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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

#Review: Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren - 4.5 Wine Glasses



22450745Title: Hard as a Rock 
Series: Gargoyles #3
Author: Christine Warren
Format: eBook/Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published: March 31st 2015 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 1250012678 
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Bestselling author Christine Warren returns to a mesmerizing world in which the laws of attraction are never written in stone—and love knows no bounds…

Her name is Wynn Powe. A woman of great instinct and inner resources—and insatiable beauty—Wynn has returned to Chicago to do what she does best: Locate Guardian statues. But the Order of Eternal Darkness has beat her to the punch, and the statue she’s come to investigate has been blown to smithereens. An elusive enemy is on her trail…and this time, she’s on her own. Until a mysterious package falls into Wynn’s hands—one that contains contain a chunk of old stone, along with instructions for the spell required to summon a new Guardian.

HARD AS A ROCK

Enter Knox. He’s a Guardian magically imbued with the skills and memories of his race…and drop-dead, expertly-chiseled good looks. Bound to Wynn as his Warden, Knox vows to learn the truth about the destroyed Guardian—and protect Wynn at all costs. But he never could have imagined the fierce attraction that has taken hold of him, body and soul. Is his desire for Wynn worth the risk of being destroyed by the Order? The only thing he knows for sure is that he won’t go down without a fight. Nor will he pass up a night of pure blind passion...


Linda's Thoughts:
Knox emerged into the human world aware of two things - that the woman beneath him must be protected, and that the man clutched in his large, claw-tipped hands needed to die. It was just a matter of how and how soon. He would personally prefer bloody and right now, but something urged him to caution.

HARD AS A ROCK by Christine Warren is the third installment in her sensational Gargoyles series. I love Christine's Gargoyles! This series absolutely rocks and this latest release is my new favorite. Christine's writing is highly descriptive and her characters are pull-at-your-heartstrings captivating. This book had me alternately melting at some scenes, and thinking that my heart was going to come out of my chest because it was beating so hard, at others.

Even though it's the third book in the series, HARD AS A ROCK can be enjoyed as a standalone if that is your preference. The romantic relationship is fully contained within this novel. The danger element has been building in each of the installments, but the author discloses what the new reader would need to know. Favorite characters from the previous books do play a part in this tale, but, again, needed information is disclosed allowing the new reader to not be lost. That said, I highly recommend reading all the books in this series as they are all fantastic!

As the book begins, we learn that the Order of Eternal Darkness has been weakened, but they are regrouping as they continue to work to release the powers of darkness back onto earth's plain. Wynn Powe, our heroine, had dreamed of becoming a Warden all her life; but the Guild was male-dominated and her dream had gone unfulfilled. 

The Gould viewed female Wardens in the same light as demonic minions and the Ebola virus -- such things might exist in the world, but virtue and good hygiene would probably be enough to keep them at bay.

However, with the Guild now in turmoil: their headquarters destroyed and all their Wardens dead, in hiding, or missing - including Wynn's brother - fate intervenes again. In the previous two books, two Gargoyle Guardians, Kees and Spar, have come to life with two new female Wardens, Ella & Fil. 

Wynn, whose character was introduced in the second book, STONE COLD LOVER, has come to the outskirts of Chicago to check out a possible location of a Gargoyle statue at an old mansion located there. Disappointingly, she finds only what remains of him - scattered bits of stone - just as a minion of the Dark finds her. With her life doomed to end within seconds, Knox emerges from the earth. Thankfully, Wynn learns that when one Guardian is lost, another is sent in his place. Knox was certainly a welcome and surprising sight for Wynn's eyes as he arrived in the nick of time to save Wynn as she becomes his Warden.

She'd grown up hearing about epic battles between Guardians and demons, of legendary Wardens and their brave fight to keep the nocturnis at bay. To her, it all had the air of fairy tales, history through the lens of the Brothers Grimm. She listened to the tales the same way she listened to Beowulf, and had the same expectation of ever featuring in one of those famous battles as of facing Grendel's mother in a Scandinavian swamp.

Yet here she was, not just fighting the forces of evil but somehow tied to her very own Guardian, acting for all intents and purposes like the Warden she had once dreamed of becoming.'

I loved both the hero and the heroine. Wynn was independent, resourceful and strong in her magic. She loved her family and her brother's disappearance was an emotional mystery. She doesn't have a place for a mate complicating her structured life but she's has great difficulty ignoring the strong attraction she feels towards Knox.

Knox is created in the mold of the previous Guardians we've met. He's sexy, strong and fiercely protective of his Warden. Even though he's a newborn, he was born with the knowledge inherent to all the Guardians. He knows instinctively that Wynn is his; Wynn, though, is stubborn and fears losing her independence if she surrenders to her feelings for Knox. Every time he called Wynn his 'little witch,' I'd swoon. Regardless of either of their feelings, they both know that the Dark must be defeated and they must work together to save the World.

I had so many favorite quotes, it was hard to just pick a few. Following please find two that I've picked to share:

A Guardian lover is the last thing you need, Wynn, she told herself sternly.
Too bad it was the very first thing she wanted.
---

"Why do you cry?"
"I almost lost you..."
"You cannot lose me, not when you are part of me...
You cannot lose has become part of you."

One of my favorite scenes occurred when Wynn tried to use the Force - probably because I'm a huge Star Wars fan. Here's a short snippet from that scene:

Her eyes scanned the room and spotted her cell phone lying on the coffee table at least three whole feet away from her hands. She groaned. This was when she didn't want to be a witch, she wanted to be a Jedi, so she could use the Force to make her phone fly right into her hand.
What the hell, right? Lifting one arm she reached out an open hand toward the small electronic device. Use the Force, Wynn, she thought ...
From his seat in the oversized chair, Knox eyed her strangely. After a moment, she gave up and dropped her hand to her side... "What were just doing?" he asked warily.
"Using the Force."
He looked from her to the table and back again. "Did you do this successfully?"
She shook her head and grinned. "The Force is weak with this one. I'll never be a Jedi Master."

Told in the third person, this fast-paced, well-plotted tale held my rapt attention from the first sentence to the last. Though the quest remains to find and bring to life all the remaining Gargoyle Brethren - so there's much more to look forward to in this series -  each book has provided a satisfying ending. Thankfully, there's NO cliffhanger finish to keep you up nights until the next book is released. (Thank you, Christine!)

My only complaint is that I didn't want this book to end! I wanted to remain in this magical world with hunky Gargoyles. I highly recommend HARD AS A ROCK, indeed, Christine's whole Gargoyles series, to anyone who enjoys really good, totally addictive paranormal romance! The next book, ROCKED BY LOVE, is scheduled to be released March 2016 and I can't wait as I'm already craving another Gargoyle fix!

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