#Blogtober Reviews

Audiobook Review: Phantom Embrace (Immortal Guardians #5.5) by Dianne Duvall @TantorAudio

ALC Featured Image - Im mortal Guardians 5.5 - Phantom Embrace by Dianne Duvall - Read by Arika Rapson

Hello, fellow audiobook junkies. It’s day 29 of 🎃 31 Days of Halloween 🎃 my version of #Blogtober. Today, I’m sharing an audiobook review: Phantom Embrace written by Dianne Duvall and read by Arika Rapson. A novella sized audiobook in Dianne’s action-packed paranormal romance series, Immortal Guardians. My thanks to the publisher, Tantor Audio, for the free audiobook in exchange for my candid review.

What’s Phantom Embrace about?

Audiobook Review: Phantom Embrace (Immortal Guardians #5.5) by Dianne Duvall @TantorAudioMy Rating:
Title: Phantom Embrace by Dianne Duvall
Series: Immortal Guardians #5.5
Published by Tantor Audio on 9th June 2021
Genres: Adult Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghost, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires
Narrator: Arika Rapson
Length: 4 hours

Across dimensions . . .

A gifted one, Yuri Sokolov was born with the ability to see spirits, but he knows better than to make contact with them. Yet he’s never seen one as lovely as Cat Seddon, the woman who haunts his home and his dreams. But amid their star-crossed love, a new danger may have Yuri facing a different kind of eternity.

Previously published in On The Hunt.


Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: Audiobook

Purchase Link: Tantor.com

eBook Read: 4th July 2018 

Audiobook Listened: 5th – 7th September 2021

Phantom Embrace has had quite a publishing journey! To begin with, it was released as part of the On The Hunt anthology in eBook and audiobook, which I read back in the summer of 2015. Dianne was able to release Phantom Embrace as part of her Immortal Guardians series with Zebra (her publishers at the time) in June 2016. As an existing fan, I bought it for my Kindle immediately and have read and re-read Phantom Embrace numerous times. 😉 However, here we are, five years later and Tantor Audio has now separated those four stories in the audiobook version of On The Hunt and released them all as individual audios.


What did I think about it?

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A Beautifully Warm But Heart-Wrenching Paranormal Romance.

Dianne Duvall is one of my favourite authors. My review archives are full to the brim with her stories. I love her writing style, the language she uses and the way she paces her plots. There’s always a natural balance throughout the story between any mystery, the fighting and violent scenes and the humorous, romantic and passionate ones. All of Dianne’s characters are well thought out, with a range of personalities without being stereotypical. Therefore, they feel real and believable, despite most of them being supernatural.

Phantom Embrace is a novella with a self-contained HEA ending.

I originally reviewed Phantom Embrace waaay back in 2018 and gave it top marks. Nothing in the story niggled my sensibilities, made me roll my eyes or wished I could change!

However, has my original review stood the test of time? Does this audio version deserve the same?

Yes! *phew* although the narration wasn’t perfect, I still enjoyed listening to it and would still rate Phantom Embrace 5 ghostly stars.

Arika Rapson is a new-to-me narrator.

The previous audiobooks I have listened to in this series have been read by the multi-talented Kirsten Potter. A hard act to followArika did a good job with Phantom Embrace. I enjoyed the pace at which she read this book and liked the emotion she brought to each scene. Arika created different voices for the characters in this book; they varied enough to mean that I was never confused as to who was speaking. However, I feel that her foreign accents need a bit of tweaking; they lack finesse and sound slightly amateurish.

Content Warning:

There are scenes of explicit sexual content and graphic violence in this book. Therefore, I’d only recommend it to adults who aren’t offended by scenes of this sort.

I’d recommend Phantom Embrace to die-hard romantics. Adults who enjoy listening to stories about “strong but silent” heroes and heroines with gumption. Especially those adults who like plots with lots of action alongside beautiful romance and plenty of titillation.

Keep reading to find out more about Dianne Duvall. But first, here’s a quick run-down of the Immortal Guardians series.

The Immortal Guardians series by Dianne Duvall

Featured Immage - Immortal Guardians series by Dianne Duvall (2021)

Immortal Guardians series sits in the paranormal romance genre. However, it could also sit happily on an urban fantasy shelf due to much of the content. Set in our modern human world, it features a new twist on the vampire genre.

Immortals and vampires are both infected with the same virus, which lends them dramatically increased strength, speed, healing capabilities and enhanced senses. Vampires are humans who have been infected, whereas Immortals are Gifted Ones who have been infected. Gifted Ones are men and women who were born with extremely advanced DNA that lends them special gifts, such as healing, telepathy, precognition and the like. Vampires rapidly descend into madness when the virus damages their brains but Immortals don’t; their advanced DNA protects them from that aspect of the virus.

Books in the Series

If you haven’t read any of the series yet, it’s never too late to start your adventure with these gripping alpha heroes and truly awesome heroines. Follow the links to read my reviews or buy your own copy.

Buy any of these stories in print, digital and audio formats from all the usual sources including;

Amazon* ¦ Audible* ¦ Book Depository¦ Foyles¦ Waterstones*

Now as promised, here Dianne’s bio and her social media links.

About Dianne Duvall

Author image of Dianne Duvall

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians series, the Aldebarian Alliance series and The Gifted Ones series.

Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn’t writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she creates in her books.

As this is a review for an audiobook, here’s Arika’s bio too. 🙂

About Arika Rapson

Narrator - Arika Rapson (was Arika Escalona)

Arika Rapson (formerly Escalona) grew up devouring books and taking occasional breaks to be on TV or in the circus (long story). She went on to become a classically trained vocalist and composer, writing her first symphony at age eighteen.

After living in New York and then Spain, Arika returned to her native Pacific Northwest, eventually settling in Fall City, Washington, where she happily began recording audiobooks. As a narrator, she has performed a wide range of genres, from classics to contemporary thrillers, children's books, urban fantasy, and women's literature, as well as stranger-than-fiction true stories. Arika's voice has been heard by millions on national television, as well as on the radio, in video games, and as an ongoing voice for Amazon Kindle.

Thanks for visiting and reading my audiobook review: Phantom Embrace. Have you listened to it? What about any other titles by Dianne or those narrated by Arika? Drop me a comment and we can chat books! 😉

My love of audiobooks has grown over the last few years. I’m reading less and listening more. Lol! Before you go, check out my 2021 Audiobook Challenge page and see how I’m putting my new addiction hobby to good use!

Flora's Signature 2

Bye for now,

Flora x

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About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog - www.florasmusings.com

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