Hard Breaker: A Beauty and Beast Novel

Hard Breaker: A Beauty and Beast Novel

by Christine Warren

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Overview

Hard Breaker: A Beauty and Beast Novel by Christine Warren

From New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren comes Hard Breaker, the sixth book in her Gargoyles series where even the most beastly gargoyle is able to win the heart of a beautiful human female.

Ivy Beckett 's gift feels more like a curse. She can hear things happening in distant locations, which is how she knows the very instant her family is killed by servants of the Darkness. Furious, she joins the fight to save the world – but the losses are mounting up. She thinks only a miracle can save them—but she doesn't expect the miracle to come in the form of a handsome gargoyle.

Baen is a fearsome Guardian, but when he awakes, even his surprised by war that is going on. But what’s even more distracting is beautiful Ivy. Driven by passion, she’s ready to charge head-first into battle. But Baen’s primal instincts to protect what’s his rise within him, and Ivy is dangerously attracted to him. Can she and her gargoyle warrior save the world…and fall in love?

“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 #3: Hard as a Rock

Book #4: Rocked by Love

Book #5: Hard to Handle

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250077394
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Series: Gargoyles Series , #6
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 294,829
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

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, CHRISTINE WARREN now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. When not writing (as if that ever happens), 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

CHAPTER 1

She had spent a week casing the joint, or at least that's how she liked to think of it. It calmed her nerves to view these things in terms of B-movie plots. Keeping the notion of danger mildly amusing instead of terrifying made it easier to do her job without ill-timed cases of the freak-outs.

It also made it easy to slip out the staff door at the rear of the pub at the proper time and return through the front five minutes later looking like an entirely different person. Her bag had been stashed in the alley behind the bins, well wrapped in plastic. She continued to hold out hope that one of these days she'd get to Scooby-Doo it and use a hole in a big old oak tree as her hiding place, but those were hard to come by in Croydon, South London. A girl had to work with what was available.

She wouldn't call her new appearance a disguise, exactly. More like camouflage. The secret wasn't to not be recognized (extremely unlikely given the total number of people she knew in this country had been cut in half a few months ago), it was to not stand out. Her natural coloring of bright red hair and glow-in-the-dark pale skin drew too many eyes, so she covered them up with something a little more common. Pancake makeup took care of the pallor, and to complete the picture, she had slathered on lipstick the approximate color of a double-decker bus and enough mascara and eyeliner to make a raccoon feel insecure. A wig sporting dark roots and brassy blond highlights covered up her own distinctive strands and presented just the right level of delinquent hair-color maintenance to make her convincing as a lapsed brunette.

Since clothes made the woman, she paid attention to those as well. Her tight skinny jeans disappeared into a pair of bulky, unstructured boots that looked like they belonged on either a moon landing or an unfortunate Inuit. Personally, she thought they were uglier than sin, but they possessed the twin virtues of an inexplicable claim to being "in" and flat soles. The suckers might be hideous, but at least they didn't hamper her movement.

Over the jeans — or, rather, above the jeans — she wore a midriff-skimming sweater in bright pink with a label that had absolutely no claim on reality. Topping it all, her anorak of shiny silver and faux-fur trim hung open, the better to display both the occasional flashes of belly her sweater revealed and the Burberry check scarf that hung around her neck. Another knockoff, of course, but it was the check that counted around here.

She looked as if she'd been born down the next street, meaning absolutely no one within a one-mile radius would bother looking at her twice. That was exactly how she wanted it.

Ivy pushed through the front door and into the Friday-night crowd, feeling a surge of nostalgia for the clouds of smoke that hadn't floated through the air of British pubs in decades. It would have lent things a certain Sherlock Holmesian air she would have appreciated. Instead, she had a clear view all the way from the tap to the back corner of the room. She could see exactly what she had come here for.

Pasting a casual smile on her face, Ivy began to weave her way through the crowd. She might be keeping her eye on the prize, but that didn't mean she wasn't keeping track of the bodies around her for more than the usual reason of not running into one of them and making a fool of herself. Situational awareness had become a hard-earned skill of hers since she'd gotten involved in her little side business here in London, and it had come in handy on more than one occasion.

Like now, when she tried to move past a knot of local lads cozied up to the bar.

She had made a mental note of them earlier, when she'd been lurking in her previous camouflaged incarnation, just as she'd made a mental note of the older couples occupying several tables, the group of ladies gathered for an obvious hen night, and the middle-aged men with their attention glued to the television in the corner that broadcast a seemingly nonstop schedule of football matches. Unlike those other groups, though, Ivy had made note of the lads because she knew they were the ones most likely to cause her trouble.

