Hard as a Rock: A Beauty and Beast Novel

Hard as a Rock: A Beauty and Beast Novel

by Christine Warren

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Overview

Hard as a Rock: A Beauty and Beast Novel by Christine Warren

The third book in New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren’s mesmerizing Gargoyles series, where even the most dangerous beast can be tamed by the woman he holds above all else…
Wynn Powe comes from a long line of powerful women, but when an elusive enemy draws too close for comfort, Wynn pursues a creature who can put an end to the fight.
But when the powerful Guardian she calls forth makes her heart beast faster and her breath quicken, she must handle something she didn’t count on at all—an earth-shattering attraction to the monster himself.

Enter Knox. He may be a newly summoned gargoyle, but he possesses all the skills and memories of his race…and that includes protecting the beautiful woman he’s bound to. 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?
“Soars with fun, witty characters and nonstop action.” ?Publishers Weekly on Stone Cold Lover
Don't miss the other books in the Gargoyle series:

Book #1: Heart of Stone
Book #2: Stone Cold Lover
Book #4: Rocked by Love
Book #5: Hard to Handle

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466841819
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Series: Gargoyles Series , #3
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 39,557
File size: 734 KB

About the Author

Christine Warren is the author of Stone Cold Lover and Heart of Stone, as well as the Novels of the Others, including New York Times Bestsellers Big Bad Wolf, Walk on the Wild Side, and One Bite with a Stranger. Born and raised in coastal New England, she now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest, where she gets ocean, mountains, forests, and farmland all in one pretty package. When not writing (as if that ever happens), she enjoys spoiling her horse, playing with her dogs, concocting all sorts of yummies (both liquid and solid), and most of all, reading things someone else had to agonize over.

Christine Warren is the bestselling author of The Others series, including Wolf at the Door, Big Bad Wolf, Born to Be Wild, Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here, and Black Magic Woman. Born and raised in coastal New England, she now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. (She completely bypassed those states in the middle due to her phobia of being landlocked). When not writing, she enjoys horseback riding, playing with her pets, identifying dogs from photos of their underbellies, and most of all reading things someone else had to agonize over.

 

Read an Excerpt

Hard as a Rock


By Christine Warren

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2015 Christine Warren
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-4181-9


CHAPTER 1

"Wynn? What is it? What's going on? Did you find him?"

"Um, in a manner of speaking."

"Huh? What's that supposed to mean?"

Wynn Powe stared down into the wide, shallow crater that marred the otherwise serene landscaping of the old Van Oswalt estate and pursed her lips. "I found what's left of him. I think. The pieces are pretty small."

"Oh, my God! Pieces?" Ella gasped into the cell, her distress obvious and right in line with the feelings Wynn currently battled. "How bad is it?"

"Are you familiar with the term smithereens?"

Ella groaned. "What happened?"

Wynn crouched at the edge of the hole and reached down to sift through the debris. Soil and grit and small chunks of limestone and granite tumbled across her fingertips. "At a guess? Some pretty serious explosives, but I just got here myself. My plane was delayed last night, and I didn't land until after two this morning. But I'm surprised I didn't see anything on the news when I woke up. A bomb going off in Lake Forest should have gotten more than a little bit of media attention."

Heck, given the average income of the residents of the affluent suburb north of Chicago, a bomb going off in their neighborhood should have merited a SWAT team, the activation of a National Guard unit, and a televised statement by the president. Wynn had eaten breakfast in front of the TV and booted up her laptop before she headed out this way. She should have seen headlines.

"You seriously think the statue blew up?"

"El, I'm looking at a scene straight out of 1945 Dresden. Check it out." Wynn switched her smartphone to the camera function and snapped a picture of the scene before her, then sent it to Ella. "Apparently, the fact that the Order didn't get to blow up Spar last month only made them more determined. This guy did it right."

"Crap. I wonder when it happened. I mean, when you're operating on rumors and chasing a stone statue through multiple owners across multiple continents, it's easy for details to slip through the cracks, but nothing I saw indicated he had been damaged. Of course, the last record I have was for his installation at that location about five years ago. Still, I would have thought I'd have heard if anyone knew about the damage. I don't suppose it could have happened recently?"

"I don't know. The crater's not still smoking or anything, but how would we tell? Maybe if my plane hadn't been delayed, or if I had left on Monday like I should have—"

"No." Ella cut her off swiftly and decisively. "No second-guessing. It's not your fault, Wynn. Put the blame where it belongs. On the nocturnis."

