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Heart of Stone: A Beauty and Beast Novel
     

Heart of Stone: A Beauty and Beast Novel

4.1 70
by Christine Warren
 

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The first book in New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren sexy Gargoyle series about a beautiful young woman who uncovers a strong, stoic beast—who turns out to be the man of her dreams…

Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself, despite her psychic abilities. As museum docent and gift-shop

Overview

The first book in New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren sexy Gargoyle series about a beautiful young woman who uncovers a strong, stoic beast—who turns out to be the man of her dreams…

Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself, despite her psychic abilities. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people—and her powers in check—while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves.
But when a thousand-year-old statue, complete with fangs and wings comes to life, how is Ella supposed to react? She’s never seen anyone more hard-bodied, deadly…or disastrously desirous than the male who now stands before her.

Kees is not your ordinary gargoyle. He is a Guardian, sworn to protect humans from danger. But when a stunning human triggers his reawakening, the powerful lust and urge to protect this woman rears from the depths of his soul. As Kees’s heart slowly opens to his beauty, he and Ella must stand together in order to fight the evil that threatens the world…

“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 #2: Stone Cold Lover
Book #3: Hard as a Rock
Book #4: Rocked by Love
Book #5: Hard to Handle

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
Warren (Hungry Like a Wolf) launches a series with this solid paranormal romance. After museum docent Ella Harrow is accosted by a sleazy philanthropist, she teasingly chides a grotesque gargoyle statue for not protecting her. It springs to life, startling them both. Kees, a member of the Guild of Wardens, is puzzled to be woken from his magical slumber by a human with untrained magical abilities. Ella is drawn to Kees’s gorgeous new form as he explains the danger of the seven demons of the Dark, but problems quickly overshadow lust: the police search for the missing statue, Kees encounters dead ends in finding his team, and inexplicable events foreshadow encroaching evil. The sexual attraction between Kees and Ella is palpable, and readers will love watching the logical Kees fight the concept of emotions as Ella blossoms from a guilt-laden hermit into a gutsy heroine. Despite some repetition, this is a clever, wry tale that bodes well for future installments. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

“Warren is back with another sexy, sassy romp, focusing this time on the oh-so-sensuous Rafael De Santos. As always, there is a great deal of humor, sizzling sex and off-the-wall adventure in Warren's Others series, which makes for a truly lively, amusing read.” —RT Book Reviews on Drive Me Wild

“Christine Warren sets the pages ablaze once again with Drive Me Wild!” —Joyfully Reviewed on Drive Me Wild

“Warren has made a name for herself in the world of paranormal romance. She expertly mixes werewolves, vampires and faeries to create another winning novel in The Others series. Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale showcases Warren's talents for creating consistent characters with strong voices and placing them in a fantastical world.” —RT Book Reviews on Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale is a delightful read from the first word to the last. Christine Warren has created two amazing characters, given them an incredible plot and laced the story with witty conversations, lots of snark and a hefty portion of danger.” —Single Titles on Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale

“Christine Warren merges lust, laughter and intrigue magnificently in her latest installment of The Others. Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale is a fun and fast faerie adventure” —Joyfully Reviewed on Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale

“Excitement, passion, mystery, characters who thoroughly captivate, and a satisfying romance make [it] a must read.” —Romance Reviews Today on Black Magic Woman

“Will capture your senses and ensnare your imagination. Another great novel from Christine Warren.” —Single Titles on Black Magic Woman

Sexy action-packed romance!” —Joyfully Reviewed on Black Magic Woman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466841796
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
12/31/2013
Series:
Gargoyles Series , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
25,005
File size:
684 KB

Read an Excerpt

Heart of Stone


By Christine Warren

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2014 Christine Warren
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-4179-6


CHAPTER 1

Ella Harrow fully supported the notion that people with excessive amounts of money should donate large sums of it to worthy causes, and she counted her employer — the Vancouver Museum of Art and History — as among the worthiest. She just wished the donors would hand over the cash without wanting to talk to her first.

Five minutes after the last guest of the Friday evening fund-raising gala had exited the front doors of Georgia House, the historic building that housed the main museum gallery, Ella gave in to the pressure she'd felt building all through the evening. She rolled her eyes, blew a raspberry, and thumbed her nose simultaneously. It was childish of her, but satisfying.

Béatrice Boucher, the only other staff member still present, said, "Now, Ella, tell me how you really feel about these little events."