And now it appeared they didn't want to disappoint her. How sweet.

"Well, hello there, sweetheart. Buy you a drink?"

The young man closest to her reached out to pinch the fabric of her coat and tug her to a stop, all the while flashing her a crooked grin he probably practiced in his bathroom mirror, thinking it made him look rakish and charming. It might have even worked had the rest of him not screamed out "yob" at the top of its lungs. She couldn't go so far as to call him a chav (mostly due to fashion choice), but he bore the look of someone with an ASBO or five on his police record.

She replied with a studious avoidance of eye contact and a patently false, close-lipped smile. "Thanks, no. I'm meeting someone."

A couple of his mates snickered into their lagers, which of course did not help her escape attempt.

He tried another smile, but his eyes had narrowed. "Aw, don't be like that, love. Me name's Teddy. What's yours, eh?"

"Busy," Ivy said, revoking the smile and shrugging out of his grip.

She didn't wait for attempt number three, just plowed forward and refocused on her goal. Good thing, too, because said goal had taken on the slight grayish pallor of incipient panic. She needed to settle him down and get their plan back on track.

She also needed to ignore the mumbled curses and rather vile suggestions Teddy threw at her back as she left him to his friends. What a charmer, that one.

A few more strides and a couple of last-minute weaves brought her to the small table she'd been aiming for. The occupant stood at her approach, then had to reach out to steady the glasses resting on the wooden surface because he'd nearly knocked them over with the nervous energy of his movements. Ivy hid a wince behind a bright smile and reached up to peck the complete stranger right on the lips.

The things she did for duty.

Not that the stranger was physically repulsive, or anything. Frankly, he looked just like she'd expected — tall, a little gangly, with graying, light brown hair that had begun to recede just a bit above the temples, and tortoiseshell glasses that gave him the air of an insecure junior accountant. His name was Martin, she knew, and it suited him. He looked like a Martin. He also looked to be about thirty seconds away from puking on his own shoes. Sheneeded to get him to calm the heck down before they could move on to step two of their prearranged plan.

"Hello, sweetie. Did you order me a drink?"

She kept her tone breezy and her voice just loud enough to be heard at the neighboring tables. Her accent sounded like a careful combination of RP and the Estuary accent. Think Judi Dench meets Russell Brand. It gave the careful impression that she was from London, was a member the working middle class, had a respectable position in an office somewhere local, but was looking to move up in the world. Amazing what the English could convey with no more than a couple of vowel sounds, wasn't it?

"Ta for that." She settled into her seat and tugged Martin down next to her. "Lord, what a week. I'm totally fagged. How was your day?" For a moment, the man just stared at her, eyes wide and jaw slack. It took a stealthy kick to his shins beneath the table before he managed to stutter out a squeaky version of, "Oh, fine. Just fine, love. G-glad you're here."

Ivy smiled again and lifted her glass of ale, deliberately clicking the edge against his and meeting his gaze pointedly. "Me, too. Here's to our weekend, then."

"T-t-to our w-weekend." Martin didn't manage to force a smile, but at least he raised his pint and took a drink. Frankly, he looked like whisky would have done him better than beer at that moment. He all but radiated nervous energy, which just made her job more challenging. Lucky her.

"Come here, sweetie," she cooed, adopting a flirtatious expression. "I've missed you." She covered her hand with his, gave a squeeze, and leaned into him as if nuzzling playfully. Taking advantage of the appearance of intimacy, she hissed a few instructions into his ear. "Relax, Martin. Take a few deep breaths and remember the plan I e-mailed you. Did you memorize it?" Ivy waited for his jerky nod before she continued. "Good. Then everything is going to be fine. I have it under control, okay? I've done this a dozen times. The nocturnis are not going to get their hands on you, but you need to calm down and remember your part. I'll get you to the Guild. I promise."

There was a moment of silence while he digested her words, but after a shaky inhalation, Martin nodded and wrapped one arm around her in an only slightly awkward embrace. "Yes, sorry," he muttered. "This is all freaking me out, but I'll get a grip. Sorry."

Ivy picked up her beer again, but remained leaning against her companion, giving the impression of a couple in love out for a night together. In her experience, it was the kind of cover least likely to be questioned and easiest to fabricate on short notice. That was why she had so often relied on it since she'd begun her work smuggling Wardens in hiding along an improvised sort of Underground Railroad. The network had sprung up over the last year after it had become obvious that the latest strategy of the Order of Eternal Darkness was to eliminate the Guild of Wardens to thus ease the way for the return of their demonic masters to the realm of humanity.

