As the Guardians Trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts moves to the island of Capri, a mermaid and a traveler discover the power of timeless love...
To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars: one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then the stars fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces…
Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return to after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, as is her graceful athleticism, which her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the Fire Star.
Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the Water Star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit. But Sawyer knows that if he allows her into his heart, no compass could ever guide him back to solid ground…
And in the darkness, their enemy broods. She lost one star to the guardians, but there is still time for blood to be spilled—the mermaid’s in the water and the traveler’s on the land. For she has forged a dangerous new weapon. Something deadly and unpredictable. Something human.
About the Author
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.
Date of Birth:1950
Place of Birth:Silver Spring, Maryland
Read an Excerpt
For an instant, like a single beat of wings, Annika scented the sea, heard the voices lifted in song. Here then gone, a blur within the blur of color and speed, but it swelled in her heart like love.
Then came a sigh, and the echoes of sighs, another kind of music. Bittersweet. And this washed through her like tears.
So with joy and sorrow mated in her heart, she fell. Tumbling, spiraling, spinning in a breathless rush that added a reckless thrill and a quick panic.
A thousand wings beat now, a thousand and a thousand more, with whipping wind, a wall of sound. And color flicked away into the dark as she landed abruptly enough to lose her breath.
For a moment she feared they'd landed in some deep, dark cave where spiders would crawl, and worse, much worse, where Nerezza waited to strike.
Then her vision cleared. She made out shadows, what she knew as moonlight, and felt the firm body beneath hers, the arms wrapped tight around her. She knew that shape, that scent, wanted to snuggle right in, Nerezza or not.
It was a wonder, a star-struck sea of wonder, to feel his heart beat, so fast and strong, against hers.
Then he shifted a little, and one hand slid up, then down her hair. The other skimmed wonderfully over her bottom.
She snuggled right in.
"Um." Both hands came to her shoulders now, but his voice spoke close enough to her heart that his breath tickled it. "Are you okay? Are you hurt? Everybody okay?"
She remembered her friends-not that she'd forgotten them, not ever. But she'd never lain so intimately on a man before-on Sawyer-and she liked it very, very much.
She heard grunts, short groans, some cursing. Doyle's voice, close by and annoyed, clearly said, "Fuck me," which she knew wasn't an invitation to mate, but an oath.
She didn't worry about Doyle. After all, he was an immortal.
"Sound off." That was Bran, somewhere a few feet away. "Did everybody make it? I've got Sasha. Riley?"
"What a ride!"
"One you finished with your knee in my balls," Doyle added.
Annika heard a thump, which she interpreted as Doyle shoving Riley and her knee aside-as balls, she'd learned, weren't just the round toy that bounced, but a man's sensitive area.
"I'm here," she called out, and experimented by wiggling a little on Sawyer's sensitive area. "Did we fall out of the sky?"
"Not far from it." Sawyer cleared his throat and, to Annika's disappointment, shifted again and sat up. "I couldn't slow it down. I've never taken six people this far. I misjudged, I guess."
"We're here, the six of us, and that's first on the list," Bran stated. "Now, are we where we aimed to be?"
"We're inside," Sasha commented. "I can see windows, and moonlight through them. Wherever we are, it's still night."
"Let's hope Sawyer and his time- and space-bending compass got us where and when we want. So let's find out."
Riley pushed to her feet. The scientist-archaeologist. Annika rolled the word in her mind as her people, the merpeople, had nothing to compare. They had no lycans either, she thought, so nothing and no one quite like Riley existed in Annika's world.
Dr. Riley Gwin-tough, compact body, wide-brimmed hat that had somehow stayed on her head-strode to the window.
"I can see water, but not the view from the villa on Corfu-we're higher up. A road, steep, narrow. We've got steps leading down to it. I'm pretty sure this is Capri, and this is the villa. Bull's-eye, Sawyer. Kudos to the traveler and his magic compass."
"I'll take them." He stood, hesitated, then held out a hand to help Annika up. Though her legs were strong and agile, she let him.
"Let me see if I can find the lights," Riley began.
"I can help with that."
Bran, on his feet, an arm around Sasha, held out his hand. The ball of light hovering over his palm illuminated the room.
Seeing her friends lifted her heart as the song had. Sasha, the seer, with her hair like the sun and her eyes of the sky, and Bran, the sorcerer, so handsome with his magick lighting him. And Riley, one hand on the butt of the gun on her hip-at the ready-her dark gold eyes looking everywhere at once as Doyle, a warrior through and through, stood with his sword already drawn.
