Review: Immortal Sacrifice by Claire Ashgrove

Review: Immortal Sacrifice by Claire AshgroveImmortal Sacrifice by Claire Ashgrove

Series: #4 The Curse of the Templar
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published on January 20, 2014
Pages: 316
Source: Author
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four-half-stars  

An ongoing saga of cursed Templar Knights, the women who can bring them salvation from their curse, the growing evil they battle and the hope of one lone prophecy just makes for some of the best reading I can find.  It was so hard to be patient for this latest installment after the ending on that last one. 

Each book has charged off in a different direction it seems shattering even the possibility of a dreary formulaic plot.  Yes, there is the race to recover the relics, there is the knight, there is his seraph, and there is the clash with evil, but- yes but- there is a whole lot more going on.  Each knight and seraph’s struggle is different and each time evil is confronted no matter how much I try to anticipate the end, I still get a surprise.

Speaking of all the books, this is not a series that can be read out of order.  Each book links to the one before it with less and less worldbuilding in the newer ones since the assumption is made that the reader has read what went on before.  There are also spoilers to the previous romances and plots that would probably just leave the reader confused and out in left field if they jumped the gun.  So yeah, moral of the story…read in order.

In this story which is Caradoc’s turn, he is given a reunion romance. Caradoc spent three weeks in the arms of the woman he loved and she loved him, but he left her without a word or note.  He knew she was not his seraph so he could not be with her.  Three years later on a mission with Tane and Gareth, he is in Sicily at an auction to recover a necklace that contains Christ’s Tears.  The Templars must retrieve it before Azazael at all costs.  He turns around when he smells a familiar scent and is confronted by the woman he never stopped loving even after he left her.  Her eyes are full of pain and hate.

Isobel can barely keep it together when she stands before Caradoc for the first time since he walked away from her.  He broke her heart and never looked back.  Her dreams of the future revealed that they would eventually meet again so she prepared a speech that would tell him of all that she felt for what he had done.  Unfortunately, being confronted by the reality and the honest expression of remorse and pain in his eyes leaves her without words.  She is angry and she is hurting, but she is there for a purpose- bidding on the unusual diamond necklace that her buyer wants at all costs and her child’s freedom hinges on her success.  Eventually, she will have to deal with Caradoc who is relentless in pursuing her so they can talk and they need to, but not now.  Besides, this time she plans to be the one to walk away.

And I’m going to stop there with the summary because I don’t want to spoil even one of the plot twists and reveals.  Truthfully, most of the secrets are out on the table early, but the people holding the secrets clutch them close so the reader is the only one who sees it as a whole.  And let me tell you, that is a twitchy situation to be in.  I was guilty of muttering ‘tell him’ or ‘tell her’ or ‘tell them’ quite a bit of the time and figuratively biting my nails to see how it was all going to play out with the hero and heroine in the dark, but the evil guy kept completely apprised of all the pertinent intel.

Caradoc and Isobel had to work through all the pain he caused when he left her plus they both had secrets they needed to reveal.  It was a slow and agonizing path at first and it needed to be to be believable.  I loved that he owned to it all and accepted her hate, hurt and doubt in him while working hard to prove that he deserved forgiveness.  Isobel was fiercely angry at first and had to let all that out, but through it all she never stopped loving Caradoc.  I felt so badly for both of them and not once did I get impatient with the process because the pace of things was actually slow by fictional standards and for that level of hurt it takes time.  This being said, the passion was still there.  Dealing with the physical side was no solution to matters, but it gave them time to set the hard stuff aside and take it up after.

I was relieved when after some time, Caradoc looked her in the eye and asked her, “Have you ever made a mistake?”  For me this was ‘put up or shut up’ time.  Caradoc messed up and he knew it and was trying to show with action and word that he wanted a final chance, but ultimately it was on Isobel if she could look toward the future instead of the past.  There was a very hard scene where she throws a lot of stuff at him that as the reader I knew wasn’t true and he didn’t deserve.  I hated it, but was glad for it because I got to see her- after realizing the truth and knowing she had just spewed all sorts of awful- vulnerable and open just like Caradoc had been to her all along.  It meant that if they could get past it; they would start on equal footing in a future together.

This one left things in an interesting place.  Not a cliffhanger, just a nice little bit of tension to keep me wanting the next book.  I enjoyed the brief peek-ins with the other characters and got the biggest grin on my face over the surprise of Merrick and Anne.

This series is for those who would enjoy spicy and exciting paranormal romance involving angels and demons along with brave Knights and their ladies in modern times.

My thanks to the author for providing the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Another series I really must try. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Templar Knights romance. I think I have book one of this somewhere at the house. Will hunt it down 🙂 And thanks for the warning about not reading out of order. I’m bad about doing that lately so very good to know it’s a read in order series.

    • Yep! This is not one that you can cut the corners. That first one has all the set up info and still manages to keep things exciting.

  • I’ve never heard of this series or author! But I do enjoy a paranormal romance novel every now and then. I mostly stick to historical romance, but WAIT. Paranormal historical romance… now THAT is quite awesome ;D

    This one sounds like a winner! I love stories involving the Knights Templar. And I shall read the series in order! Fabulous review, Sophia 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Cool! Glad you want to try these, Alyssa! But I must warn you that this is contemporary PNR. The Knights are the original Knights Templar and there are flashbacks to their medieval lives and crusading stuff, but the bulk of the story is in the present.

  • man….I like the sound of this one Sophia. I love that she admitted his mistakes and yeah, she had every right to be mad and I’ve don’t think I’ve ever read a romance with the Knighs Templars. Oh, you are making my hands itch…lols. Great review!

  • Claire Ashgrove

    Thanks for taking the time to read, Sophia, and the additional time to review! Really appreciate it. (And I’m glad you enjoyed the book! 🙂 )

    • You know I do love this series, Claire! I’m itching for Anne’s sister’s story and where that shadow group is going to strike next. Thanks for letting me review it.