Embraced by Rebecca Royce
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (208 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Dogwood
Benedicte Lavelle is a single father raising two small daughters. When his neighbors put him in charge of handling the haunting that plagues their neighborhood, he has no choice but to use disreputable means in order to bring in a Conditioned ghost hunter to help with their problem. He doesn’t expect to be drawn to the young woman who arrives at his house in chains. He doesn’t expect to have his entire life thrown into upheaval when she is snatched away.
Conditioned prisoner Seven-Two-Four has never had a name. She cannot read, and is scheduled to die as soon as she is returned to the Institution. The Conditioned are not considered human, but Seven can see ghost energy and she can love Ben like no one ever has before.
When fate takes Seven from Ben’s arms, can he move on and find a new purpose in life or will he be forever trapped by the need to rescue those like his lost love?
With ghost disrupting the neighborhood, who are you going to call? Well in this story you call in a “Conditioned”.
“Embraced” is the second story in Rebecca Royce's new sci-fi romance series called “The Conditioned”.
This tale centers around widower Benedicte (Ben) Lavelle and his two young daughters, Ella and Daphne. Ben has been asked to help exorcise the spirits that have been haunting their housing development for quite some time now. Turning to his mobster brother (who is also very well connected) for help, Ben brings Seven-two-four (Seven for short) into his life. Seven is a conditioned woman who hunts down ghosts for those who can afford to pay the Institute for her services.
Seven has unique abilities. She can see a spirit's residual signatures which she can use to then send the ghost out of this realm. Seven has no freedom or rights, though. She was born as a "Conditioned".
The “Conditioned” are humans who have special enhanced physic-type abilities. Approximately thirty years ago the new abilities began to show up in many human children and rapidly become a problem for the general public, thus causing laws to be passed that require these individuals to lose their freedom and even their lives at an early age. The fear of the populace was so strong against these individuals that family members were severely warned against hiding any "Conditioned" child. The results of doing such would be severe for all parties involved.
Sadly though, once these individuals are imprisoned in the institute, they're forgotten. Terrible abuse runs amuck, and society has turned a blind eye.
Ben is a compassionate and caring single father of two talented and creative girls. When Seven enters his life, he soon realizes that the "Conditioned" aren't the scary monsters everyone was led the public to believe. He starts to question whether the laws governing them are even humane. As Ben grows closer to Seven, he not only faces the fact that she has been abused, but that she's being hunted by an evil enemy who wants to control and torture all “Conditioned”.
Ben and Seven are ultimately drawn together romantically as danger engulfs both their lives. To sustain the love they've found with each other, they ultimately must sacrifice a part of themselves that could kill any hopes of a future together.
Our evil villain in this story is called Madame, but a true madame she is not. This horrific monster both terrifies and intrigues this reader. We even get a look at a hero named Guy who will play an important role in the lives of the conditioned in future episodes. All of the characters in this book were very well written and engaging. The secondary characters were intriguing and I look forward to reading future books about their lives and conquests.
I am so excited about this new series. Rebecca Royce has successfully displayed a storm of emotional turmoil that engages the imagination and rivets the heartstrings. I was quickly pulled into the characters' suspenseful scenarios and immediately engrossed into the storyline. I read this book first and was grateful that Ms. Royce provided enough insightful details from the previous book to allow the reader a fulfilling adventure if indeed we chose to make this a stand-alone novel. I enjoyed this tale so much that I immediately raced out to purchase the first book in this series called “Eye Contact”. I can honestly say I will be happily awaiting future installments in this series as well.
I find myself continually amazed at the creative talent of Rebecca Royce. Her works are insightful, imaginative and extremely romantic. She has fast become one of my favorite writers and I look forward to collecting all of her “works of art” for years to come.
Looking for a new world to explore? Well this new series might be the planet you seek. Embraced is an exciting twist on a roll-coaster of imagination. Are you ready to embrace “Embraced”?