Call her crazy, but Ivy figured that if a worthy cause had ever existed, then saving the earth from an apocalyptic war and enslavement by the forces of evil was it. She'd joined right up. You know, after she'd overheard her uncle and cousin becoming casualties of that war. Losing loved ones proved to be one hell of a motivator.

Martin was just the latest in the list of Wardens she had helped get out of England and to the relative safety of France, where their Guild had once been headquartered. The Guild itself had been destroyed by the Order, whose members were better known as nocturnis, but Ivy's research (more like half-blind poking around, really) had unearthed the existence of a resistance network dedicated to keeping any remaining Guild members safe and hidden from the Order. Contacts in the area around Paris had established a secret refuge, first gathering the few Wardens who had rushed to the city upon learning of the Guild headquarters' destruction by fiery magical attack. Then they began slowly taking in the more outlying members who had gone into hiding once it became clear their kind was being systematically hunted and eliminated by the servants of the Darkness.

Safety in numbers was the rallying cry, plus the Wardens had begun to realize that with more than three-quarters of their number dead and most of the rest reported missing, they needed to join together if they were going to come up with any way to stop the Order's plans to release the Seven Demons of Darkness from their magical prisons. That being their end goal, natch. Once freed, the Seven would be able to join together and bring Eternal Darkness to the human world, killing and enslaving all of existence, feeding off the souls and lifeblood of humanity. Only one thing had ever successfully prevented that exact doom — the Guardians of the Light — and as far as anyone in the Guild could tell, those guys had gone completely MIA. No one had been able to figure out where they were, though Ivy's Paris contact assured her the search was the surviving Wardens' top priority.

Getting Martin to join in was adding one more soldier to the battle, and was the only way Ivy had found to cope with the deaths of her family. Some might call it revenge, and she was fine with that. As far as she was concerned, revenge was entirely justified. She didn't care if it was served cold, warm, or buffet style; she would have seconds, please.

Lifting her glass, Ivy sipped her malty beer and used the opportunity to glance at the area immediately surrounding their table. The pub was doing a brisk trade typical of Friday evening as people stopped for a drink and a last chat with coworkers, settled in for a night spent downing pints and cheering the football, or met up with family and friends for a brief libation before moving on to the rest of their evening's entertainments. Exactly as Ivy and her companion appeared to be doing.

A pub provided the perfect setting for Ivy and an ideal launching point for her mission to meet with Martin, go over their arrangements, and then set off on the journey that would ultimately see him settled safely with the other surviving Wardens in France. The Friday-night crowd provided additional cover as it decreased the chances that anyone would find her and Martin any more interesting than the next white, heterosexual, working-class couple in the place. Blend in and move on. She used the motto so often, she ought to break down and cross-stitch that sucker on a pillowcase.

In her copious spare time.

No one appeared to be paying them any particular attention. Even good old Teddy had turned his back to their table, so Ivy let herself relax a little, though she kept her voice low as she spoke to Martin behind a casual smile.

"So, you got the information I e-mailed, and you memorized it, which means you ought to know basically what's going to happen," she said, leaning close like an adoring lover. "We have to stay here long enough to finish our drinks like any other couple. Blending in is the most important part of this whole operation, and the more you relax, the better you'll be at it. Got it?" Martin took another long pull of his beer and nodded. The shaking in his hand appeared to be subsiding, so Ivy was going to call that a win.

"Good. A few more minutes here, and then we can leave. You're going to hold my hand, because that will look natural, but it will also insure that we don't get separated and that you keep up with me. You need to keep up. I'm as sure as I can be that nothing will go wrong, but if it does, we may need to move fast, and I can't be worried about losing you."

His Adam's apple bobbed, but he continued to meet her gaze, even though his eyes remained wide behind the lenses of his glasses. Poor guy. His life would have been a hell of a lot easier if he hadn't been born a Warden. He'd have made an excellent accountant. Or insurance actuary. Maybe a reference librarian. Something solitary and safe, with fewer soul-stealing demons to contend with.

"I'll do my best," he said, managing not to stutter through the brief statement. Ivy felt like cheering.

"That's exactly what you need to do. We'll have to walk to the tube station, which is about half a mile, but at this time of night, there ought to be enough people around to make anyone think twice about trying to waylay us. The tube will take us to King's Cross, and from there we duck into St. Pancras's and catch the Chunnel train to Coquelles. My contact will meet us there and take over getting you to Paris. Understand?"

"What? What do you mean? What contact?" Judging by his tone and expression, along with the way his grip tightened on her hand until she had to fight back a wince of discomfort, Martin did understand but wasn't very happy with what he'd just heard. Panic had once again reared its head. "You said you'd take me to safety. You, not some person I've never met. How am I supposed to trust a complete stranger?"

