Friday, November 19, 2010

Review - Death's Sweet Embrace (Dark Brethren, Book 2) by Tracey O'Hara (4/5 stars)

Death's Sweet Embrace: A Dark Brethren NovelReading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Eos
Release Date: January 25, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0061783142
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in Dark Brethren series.
Source: ARC from
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the second book in the Dark Brethern series by O'Hara.  I got an advanced reading copy of this book through NetGalley.  I thought the first book of this series was entertaining and was eager to see how this book advanced the storyline.  This book was also entertaining; I thought it was pretty good, if a bit run-of-the-mill for vampire paranormal romance.

Where the first book in the series centers around Antoinette, this book centers around the story of Kitt.  Kitt is a were-snowleopard who is a doctor.  She is starting work at the University where Antoinette, Oberon, and others work.  Kitt's first day on the job is a tough one.  She is called in to consult on a body of a were that is found, attacked by a crazy vampire, and finds out that her sexy ex-boyfriend (and the father of her twin-daughters), Raven, is seeking sanction at the University.  The story goes back and forth between Antoinette and Kitt, but focuses on Kitt.

I have to be honest and say that I didn't like Kitt as a character quite as much as Antoinette; Kitt is more about healing and less about kicking butt.  That's not to say there isn't a lot of action in this book, there is.  In fact this book is much like the first in terms of the amount of violence and gore that are included; O'Hara doesn't shy away from giving all the gory details.  There are a few steamy sex scenes in this book, they were very similar in tone to the first book if a bit more tender at points.

As a couple I thought Kitt and Raven had way better chemistry going on than Antoinette and Christian in the first book.  Both Kitt and Raven are much more likable, have a good basis for their relationship, and actually seem to love each other.  I also enjoyed the inclusion of Kitt and Raven's twin daughters Cal and Seph, these two added humor to the story and were very intriguing...hopefully future stories focus on them.

This story focuses more on the were-societies than the vampires.  Not too much creative here, the were-societies are male-centric and much like other wereanimals you have read about in other stories.  O'Hara also expands on the storyline from the first book, there are more paranormal murders happening and in this book the Dark Brethern are finally talked about in more detail.

The story ties up nicely and builds on the idea of the Dark Brethern becoming more of a problem.  The story was easy to read and moved at a good clip.

My main problem with this series so far is that I am having trouble connecting with the characters.  I think maybe it is leaning too much towards romance for me; all the males are of the Alpha sort and much of the storyline focuses on the main two characters trying to make a relationship work against all odds.  There is a little bit of humor throughout but at times the story takes itself a bit too seriously.

Overall a good read, entertaining, and the plot moves at a good clip.  Fans of paranormal romance that features vampires with some good action scenes sprinkled throughout should enjoy this.  I personally won't keep reading this series.  There are just too many other really awesome and creative urban fantasy books out there to pick from.  I am kind of burned out on these vamp/werewolf stories.  I also have some trouble connecting with these characters, there is a bit too much romance for me, and the story and world is just too predictable.  Maybe as O'Hara starts expanding the Dark Brethern portion of the storyline things will get more interesting.  I would recommend Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter, Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin, Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep, or Dorina Basarab series by Karen Chance; all of these are great urban fantasies featuring kick-butt females in creative worlds and have just a touch of romance to them.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge Book List
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
Death's Sweet Embrace: A Dark Brethren Novel 


  1. I recently read the first book in the series and it was fun and enjoyable.
    I might give the second book a try!!
    Thanks so much for the review! :)

  2. Hi Kelly,

    I think if you liked the first book then you will enjoy this one too!

    - Karissa