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Posted December 26, 2013
Posted July 11, 2013
In an already crowded field of paranormal books Khloe Wren has joined in with this steamy read that lays the groundwork for a series that has set itself apart through some unique aspects. Her Guardian Angel deals with snow leopard shifters who've been in existence for centuries and focuses on a shifter family of firefighters in Tasmania. Setting the story in Tasmania lends a bit of exoticness to an already exotic theme. Along with a burgeoning romance comes an out of left field secondary story dealing with a psychopath that is ultimately the catalyst in cementing the main couple's HEA.
Ever since she was born it was always just Adele and her mom against the world. Being ignored by her birth father has turned her off men and made her very untrusting of what any man says. She never felt alone though as her mother was always there for her. When cancer finally claimed her mother's life it sent her into a deep sadness with the only thing keeping her sane the dreams of a snow leopard who comforts her with its closeness. In these dreams she pours out her soul and is given the strength to move on. She starts completely over as part of the firefighter's team in the small town of Rosebery.
Dominic is part of a long line of firefighters as his father and brothers are all part of the force. He's been haunted by feelings of sadness and after talking with his father he discovers that it's the beginning of his journey towards finding his mate. Once their kind turns 21 their mind, heart, and soul start dreaming of their mate with the images getting stronger and more specific as the years progress so they can find them. For four years he comforts Adele through dreams waiting for the day he can comfort her as a man. He knows she's wary of men so he tries to move slowly in forming a relationship with her. The way he talks to her though shows a man obsessed with his woman as he constantly calls her beautiful and sexy....so much so that it was used in place of her name oftentimes. He knows he needs to tell her the truth about himself but he's scared she'll turn him away. Starting a sexual relationship is daunting enough as they're both virgins which is apparent as Adele seems frightened at first by many of the deeds they do. Ultimately she shows her wild side which leads to many erotically charged sexual interludes. It's not until a life or death situation that he's forced into revealing the truth about himself and everyone discovers an even more shocking truth about Adele that has a big impact on them and future stories.
Dominic is over-the-top romantic in both words and deeds, almost too much at times. Adele is a likable and caring person who hates to see others in pain. I wish she'd been a bit more badass though, especially in dealing with the psychopath. She spent way too much time crying. The parts of the story dealing with the psychopath and his brutalization of women felt very out of place. It felt like a completely different story. It's only purpose seemed to be to bring the hero and heroine together completely and introduce us to a young girl who I sense is going to be someone's mate eventually. The history of these shifters and their hierarchy is intriguing and is what sets it apart from other shifter stories and I look forward to where Ms. Wren will take us next.
Posted July 10, 2013
This is the first book in the Fire and Snow Series by Khloe Wren. I haven't read anything by the author before, but I am always on the look out for another excellent shifter story. This one in particular intrigued me because of the shifter type - snow leopards. I have always had a fascination with them. They are just incredibly beautiful creatures. Add in the setting of Australia and those lovely accents and I was hooked.
The story opens with an introduction to the male lead Dominic, talking with his brother and then father about the dreams he has been having about his future mate. He has seen her in his dreams since her 21st birthday, a few weeks before and is developing an emotional connection to her. This would be fantastic, except for the fact that she is in emotional pain and it is affecting Dominic. He consults with his father on what he can do to help his future mate. His father suggests joining her in her dreams or bringing her into his.
Meanwhile, several hundred miles away, 21 year old Adele is dealing with her mother's advanced Cancer situation. When she lays her head down on her mother's bed and cries herself into exhaustion, she finds herself dreaming about a snow leopard. She feels a connection to him and before she knows it is telling him all about her mother. Adele names the snow leopard chaton, or kitten. Over the next four years she will come to rely on her Chaton and their emotional connection to get her through her mother's death and struggling at university on her own.
Dominic and Adele will finally meet face to face when she arrives to help at an accident scene, while out applying for paramedic positions in the area. Dominic recognizes her right away, but Adele doesn't trust the draw she feels toward him. Dominic has won her over as Chaton, now he has to win her over as Dominic. But Adele is mistrustful and caution around men, especially men trying to hit on her.
There is also another story coinciding with Dominic and Adele's romance. That of an abusive man and the slave that he has chained up in his house. This isn't the safe and consensual BDSM that we read about, but the sadistic torture and abuse of a human being. This monster has a woman that he keeps chained to the wall that he whips, beats and rapes regularly. The scariest part, she has a child that is trapped in this nightmare right along with her. These parts are very tough to read, but it's not just there for shock value. Their stories are intertwined, interconnected and a vital part of the over all story line. It's just not a pleasant part, so fair warning.
Overall this was an excellent story. The author did a fantastic job of giving us information about the world and history as it was needed in the story, without just doing an "info dump" in the beginning. The characters were unique and mostly quirky with excellent dialogue and vivid imagery. The story went by very quickly. I just couldn't put it down. I don't normally give out 5 star reviews on the first book in a series, but I think this one is worth it. I will be reading the next book as soon as it is released.