Series: MONSTER M*A*S*H
Plot Type: Romantic Fantasy
Ratings: Violence-4; Sensuality-4; Humor-3-4
Publisher and Titles: St. Martin's
Immortally Yours (8/2012)
Immortally Embraced (2/2013)
Immortally Ever After (8/2013)(FINAL)
This post was revised and updated on 11/18/13 to include a review of Immortally Ever After, the third and FINAL book in the series. That review appears first, followed by an overview of the world-building and reviews of books 1 and 2:
BOOK 3: Immortally Ever After
As the story opens, the immortal war is in the midst of a cease fire—but not for long. All of a sudden, the old gods begin using kamikaze dragons to bomb the troops of the new gods, and Petra and her colleagues are swamped with new casualties. Just before that happens, though, Petra gets two major shocks: First, her old boyfriend Marc proposes marriage. Then, moments later, her true love Galen of Delphi shows up with Leta, a gorgeous female dragon—both with serious injuries. Marc is a dragon shifter with whom she has been living since he turned up once again in her life after an absence of many years (in book 2). Galen is the warrior whose life Petra saved (in book 1) and with whom she had a steamy affair until he left her at the beginning of book 2, telling her that she should forget him and go on with her life.
The romance part of the plot concerns Petra's relationships with Marc and Galen, and it provides answers to many questions: Which man will Petra choose? Will she accept Marc's proposal? Will she forgive Galen for walking out on her? What is Galen's relationship with the beautiful Leta?
The action part of the story involves more mysterious prophecies, each one centering on Petra and each one more dangerous than the previous one. Major events include a baby shower for Medusa, various attempts to keep Galen and Leta hidden from some dangerous military inspectors who are tracking them, a battle between two dragons, and the birth of Medusa's baby.
This book ties up all the loose ends and provides HEAs for all of the good guys and gals in an unexpected progression of events. Each prophecy plays out, but not in the way Petra (or the reader) expects. The finale brings everyone together—gods, supernaturals, and humans alike—and resolves all of the conflict in a satisfying manner. Click HERE to go to the amazon.com page for Immortally Ever After. Click on the book cover at the top left of the page to read an excerpt.
Click HERE to read the author's short essay on the series on Kindlepost.com.
BOOK 2: Immortally Embraced
As this book opens, Petra is shocked and dismayed to learn that her lover, Galen, has been ordered back to active duty. Her grief doesn't last long, though, because she soon gets a surprise visitor—Marc, her dragon-shifter fiancé, whom she believed to be dead. Years ago, when Petra and Marc were still in medical school back in New Orleans, the Old God Army drafted Marc to their side of the war. Then, ten years ago, Petra and Marc's family were notified that he had been killed in action. Now that Petra knows that Marc has been alive all this time and that he has allowed her and his family to believe that he was dead, she has mixed feelings about him. On the one hand, she is ecstatic to see him again, but on the other hand, she is furious that he allowed his loved ones—particularly herself—to think he was dead.
So...why in the world would Marc contact Petra now, after all this time has passed? Well, that is the crux of the story. As it turns out, one of Petra and Marc's former professors, who was recruited by the Old Gods to develop weapons, has killed himself. Now, his ghost is hanging around his lab trying to destroy all of his research. Marc wants Petra to communicate with the ghost to find out what is going on, which means that she will have to go behind enemy lines, which would result in immediate execution if she is caught. In the meantime, the oracles make another set of prophecies that mention a powerful weapon. Could there be a connection between the professor and the weapon in the prophecy?
Of course, the development of the romance is just as important as the action part of the plot, and that romance proceeds down a very bumpy road. Marc continues to defend his actions, explaining that he knew that he would never be able to be with Petra ever again, so it was best that he pretended to be dead so that she could live a normal life and find love with someone else. Petra thinks that Marc's arrogance is inexcusable and that he had no right to make a decision that affected her life and emotions, not to mention the effects of his so-called death on his mother. Marc is one of those stereotypical paranormal romance heroes who is so alpha that you want to slap him upside the head. He is always absolutely sure that he knows what's best for everyone in his life, even though his decisions make everyone miserable.
In addition to the main action story, several other threads are woven through the plot. Petra has been working on the development of an anesthetic that will work on demigods, and that research takes some giant, but perilous, steps forward in th latter chapters of the book. In related story lines, a pair of rival goddesses face off in a major power struggle that has some lustful overtones, and Medusa goes through a rough, but amusing, pregnancy.
This book has the same strengths and weaknesses as the first one. The world-building and plot are inventive, but the characterization is mostly one dimensional. We don't see as many of the quirky supporting characters in this one, so that means the comedic level is much lower. All in all, I'd say that if you are looking for a light romantic paranormal read that's a bit different from the usual, you'll probably enjoy this book. Immortally Embraced could be read as a stand-alone, but you will miss the expositional background on the god vs. god war that has created the need for these M*A*S*H units in the first place.
After his dramatic exit scene at the very beginning, we didn't see any more of Petra's sexy lover, Galen, but he'll be back in book 3, so get ready for some romantic fireworks.