A Mists of Ireland Novel: Book 4, Haunting Embrace

Author: Erin Quinn

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Release Date: October 2011

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4

Format: Print/Ebook

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The Book of Fennore has been luring its prey for thousands of years, granting humans their most cherished wishes, whilst also enslaving them by their very desires.  The book is evil incarnate, with a nightmare world within its pages, serving as a haven for the most dangerous, mythical creatures, and a hellish prison for its victims.  Brandubh, a Druid and the infamous power behind the book, was also its captive.  Betrayed and imprisoned within the book by the woman he loved, and having suffered a millennia of doing the book's bidding, Brandubh has been mysteriously cast out of the book into human form.  Living on the Isle of Fennore and having assumed the name Áedán Brady, the once all-powerful Druid must adjust to the mundane life of a fisherman.  But even worse, he has to brace himself for things he hasn't dealt with in thousands of years... emotions.

Meaghan Ballagh has been thrust into the past, to a time when her grandmother, Colleen, was of the same age.  Meaghan was also once a prisoner of the Book of Fennore and somehow released.  Even more disconcerting is waking up in a cave, inexplicably locked in an embrace with Áedán.  Theirs is a strange relationship, having both survived the horrors of the book, are now courting a curiously strong attraction for one another, and have landed in the same time period.  With Colleen's help, Meaghan and Áedán learn that other powers are at work, forcing them to work together.  Has the opportunity finally come – can the book be destroyed, once and for all?  
Challenging the Book of Fennore is a daunting task, in and of itself, but there's something even more insidious looming.  The essence of Áedán's lost love continues to manifest whenever he's near Meaghan.  There's no escaping the ominous feeling of foreboding when Áedán is near her, but there's also no fighting her allure, or his need to shield her from the book's malevolence.  Surely fate can't be so cruel – to free him from the book, only to be re-imprisoned by the same woman
can it?
The final installment to Erin Quinn's MISTS OF IRELAND series culminates with HAUNTING EMBRACE, and brings the notorious Druid and entity of the Book of Fennore to the forefront. 

This is my first foray into the MISTS OF IRELAND series, and just my luck, I'm jumping in during the finale.  While I enjoyed Áedán and Meaghan's story, I would highly recommend reading the previous books first.  Because despite appreciating the intricacy of the series storylines, I honestly feel the read would have been infinitely more satisfying had I been better-versed in the Book of Fennore mythos.  That said, however, HAUNTING EMBRACE still provides its readers with enough gravy to lusciously sink their teeth into.
Lush descriptions, which can only be of Ireland, promise a seamless transport to the highly regarded, mystical realm.  It's quite easy to be sitting in your living room one moment, and then the next, find yourself standing on a cliff, reveling in the sensations of the wind and rain whipping your hair about your face.  Without a doubt, the back-drop makes this a very graphic reading experience.  I also enjoyed the inexplicable, but promising trust between the hero and heroine.  And it's when a protagonists' mistrust is so wholly understandable, that when the final happily ever after arrives, satisfaction is the inevitable end result.  That, in addition to sweet, passionate love scenes, and an historical-paranormal-romance lover will want for nothing.
HAUNTING EMBRACE's complex storyline, its multi-faceted foundation of myth and magic, intense emotional drama, and the hopeful redemption of a villain – the MISTS OF IRELAND series is going out with a bang.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chris

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