With her free hand, Ivy gave him a reassuring pat, then tried to pry his fingers from their death grip around hers. "Martin, I'm a complete stranger, remember? This is the first time you've ever set eyes on me."

"B-but we've talked. We've e-mailed and chatted online. We even spoke on the phone once, on the disposable mobile you told me to buy."

"Right, and I hope you have another one in your briefcase tonight, but that doesn't mean we aren't strangers. We are, but you trust me, and I promise you, you can trust my contacts in France. We've been working together for a long time, and you're far from the first person we've taken through this exact process. I can't take you all the way to Paris."

"Why not?"

Okay, now what Ivy had thought of as panic was just starting to sound like petulance. "Because," she said, striving for patience, and for the self-control not to yank her hand from under his, punishing grip or not, "you aren't the only person who needs my help. I told you there are other Wardens in hiding who want to get to safety. Helping them is my job, and I need to get them to this point the same way I got you here."

"But —"

"Besides, changing traveling companions is safer for you. This was all in the information I sent you. The stuff you said you read?"

Martin flushed, then gave a jerky nod. "Oh, right."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Hard Breaker"
by .
Copyright © 2017 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 Breaker: A Beauty and Beast Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JewelsBookPages More than 1 year ago
I am freaking in love with this book! I was glued to the pages, anxiously flipping to see what would happen next! Unfortunately, sleeping, working, ya know, life in general, happens so yay! for a holiday to finally finish this story! Baen and Ivy’s relationship wavered in the beginning, but once they both got on the same page of feelings, ah..love, true love.. (okay that line is Princess Bride, but that story rocks too!) And the finale! I’m clapping my hands with giddy glee here! Totally satisfying for the action junkie in me, AND it lived up to the hype that’s been happening over the course of the series! Conclusion: Hard Breaker is obviously my favorite book in the Gargoyle series! A well written romance, the hail! hail! the gangs all here and all that jazz moment, and a fantastic end sequence. Yeah, I’m on cloud nine! (No sugar or caffeine was involved in the writing of this review..but I here pumpkin pie calling my name...)
annie2015 More than 1 year ago
I'm sad to see this series end but I think Ms. Warren did an excellent job of wrapping everything up all while giving us a very enjoyable story. I love Ivy and Baen together. I do recommend reading the other books in the series just so you know who the characters are and what's going on/why things are how they are. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My opinions and reviews are honest and my own.
Steph_B More than 1 year ago
Great New-to-Me Author The action-packed fast moving pace of the story is what kept me tied to this story overall! Excellent writing there! Though, I found Baen and Ivy's story engaging and intriguing, their chemistry took some time to heat up for me, But by the end, it was beautiful to see how his overprotective, possessive yet patience with her combined with her sarcastic,. dive-in-first way to make them a great couple. As a new reader to Ms. Warrens work and this series I will definitely going to look into reading the rest!.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Hard Breaker by Christine Warren Gargoyles #6 In the finale of this series two gargoyles make their appearance with one getting short shrift…at least in my opinion…Ghrem makes an appearance late in the story along with his Warden instead of getting a whole book for the two of them. I was happy to find out how the series ended but have to say that the ending left me underwhelmed. The main players are gargoyle Baen who comes to Ivy’s assistance as she is assisting a Warden to safety. Other Warden-Guardian couples make appearances, fights with demons inhabiting humans occur frequently, mythology is shared, angsting and denial by Ivy is prevalent, wooing-of sorts- is done by Baen, and alpha behavior on the part of Baen and other Guardians is exhibited. There is a myth that tells of Maidens with power/magic awakening Guardians/gargoyles when they are most needed and normal calling to awaken and defend does not suffice and it says that the Warden and Guardian will mate, live a mortal life, enjoy love and happiness and then die as other guardians are called to take their places and act should they be needed at some point in the future. The assumption is that if all seven Guardians in this series survive, they manage to defeat the Darkness and imprison the seven demons then they and their Wardens will walk off into the sunset to enjoy a happily ever after. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3 Stars
ReadingInPajamas More than 1 year ago
Review: HARD BREAKER: A Beauty and Beast Novel (Gargoyles Series) by Christine Warren Publication Date: October 31, 2017 Genre: Paranormal Romance Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna Rated 4 Stars This is a fun, action packed addition to the Gargoyles Series. Danger, magic and hot sex are jam-packed into the story of the last Guardian, Baen, finding his mate. He is patient and steadfast, which helps counteract Ivy’s sarcasm. Its filled with snarky humor and life and death situations until the very end. I liked it. *Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
ReadingInPajamas More than 1 year ago