Ella shot her boss a narrow-eyed glare. "They're my favorites, Bea. Really."

Drinking wine and nibbling canapés might not sound like a year in a Stalinist gulag, but having to do it in the midst of five hundred elegantly dressed strangers while maintaining a polite smile in the face of their inane conversations and pretending to laugh at their lame jokes ranked even worse in Ella's mind. She'd rather volunteer for the hard labor.

"I never would have guessed," Bea said, locking the heavy antique entrance doors. After rattling the knobs once to check the bolts, she turned to Ella and waved her hands in a shooing motion. "Fly. Be free. You've done your penance for this fiscal quarter. I'll hustle the caterers out through the kitchens and lock up that side. You can sneak out the garden gate the way you usually do and lock the terrace doors on your way out."

"You sure?"

"Don't look a gift horse, mon amie. Run while you can, before I come up with some new programs to spend all those lovely donations on and put you back to work."

"I'm already halfway home."

Ella listened to her friend and colleague's laughter follow her through the hall and into the historic mansion's stately ballroom, which now housed an impressive collection of paintings, antique furniture, and historic objets d'art. She'd worked for the assistant curator for more than two years now, and Bea knew her well enough to understand that when Ella said she hated crowds and that making small talk with strangers gave her hives, she wasn't kidding.

She scratched absently at her arms beneath her embellished cardigan — her halfhearted nod to the event's formal dress code — and stepped out into the crisp night air. Pausing on the paving stones, she took a moment to savor the silence. The solitude. For the first time in hours, her nerves began to unwind.

For some people, Ella knew, shyness made interacting with strangers an uncomfortable and embarrassing experience, but Ella wasn't shy; she was terrified. Crowds scared her — more than spiders, more than the threat of global war, more than the boogeyman.

With people all around her, she could never predict what might happen, and the constant tension of holding on to her self-control made her head pound and her nerves fray. Being an antisocial hermit just made life easier.

Unfortunately, the hermit gig didn't pay much, and Ella was addicted to living indoors and eating regularly, so she had to work, which meant dealing with people on a daily basis. At the museum at least, most of the people she met were on their best behavior, and being surrounded by the art made the unwelcome company almost bearable. When she gave tours as a docent, she could concentrate on her speech and on the works she pointed out to visitors to the collection; when managing the gift shop, she could smile politely and use professionalism to keep people at bay.

Most days, things went perfectly smoothly. It was only at times like this, when she had to deal with a special event and potential donors, that Ella ended her day feeling as if she'd been dragged behind a car over a field of broken glass.

A few minutes of peace, she told herself. A few minutes of quiet and isolation, and she'd be fine again. The ache in her head would ease. She'd even be able to face the bus ride home; at this hour, it wouldn't be crowded, and in twenty minutes, she could lock the door of her apartment and wallow in her Fortress of Solitude.

Bliss.

Taking a deep breath, Ella drew in the autumnal scent of drying leaves and cool breezes. Her head fell back as she closed her eyes and rolled her shoulders against the tension knotted there. She'd take a minute, just a minute, to herself on the ballroom terrace, her favorite spot in the entire museum, before she locked up and headed home. Just a minute to collect herself, to shore up her defenses for the short trip home.

The lighting out here was dim, especially with the caterer's lamps removed and the museum shut down for the night. A full moon partially obscured by drifting clouds made it possible to see, but somehow the silvery sheen it cast only made the quiet of the gardens deeper and reminded Ella of the lateness of the hour. She enjoyed these hours of the night, enjoyed the play of the moonlight on the artful plantings and graceful sculptures scattered through the museum garden.

She enjoyed that she'd survived the ordeal of the party and wouldn't have to do anything else so annoying for at least another three months. Until, as Bea had hinted, the next fiscal quarter.

"I think this is the first time I've seen you alone all evening, Ella."

Stifling a shriek, she clenched her fists and spun around.

She also jumped, the ankle straps of her black Mary Janes the only things keeping her from literally coming out of her shoes. Adrenaline rushed through her, making her heart pound in her ears and her hands come up defensively. She focused and caught sight of the person whose words had just scared her witless.

Patrick Stanley.

She should have recognized the voice. Smooth and slick, it simultaneously sent shivers racing across her skin and raised the hairs on the back of her neck. Stanley was rich, handsome, and sophisticated, one of the most sought after bachelors in British Columbia, and a third-generation patron of the museum. He had a movie star's smile and the kind of charisma that drew people to him like lemmings to a cliff face.

