REVIEW: Haunting Embrace by Erin QuinnMonday, November 21, 2011 1:00
If you haven’t been drawn into the mysterious evil of the Book of Fennore and the haunting romantic love of charismatic time traveling characters in Erin Quinn’s Mists of Ireland series, you need to curl up on the sofa and absorb and live every last word of these books. Ms. Quinn has created a world that whisks you through time to try to stay one step ahead of malevolent tome that has targeted one Irish family to gather more power for its insidious ways. The ultimate twist in the series comes in this book, making it an all-consuming read. I could not put it down.
When we last saw Aedan and Meaghan, it was at the end of Haunting Desire, where they had just escaped the clutches of the Book of Fennore, along with others who had been imprisoned there. Aedan has taken on a job of fisherman with Mickey Ballogh, and after a long day out on the sea his instinct tells him to stay away from the evil vibrating from the cave where their run-in with the book took place. But its call is too powerful, and Aedan finds himself standing in the entrance, waiting for God knows what.
What he finds is Meaghan, barely conscious after their ordeal. And then joining them is Colleen Ballogh, Mickey’s wife – and Meaghan’s grandmother, though she is right that moment carrying Meaghan’s infant father around on her hip. They find themselves in the past, the mid 1950s, and have no idea why or what they’re supposed to do. Finding the book and destroying it would be first point of business, but fate has other things planned. The first of which is the information and pendant Colleen gives to Meaghan, all from a woman from an even more distant past.
Rumor has it that the powerful Druid who doled out the evilness of the Book of Fennore is still in the area, along with the book itself. Aedan is determined to keep that secret to himself, he likes the freedom he’s found from his millennia of confinement, despite the power he wielded. Knowing Meaghan has the pendant, the key, he himself crafted before his betrayal and subsequent imprisonment by the woman he loved only makes him more determined to put an end to the evil once and for all. Nothing is more important than giving it the sacrifice his eons-old ritual needs to bind that very evil within the book’s cover forever. He can feel the key and book, its presence and power. As can Meaghan.
But hers is an empathic sensation, picking up feelings from all around her. Including Aedan. She knows he’s not evil, even if he thinks there’s no way to rid himself of what he lived for so long. Seeing a different side of her loving grandmother at the hands of Mickey shocks her, but she’s filling in all the holes in her family history that no one ever wanted to talk about as she was growing up. When Mickey turns up dead after a drunken blow-up with Colleen and Aedan is the number one suspect, Meaghan also learns so much more about her grandmother than she could have ever imagined. She also takes on a new power of seeing future deaths, something Aedan’s past love was able to do, thus binding her to that long-ago woman, and the pace of the story picks up as more and more secrets, more and more evil, more and more love and trust become apparent.
Ms. Quinn writes such intriguing characters, including the Book of Fennore. It has been its own character throughout this series and nothing has changed in this latest addition. Her use of Ireland is quite refreshing, and she makes you feel as though you’re standing on those Irish shores, taking in every nuance from blue skies to the emerald green the isle is known for. Her writing is as haunting as it is profound and lush. It’s more than worth your time to spend time with her characters, whose depths know no bounds.
I’m not sure if this is the last book in the series. I didn’t see anything on the author’s web site to answer that question. I sincerely hope there is more to come. Quality like this is hard to come by.
Within Meaghan Ballagh surges the blood of an ancient sorceress whose long ago love for the druid Áedán ended in treachery—a fate that ensnares Meaghan herself when she is thrust into the past. She can feel the desire between the sorceress and the handsome druid rise inside her. To ensure her survival, she must piece together the history of the woman who haunts her and the man who needs her.
Áedán recognizes Meaghan. He always will. For the spirit of his one true love—and immortal enemy—is in her. A woman for whom Áedán once risked everything he ever had only to be repaid with betrayal and eternal damnation. This time, he’s not going to let Meaghan escape—because together they have the power to change their destiny.
As the passion between them grows, so do their fears of arousing an ancient, haunted, and forbidden love, and for changing a past that could irrevocably destroy the future.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: