07 July 2015

Pride and Forgiveness in Elizabeth Hunter's The Scarlet Deep: A Review

I betrayed the woman I loved because of pride…I broke her trust. 
I might have lost her forever, if she wasn’t so forgiving. 
Pride is…seductive.  Addictive. 
And a harder habit to break than any drug.
~ Elizabeth Hunter,  The Scarlet Deep

July is National Anti-Boredom Month.  It should be Writers Block month. 

hen she dreamed, she dreamed of death and madness.  Of the deep and of forgotten things.  The moon shone full through the water, and the drifting weeds surrounded her as she stared into the night sky….She sank past the touch of moonlight, where the chill of the water crept into her bones and settled her soul.” (Prologue, The Scarlet Deep)

The narrator’s voice fades, along with the spotlight and the curtain rises on Patrick Murphy, a familiar figure for Elemental World readers.

That is how a novel should begin.  I was immediately lifted out of reality and ordinary life and dropped into another world, my curiosity aroused:  Who is this woman?  Why is she dreaming of death and madness?  And how is she connected to the most powerful vampire in Ireland?

From the Pen of a Master Storyteller
Publishers and readers alike tend to dismiss the Romance genre as pulp fiction/fluff writing.  And I have come across my fair share of authors (Romance or otherwise) who give the genre a bad name.

But a romance has the potential to not only take you away from the real world, it also has the power to inform and transform you. If it’s well written and the pen has been wielded by a master.

And when you find a master storyteller, you don’t let go. 

You buy every book she has written.  You pre-order the ones she’s still working.  Because you know she won’t let you down.  Her imagination is rich and deep; an eternal well of plots, themes, and witty repartee.

Image © Elizabeth Hunter
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Hunter. I own (and have read several times) every book she’s written.  They are well written and remain as fresh as the first time I read them.

Ms. Hunter’s latest creation, The Scarlet Deep went live today and for fans of the Elemental Mysteries Series, it fills the emptiness left behind when we finished The Secret in March.  And once again, she does not disappoint in giving us more than “just” a romance.

Pride, Grace, and Redemption
The Scarlet Deep takes us back into the Elemental World and while it can be read as a stand-alone, IMHO, it is even better when read after the Elemental Mysteries series and the other books in the Elemental World series.  Characters who had starring roles in the other books return as supporting actors.

At the center of it all is Patrick and Aìne, who love each other but have let past mistakes – mistakes that were a betrayal of trust – and pride come between them.  But with the deadly Elixir still in production and killing both mortal and immortal alike, they will have to get over their past and join forces (and fangs) in order to find – and stop – the person responsible.

This book touched me deeply, because I too have had my trust betrayed.  Like Aìne, I have longed to bury myself in isolation to escape the pain and to deny the part that I played in allowing those betrayals to dictate my path. 

And as Aìne stubbornly refuses Patrick’s blood - essentially starving herself - my own fears and pride prevent me from seeking the help and connection I need.
Life is one long series of making mistakes and seeking grace.
Carwyn, The Scarlet Deep

We all make mistakes – sometimes really big ones!  So we are in need of forgiveness and grace.  Does that mean that everyone deserves to have access to our heart and soul?  Of course not.  Some people have truly toxic behaviours and for our own health, we need to limit our interactions with them or forego them altogether.

Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting. It’s about letting go of the past, trying again in the present, and taking back control of the future.

And you don’t have to be a vampire to take that lesson to heart.
Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

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I received this book as an ARC from the author.  I have not been paid for this review.

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