Series: The Curse of the Templars #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Tor on 25 September 2012
Our next tortured Templar is Farran de Clare who has been assigned to act as a guard for respected scientist Noelle while she tests the Sudarium of Oviedo. Both these characters are incredibly stubborn – Farran isn’t interested in finding or romancing his seraph and Noelle’s atheism means she refuses to accept anything the Knights Templar say. I really enjoyed the first in the series so had fairly high expectations for this one. I was not disappointed.
Farran is quite an unusual Templar as while his colleagues are desperate to find their one true seraph that can rid their soul blackness, he just wants to hack and slash the baddies. Even when Gabriel contrives a meeting between him and his seraph Noelle, Farran refuses to play along. Acting as a typical alpha male he kidnaps Noelle, drags her back to his cave, sorry Temple, and pressures her into swearing an oath. He won’t pledge his loyalty because of emotional baggage he still carries around. Some men might get over their wife’s betrayal after a few hundred years or take the pledge plunge to save their soul but not Farran. I found myself admiring him on one level for sticking to his guns even though he knew exactly what was at stake. Other times I just felt like banging his head against the wall, repeatedly. He is surly, broody, angst ridden and obstinate so watching him butt heads with Noelle was delightful.
Noelle’s stubbornness makes her blind to what is going on around her. Her very slow conversion was enjoyable to watch as she tried to rationalise what was happening and come to grips with the fact that science couldn’t explain everything. I didn’t feel as if Ashgrove was trying to ram Christian ideology down my throat as this world is clearly make-believe and both characters needed to change their beliefs in order to achieve a HEA. I could see how others might react a little differently to some sections of the novel though. Noelle’s insecurities are many and Farran is surprisingly sensitive at times in helping her (other times he is boorish and inadvertently hurts her feelings). Their romance sizzles and it is worth the wait.
Although I loved the romance, I would have liked a bit more action as the Knights Templar are fighting a war for goodness sakes. Another quibble is that we have had two heroes that have resorted to kidnapping their seraphs – surely there is another way?
This novel is well worth a read but I recommend you start with the first so you aren’t disorientated and don’t miss out on Ashgrove awesomeness.