IMMORTAL HOPE, The Curse of the Templars, Book 1Claire Ashgrove
January 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Book provided by author for review
Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever roam the earth protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever-closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation – the return of the seraphs.
Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As he struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.
Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she's destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.
When Laurie asked me if I wanted to read a book from another new-to-me author (NTMA), honestly, it was all I could do to keep from a *deep sigh* But once she told me it was about Templar Knights, I figured, “what the heck”. I’ve always had an interest in the history of the Templars and the Church and thought the book can’t be that bad.
What - - - how could she? This NTMA DARED to take the glorious, beautiful, honorable, and courageous Templar Knights and turn them into creatures as vile as the ones they were sworn to destroy! I would write a scathing review. Only, as the story started to unfold and the character’s complexity is revealed, did I realize just how captivating IMMORTAL HOPE is. All is forgiven Ms. Ashgrove.
To know the Knights swear an oath to serve unceasingly, unerringly and for however long it takes – it boggles the mind. Their only salvation (and a very minute one at that) is finding the seraph who bears the same mark they have. Yeah, right: Needle in a haystack. Nevertheless, I find the idea of a Templar Knight having to find his redemption in a matching seraph so utterly romantic. Unfortunately, the process of getting there and finding “The One” is heart wrenching and tormenting.
There was only one problem I had with IMMORTAL HOPE. And that was Anne’s continuing refusal to reveal to Merrick she carried the matching mark. It was to the point where I just wanted to take her by the shoulders and tell her to “snap out of it!” But the archangel Gabriel said it much more eloquently that I ever could:
His smile vanished. His eyes dropped to her arm, as if he could see the armband beneath her sleeve. “You did take the oath didn’t you?”
With a gulp, Anne shook her head.
Gabe closed he eyes and slowly presented his back.
Looking skyward, he mumbled, “Why must your humans be so infinitely stupid?”
I am enamored with the Templar Knights of IMMORTAL HOPE and with their bravery to endure the impending evil that steals their souls bit by bit. The tease that Ms. Ashgrove leaves us with in the Epilogue of IMMORTAL HOPE gives me hope the next book of The Curse of the Templars Series will see a Templar Knight meeting his “match” when he finds his seraph!