Review: Immortal Trust by Claire Ashgrove

Review: Immortal Trust by Claire AshgroveImmortal Trust by Claire Ashgrove

Series: #3 Curse of the Templars
Source: Author
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four-half-stars  

From the beginning, this series of books has enthralled me with its refreshing paranormal tales that blend the historical with the modern, offer a creative, darker twist on an immortal battle between angels and demons and present the readers with worthy heroes and their feisty heroines who battle their way to love.

Immortal Trust is the third book in the Curse of the Templars series.  It shouldn’t be read as a standalone.  My summary and review will contain mild series spoilers just to warn you.

And in this book, we have arrived at Lucan’s tale.  Lucan didn’t exactly endear himself in previous books so it was with avid interest that I cracked this book open eager to read.  And yes, smugly watch his downfall to his own seraph.

The story opens with a Prologue that sets an ominous tone for everything that comes after it.  A month later, Lucan finds himself accompanied by Caradoc and a European knight, Gareth on a two pronged mission to retrieve one of the sacred relics that Azazel is trying to acquire and to retrieve a newly revealed seraph.  The mission is personal because it is his seraph, Chloe Broussard, they go to find.  Lucan is accepting of finding his seraph and he does have a game plan of sorts because he learned from watching Merrick and Farran claim their seraphs.  He was going to earn Chloe’s trust first before he ‘wow’ed her with all the unbelievable stuff.  This all goes awry quickly when Chloe gets her back up regarding the ornate relic box her team unearths the day after his arrival.

Chloe has had to struggle in her profession for years to prove herself.  Finally her efforts are rewarded with a big find.  And now, yet again, a man she is attracted to is planning to swoop in and take her find and probably take all the credit for the find just like the other one.  The first guy had betrayed her trust and she has no intentions of this being a repeat.  Better to nip those feelings of attraction right now!  Besides, she couldn’t let anyone especially the astute Lucan get close and discover what lurked in the dark and is always with her.  Just like others, he’d never believe her about the demons.

Lucan has a dilemma.  He has to figure out whose side Chloe is on.  He sees the demons and her ambiguous reactions and he sees her tenacity when it comes to the relic.  Her motives could be entirely innocent of demonic influence, but it could mean quite the opposite.  He’d better figure it out quick.  Lucan was running out of time and dark enemies were closing in from all sides some he wasn’t even aware were his enemies.  He realized that to gain Chloe’s hard earned trust he must show trust.  Lucan puts it all on the line and hopes that Chloe will reciprocate before it is too late.

I know I keep saying the same thing each time I read this series so I’m going to temper my statement this time.  This was the best story– to date.  With each book, the tension amps up to whole new level.  With Lucan’s story, there is a great sense of urgency and the danger is just that much stronger because it comes from more than one direction.

The plot is no fast-paced thriller with non-stop action though it does contain some action scenes.  The excitement comes more from the author’s deft ability to build suspense until the tension in the reader is ready to snap  with the evil characters skulking in the shadows plotting against Lucan and Chloe.  It was particularly convincing because for most of the book neither are even aware of where the true danger lies.  They know about the demons out in the woods and the dark, but there are villains closer to home.

The other big plot line is the romance of course.  The romance was one wild roller coaster ride.  Somehow, I thought Lucan would be the problem having met his character in the preceding books.  He does have his own issues don’t get me wrong but nope, in this one its mostly Chloe who does the ‘blind and willful’ stuff and this was all without him giving her the heavy news about the Templar curse and the seraphs.  She’s got some real trust issues and it pushed my patience as a reader because I had the benefit of knowing the danger surrounding her while she dilly-dallied wondering if Lucan was going to burn her like the jerk in her past.  The title of this book makes perfect sense just like the ones before it because in the end it all comes down to trust.

Each segment of this series is so unique.  The voice is the same, but the tone is slightly different.  While much of the story is a struggle between Lucan and Chloe just like the couples who came before, their struggle was different.  Chloe doesn’t need convincing about the truth like Nicole and Anne so much as that she ignores it in favor of fighting to keep from letting Lucan close to her.  Lucan doesn’t go all alpha on her like Merrick and Farran in that he shows great restraint and patience which costs him in the end.

As to the other characters, I love when the angels are in the scenes along with other members of the order.  The characters both primary and secondary are written with such depth and layers.  They are flawed and they grow.  The villain and his minions tend to be second dimensional (no offense, I’m good with that because there is no way I want to feel any warm fuzzies for someone like Azazel).

Speaking of the other characters, I want to make brief mention of their minor plot threads.  I found myself feeling profoundly sad when it came to the situation with Chloe’s brother Julian and the state of mind that Caradoc is in (its okay Car buddy I’ll just keeping hoping for you even if you can’t).  I’m also a bit worked up with this continuing plot thread involving the deluded knight Declan. His actions are hurting others, but he sees himself in the role of their savior.  He has done such irreversible harm and yet I can’t help feeling pity knowing the day will come when he realizes how blind he’s been and how he’s been used.  But it sure did my heart good to see that scene regarding Tane’s attempt at restoring himself after his past actions.

Ah yes, another satisfying read in this fabulous series.  I highly recommend it to those who enjoy Contemporary Paranormal Romance involving delicious knights of old living in modern times as demon fighters.

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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.