He also creeped Ella the hell out, especially when she caught him repeatedly staring at her the way he'd been doing all evening. She'd thought he left with the other guests. She'd thought she could relax.

"Mr. Stanley. You startled me," she managed after a minute, once her vocal cords had unclenched and restored her power of speech. "I had no idea anyone was still here. The event ended almost an hour ago."

Stanley stood less than ten feet away on the darkened terrace, which was about twenty feet too close for Ella's comfort. Normally, strangers couldn't get that near her without her sensing their presence, especially the ones who made her uncomfortable. She'd gotten very good at being difficult to surprise.

"I'm aware, but I found that there were still some things around here tonight for me to admire." He ambled toward her, his hands buried in the pockets of his tailored trousers and his attention fixed uncomfortably on her neckline.

Ella frowned. She'd worn a simple black sheath with a high neck, a modest hem, and the sparkly cardigan over the top. She'd even paired the outfit with dark hose, which she normally loathed, but she knew there wasn't an inch of exposed skin below her hyoid bone for him to look at. That made the man's fixation on her even more disturbing, somehow.

She had met Stanley for the first time almost two years ago, shortly after she started working at the museum. He'd come out of a meeting with Bea and the director, Bea's boss, just as Ella was ending a tour in the mansion's front hall.

When Ella's guests had scattered, Bea waved her over and introduced her to both Dr. Maurice Lefavreau and one of the museum's greatest benefactors. Even with her mental shields still up from interacting with the tour group, something about Stanley had slipped through Ella's defenses and convinced her that this was a man she'd much prefer to keep at the greatest possible distance in the future.

Until tonight, she thought she'd been doing a pretty good job of it.

Suppressing the slight, irrational discomfort the man's presence always inspired, she lifted her chin and pasted on her best professional smile — the one with no actual warmth anywhere near it.

"We do have a collection to be proud of," she remarked distantly, "and the new exhibit of Légaré landscapes is particularly worth an extended study. You should make it a point to come back on another day. The natural light does make quite a difference to the viewing."

Turning, Ella moved toward the French doors, gesturing for him to join her. "Allow me to walk you to the front, Mr. Stanley. I believe Dr. Boucher has already locked the doors, but I'd be happy to let you out."

She made a concerted effort to keep Stanley in her vision, but the man seemed more amused by her tactics than inclined to play along with her. He stood where he was until she drew even with him; then with a speed she hadn't anticipated, his hand darted out and grabbed her arm. He jerked her to a stop, nearly upsetting her balance.

"Don't be in such a hurry, Ella," he purred, holding her closely enough that she could feel the clammy heat of his breath against her cheek. "It's a beautiful night. Surely you can spare a few minutes to enjoy it. With me."

Her stomach heaved.

At the best of times, Ella avoided touching strangers. Even when she kept her guard up, sometimes she could sense things about them. Right now, she sensed a sickly sort of malevolence that made her want a swift escape and a long, hot shower.

Frozen like a field mouse facing down a hungry fox, she stared into Stanley's handsome features and fought not to let the panic overwhelm her. This was another of the reasons why she worked so hard to keep people at a distance, because she could never tell when the slightest touch would rip open her senses and let the buffeting whirlwinds of the unnatural energy that surrounded her threaten to send her spinning into the eye of the storm.

And when Ella got swept into the eye, very scary things happened.

Dizziness threatened, but Ella ruthlessly pushed it back. She blinked to clear her vision and concentrated hard on seeing only the stark reality of the objects around her — Stanley's intense, predatory stare; the majestic old elm tree that overhung the space between the garden stairs; the protective, crouching presence of the medieval gargoyle statue looming in the background.

A hysterical laugh bubbled up in her throat when Ella realized that if that ancient French sculptor had really wanted to scare people, he would have carved a statue that looked less like a demonic guardian and more like a feckless, morally bankrupt billionaire. No monster had ever scared her the way this human man was doing.

Swallowing hard, Ella forced back the nausea and fought for control. Her head spun and her ears buzzed with the low drone of a thousand bees, signs that she'd let her guard down.

She could tell herself that she couldn't have known she wasn't alone out here, that the museum was closed, and that Patrick Stanley had no business lurking in the shadows when his invitation to Georgia House had expired the minute the fundraising event ended. None of that, however, did her any good.