Review: HARD BREAKER: A Beauty and Beast Novel (Gargoyles Series) by Christine Warren Publication Date: October 31, 2017 Genre: Paranormal Romance Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna Rated 4 Stars This is a fun, action packed addition to the Gargoyles Series. Danger, magic and hot sex are jam-packed into the story of the last Guardian, Baen, finding his mate. He is patient and steadfast, which helps counteract Ivy’s sarcasm. Its filled with snarky humor and life and death situations until the very end. I liked it. *Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
Ivy has a gift, she can hear things happening from far away. That is how she knows her family has been killed by the Dark. Ivy joins the fight to save the world, but it is not an easy one. Baen is a Guardian and when he awakes he can’t believe his eyes. But when he sees Ivy, he knows just what he wants. Loads of drama and suspense. I really liked this read and plan to check out the other books in the series. An entertaining read.
Rainn2978 More than 1 year ago
This is the 6th book in the Gargoyles series. It can be read as a stand alone however you probably wouldn't understand the series story ARC that has been established since book 1. So I highly recommend reading the previous books first so you understand how they get to this point. All that being said, this book covers Ivy Beckett and Gargoyle warrior Baen. Ivy "heard" her uncle and cousin being killed and it forced her to make the decision to help other wardens to safety. She is just a step along that path to safety, along the lines of an underground railroad. She is helping a warden to the next part of his trip when she is attacked by the nocturnis. Now enter Baen, a gargoyle warrior who swoops in (literally LOL!) to save her life. From the start they are attracted to each other, but Ivy fights it the hardest. I truly don't want to give away the parts that happen after as I really love how this story plays out! There are twists that I never saw coming and the ending is beyond great!! I can honestly say you will love Ivy and all of her sarcasm and snarkiness! I hate to see this series end but the way it is done, ties up every loose end and lets you have a truly great happy ending! Loved it from start to finish!!
ZR1000 More than 1 year ago
Magic, gargoyles, and impending doom… This is the sixth book in the Gargoyles series that can be read as a stand-alone. This reader happened to start with this last book in the series but I was able to follow the plot fairly easily as enough historical information was provided. I do think this reading would be enhanced if you’ve followed the series. In this world, that which is the light created seven Guardian warriors to battle seven evil counterparts, these warriors in their natural form are gargoyles who sleep as stone creatures when the battle is done until awakened to fight again. The cycle is never ending for in order to have goodness in the world there must also be darkness. In the current iteration of the fight the servants of the dark have been slowly, so as not to attract attention, killing those who could defeat them and releasing the seven evil monsters one at a time. The world is in dire need of the Guardians but where are they? Most of humanity has no idea that magic really exists or that battle between the light and darkness has been going on for centuries but the American Ivy Beckett does, members of her family have been part of the Guild and she has an ability of her own, the ability to hear distant conversations, though it’s one that she doesn’t think is worth anything. After hearing the deaths of her uncle and cousin she joined the fight against evil and is in London clandestinely transporting Wardens (those who can wield magic), who are being killed off by servants of the dark, to safety in France. The Guardian Baen has been sleeping for centuries and is awakened by an attack in an alley, a woman is fighting humans taken over by the dark to protect a cowering male. He wasn’t summoned, the woman’s presence triggered his rising, she’s his Warden, his handler, his to protect and perhaps more if the old legends are true. Though Ivy knew of the Guardians having one literally drop in suddenly was a total shock, so was the fact that he’s gorgeous and sexy and presses all her feminine buttons which is an inconvenience, that he says she’s his Warden makes no sense, she cannot wield magic. All hell is breaking loose, the Guardians and their Wardens are humanity’s only hope. Amid the exciting action and suspense scenes, in the face of impending doom Ivy and Baen must sync as they navigate the steamy passionate chemistry that crackles between them. Ivy’s sassy and snarky, a tough heroine with a multitude of amusing metaphors in her thinking, she analyzes everything to death but that works for her though it drives the possessive, protective, alpha Baen nuts, he doesn’t understand her reticence to accept what is. Not everyone can readily accept giving in to the hands of fate if you’ve never even believed in it. Will Baen be able to convince Ivy to trust in what they both feel? Considering I started with the final book in the series I very much enjoyed this paranormal read, it has an intriguing storyline packed with much action and suspense, there was danger at every turn and betrayals to contend with, the fantastical world was fully developed and continued to be built upon as the story unfolded. The likable characters were often amusing, their issues were understandable, and their dialogue was intelligent, witty and heartfelt. One thing of note, there were numerous British words/phrasings that I had to look up. An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
Hard Breaker by Christine Warren is book Six in the "Gargoyles" series. This is the story of Ivy and Baen. I have read the previous book but do feel this can easily be a standalone book. Baen is a gargoyle who is assigned to protect the humans from the Darkness. When been comes in to save Ivy he is immediately drawn to her and very protective of her. Ivy has special powers that have lead to some harsh things. Baen is a strong Alpha male type with Ivy who is very independent...she had to be really. I enjoyed seeing these two come together along with the exciting story line. Not an easy book to put down for sure!
