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Immortal Hope: The Curse of the Templars    by Claire Ashgrove order for
Immortal Hope
by Claire Ashgrove
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2012 (2012)
Paperback, e-Book

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*   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When Merrick du Loire discovers that history professor Anne MacPherson possesses an artefact that marks her as a seraph, sworn duty demands that he unite her with the knight she is fated to heal. Only a seraph can redeem the souls of Templars like him: knights cursed with immortality by archangels and tasked to hunt down and destroy the demons that have stalked humankind since the dawn of time.

Anne is thrilled when Merrick approaches her with the promise that he will reveal all her unanswered questions about the Knights Templar - particularly given that she only has six week in which to finish her thesis on that very subject. However, their immediate attraction quickly sabotages Merrick's oath to unite her with her prophesied mate and Anne's resolve to walk away from her chosen path.

This is a well written story that blends Templar history, archangels and seraphs (women prophesied to become the dwindling immortal warriors' and mankind's salvation). The concept and opening chapters setting up the mythology, as well as the characters, are engaging. Unfortunately, though, once Anne (who sees the future) is whisked away to her new life among the Templars, the story and pacing fall flat.

The main reason: there are too many deep dark secrets, particularly in Anne's case. She knows immediately she is meant for Merrick, but when a vision shows her his future, she keeps silent. The pair's sexual tension certainly gets a workout but Anne's redundant audiences with other Templars (who all believe she is their prospective mate) quickly lose their appeal.

Ashgrove introduces a promising story concept in her new Curse of the Templars series; here's hoping the next instalment featuring Anne's twin sister Sophie moves the mythology forward, and in a faster paced story.

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