Pulses of restless energy battered at her weakened barriers, but she refused to let them overwhelm her. If they did, not only would she be unable to fend off Stanley's advances, but she'd also find herself barely able to function for days, if not weeks, to come.

And that wasn't even considering what other things might happen here in this place full of history and artifacts. Old things, especially old things full of talent and beauty, held power of their own, and they could be destroyed if she was so weak as to lose control. If she couldn't hang on, those same things could feed the madness.

Ella couldn't let that happen.

Frantically, she reinforced her defenses, plugging hole after hole that the black, poisonous energy rolling off Stanley tried to slip through. She could only be grateful that the cardigan she wore had kept his skin from touching hers. If it hadn't, she'd be halfway to comatose by now.

"Mr. Stanley, I'm not sure what you're suggesting, but it's very late, and the museum is closed." Her voice sounded more like a tortured croak than a confident dismissal, but she plunged ahead regardless. "Dr. Boucher and I have each worked a very long day, and I, for one, would like to return home now. Please let me go."

Stanley's eyes, pale blue and cold, hardened along with his grip. His fingers dug into the flesh of her upper arm with enough force to leave bruises. "I'm sure Dr. Boucher would be the first to tell you that alienating one of this museum's largest benefactors is a poor way to do your job, Ella, my sweet. But even if she were shortsighted enough not to, I'm more than happy to correct her oversight."

His other hand shot up and curled around her throat, nearly cutting off her air supply. What his fingers couldn't quite accomplish, his mouth did. It attacked hers with brutal force, crushing her lips back against her teeth until she tasted blood.

Then she tasted fury.

For an instant, her control wavered. The unmuffled touch of this man's tainted skin on hers opened her up to the most intense surge of murky energy, and she could feel the dark, vicious nature of him trying to infiltrate her defenses.

Part of her — that dark, secret part she kept imprisoned behind thick stone walls and heavy steel doors — wanted her to just let go, to stop fighting so hard to control the strange ability she'd always both feared and hated, to just let whatever wanted to happen, happen. No one would blame her. She was only defending herself.

As she felt the familiar, stomach-churning sensation of the energy welling up under her skin, she toyed with letting go, letting it not just bubble to the surface, but explode. The power inside her would stop Stanley in his tracks.

It might also stop him. Permanently.

The temptation of it shook her. Memories of what happened the last time she'd given in to the temptation flooded her. She recalled what it meant to stop fighting, when she'd been just a child and the energy battering at her had left her feeling overwhelmed, alone and hopeless, a freak of nature with a decidedly unnatural talent.

The power crawled over her skin, and she fought to pull it back. She couldn't let that happen again.

Without warning, Stanley jerked away, releasing her mouth and leaving her with the taste of her own blood in her mouth.

His hand shifted on her throat, forcing her head up, angling it to the side until the moonlight caught and illuminated her features. His eyes glittered with lust and fury.

And something else, something that frightened Ella more than even the assault. It twisted his lips and carved lines into the surface handsomeness of his features, transforming them into a macabre mask of evil.

He stared at her for a disconcerting moment, tracing each line and expression on her face. Speculation lit his eyes, along with a dark, flickering flame Ella's instincts immediately identified as madness.

"Well, well, aren't you a surprise, little Ella." His voice hissed in the darkness, soft and sharp and unctuous. "I never would have guessed you might have such ... hidden depths, my dear. I see now that I'm going to have to get to know you a great deal better."

Her stomach churned, and her senses rioted in protest.

The sharp bite of bile rising into her throat brought Ella back to reality. The bitter taste reminded her that she had made herself strong enough to fight back the electric energy crawling along her skin. And if she could withstand that siege on her control, she could certainly break free from one lecherous man's clumsy attack.

Without resorting to anything scarier than a little judicious violence.

Stanley gripped her around her left upper arm and her throat, leaving her right hand conveniently free. She knew attempting to break his grip would be impossible; he was a good seven inches taller and fifty pounds heavier than she was, but her maneuver of choice wouldn't require strength, just accuracy and the element of surprise.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Heart of Stone by Christine Warren. Copyright © 2014 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.

Meet 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.

