The Embrace of Life and Death is a standalone book with some characters from the Dark Kiss Trilogy. I have read the first two in the trilogy but can sThe Embrace of Life and Death is a standalone book with some characters from the Dark Kiss Trilogy. I have read the first two in the trilogy but can say that if you haven't read it you will still be able to read The Embrace.
I have always enjoyed Liz Strange's works. She is dark, sometimes sexual and often violent. Just my cup of tea! The Embrace was no different. I am a huge fan of m/m (I'm a girl so I think it's the visual of two strong men together... yum) and was pleased that Strange tried her hand in this genre. The one thing I do have to say is I would classify this as more of a m/m romance rather than a m/m erotica. There are steamy scenes, but they didn't cause me to blush or giggle in impropriety. They were sensual, not very graphic and perfect for someone looking for a love story rather than a bedroom read. This story focused on a hot vampire who is your typical Immortal and a dark strong angel.
Kiernan kills his food, not because he has to but because he enjoys feeling their deaths, gruesome but quite common. Azrael is the dark angel sent down to kill vampires. I don't think it's like the Buffy type of killing, but his boss the Supreme One doesn't like how often Kiernan and other vampires kill to feed. Something draws Azrael to Kiernan and he finds himself in the horrible position of killing Kiernan or having his wings stripped. Strange decides to take her already interesting plot further by adding time traveling with alternate realties in to the mix. Though it might sound a little perplexing and confusing I assure you it was written into the plot seamlessly and I was able to follow through the entire book. I enjoyed watching Kiernan and Azrael grow, and I think that if Strange ever decides to fully immerse herself into a true erotica novel she'll do fantastic.
The only other warning I have for readers is that the ending will not appeal to all of you. Like many authors Strange has chosen her own version of a happy ending which will likely tick off those who are looking for a complete Happily Ever After. In its own way it was perfect though... just not whole.
My father got me into the Dresden Files (why was the show cancelled?) and I have to say I really, really liked Ghost Story. Jim Butcher is a wonderfulMy father got me into the Dresden Files (why was the show cancelled?) and I have to say I really, really liked Ghost Story. Jim Butcher is a wonderful author; I also adore his other series (The Fury series) and the anthologies he's in. Now onto Harry's latest escapades...
Harry is dead, and of course it being Harry Dresden, nothing is as it should be, including his death, which had some... irregularities surrounding it. Nothing is ever easy for Harry, and now it's up to him (as a ghost without any powers) to figure out who killed him and presumably why. There are worse (and some better) powers at work here, including a war involving ghosts, some old enemies, and of course Murphy attempting to hold together the local police force. Butcher (and Dresden) never do anything in halves, so of course there's a lot of violence, mystery and mayhem. Butcher also uses humor to temper the inevitable pain of Harry Maturing and finally seeing how is actions and decisions affect others and ultimately the world.
I wouldn't recommend this book for readers coming into the series. This is book number 13, and I definitely recommend reading the books in order, it just gives the characters more depth, the plot more meat, and Harry's character a full back story and understanding that jumping into the series wouldn't give a reader. In true Butcher fashion the story ties up some loose ends while leave others hanging, of course this makes the readers, myself included, that much more anxious for book 14. Enjoy!