Yeah, that shouldn't be hard. Blame a secret organization of evil magic users intent on resurrecting seven of the most powerful demons ever spawned and thereby ending the world as she knew it? Wynn could get on board with that.

"This is really not good." Ella's tension and worry came across loud and clear, despite the geographic distance separating Vancouver and Chicago. "I have to tell Kees, then we need to call Fil and Spar. If we're really going into the next stage of this fight already down a Guardian, we're going to have to do some serious rethinking of our strategy."

Wynn ended the call and pocketed her cell phone with a grimace. For her, Ella's words only drew attention to the fact that as far as Wynn could see, they didn't even have a strategy. What they had was a problem of epic—not to say biblical—proportions: An army of evil minions appeared determined to set the Seven—at least one of whom was already at least half awake—loose on humanity, and five decidedly un-super-heroes were all that stood against those assembled forces of Darkness. If the situation had been the plot of a summer blockbuster movie, Wynn would have dismissed it as totally unrealistic and just assumed the good guys would wind up with nothing but bloody stumps to perch their white hats on.

Okay, so maybe that was a little harsh. Wynn supposed that two of their band of brave Bedlamites actually did count as heroes. She, Ella, and Felicity—aka Fil—might be nothing more than puny humans, but Kees and Spar were bona fide Guardians. If those guys didn't qualify as heroes, then the definition needed some serious editing.

As a race, the Guardians had come into being to protect humanity from the Seven demons—an evil so powerful that when joined together, they could rip the very fabric of reality into pieces and condemn the world to an eternity of suffering. The Guardians, seven warriors who took the shape of stone gargoyles when resting in the times between battles, had been summoned to earth by a group of human magic users known as the Guild of Wardens specifically to fight against the Seven. When defeated, the demons had been bound in separate prisons so they could never achieve their goal of conquest. In Wynn's book, that made the Guardians heroes.

Unfortunately, it would take all seven Guardians to face the threat that loomed over them today, and so far Wynn had only noticed two of them being conscious and ready for action. Everyone had been counting on the dust at her feet to make number three. So what the hell were they supposed to do now?

Wynn stepped back from the blast site and winced. She'd sprained her ankle a couple of weeks ago wrangling with the nocturnis—the shorthand name for members of the Order of Eternal Darkness—in another city, and the joint still gave her a twinge when she moved wrong. With a grim expression, she shifted her weight and took a belated look around her.

The driver's door of her battered white Toyota hung drunkenly open, and the buzz of the alarm told her that she hadn't even bothered to take the keys out of the ignition when she'd caught sight of the scene of destruction. She'd rounded the curve of the drive, seen the hole in the ground surrounded by stony rubble, and her stomach had done an Olympic-caliber dive straight into the soles of her sandals. She had slammed on her brakes, thrown the shift into park, and flown straight to the debris field.

As if rushing could have turned back the clock. She'd obviously been too late, which was not the way she wanted to go into this battle. Half a step behind wasn't going to cut it when it came to stopping the Order from succeeding with their plans. In fact, it had cost a life back in Montreal. One of Fil's friends became another victim sacrificed to the Seven, and Fil herself had nearly ended up the same way. It had been a close call, and something told Wynn there would be more of those before this thing ended.

She had never considered herself to have any particular precognitive abilities. She was a witch, not a psychic. She couldn't see into the future, no matter how much she might want to, a fact attested to by her generally really weak divination skills. Her powers ran more along the lines of powering charms, hex removal, and herbology, hence her small business making soaps, lotions, ointments, and teas, which supported her pretty nicely. Ask her to whip up a remedy for itchy, dry skin and Wynn was your girl; ask her what would happen if you took a certain path into the future, and all she could tell you was that time would pass. Not exactly useful stuff.

Power, the kind of power that passed down through her mother's family, had its own agenda in Wynn's experience. Possessing it made her a witch, but she didn't get to choose what form it took. The power did what it wanted, and she could either accept that and learn what it wanted to accomplish, or she could fight it and try to make it do her bidding, which usually just ended in frustration and a lot of nasty side effects for everyone and everything in the vicinity.