 

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Heart of Stone 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
Okay, when I saw this on NetGalley, I absolutely had to grab it. After all, gargoyles? Anyone who reads my non-review posts knows I write about gargoyles, so the chance to see someone else’s take on them? Absolutely! And man, oh man, am I glad I did. I absolutely LOVED this book. Ella has had powers most of her life, but has locked them away, terrified of what might happen if she lets them free (with good reason she thinks). One night, after a slimy patron of the museum she works at assaults her and a shadowy figure does attack her, the gargoyle statue she’s always been attracted to (not like that, peeps, just…drawn to a nice piece of statuary) suddenly comes to life. Yeah, she definitely handled it better than I would have. I would have fainted. Kees has been sleeping for centuries, waiting to be called to fight the Seven (uber-demons that he and his 6 brethren were called into the world to fight) when he is somehow awakened. He searches for his Warden, the one who’s supposed to be able to call on him, only to discover that the Guild, a group of mages who’ve helped protect the world from demon-kind, is on the run and nearly obliterated. Kees was interesting. He’s capable of wearing a human face so he’s not noticed as anything more than a super-hot guy. I loved the way Ella began moving past the monster she saw him as originally, to the point where she doesn’t even consciously notice as he changes between human and gargoyle forms. Kees so believed himself incapable of feeling things like a human did, sneering at the notion, and then finds himself falling in love with one (a Warden-in-training, but a human nonetheless). He’s driven to protect by his very nature, yet he accepts when necessary the need for Ella to protect herself. These two made for a fantastic couple as they learned what they needed to do to survive. The climactic battle at the end was very well done and I flipped pages on my phone app as fast as I could to see how it all worked out. It was definitely worth the time (and sleep I surrendered) to read this book. And yes, there is sex. Hot, steamy sex. Not too much of it, but wowser, when they popped…erm…yeah. Yum. The only problem with this book? I have to wait until AUGUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for the next one. Well, hopefully sooner than that if it goes up on NetGalley and St. Martins will grant me access to read it. Hehe. SO glad I read this and will have to check out her other books (she has a long-running “Others” series). I was enchanted enough by her and her book that I contacted her for an interview. I will be posting that as soon as I get it back from her! Thank you, Ms. Warren, and thank you St. Martin’s! Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intriguing story on gargoyles and a smart female lead. Definitely leaves you eagerly anticipating the next in the series. Hot physical interactions between the lead characters but never made me feel uncomfortable. The love and affection between the two was great to watch develop.
Shadowplay4u More than 1 year ago
What an exhilarating and captivating ride! I truly enjoyed every minute of it. The weaving of the magic and the intensely paranormal plot was breathtaking to watch as it unfolded. Watching as the world they knew not only change right before their eyes but transform into something even better yet more terrifying than their wildest dreams was the best part of all. I love when stories reveal the unexpected yet perfect balance of excitement, anticipation, and revelation. This is a beautiful story that I couldn’t get enough of, and I hope that it continues to develop into something utterly amazing! It has so much raw potential that is just waiting to burst at the seams. Ella has a past that she would rather forget, so she works hard to make her present and future as safe as possible. She keeps her world small yet challenging while keeping certain safeguards in place. All of her best laid plans are blown away with the dust of an impossible reality that forces itself upon her. While she has no choice but to be swap along in its path, she refuses to go silently or submissively. With each step she takes and each question she is forced to face, she will find that while her word of yesterday has been devastated beyond repair, her future never looked brighter. When faced with a terrifying and unknown future, will Ella find the courage she needs to become who she was always mean to be, or will she shrink away in horror and pray that she lives another day while running away from all that she has been forced to see? I have to admit that I absolutely loved watching Ella slow but steady progression from a quiet and backward woman to one who was ready to face the horrors that the world threw at her. The life that she knew as suddenly over, and yet she didn’t have to face this change alone. She found another who not only filled the void in her soul, but who also challenged and shaped her into who she was born to be. Kees was beyond frightening and menacing at their first meeting, and yet she found herself still drawn to him in a most unusual way. It was her heart that recognized him before she did. Even while he denied their deep yet incomprehensible connection for as long as possible, neither one of them could let the other go. Their stubbornness proved to be their greatest asset that showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that only together could they ever hope to battle the coming evil. Christine Warren has stolen my heart with this incredibly exquisite story of heartfelt determination, unfailing devotion, and steadfast love. I look forward to reading more from this series as I have fallen in love with both the wonderful characters and the spell-binding storyline. This is one series that you won’t be able to put down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty decent. I've never given thought to a gargoyle shifter. But with 237pgs. it's worth reading the second book and so on.
