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The Embrace of Life and Death

The Embrace of Life and Death

3.3 3
by Liz Strange

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Kieran is a hundred-and-twenty-year-old immortal, originally hailing from the harsh, famine-stricken life of 1880s Ireland. He has surpassed death and thrived, gaining wealth, power and knowledge. Azrael is the angel of death, but his mission is far from ominous. He is the protector of the grief-stricken, and the champion of lost souls. The two are polar opposites in


Kieran is a hundred-and-twenty-year-old immortal, originally hailing from the harsh, famine-stricken life of 1880s Ireland. He has surpassed death and thrived, gaining wealth, power and knowledge. Azrael is the angel of death, but his mission is far from ominous. He is the protector of the grief-stricken, and the champion of lost souls. The two are polar opposites in mission and nature, yet are inexplicably drawn to one another.

The Supreme One sees all, and when he discovers the truth about the relationship he is enraged. Their commitment to be together must be stronger than his determination to keep them apart.

Product Details

MLR Press, LLC
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Barnes & Noble
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The Embrace of Life and Death 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
LITERALADDICTION More than 1 year ago
Our Review [By LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha-Michelle L Olson]: Let me begin by saying that I wasn’t even sure I would be able to read this one. I had not read a male/male paranormal romance before this, and to say I was concerned about whether I could get into the story (let alone enjoy it) would be putting it mildly. I had only recently discovered M/F/M PNRs and found, to my surprise, that I enjoyed them. With that said, however, the synopsis intrigued me, and knowing that I had thoroughly enjoyed Liz’s work in the past; I set out to see what this Dark Kiss Tale had to offer. Written at first in the 1st person from Kieran’s point of view, the story started off like many others, footloose and fancy free immortal vampires running amok in the city, enjoying their higher rung on the food chain and their basic natures. Then the mysterious Arch Angel Azrael is introduced, as well as his ‘boss’, The Supreme One, and the tale takes an interesting turn. What you ultimately end up with is a forbidden romance, an ego-maniac who thinks he knows what’s best and interferes in the most extreme of ways only to push the two people he is trying to keep apart closer together, the most loyal and true of friends, and a storyline SO unique that there could never be anything like it again—vampires, arch angels, gods, alien technology, time travel, mind control… It sounds crazy, but Liz wrote it SO seamlessly that it worked better than you could possibly imagine! The emotions felt by all parties throughout the story were so visceral; I could literally feel my pulse pick up, my heart sink, my temperature rise, etc. The romance was tender and believable, and the friendships exactly what you would hope to have in your own life. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve read a novel that I FELT like I felt this one. Some readers will not be happy with the ultimate outcome and ending of the book. For the story it was perfect, but it’s not a traditional HEA, and that may rile a few readers. In all honesty, I found myself screaming “Are you kidding me!” at first until I thought about it a little more, and decided that it wouldn’t have worked as well any other way… All in all, LITERAL ADDICTION Paranormal Book Club gives The Embrace of Life and Death 4 Skulls and would recommend it for Paranormal Romance fans at large, not just m/m PNR readers.
CherubsLibrary More than 1 year ago
THE EMBRACE OF LIFE AND DEATH is different from the usual books I read and I often found it difficult to follow. There's an awful lot to take in. The characters include Kiernan, a 120 year old vampire, who relishes killing his prey and enjoys his 'life' and wealth. There's Azrael, an Archangel, who works for the Supreme One. His job is to care for those overwhelmed by grief and to kill vampires. And he falls in love with Kiernan. Doesn't seem like a workable situation does it? The Supreme One is in charge of all the Archangels. He dislikes vampires and hates that they kill their prey/food just for the sake of killing. I found him to be extremely judgmental and not the least bit likable. As the story progresses, it gets very strange and interesting! In my opinion, this is more than 'erotic fantasy'. It's a romance between two immortals; a vampire and an angel. They overcome what seems like insurmountable obstacles in pursuit of that love. I think the actual physical scenes between Kiernan and Azrael were sensual and not graphic. Liz Strange has some serious talent in writing dark fantasy. It is a solid, well written story, with elements of time travel and alternate reality. It wasn't my favorite read, but I believe it will appeal to those who enjoy fantasy and m/m romance. I was given an e-book copy by the author for purpose of a review. I'd give it a rating of 3 ½ stars.
WildAboutBones More than 1 year ago
What an interesting and inventive storyline! With vampires, high level angels, the Supreme One, aliens, time/reality travel, a skirmish and a strong enduring love, what's not to like in this paranormal romance? Don't let the 3 of 5 on the content rating scale create prejudice in your mind. I did enjoy this story quite a bit. What it takes to move from a 3 to a 4 or a 4 to a 5 can be such small degrees and totally arbitrary and subjective. And this review is not the place for that discussion, just please don't dismiss the book due to the 3 rating. This is a stand alone story based on Strange's The Dark Kiss Trilogy. Not having read this series, I was glad to find that it really reads as a stand alone. The first half of the book is told from Kiernan's first person point of view. In the second half we get Azrael's and Daniel's first person point of views in addition to Kiernan's. Kiernan is your typical vampire; he takes the lives of those he feeds upon, he never wants for entertainment or sex and when he wants to be alone, he simply leaves. He takes the friendship he has with his roommate and best friend, Daniel, for granted. Upon meeting Azrael, Kiernan finds himself intrigued and drawn to him in a most unusual way. Finds himself lusting after Azrael in between visits which are few and far between. Kiernan has never been with a man and this actually turns him on more. Azrael, the Angel of Death -- a huge and powerful angel, is perplexed by Kiernan. He doesn't understand what it is that makes Kiernan different from other vampires and needs to know. Azrael finds he cannot do his duty; he cannot destroy Kiernan. Being an angel, Azrael does not think in terms of male/female. He stuns Kiernan when he confesses that he has fallen in love with him. The Supreme One, Azrael's boss, is not a nice, benevolent being. He simply cannot understand how there can be love between an angel and a vampire. He strips Azrael of his wings and powers and sends him to Kiernan in the hopes that he will change his mind. When this doesn't work, the Supreme One takes Kiernan on a Scrooge-like trip into the past to try to convince him he would have been better off not becoming a vampire. He actually leaves him in the "what might have been" reality in the past as a human. Even though this is a m/m romance with a little bit of m/f interaction, the sexual interludes are what I consider tame. There is very little descriptive action, other than the kissing which is detailed. The rest is mostly glossed over including most of the few oral portions. Instead of the sex, love is the focus of most of the encounters. In fact if it was strictly m/f, I'd rate it a 2 of 4 on the sexual rating scale but because of the m/m, it has to carry a 4. This is not a criticism, only an attempt to assuage or alleviate the "ick" factor some may have with m/m sex. Don't let that be a concern here, read this good, sweet story to see all the obstacles true love can overcome.