It had taken her a while to stumble onto that realization, and even longer to come to terms with it. When she had been a little girl, Wynn was certain down to her bones that she had been born to be a Warden. Seven generations of her family before her had served in the Guild—all men, of course—but anyone with eyes could see that the same magic that flowed in their veins flowed in hers. She had just as much power as her younger brother, but magic had never been enough for the crusty old men in charge. All they cared about was that she didn't have a dick, never mind that her metaphorical balls put their actual ones to shame. The Guild 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.

Misogynistic bastards.

So Bran got to be the Warden in their generation, and Wynn got to be a witch, just like her mother and her aunts and her female cousins. Not that she disliked being a witch, but there were days when she still felt so restless, as if something more hovered just out of her reach. Only knowing her luck, reaching for it would land her face-first in a pool of quicksand.

Dusting her hands off against the legs of her jeans, Wynn took another look around at the Van Oswalt estate. Built in the late 1800s as a retreat by one of Chicago's many tycoons, the house rose from its park-like setting north of the city in Victorian splendor, a mix of brick and sandstone and intricate decorative work in both wood and stone. Even though she had read that the last of the family to live there had left the place nearly ten years ago, the Van Oswalts had never relinquished their hold on the property. Maybe they were sentimental millionaires, but it seemed a shame to Wynn to let such a beautiful old building sit there all closed up and empty.

No one could call her an expert in real estate, but she couldn't imagine that someone wouldn't snap the property up in a minute if they were to put in on the market. Not only did it feature the gorgeous old mansion, but its multiple acres and location on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan made the land itself worth its weight in gold. She thought she remembered something about beach access, and imagined there would be stairs down the face of the cliff and a dock and boathouse nestled below. After all, that was how the other half lived, wasn't it?

At least the Van Oswalts appeared to be paying someone to maintain the grounds. Though she imagined they had run a little less wild while the family had been in residence, a little more French country garden and a little less English cottage garden, nevertheless the lawn had been mown, the hedges roughly trimmed, and the windows properly shuttered, not broken or covered in ugly plywood.

Heaving a sigh, half disappointment with her morning and half envy of stupid rich people, Wynn walked back to her car and pushed the door closed with a thud. No sense in letting the batteries run dead and leaving herself stranded out in the middle of nowhere. As far as she could tell, the homes in this particular enclave right on the lake had to sit on multiacre parcels. Any tow truck driver worth his salt would charge her a year's salary to jump her ancient battery, let alone haul her butt out of here and back to the city if the jump failed. Talk about the last thing she needed.

No, wait. The very last thing she needed was that figure in the navy-blue uniform that appeared to be striding her way from the top of the driveway. She should have realized an enclave of the super-rich like this one would have private security roaming around to keep the riffraff away. Glancing down at her faded jeans, loose-fitting top, stretched-out tank, and simple sandals, she wondered if she counted as the riff or the raff.

"Miss, you're currently trespassing on private property." The man raised his voice to be heard over the crunch of gravel as he approached.

Even from a good fifty yards away, Wynn could make out the solid, stocky build of a onetime high school football star and the baton, radio, and gun strapped to his belt. He was certainly equipped to mean business, even if his tone of voice hadn't already clued her in.

"Just because the home behind you is currently unoccupied doesn't give you to right to be here. I'm going to have to ask you to identify yourself and wait with me while I summon the local authorities."

Wynn huffed, taken aback. "Seriously?"

The look on the guard's face, now that he'd drawn close enough for her to make out his expression, answered her question for her. If this guy had a sense of humor, she doubted anyone had ever gotten up the nerve to mention it to him.

"You don't need to call the police," she reasoned, reaching behind her for the car door handle. "I'll leave right now. I just drove by to take a look at the place. I didn't even try to go up to the house."

The security guard tensed and drew his brows together to glare at her. "Miss, you need to step away from your vehicle. I can't let you leave until I've consulted with the Hierophant."

"With who?" Wynn blinked, the reference catching her off guard. She'd heard of the Hierophant in Montreal, and the name had boded nothing good at the time. It took a minute for her brain to catch up, and that was all the opportunity the guard needed.

He launched himself at her, hands outstretched, as if Wynn had suddenly found herself in the middle of a zombie movie—the freaky modern kind where the zombies moved fast instead of shambling forward at an easily outrunnable pace, the way the gods and George A. Romero had intended. She didn't care if he was after her brains or any other part of her body, Wynn intended to keep them all.