And Sawyer, always Sawyer, with the compass of the traveler in his hand.
They might be bruised and bloodied from the last battle, but they were safe and together.
"Is this our home now?" she wondered. "It's very pretty."
"Unless Sawyer dropped us at the wrong address, I say this is the new HQ." Though her hand stayed on her gun, Riley moved from the window.
The room had colorful cushions on a long bed-no, Annika reminded herself, a sofa. And chairs and tables with pretty lamps. The floor-they all had reason to know-was hard, with large tiles the color of sun-beaten sand.
Riley moved to one of the lamps, turned the switch and, with the magic of electricity, it lit.
"Let me get my bearings, make sure we're in the right place. We don't want a visit from the polizia."
Riley moved out of the room through a wide, arched opening. In seconds, more light poured through. Sheathing his sword, Doyle moved out after her.
"Here's all our stuff, at least it looks like all of it. And it looks like it had a softer landing than we did."
Annika peeked out. She didn't know what to call the space with its big door facing the sea, and the archways leading to other spaces. But their bags and boxes sat in a pile in the center of it.
And with a muttered curse, Doyle heaved his motorcycle upright.
"I had to drop the stuff first so we didn't end up landing on it," Sawyer said. "Bull's-eye or not, Riley?"
"It fits the description I got," Riley went on. "And the location. There's supposed to be a large living area with glass doors leading to a . . . And here we go."
More lights, and as Riley said, a large room with more of the sofas and chairs and pretty little things. But best, oh, best of all, the wide, wide glass to bring in the sky and sea.
When Annika rushed forward to open the glass, Riley stayed her hand.
"Don't. Not yet. There's an alarm system. I have the code. We need to turn it off before we open this, or anything else."
"Panel's right here," Sawyer told her, and tapped it.
"Give me a sec." Riley dug a piece of paper out of her pocket. "Didn't want to trust my memory in case the trip scrambled my brains."
"Shifting doesn't scramble brains." Grinning, Sawyer knocked his knuckles on Riley's head as she keyed in the code.
"Go ahead and open it, Annika."
When she did, she twirled out onto a wide terrace, where there was night and moon, sea and the scent of it all, all perfumed with lemons and flowers.
"It's beautiful! I've never seen it from so high."
"But you've seen it before?" Sawyer asked her. "Capri?"
"From the sea. And beneath, where there are blue caves and deep water and the bones of ships that sailed long ago. There are flowers!" She reached out to touch the petals of flowers spilling out of hefty pots in bright colors. "I can water and tend them. It can be my job."
"Deal. This is the place." With a satisfied nod, Riley set her hands on her hips. "Kudos again, Sawyer."
"We should check through it in any case." Bran stood at the opening, dark, intense eyes scanning the sky.
Nerezza often came from the sky.
"I'll be adding protection over the more usual alarm system," he continued. "We caused her pain, and harm, so it's unlikely she'll gather herself enough to come at us again tonight, if indeed she can find us. But we'll sleep better with a layer of magick over all."
"Split up." With his sword sheathed, his dark hair tumbled around his hard, handsome face, Doyle nodded agreement. "Go through the place, make certain it's clear and secured."
"Should be two bedrooms down here, four more upstairs, and another common space. It's not big and plush like the villa, and we won't have all that outdoor space."
"Or Apollo," Annika put in.
"Yeah." Riley smiled. "I'm going to miss that dog. But there's room, and it's well located. I'll take the upstairs."
"You just want first call on the bedrooms."
Riley grinned at Sasha, then frowned. "You okay, Sash? You're pale."
"Just a headache. A regular headache," she said when all eyes turned to her. "I don't try to fight the visions anymore. It's just been a very long day."
"And so it has." Bran drew her close to his side, whispered something in her ear that made her smile and nod. "We'll take upstairs as well," he said, and with Sasha, vanished.
"Oh, cheat! No fair using magick!" Riley charged toward the steps and up.
"Three up, so three down to clear this floor. I'd sooner bunk down here," Doyle said with a look around, "closer to the outside access."
"You and me down here then," Sawyer decided-to Annika's disappointment. "Closer to the kitchen and the food. Let's see what we've got."
The two bedrooms stood side by side. Not as big as the ones they'd left behind on Corfu, but with nice beds and pretty views from the windows.
"Works," Doyle stated.