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
Hard Breaker by Christine Warren is the 6th and final book in her paranormal suspense Gargoyles series. A brief refresher: there are seven dangerous demons who have been locked in imprisonment for centuries by a spell. Should they escape, they will bring the world into darkness. Seven guardians were created to protect humans, and defeat any demons who escape; but when the world is in peace, these guardians are put into stone cold sleep only to awake when they are summoned by a warden. In Hard Breaker, Ivy Beckett, our heroine, lost her family to those demons of darkness. With many of the demons escaping and darkness threatening the world as they know it, Ivy does what she can by helping find wardens and sending them to safety. Ivy has a gift, which she feels is a curse, where she can hear voices from anywhere. When she is accosted by 3 demons, Ivy is rescued by a giant man who looks like a Gargoyle with wings. Baen, one of the seven guardians, wakes out of his slumber by a call of summoning for help. When he rescues Ivy, he senses she has magic, and is the warden summoned him. He tries to explain that she is his warden, Ivy refuses to believe she has any ability. As they find a safe house to hide from the attacks, and for Baen to find the other Guardians, a slow built romance will begin. Ivy is tough, and finds herself attracted to Baen, (who can switch to looking like a hunky gorgeous human), but she is scared, and does not believe she is a warden. Now that 6 of those powerful demons have escaped, the danger escalates and Baen and Ivy must find the other 5 Guardians to help fight the battle of their lives. It was nice to see all the other heroes from the earlier books join together to find a way to defeat these demons. When they all meet in Paris, they will learn that the 7th Guardian has already been found, long before they even awakened. He is between realms trying to make sure the 7th and last demon does not escape. What follows is an exciting adventure where the 6 Guardians, their wardens, and the other wardens that they managed to rescue will devise a plan to save the world from darkness, as the final demons is about to escape. The final battle is upon them, and they must free the last guardian who has been kidnapped. Before the final battle, Baen tries to prove to Ivy that he loves her, and she is truly his warden and mate. Ivy, feels the same about Baen, but her fears keep forcing her to pull back. When she listens to all the other wardens before her, she begins to realize that she belongs with them all, especially Baen. When things get rough and nasty, she rises up with her fellow wardens and her magic will help bring them all together as the darkness is upon them. I really did like Ivy and Baen together, and enjoyed seeing all of them for the final time. Hard Breaker reads very well as a standalone. This entire series, written so well by Christine Warren, was a fun, exciting, sexy and humorous read. Since this book ends the series, I suggest you start with the first book, Heart of Stone.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
The final battle has arrived. The seven major demons are ready to take their place in the world. And the only thing standing in their way are the seven Guardians and their mates. This installment doesn’t just bring us the next couple but one major bomb is dropped that the Guardians’ seventh brother is already on earth and has been from the very beginning. This one though focuses on Baen and Ivy. Ivy has been doing her part in this war in England where she helps the underground resistance to smuggle out Wardens and hide them from the Order. She can handle herself just fine but when a Guardian swoops in to save her she can’t help but eye him as some delicious side of hotness. What she can’t abide by though is losing her independence and doesn’t like that Fate has said that they will end up together. While Baen tries to win over his mate’s doubts and alleviates her fears, he also has his hands full saving her from one attack or another. The whole gang comes back together in Paris where they will stage their final stand and stop Armageddon. This one had all of the fun tongue-in-cheek humor that we have come to enjoy from Christine Warren’s gargoyles and their outspoken mates. It was a fun ride filled from beginning to end with action and adventure and the ride was fun to go along with. Their passion and the scene where they confess their love is so beautifully written. Loved Baen’s declaration and he handled it perfectly. Loved it. I do hope though that there might be one more book in the series about the last Guardian and his mate that we just very briefly met in this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having enjoyed this authors 'Others ' series and I was extremely happy to dive into these books about gargoyles. The idea of seven Guardians created to defeat seven Demons and keep the ultimate darkness locked up seemed like a really interesting idea. What really helped to elevate it though was the thought that these stone Guardians could be called to life by human Wardens using magic. As so often happened in the past men were considered superior and traditionally women were not trained to use magic but alas shortsighted humans underestimated just what the Guardians needed . Now it's a whole different scenario as six of the most powerful and evil beings are loose and they've slaughtered virtually all the known Wardens but somehow good has managed to bring previously