Instinct took over, and she let herself drop, landing ass-first in the dirt an instant before the guard's hands would have closed around her throat. She heard a grunt and a thud as his momentum drove him into the side of her car, but she didn't wait to watch the impact. Immediately upon hitting the ground, she rolled to her side and pushed up on her knees to scramble as fast as she could away from her attacker. As soon as she cleared his immediate space, she lurched to her feet and took off running. Her ankle screamed a protest, but she ignored it. If the choice was hurt or die, she was going with hurt, and going as fast as she possibly could.

Her brain raced along even faster, processing several pieces of information simultaneously. First, it issued a mental slap upside itself in the form of reminding her that by taking off in the direction opposite her car, Wynn had just removed herself from her best means of escape. That left her with two choices; to run into the empty house—assuming she could even get inside a structure that appeared to have been well secured against trespassers—or to head for the road, where an unfamiliar woman being chased by a security guard employed by anyone who might actually see her was more likely to elicit help for the guard than for her. So, essentially, she was screwed.

Second, her brain provided additional support to that primary conclusion by finishing its delayed parsing of the security guard's short speech. The phrase "consult with the Hierophant" indicated at the man who had attacked her wasn't likely to be a run-of-the-mill rental cop who just wanted her taken away by the local police and charged with criminal trespass. She doubted this boiled down to the desire to teach her a lesson about respect for her financial betters. No, unless she missed her guess—and given the mess she'd just witnessed in Montreal, it really counted as more of a certainty than a wild guess—that phrasing indicated a pursuer who was employed by a group slightly more sinister than the residents of Lake Forest.

Like, say, the Order of Eternal Darkness.

In other words, her brain supplied, she was now in deep shit.

It got deeper when she heard a muttered curse that couldn't have come from more than a couple of feet behind her. A hand reached out and grabbed for her, catching the back of her shirt and hauling hard enough that she stumbled and nearly lost her balance.

"Oh no, you little bitch," the guard panted as he attempted to drag her closer. "I got you now."