"Works," Sawyer agreed after opening another door to a bathroom with a shower.
The door slid in and out of the wall, delighting Annika so she had to push it in, pull it out a few times before Sawyer grabbed her hand and pulled her away.
They found another room with what Sawyer called a bar, a big television on the wall (she loved television), and a large table where colorful balls stood in a triangle on a green top.
Annika stroked her hand over the top. "It isn't grass."
"Felt," Sawyer told her. "It's a pool table-a game. You play?" he asked Doyle.
"What man who's lived a few centuries hasn't played pool?"
"I've only lived a few decades, but I've played my share. We'll have to have a game."
There was a powder room-though no one powdered anything in them that Annika had seen-and then the kitchen and eating area. She knew immediately Sawyer was pleased.
He wandered through it. A tall, lean body that moved, she thought, as if never hurried. Her fingers wanted to brush through all the dark gold hair the sun had streaked, shaggy and windblown from the traveling. And eyes, gray like the sea in the first silver light of dawn, that made her want to sigh.
"The Italians understand cooking-and eating. This is excellent."
She knew something about cooking now, had even learned to make a few dishes, so she recognized the big stove with its many burners, and the ovens for baking and roasting. A center island held its own sink, which charmed her, and another sink-wider-stood under a window.
Sawyer opened the box that kept things cold-the refrigerator, she remembered. "Already stocked. Riley doesn't miss a trick. Beer?"
"Oh, absolutely," Doyle said.
"I don't like the beer very much. Is there something else?"
"Got your soft drinks, some fruit juice. And wait." He pointed up to a rack holding bottles. "Wine."
"I like the wine."
"Got you covered then." He chose a bottle, passed a beer to Doyle, took one for himself, then wandered to a door. "Pantry, also stocked. We're in business."
He opened drawers until he found the tool to open the wine. Corkscrew-such a funny word.
"I don't know about anybody else, but I'm starved. Shifting that many that far, it hulls you out."
"I could eat," Doyle decided.
"I'm going to throw something together. Riley was right, Sasha looks pale. We'll eat, drink, decompress."
"Have at it then. I'm going to check outside." With his sword still sheathed on his back, Doyle went through another wide glass door.
"I can help you make the food."
"Don't you want to grab up a bedroom?"
"I like to help make the food." With you, most of all, she thought.
"Okay, let's keep it simple. Quick pasta, tossed with butter and herbs. And we've got . . . yeah, we've got tomatoes, mozzarella." He pulled the cheese from the refrigerator, handed her a tomato from the bowl on the counter. "You remember how to slice these up?"
"Yes, I can slice very well."
"You slice them up, then find a plate or tray or platter." He spread his hands to show her size.
He had strong hands, but was gentle with them. Annika thought gentleness was its own kind of strength.
"And you lay them out with the cheese on top of the tomato," he continued, so she knew to pay attention. "Drizzle this olive oil over them." He set a container on the counter.
"Drizzle is like rain, but only a little."
"You got it. Then you're going to take this." He walked over to the windowsill, where some pots sat, and broke off a stem with leaves. "It's basil."
"I remember. It adds flavor."
"Yeah. Chop it up some, sprinkle it over everything, grind a little pepper on there, too, and that's a wrap."
"It's a wrap."
"It's finished," he explained.
"I will wrap it for you."
Pleased, she braided her waist-length black hair back and away. She got to work while he put a pot of water on the stove, poured her wine, drank his beer.
She liked the quiet times with him, and had learned to savor them. There would be more fighting; she knew, accepted. There would be more pain. She would accept that, too. But she had been given a gift. The legs that allowed her to walk out of the sea and onto land, if only for a short time. The friends who were more precious than gold. The purpose that was her legacy and her duty.
And most of all, Sawyer, whom she'd loved before he even knew she existed.
"Do you dream, Sawyer?"
"What?" Distracted, he glanced back at her as he found a colander. "Sure. Sure, most everybody does."
"Do you dream of when we've done our duty, when we have all three stars? When the Stars of Fortune are safe from Nerezza? When there is no more fighting?"
Reading Group Guide
1. Although the Guardians trilogy is set in the modern world, there is a heavy emphasis on mythology throughout. In the ancient world, gods and goddesses provided explanations for how the world worked. How do you think mythology and legend affect our world today, and why have these stories remained so prominent in our culture?
2. Annika, the heroine of Bay of Sighs, is a mermaid in a group that also includes a time traveler, a lycan, a magician, and a seer. What qualities do you think made her a valuable addition to the group? What shortcomings did she need the group’s help to overcome?
