(Embrace series, book three)
Published by Omnific Publishing, April 2015
About the Book:
Only a few months after embracing her magical powers, defeating a dark witch, and banishing a faerie prince back to his realm, sixteen-year-old Madison Riley is back in book three of the Embrace series—and doing the bidding of a demon. She has no choice but to do so if she wants him to honor the deal they made to save the life of someone she loves. Twenty years of service to a creature of hell is a big price, but one she’s willing to pay. And it sure beats the alternative: selling her soul.
But life gets complicated when you’re the beck-and-call witch of a crossroad demon. Caden, the demon she serves, wants to become master of Death Himself, and with Madison at his side he has the means to do it.
It’s up to Madison and her coven to foil his plans, but Caden’s intentions aren't entirely evil—and the kisses he seals his deals with aren’t too bad either. As Caden's motives test Madison’s trust, his shameful flirting tries her boyfriend Isaac’s patience. But being caught between two supernatural hotties is perhaps the least of her concerns when the coven’s interference in Caden’s plot might just cost Madison her life and unleash hell on earth.
Cherie Colyer's Embrace series combines witchcraft, self-discovery and first love in a magical way that draws readers into her world and makes them believe. This is the third book in the series, and the story and characters just keep getting better.
In the second book of the series, Hold Tight, our narrator Madison makes a deal with a crossroads demon to save her little brother. When you make a deal with a demon or a devil, they usually claim your soul, but Cade made an exception for her, only claiming her servitude for a set number of years.
Entwined begins with one of the many small acts Madison must perform as part and parcel to that deal with the hot demon Cade.... A deal that her boyfriend Isaac doesn't like in the least. And every deal with a demon needs to be sealed with a kiss. Kisses that Madison doesn't necessarily dislike...except that Madison has a boyfriend whom she's really really attached to.
The love triangle works in this book, and gets even more complicated by the addition of the stalker fae/love interest from the second book still haunting Madison's dreams. I thought I knew which boy she should choose, but after this story, Caden is growing on me. I'm already looking forward to the next book! (write faster, Cherie!)
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Series versus Standalone:
Entwined is the third book in Colyer's series, yet it is a self-contained story with fully developed characters, plot points, and story arc that begins and ends within these pages. Reading the first two books will give the reader a greater depth of understanding and insight, but you could pick this book up and read it on its own. I love all 3 books so recommend starting at the beginning of the series and scarfing them all down. However, I totally appreciate that this is a complete and satisfying story in and of itself, and for this I applaud Colyer and love her books. Yes, reading the entire series will make each book a much richer reading experience, but you are not left dangling at the end.
There is a growing trend in series books to leave everything dangling at the end of each book, making the reader Need to buy book two to get any resolution whatsoever. I personally hate this trend and hate feeling manipulated in this way. I bought a book, I invested my time in it, I need a resolution. It's perfectly legitimate to leave big questions unanswered or have ongoing mysteries or love triangles, but I feel very strongly that each book in a series should have its own story arc and ending, and give the reader some measure of satisfaction for their time and money.
When I first discovered Charlaine Harris's awesome Sookie Stackhouse series, the first book I picked up was not book one but rather Living Dead in Dallas, which was the second book. Each of her books - in a 13 book series - has its own story arc. Yes, you have a better understanding of individual characters if you start at the beginning, but even a fan who reads them all deserves a sense of closure at the end of each novel. If that first read had left me hanging, I don't think I would have continued reading the others, or gotten so drawn into the world she created.
In my reading for reviews, I've come across a lot of books lately that just end. No resolution, no closure, no sense of HEA. And it doesn't entice me to automatically buy the second book. It enrages me. It leaves me feel that I've wasted time better spent reading something else. And I refuse to read more from that author. It's fine to leave room for a sequel, or a series, but give the reader a sense that her time was worth the effort. Please.