After reading the first book in this series, Seal of Destiny, I was really looking forward to this book when I saw the opportunity to review it as part of a blog tour.  I think that, because of how overexcited I was by the first book, this one disappointed me, let me down a bit.  Not to say this wasn't a good book.  It was.  It just wasn't as good as the first and I found it impossible not to compare the two, even though there was maybe a month distance between reading the two.

Though I loved the bible quote at the very beginning, I felt like the first chapter could have done a better job of bringing the reader into the story.  Maybe a flashback to his losing his mate so long ago or to his first confrontation with Archon.  It didn't have bite, I felt.  Seemed like a lot of telling versus showing then.

Archon is the bit baddie in the story.  However, I'm still not sure of the full ramifications of his actions.  I didn't get as invested in trying to defeat him because I never felt like I truly understood what would happen if he succeeded.  Plus, I almost felt sorry for the guy and, what with how he talked about his mother all the time, I couldn't help feeling like he couldn't be all bad.

Chago bugged the crap out of me throughout the book.  In the first book, he was exceedingly terse.  He simply didn't speak except for the occasional "sí" or something similar.  But, though the author still claimed he was terse, he was downright talkative in this book.  Plus, I couldn't get over the whole Basque and speaking Spanish thing.  He's Basque.  And 1100 years old.  1100 years ago, the Basque people spoke Basque.  To the best of my knowledge (which admittedly is only what I managed to google), the Basque people only started to lose their culture (possibly their language as well) about 80-something years ago.  Until then, even though they were conquered around the 1500's, they remained autonomous.  Heck, people didn't even speak anything but Basque and Vulgar Latin (the two derivatives of modern day Spanish) in the region until about a good 400 years after Chago would have been born.  So why does he slip into Spanish like it's his native tongue?  Plus, the story kind of makes Chago out to be fairly inept.  It's not so much that she's working against him this time but he keeps messing up and making the wrong choices.  Mostly pertaining to helping out the militia, which seems like it might have been something related to his first failure he defiantly declared he wouldn't repeat, but seems to anyway.

I will say I liked Chago's discomfiture with formalwear.  And the one scene where insurgents start a fight out on the streets and Chago is right in the middle of it… saving the day, protecting people and, all in all, being a total badass.  Great scene.

Irena is both good and bad.  She's both tough, a necessity with her history, and vulnerable.  I think the author did a fairly good job with her character, managing to pull off the complexity of the character.  I was a little surprised, however (after the fact), that she wasn't bothered by how he described himself (Chago) profession-wise.  The first thing that popped into my head was mercenary or personal security (aka private army).  Both of those, I would figure with her chosen profession, would not be individuals she cared for.  After all, her job was to end conflict and those types profited on perpetuating profit, regardless the cause.

And it really surprised me when Irena goes out to try to negotiate between an insurgent and a police officer, both of whom are armed.  I might not know too much about her job, but I know you never try to break up bar fights and you never get between fighting dogs.  It seemed stupid, dangerous, and irresponsible, more likely to make things worse than better.

To me, what made this book was a lot of little things.  Like when they called a van the "A-team reject van" or when they called Satin's outfit as "disco meets zombie attire."  There's little comments like that throughout the book that just made me smile.

All in all, this book was pretty average.  I enjoyed it, I got through it.  It wasn't as good as the first.

Book Description

Love, like War, will always find a way…

War has shaped every aspect of Irena Soldan’s life—her childhood, her work, her DNA. Unaware she is the genetic host of the second Seal of the Apocalypse, Irena battles for those who cannot fight for themselves. As a top human-rights operative for The Omega Consortium, her company provides both the financial backing required to undertake her task and a charismatic, publicity-loving boss to promote her cause. Life proceeds on plan for Irena until a mysterious, sexy stranger arrives claiming to be her guardian and Irena’s path takes a sudden, inauspicious turn for both the erotic and the lethal.

Chago has always been the quiet one amongst his warrior Scion brethren—the brooding, Spanish combat expert with a hidden soft side.  A member of Divinity’s covert special forces, he’s protected humanity for more than a millennium. Still, his greatest joy comes not from the battlefield, but from tending the cattle herd on his remote Montana ranch.

Irena’s new assignment takes her straight to the heart of a bloody civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa and Chago’s mission demands he follow. Expecting a seething cauldron of female whoop-ass, he instead discovers a harbinger of peace amidst a world of ever-increasing violence. The explosively tense situation is further magnified by the cunning Omega Consortium leader, his ambiguous personal agenda, and an ancient foe whose audacious rise to power threatens the world’s very existence.

Despite the cataclysmic circumstances, an undeniable attraction ignites between Chago and Irena. Together, they must unravel the ancient puzzle of the Seals and discover her employer’s ulterior plans before they both become casualties of War. Soon, both are forced to choose between a past riddled with old torments or risk everything they treasure on a love capable of defeating evil incarnate.

About the Author

Traci is the author of paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.

Traci is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of Seal of Destiny won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.

Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series and a new futuristic suspense series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.

She loves hearing from readers! Connect with Traci here:

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5/10/2013 10:34:12 am

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Danielle! :)


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