3. The first book in the trilogy was set in Cofu, Greece, but with Bay of Sighs the group moves to Capri, Italy. How do you think the new setting reflects the particular challenges, failures, and victories that the group experiences in this novel? If you could set the conclusion to the trilogy anywhere, where would it be?
4. Because Annika grew up around mermaids, with limited contact with humans, she often has trouble understanding or relating to the rest of the group. Have you had similar experiences in your life? How did you overcome or embrace the difference, and how did you learn from it? How do you think Annika’s different perspective is a challenge, and how is it an advantage?
5. Sawyer has the ability to travel through space and time at will. How do you think this has affected his personality and the choices he has made? Do you think it played a part in his acceptance of and attraction to Annika?
6. Nerezza is a truly evil villain. Did she remind you of any other villains in literature, movies, mythology, or popular culture? In what ways is she drawn from history and culture, and in what ways is she unique?
7. Annika and Sawyer eventually fall in love and commit to each other, despite the fact that she will eventually lose her legs and return to mermaid form. If you were Annika and Sawyer, would you sacrifice normality for love? Would you start a relationship knowing you could never have a normal life?
8. By the end of the book, the group has made progress on their quest, but still has a long way to go. What events did you expect from Bay of Sighs before you read it, and what was surprising to you? What do you predict will take place in the final book in the trilogy?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've managed to read almost all Mrs. Roberts has written. I've been a fan for a very long time, but her stories never fail to draw me in. It amazes me how she can come up with different plots and new stories. I can't wait for the final book in this series. Thank you for writing such wonderful stories!
Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts is the 2nd book in her Guardians trilogy. The first paragraph of the above description explains or reminds you of the premise of this series. In the last book, Sasha, the seer, was instrumental in finding the first star, as well as finding her love in Bran. However, it is important to note, that though each book will bring together two people as couples, the storyline in each book is a 6 person ensemble. All 6 play important roles and work together throughout. For a refresher, the 6 are Sasha, the seer; Bran, the magician; Sawyer, the traveler; Annika, the mermaid; Riley, the archaeologist and werewolf; and Doyle, the immortal swordsman. Bay of Sighs starts off immediately after Stars of Fortune left off, with Sawyer have used his magical compass to bring all 6 to the island of Capri, and safe temporarily from Nerezza, the evil goddess and villain of this series. Everyone knows they must find the next star (Water star) before Nerezza finds them, and they begin their search. Sasha continues to have some visions giving them information on Nerezza or to warn them of an oncoming attack. They learn that a former enemy for both Sawyer and Riley has joined hands with Nerezza, escalating the danger. In Bay of Sighs, Annika and Sawyer begin a romance that is destined to fail, since Anni must return to the sea and her people. Will they find a way to stay together? This was an exciting adventure, lots of action, danger and vicious attacks by creatures created by the villain. But amidst all of this, was the wonderful story of 6 people who are joined together to save the world from the threat of darkness; and along the way we watch their friendship and loyalty to each other grow. This is something I have always loved about Nora, how she brings us a group of wonderful characters, whom we fall in love with. I do not want to give any spoilers. I will say it was fun to spend time with all of the 6 characters, watch their wonderful chemistry and teamwork. It was a very exciting adventure, sweet romance, and so much action and danger throughout. I loved Sawyer and Anni together. She was a totally different and sweet heroine, who shined in her innocence. Bravo again to Nora Roberts, who always gives us fantastic trilogies, with great characters, friendships, romances, nasty villains, and exciting pulse pounding and fun storylines. I cann’t wait for the final book in this trilogy, Island of Glass. I suggest you read this series and start with Stars of Fortune.
I waited months for the 2nd book & it was very disappointing . The story took so long to get started . It just dragged for the first half of the book. Also, I wanted to love the mermaid but shes too sappy & irritating. There were some funny parts but not enough to save the book. You can take your time releasing the third book because I am not excited anymore. I'm afraid you might turn wolfgirl into a sappy girl too.
Annika was my least favorite part of the first book and I'm sick of her fractured grammar, naive mermaid point of view. This story focuses way more on trivial details than the actual plot. I'm completely disappointed in where this series has gone.
The last few NR books have not been to the level we have come to expect from her. Not sure if it is indeed NR writing them or a ghost writer. But whoever is way into what people are eating and not the plotlines. Do I really care that they had pancakes and not eggs . No !A better plot would impress me much more. Feel like the author is either pregnant or on a diet with all the talk about food. Very hard to finish the book.
