Aegis Guardian Andrea Cole is a dedicated demon-hunter sent into a known vampire hide-out to find out what happened to her fellow Guardian and lover, Kaden Quinn, two weeks earlier when he dropped off the grid. Although she has tried to prepare herself for the worst and her training dictates that all vampires are evil beings who must be killed, when she finds that the man she loves has been turned into a vampire, she can't seem to see him as a vicious monster. When Kaden still tries to protect her, albeit from himself this time, Andrea's belief that the man she knows still exists inside his new vampire shell is only solidified. But when the vampire who turned him locks Andrea in a cage with the starving Kaden, their love is put to the test. Andrea refuses to kill Kaden. But can Kaden control his new urges to keep from killing her instead?
Eternity Embraced is a short novella that falls between Ecstasy Unveiled and Sin Undone in Larissa Ione's Demonica series. A large part of the stories up to this point in the series have taken place in New York, which is where Aegis headquarters and Underworld General Hospital are located. Except for a very small part at the end, Eternity Embraced takes place on the opposite coast in Portland. It introduces readers to two new characters who I'm pretty sure haven't been seen in any of the novels that came before it. Both Andrea and Kaden are Aegis Guardians who have also been lovers for a while when the story opens. Kaden was sent to infiltrate a clan of vampires, but ended up being captured by them instead. A couple of weeks later, Andrea and her team are sent in to see what happened and to kill the vampires. She unsurprisingly finds that Kaden has already been turned by them, but despite her Aegis training which compels her to destroy all vampires, she finds that she simply can't kill Kaden. But when she's locked in a cell with him in his newly turned and very hungry state, he may end up killing her instead.
Andrea has lost everyone important in her life, which plays a big part in her inability to kill Kaden even though he's now a vampire and her training dictates that he should die. I like that she thinks for herself, though, and that her love for him is strong enough to see past what he is to find the man she loves underneath this new exterior. I also liked that despite now being a vampire, Kaden still loves Andrea and wants to protect her. Unfortunately he feels he is one of the biggest threats to her safety, which is why he insists that she kill him. But when forced into an impossible situation, I loved how his love for her keeps him in check. The fact that Andrea and Kaden are already in an established relationship when the story opens makes the rapid progression of certain elements much more believable. I also liked how they managed to skirt Aegis rules to find their HEA ending. The cameos by Tayla and Eidolon were appreciated as well. In fact, one whole scene is written from Tayla's POV. Overall, in spite of its brevity, I found Eternity Embraced to be a very good addition to the series. Eternity Embraced was originally published in the anthology, The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2: Love Bites, but was later expanded and re-edited for a stand-alone ebook release.
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