Fear spiked, adrenaline pumping so hard Wynn could barely hear over the roaring of her own blood pounding in her ears. She reached up and grabbed the two sides of her blouse, ripping them apart like She-Hulk. Buttons popped and flew, one of them catching her in the cheek just below her right eye, but she ignored the sting. The two halves of the shirt parted, and she tore herself from the tattered remains to take off running for a second time.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren. Copyright © 2015 Christine Warren. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Hard as a Rock 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4 - "You have a surprisingly logical mind, for a human. And a female. And a witch." Stars! I have a huge soft spot for Christine Warren’s Gargoyle’s series. I love a good PNR romance, and with the slightly old fashioned men, the sassy females, and plenty of adventure each book in the series has been a really fast paced and entertaining read. ”What can I say? You have bewitched me.” Ella and Fil in the previous two books have found, fallen in love with and become Wardens to their Guardians; Kees and Spar. After the epic battle at the end of Stone Cold Lover they have taken a step back to regroup and give Fil a chance to recover from her injuries. Wynn Powe was also introduced in the last book, the witch and her powers helped greatly, but what becomes apparent as Hard as a RockM progresses is that her involvement runs a lot deeper than you are initially expecting. We also move from Vancouver to Chicago in this installment of the series. The Order of Eternal Darkness are still at large, and although weakened by the battle in the last book, they still pose a very real and immediate threat in their aim to release the powers of darkness back onto earth. With the Guild of Wardens still scattered, and in hiding, Wynn is tasked to visit an old mansion on the outskirts of town where a possible Gargoyle statue may be in the hope of waking him up, on arrival finds she is too late and the statue has been literally blown to smithereens, but as is to be expected in the realms of magic and myth, all is not as it initially seems, and where one is lost another is sent to take his place. I really liked Wynn, although independent and sassy, she wasn’t stupidly so, she knew her limits and stepped back and allowed Knox to take the lead where his skills were more matched to the situation they were in. there are a few gut wrenching moments in this one as well, so have your tissues at the ready, Knox’s love and protectiveness for his ’little witch’ really tugs at the heart strings, especially when she’s in emotional and physical pain herself. This is certainly a book in a series, and as such I really would recommend you read the previous books before you pick this one up. You could figure out what is going on but every book is extremely enjoyable so why struggle when you don’t need to! The story ends with things still very much up in the air, not a cliffy as such, but you know there is definitely more, much more to come. I hope we don’t have to wait too long, I am already craving my next gargoyle fix! ”The wars not over, but this battle is. It’s time to pick up the pieces and move forward.” ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
Christine Warren has a way with words that leaves the reader laughing and wondering how in the hell she came up with great dialogue and one-liners that are creative and perfect. Book 3 in the Gargoyles series lives up to the first two in story, emotion, humor, and passion. This one follows Wynn and the brand new Guardian Knox as they hunt for her missing brother and the link between the Nocturnis and Chicago. Their adventure is fun and fast and the ending is emotional and sweet. What Knox does at the very end to comfort Wynn was perfect. Overall, an enjoyable read and loved the one-liners!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Each book has been awesome, and I know there will be more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ok it was good
asgoodrich More than 1 year ago
The search for more Guardians continues in Hard as a Rock and Wynn hits the ground running…literally. The book opens with Wynn in Chicago looking at the remnants of a destroyed guardian scattered about a shallow crater. Her shock and delayed reaction results in her being detected by a security guard, but when she realizes he’s not simply a security guard but also a minion of nocturnis the chase begins as she attempts to flee. Fortunately she is unable to evade him. Fortunately?!?!?! How pray tell is it a good thing that Wynn gets caught by the bad guy? Because when the guard threatens her life, a new Guardian is called forth to protect her. Can I just say that Knox certainly knows how to make an entrance?  Because Wynn is a witch from a long line of witches, she was well acquainted with the Wardens who served alongside the Guardians. While Wynn was happy for her brother Bran when he was recruited to join the Guild, she was also resentful of the Guild because she was not allowed to join. Her resentment was due to why they denied her entry. Not because her magic was weak because it wasn’t, it actually seems that she was more powerful than her brother. Nope, she was not allowed to join their ranks because she had the audacity to be born female. Because of this, she refused to accept Knox’s claim that they were mates. Despite her attraction to him and their explosive chemistry, she refused to get too involved with him when she knew that the Guild would replace her with another Guardian as soon as they were able to rebuild. And she knew that were that to happen, it would be devastating – worse still, it would destroy her if she had accepted Knox as her mate. On a purely intellectual level, I could see where she was coming from and I understood her need to protect her heart. But when faced with the reality that was Knox and the intensity of the connection between them, I don’t know how she kept pushing him away. My heart hurt for Knox when Wynn pushed him away one too many times and I worried that she would not be able to rectify the situation. Thankfully, a near death situation forces things to a head and Wynn is able to bridge the chasm her actions created. I kinda have to laugh – after the fact – at how well near-death experiences work as a karmic kick in the arse for Wynn.  I really enjoyed this installment in the Gargoyles series. Even though I still have not had the opportunity to go back and read book one, I had no issue with reading Hard as a Rock as a standalone because it is primarily Wynn and Knox’s story. Those following the series will see the continued battle between the nocturnis and the Guardians progress and will experience a HUGE shock when Wynn’s missing brother is found. I have to admit that despite my reading history in this genre, I was taken aback by how events unfolded as the nocturnis attempted to summon Uhlthor. The level of action kept me glued to my Kindle into the wee hours of the morning as I had to know how the battle in Chicago played out. And while there are some things that I wished had happened differently, I thoroughly enjoyed Hard as a Rock and am looking forward to the next book in the series.  I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