unknown women ( and one man!) into contact with the sleeping Guardians and as the stakes get raised there's only one chance left to save the world. I really enjoyed the first couple of books but started to feel that the stories were getting a little similar. Now that all changed with the arrival of a female Guardian in the last book so I was very excited to read this follow up. Ivy is our heroine and she's one very determined lady! Oh she knows her odd abilities don't really help much but with the recent deaths of family members she is set on rescuing as many surviving Wardens as she can. Trouble is not all are exactly willing and when Ivy and her charge are attacked a very large and stony Baen comes to life! Baen doesn't really listen to Ivy and it's fair to say the independent woman and the protective gargoyle but heads . Still they share an attraction that is clearly destined but how does Baen convince Ivy? I did enjoy this but alas for some reason the romance didn't set me on fire. I liked the couple but I didn't really feel much passion. What was fun was seeing previous characters reappear and at times they added much needed levity which is always a plus. Yes Baen is the sixth Guardian to awaken but this book also gives us the seventh Guardian too which means the series has ended. If I think about it that's probably for the best as keeping it fresh and appealing is difficult to do when the basic premise is always the same. So I applaud the author for calling time and look forward to what else her imagination might dream up next. This voluntary review is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
KindleKat64 More than 1 year ago
This series is just so good. I've enjoyed it up until this point and I think this is one of my faves. The story is so well written and with such fantastical descriptiveness it almost feels real. I love Baen & Ivy as a couple. Baen is well, everything a hero should be. He may be a tough guy but with Ivy he is sweet and gentle. I really like Ivy too, she is so down to earth and sweet. The storyline is what fuels this book and it is amazing and you should really check it out as it is different from other PNR's out there. I really liked it!!!!
MBurton More than 1 year ago
This was an intriguing read for me. The idea of a gargoyle that comes to life and mates with a human was enough to snag my attention and had me wanting to read this series. I didn't start with book one. I had read book 5 when it got released at the beginning of the year. The overall series plot was good. It was interesting and kept my attention, but I will admit that having the heroine in book 5 as the gargoyle threw me a bit. I do love a woman with power, but I like for her to have an equal as a mate. I admit, I loved this book more having Baen as the Gargoyle. He fit the idea of a Gargoyle to me. He was a big, strong and behaved more like a military man. His protectiveness towards Ivy was appealing. His acceptance of her as his mate was absolute. Then seeing him commiserate with his "brothers" over the stubborn female was entertaining. Add in the way the author brought all the Gargoyles and their mates together to battle the ultimate evil and I was riveted to this story. I am a bit confused to if this is the final in the series. The evil is conquered but the book ended abruptly. No epilogue. I'm not sure if the author has something planned for their future or if that really is the end. ARC provided by NetGalley.
gigiluvsbooks2 More than 1 year ago
From New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren comes the sixth book in her red-hot romance series in which even the most beastly gargoyle is able to win the heart of a beautiful human woman. Ivy Beckett has a special gift. She can hear voices, feel events, and receive messages from great distances. Which is also a curse. The moment her family is killed by the servants of the Darkness, she knows it. And the only way to fight these evil forces is to align her powers with a Guardian. A legendary warrior of stone who strikes fear in her heart―and fire in her soul… Baen is a fierce and powerful gargoyle who has sworn to protect all humans from the Darkness. But when this mighty winged warrior swoops down to rescue Ivy from the jaws of death, he is drawn into a battle that is more dangerous―and more intimate―than he ever bargained for. The beautiful, gifted Ivy touches something deep within him, an all-consuming passion that puts both their lives at risk. Can he conquer the armies of evil itself . . . without losing the woman he loves? Review: This was fun to read! I love a book with some good, snarky dialogue, which was in this book. Besides the snarky I really enjoyed Ivy and Baen. I loved the tension between Ivy not believing she is Baen's mate and him being super patient with her. He also enlists the help of the others to win her over, which was very smart of him. As a couple they were fun and sexy and in my opinion the best part of the book. Having read only the last three books, I think the Author does a good job of not making the reader feel lost if they are reading out of order. Plus, all the others from previous books are present in this book, so you got to know them a little also. The story line continues through all the books as the Guardians continue to wake up and fight the rising evil. 4Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
carvanz More than 1 year ago