I felt the climax at the could have been better. It felt abbreviated and was over before it reached the top. Malmon could have played a bigger role.
At first I wasn't a fan of Annika telling the story but honestly it grew on me bit by bit. I'm giving it 5 stars because the ending caught me by surprise. Can't wait to read the third!
Another NR great. That said in the better old days of her books,like so many others now that she and others have written, this series should have been one book. While financially I get it she loses a lot of thrill and anticipation this way that her first books AWAYS had and hope her faiaries and other "good" side characters that would fit into the ending come around soon.More Irish now please for the good six and the area you chose for the thrd and final wrapup of this series, Nerezza has all sorts of evil cohorts how about some assist from the mystical and mischeivious land they are inhabiting now? I can't wait til Decembers' conclusion and just want MORE please!
It follows the formula but as always the book is addicting, fun to read and makes you want to believe in magic.
Nora Roberts has done it again! I can't wait for last book in this trilogy! December can't come fast enough
The six guardians are in for blood, magic, and death. It takes all of their strength, faith, and trust. Great series. The mermaid makes the story.
Wonderful followup to Stars. Annika is my favorite character. She is light and joy and Nora Roberts captures the mermaid beautifully.
Loved it! You seriously can't go wrong with Nora Roberts!! The only problem is waiting 6 months for the next one!!
1 Star found, on to the next star. Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts is the second book in the Guardians Trilogy. The second book is lot dark than the first book. The whole evil seeking out evil human gives it more of a nice twist. The characters are still growing into the Guardians. Although they think that they have the situation under control, they still worry and continue working on their plans. They modify the things that they can. You can see each of the fine tuning their skills and using their personal strengths to assist with the quest. They all feel that this is the time and they are the ones who will get it done. I truly enjoy the story, however I love a good paranormal-romance-good vs evil story. The setting this time is the island of Capri, Italian this time. Capri is more populated and they don’t have the easy access to the sea and transportation, but the Guardians make it work. This is the story of Annika and Sawyer. They make a good couple. One of the things that I like about Annika is that she is so full of joy. She finds that joy in all things, she likes to do household chores, she likes taking care of her friends, and she likes helping Bran with magic supplies and such. Annika likes the exercise and cheering her friends on. She doesn’t like the fighting but will do what is necessary. Sawyer really goes in this installment. He allows himself to love Annika and to share the love with her. I saw so much growth from him. Sawyer is such a strong guy. He shoots guns accurately, hardly missing his target. He is well rounded and has such honor. So, we have seen the relationships grow between Bran and Sasha, now Sawyer and Annika have been paired off. That leaves Doyle and Riley. We get to see small glimpses of that blooming relationship in this book. I am really looking forward to the next book. Nerezza continues to show her evil self. She continues to throw things at the Guardians, and when things to don’t go her way she has a kind of hissy fit. However, now she has a soldier/companion to assist her with the execution of her plans. Nerezza isn’t going to back down. She has been waiting for the stars for so long, this is her way to rule all the worlds. I look forward to the next book in the series, to see how the heroes fair with Nerezza and to see the others romances bloom, and the group grow closer. My rating is 5 stars. This is a Guest Review for Baroness' Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book on your site. ~Jen If you would like to see other reviews like this one, check out BaronessBookTrove.com.
Nora is truly blessed to have such a beautiful mind and share her stories with us all.
This book was easier to read then 1st. Keep my attention. Looking forward to book 3.
Especially love the modern setting with magic. Nice escape out of the modern world. Looking forward to another set of heroes and heroines. Fun, exciting, beautiful setting!
"IM MARY POPPINS YALL"
Sighed. "Have you seen Starlord?"
All the action, romance and magic that you expect from Nora Roberts. Fully developed characters that grow more real as you turn the pages. Classic, beautifully written clash between good and evil. The descriptive passages allow you to enter this fantasy world without hesitation and make it your own. A reliably excellent read from co er to cover! Enjoy the experience.
I enjoyed reading this book but I do recognize that it is basically a rewrite of previous trilogies by the same author. Also, I agree with other readers that there is a definite preoccupation with food. I disagree in the I feel the mermaid comes across as innocent rather than naive and she could easily be perceived as slutty when she is really just unaccustomed to human prudishness. Stephanie Clanahan
Another great read