SMBSLT More than 1 year ago
Fun read! I love Christine Warren.
Page726 More than 1 year ago
First let me say I like Ms. Warren's series, she tells a great story with great characters and I liked this story also, but I do have one complaint of "Hard as a rock".  It's the ending, it felt rushed and quick to end.It seemed like Ms. Warren said " too many pages" and cut off the story.  It didn't feel like Wynn and Knox had a proper ending.
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend HARD AS A ROCK to anyone who enjoys really good, totally addictive paranormal romance! 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.  My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Check it out there. 4 1/2 Wine Glasses!
shirlsweetSE More than 1 year ago
I loved the progression of the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
closkot More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts - 4 out of 5 Unicorns - I really liked it!! ***Received the ebook from St. Martin’s Press for an honest review The cover is definitely appealing to those who love a good sexy chest ;) This is the third book in the Gargoyle series.  The plot seems to be thicken and only revealing little pieces as a time to the Guardians and their Wardens.  We meet a new Guardian named Knox, and he is very similar to his brothers in his fierce protectiveness and stubbornness towards his mate.  Poor Wynn has her own insecurities to deal with, the new Guardian, her missing brother, and even more trouble coming. There was definitely plenty going on to keep me engaged though I was screaming at the end.  I can’t tell you why or whether it was good or bad screaming because what would be the fun in ruining it for another reader.  We met some new characters and a certain Koyote that I hope we see more of in the future, but really I have no idea what will come next, only that I need to read it :) As always Christine’s writing is wonderful descriptive, and I had no trouble connecting with her characters.  While you do not have to read them in order, I think you will be missing out on the big picture if you don’t read them in order :)  It makes it so much more complex, and you will connect with everyone better by reading them in order.  I can’t wait to see what she cooks up next :) I recommend this series to fans of Christine Warren and those who have jumped on the Gargoyle bandwagon with me :)
April-Hollingworth More than 1 year ago
Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren my review Review Courtesy of April Hollingworth This is the third book in the phenomenal Gargoyles series. I must admit I find this series brilliant and each book is completely fabulous.  It grabs you by the hand and leads you on a journey you don’t want to miss. I love the Guardians and their fierce women. Each book can be read as a standalone but to be honest, their stories and characters are wonderful and each deserves to be read. I can’t wait for the next book in this superb series. Opening Scene: “Wynn? What is it? What’s going on? Did you find him?” The Review: Wynn has always wanted to be a Warden and even more has wanted her own Guardian. Suddenly the Wardens have disappeared including her beloved brother. She’s left with hunting down her own Guardian without any training, only to find him blown to smithereens by the Order. She then has to summon another; without any Warden training. If that wasn’t bad enough she knows she’ll only be his Warden for a short while. After all once the Wardens return their no females allowed rule will kick back into place. Knox is a newly created Gargoyle rising in the defense of Wynn Powe. Expecting what the collective memories of previous Guardians had, he is greatly puzzled when instead of receiving awe and wonder he gets an irritated woman giving him orders.  Yet the attraction crackling between Wynn and Knox is unmistakable. No matter how much she tries to deny or ignore it, it just won’t go away. With the Order of Eternal Darkness rising; the reality of the fight ahead of them kicks in. Wynn and Knox must work together and maybe grab some happiness if they manage to stay alive. Notable Scene: The small woman glared at him fiercely, her brown eyes regarding him not with the wonder and reverence his inherited memory told him to expect, but with something that looked a lot more like … irritation? Did she not realize who he was? “Do not concern yourself, human,” he instructed her, ignoring the way the man in his grasp squirmed and choked. “This creature is a servant of the Darkness and does not deserve your compassion. You see, I am a Guar_” “Yeah, yeah, I know you’re a guardian.” She waved her hand at him, her tone dismissive. Dismissive? “Sworn to protect humanity from the ultimate evil of the Seven demons of the Darkness,” she continued. Her tone sounding suspiciously bored as she recited his reason for existence. “Trust me, I can see what you are, but that still doesn’t mean you get to kill the security guard. You’ll get both of us arrested if you try. So do me a favor and put him down before he slips into a coma, okay? He’s already looking a little bit blue around the edges.” Startled, Knox looked at his captive and saw that the human woman was right. His huge, bat-like wings rustled in irritation. The male ceased struggling, and the edges of his lips had paled and begun to turn a strange bluish-gray color. His eyes began to roll back in his head even as Knox released his hold and let the human drop to the ground, where he lay motionless. FTC Advisory: Amy Goppert through Net Galley provided me with a copy of Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren. Published through St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I preordered this book months in advance and it gave me something to look forward to for quite some time. I wasn't disappointed in the new book. The story of Wynn and Knox is fast paced and it ties beautifully with the other two in the series. The action moved to Chicago, and the dynamic of the characters is well written. Wynn is smart but knows when to step back. She also knows to pursue doing the right thing, despite very real fears. Knox was adorable as alpha male falling in love and becoming overly protective,but didn't lose sight of the big issue of the nocturnis' plans. He seemed to accept very easily his feelings for Wynn, so the story centered more on working to win Wynn and her own internal battle with her feelings not only for Knox but also for the wardens's guild...Her uncle Griffin made an appearance and I think we'll see him in the future as he is the only warden with real training. Overall I really enjoyed the book and it was waiting for! :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love her such a great imagination.