Knights in the temple and around the world though when there were only originally nine and I am curious as to whether each Knight is in need of their own Seraph to save them, because of that is the case then this series could go on indefinitely. But back to the main characters…Anne and Merrick had a sizzling chemistry that I felt moved their relationship along at a natural pace for the story line. The sex scenes were hot and intense; I was scooting towards the edge of my seat while reading them and Merrick was a hero that I easily fell in love with. Dark, brooding but honorable and oh-so-sexy! I never wanted the story to end! 

Action and suspense round out this captivating romance that is sure to please fans from all sub-genres. I really loved Claire Ashgrove’s voice, this is the first of her novels that I’ve had the pleasure of reading but it will definitely not be the last! I’m impatiently looking forward to the next installment in the series, Immortal Surrender, to place on my keeper shelf right next to Immortal Hope

Rating: 4.5 Wine Glasses

Sexual Content: Recommended for adult readers. Super sexy but didn't overshadow the over all romance and plot. Well written but still steamy. 


1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this one too and I cannot wait for Faelan's story.

    Thanks for sharing your review!


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