This is a fast paced, action filled read that covers enough ground from the previous books that it can be read as a stand alone. I do think I would’ve enjoyed it more had I read them first however. Ivy intrigued me with her gift of being able to hear what was going on at certain points and times. She is a strong heroine and extremely independent. The fact that she is a Warden and never knew is not something she accepts easily. Nor is the fact that she’s the mate of Baen – a gargoyle come to live in order to help fight the darkness. I loved Baen and his overall need to protect Ivy and claim her as his mate as she was definitely his Warden. Even if she fought it. While I enjoyed a lot of this book, I struggled with Ivy’s inner musings. Sometimes they were just so juvenile and began to wear on my nerves. I found myself skimming a lot of her thoughts. Overall, I enjoyed it and wonder if I wouldn’t enjoy the previous books. I do think this will be the perfect read for someone who won’t mind Ivy. I definitely think this was a case of “it’s me, not the book”. This is an honest review of an advanced copy provided by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press Dual POV Safe
Monnie777 More than 1 year ago
I give this 4 1/2 stars only because I don't know if this is the last book in the series or not. If it is then I wasn't happy with the ending and if it's not then I can't wait for the next book. A lot does happen in this book and I loved seeing all the Guardians together in this book. I would recommend reading all the books before this one. I would not consider this book a standalone. There is love, friendship, family, fighting evil, humor and some extra all rolled into this book. It was great addition to the series and I really hope it wasn't the last one. *Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this for my honest opinion*
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
Hard Breaker is book six in the Gargoyles series by Christine Warren. I have loved this series since the beginning. I admit, some books I loved more than others, some I felt the connection between the characters more than others. But every one stole my heart as each couple both bonded as mates and stormed towards an epic battle against the darkness. In this book we meet Ivy Beckett. She had a vague understanding of the world of Guardians and Wardens fighting to protect the world against the sinister demonic darkness. But she was never sure how much of it was in her Uncle’s imagination or how much of it was real, until both her Uncle and cousin were killed. Ivy is a Clairaudient, she can hear events as they happen, sort of like a vision, just without actually seeing it. This is exactly how she knew that her Uncle had been killed, and exactly how they died. After that she plunged herself into the world she knew very little of, and worked to save the Wardens from certain death by getting them to safety in a sort of underground they had devised. If you have read any of this series, then you know what comes next. Ivy gets herself into a situation that she would not survive, until a newly awakened Gargoyle swoops in to save her. Meet Baen, the sixth Gargoyle to awaken upon hearing the cries of Ivy. Baen easily accepts the fact that Ivy is both his Warden and his destined mate. Ivy not so much. First of all, Ivy doesn’t consider her Clairaudience a magical talent. All Wardens have a talent. And when she learns of the legends of the maidens who magically awakened the Gargoyles and became their mates, she is not on board with it. To have her significant other chosen by fate, not by her own choice, doesn’t sit easily with her. Together, these two are thrust into the chaos as they are attacked several times just in the first forty eight hours since Baen awakened, at the same time, struggling with their new found connection. But let me tell you that Baen did not lack in his ability to make me swoon. That man, er, Gargoyle, was sex on a stick, or should I say rock? He knew exactly what he wanted, and he wanted Ivy. “Baen might be immune to magic and toughened to the blows of his enemies, but this little human possessed the power to destroy him with a single gesture. The knowledge of it humbled him and made him determined to please her so thoroughly she would never wish to be parted from him.” This is the final book in this series and we finally get to see all of our beloved characters united for one epic battle against the demons of the darkness. Be prepared for some surprises as well. “I will not cease to love you for as long as there is Light in the universe. Because you are my Light, and everything aside from you fades into insignificance.” I suppose you could read this as a stand alone. There is plenty of information given for you to jump in. But I do hope you’ll take a look at the whole series if you haven’t already. If you enjoy sexy Gargoyles, then I really believe that you’ll love this series as much as I have. “They shared one heart and one breath and that was all they needed to survive. Each other.”
closkot More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!! ***I choose what I read and review based on what intrigues me!! Yes, I received a review copy of this book, but no one tells me what to think, feel, or write about any book! The cover is great and goes with the rest of the series! This is the 6th book in the series, and it is for adults only due to the steamy content and violence. I highly recommend reading all the books in order because this is the culmination of the series, and everything has led up to this book. Wow! So many things I didn’t see coming, and it was a fantastic adventure. Ivy and Baen as well as some others are new to the scene in this book, and they are all kicking Darkness’ butt. This whole book rocked like a new Guardian waking up! I don’t want to give anything away, but you will not want to put this book down. I love all the action, the love, and the snarky banter between the characters. This is a great book. Christine told a fantastic story that you feel you are going through. Christine is one of my favorite authors, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! I highly recommend to any paranormal romance fans who loves gargoyles, romance, good vs evil battles, and so much more!