Wednesday 17 October 2012

Blog Tour for Immortal Surrender by Claire Ashgrove

Immortal Surrender (The Curse of the Templars, #2)Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Finished Date: July 18th, 2012
Publishers: Tor Books 
Source: ARC, Borrowed 
Format: Paperback
Pages: 448
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again—he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him.

Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty—but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her.

As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice – his heart.

The Review: I have been looking forward to this book for a while, I had loved Immortal Hope and had mentioned that book 2 was already set up – but, it turned out that the seraph wasn’t who I thought it would be. In Immortal Surrender it is Farran de Clare’s shot at redemption and you could not find a more unwilling participant leading to me nicknaming him ‘frustrating Farran’- We meet Dr Noelle Keane as she is ready to hand over findings of a precious religious relic to Gabriel and then transport it back to where it came from. Gabriel bestows upon her a gift – the arm torc – and she puts it on not knowing that it has claimed her as a seraph that will bring light and redemption to her Knight. Farran is sent in to protect Noelle on her journey and following an attack discovers she is the second seraph, and she bears his mark – meaning she is meant for him. He is horrified but decides to ‘man up’ and take the oath in name only so that he can fulfil his duty as a Templar, Noelle however, thinks he’s crazy and playing some role playing game or is some sort of kidnapper – she absolutely refuses to believe in anything that can’t be explained by science - including his delusions but she’ll play along to gain her freedom. . . that is until she gets there and finds out that whilst he wants her to pledge an oath to him, he flatly refuses to pledge his loyalty to her – so why should she bother ? And with that, the fun begins. . . .

This is another awesome book, I’m a sucker for ‘fated’ loves and this is a main theme to this series so I’m won over already plus when you add a bit of supernatural and a tortured hero with a chance of redemption, well who wouldn’t love that? If you ask me what type of book I will flatly refuse to read, it would be historical fiction – I just hate it, it bores me but Claire Ashgrove has hit the nail on the head with her blend of historical figures, facts & religious beliefs and then to bring it into modern times and adding that dash of supernatural is a perfect combination for me and I love the way it’s done, not too much history and not too much modern world – just a nice equilibrium between the two that leaves you feeling as if the division doesn’t exist. Obviously we feel it more with the characters which can add for fun and misunderstandings – Farran especially is stuck in his dated thought processes and it comes across in his speech, his manner, his sense of duty and the way he views women which has poor Noelle’s emotions all over the place none more so than when he declares ‘he would rather sleep with whores than her’ – you know Katy Perry’s song, Hot N Cold? – it could have been written for Farren, he frustrated me immensely and made me anxious with his need to go and see Leah! Whereas Noelle had nothing but my sympathy, saying that - she was a tad naïve and forgiving (but we wouldn’t get anywhere with this story had she thought like me) she endured Farran’s insults and horrid behaviour that would have sent anyone else running but she stuck with him and even through all of that there were some really hot moments between them, giving us a glimpse at what Farren could really be like that has you clinging on to hope for Noelle. I like the clash between them and ultimately she gives as good as she gets but because Farran still holds onto his beliefs on certain issues and Noelle is a modern woman, they are always going to disagree which can be funny.

I liked the storyline set up, using a religious artefact that tied in with the order and brings Noelle into the picture and shows her struggle with her beliefs. In the very beginning of the book we discover the increasing danger coming from Azazal because now he knows of the seraphs existence, we see what he plans to do about it so now we find that the seraph’s are in as much danger as the knights -plus Farran was near to succumbing to the darkness so you get the sense of urgency. We’re also getting a little more information about the seraph’s, and seeing the prophecy come into play and we get to see Anne’s gift at work again. 

The pacing was great, I could read it in one sitting and at no time throughout would I be bored. I like that this is based on true facts and people, when I reviewed book one the author did an interview and I was really intrigued by it all, she knows her stuff, she’s studied it and is very knowledgeable and it shows in the books from the architecture to the language used by each Knight – I don’t think people actually get the hard work some author’s put into their books so I always like to point that out when I feel it could be overlooked. I still say these books are perfect for fans of Dark Hunters & BDB because I know that the same type of storyline applies but where they deal in fiction, this is based on fact but ultimately all are tortured heroes brought to salvation by their woman and that stirs something primal in me and calls out to the romantic in me. Personally I cannot wait for the next book and I’m already wondering which knight will meet their seraph and be granted the chance for redemption, hoping for Declan or Caradoc this time!

Claire AshgroveGuest Post with Claire Ashgrove & Mikhail 

Good morning!  Thank you so much for hosting me today.  I’m so excited to be here!

I brought with me someone I think you all know, or you’ve at least heard of.  The archangel Mikhail has agreed to sit for a couple quick questions, though he warned me he could get called away at any time.

Claire:  Mikhail, thanks so much for agreeing to this.  Let’s cover some simple bases, real quick.  You are the leader of the North American Knights Templar, what does this consist of?

Mikhail:  My duty is to insure the North American Knights Templar are effectively combating Azazel’s creations, as they affect mankind.  I receive word from High, I am alerted to weakenings between the realms.  Overall strategy is my responsibility, though at times I rely heavily on my commander, Merrick du Loire.

Claire:  So in common terminology, you’d be like the 4-Star General, with Merrick as the 1-Star, and then it carries down the line?

Mikhail:  I would award Merrick more than 1 star, but aye, you are correct.

Claire:  The seraphs…are you pleased with the two who’ve appeared?

Mikhail:  Exceedingly!  Both bring strong minds to our ranks, with spirits that are unfettered by centuries of death and isolation.  Both challenge their mates and have greatly improved the spirits and wherewithal of both knights.  I confess, I admire Anne’s backbone a great deal.  When she kicked Merrick, I knew he had met his match.  Noelle is a softer, kinder counterpart to Farran who has been hardened overmuch by centuries of existence.

Claire:  Do you know ahead of time who the seraphs are, or who they are paired with?

Mikhail shakes his head.  Much to my immense consternation, those messages are delivered solely to Gabriel.  I am lucky to receive forewarning twenty-four hours in advance.  Though it strikes me now, as I say that, we have been given advance notice of the next woman.  Men prepare to leave as I speak.

Claire: Oooh!  Hints?

Mikhail attention drifts clearly elsewhere, before again he shakes his head.  I am given leave only to say “She who digs in dust”

Claire: Figures.  That was Gabriel wasn’t it?

Mikhail merely smiles.

Claire:  What is the hardest part of what you do?

Mikhail:  I am forced to send weak men to fight.  Each night, I know I am apt to lose one, if not more.  At the same time, I must face these men daily and reside with them.  Though an archangel does not suffer the human emotions as you know them, upon occasion it aggrieves me to know I send men out to die.

Claire:  I can imagine.  Would you be able—

Hm.  Well.  He did give warning he might be called away.  Might have helped if he’d forewarned me he would disappear.

Well there you have it, all. Straight from the leader’s mouth.  Next time I’ll try to chain him down or something.


Melanie Hall said...

Oooo I know who's next :D *excited* but who is the Knight ??
Great post Claire, I'm loving the books :)

Claire Ashgrove said...

Morning, Melanie! You always manage to put a smile on my face when you start talking about the series. Your enthusiasm is awesome -- thanks so much! Oct 25th. All I'm saying. And if my publisher beats me to publishing Trust's premise... you still don't want to miss October 25th!

Tracey D said...

I love character interviews and I really enjoyed this one. I look forward in continuing this series.

booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Viki Sloboda said...

I love character interviews. They give me a really good look into the leads :).

Paige said...

I've never really read a character interview before but this has me intrigued! I look forward to the books to come! :)

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