NCReaderGirl More than 1 year ago
The world is not what we might think, there’s always something hiding in the shadows – have you ever had that sense of Déjà vu? My goodness happens all the time, I find myself in that situation where I feel as if I’ve been there, done that, and I spend my time trying to figure it out – but what if that sense of Déjà vu was about a person and you just had this creepy feeling about them and just could not place it.  Seems that the world may hide secrets we as race of humans cannot even begin to fathom, that maybe those secret worlds play out right under our noses.  As an avid reader I am always wondering in the back of my mind how true Vampire, Archangel, Mythology, and other paranormal stories are? Are they playing out right under our noses in some secret world?  Hmmm makes you think does it not? Ella Harrow is what she would consider a plain Jane – a woman of no real interest, just trying to live her life as it were hiding in society.  Yet she has a secret – something hidden deep in her DNA – magic she is bound and determined to keep vaulted inside until one fateful night when she somehow awakens Kees, a gargoyle who lives on the patio at the art museum she works at…what? Wait a minute! She thinks to herself, how in the world did this happen?  Well simple, magic.  From the moment she awakens Kees she is thrust into a battle between good and evil, magic and demons that she desperately is trying to figure out where she fits in.  At the same time this man/gargoyle that has placed himself in her life has reawakened something within her, something she did not feel she deserved.  She’s not only harboring her Magic deep within, but she is also harboring a secret from the past that she feels she ought to be punished for.   An intriguing read for sure, from the moment I opened this book I knew I was in the whirlwind of a read -  a romance unlike the many I’ve read before.  Then again I have read a lot of variations of the story, Man is monster, meets plain Jane woman who is not at all what she envisions herself to be, man and woman are thrust into a situation of high intensity that forces them together and low and behold man/beast and woman fall in love.  It’s a twist on the Beauty and the Beast story told in similar variation fashion.  Sometimes the author nails it as is done with the JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series, or it’s done somewhat ok like in the PC Cast Goddess books, or it’s done mediocre in indie books.  I would place Heart of Stone somewhere between JR Ward and PC Cast – the author developed the story well, the characters were developed to the point needed in the story with more emphasis placed on our heroin Ella as it should have been.  The story itself was a bit predictable and done time and time again, like most of these books the story itself culminates to an all-out “boss fight” if you will in the last two chapters of the book – you spend the entire book wondering where the story is going and BAM there it is right in front of you…and then the last part of the book is the man committing himself to the woman somehow giving up everything he’s known or vice versa the woman giving everything up for the man she falls for…as unrealistic as that is, it is a novel and not real life. Three out of Five Stars for Heart of Stone something I’ll recommend for someone looking for a light read. **I was presented a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
mrsgodiva More than 1 year ago
tigerlilly_liz More than 1 year ago
~ 2.5 Heart of Stone Stars ~ Heart of Stone is book one in the Gargoyles series by Christine Warren. I was at the bookstore browsing and the blurb caught my attention, so I picked this book up on a whim. I’ve read The Others series by Christine Warren before and enjoyed the books. Unfortunately, Heart of Stone just didn’t do it for me. The whole book was slow and dragged along. The characters where not memorable nor did they impress me. I was also hoping for some great action/battle scenes, since the author did some good build up, but they where uninspiring. Ella Harrow our heroine, was boring. She had this kick as ability/gift, but she never developed into a strong enough women with the confidence in herself or her ability. Kees our hero came off cold, overbearing, and I never really warmed up to him. He was grumpy and dictatorial. I guess for a gargoyle made out of stone this is what happens. The romance between our hero and heroine never felt complete to me. Heart of Stone was not the book for me. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you.  *Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my own consumption. I was not given any type of copy for a review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.
AVoraciousReadr More than 1 year ago
*Book source ~ NetGalley Ella Harrow has a terrible secret she’s kept since she was twelve. But forget the past. She has another secret in the present that she doesn’t realize is putting her in very real danger. Until one night when she’s attacked at the museum where she works and she wakes a Guardian named Kees. She freaks out, not so much from the attack, but from the fact that the gargoyle statue has come to life and defended her. Has she lost her mind? Is she hallucinating? Has she been knocked out and this is just a dream? What the hell is going on? I’ve been reading paranormal books for quite a few years now and while I love vampires and shifters I do love to read about something different every once in awhile. Gargoyles. Now, that’s different. Though technically Kees is a Guardian and not a gargoyle even though he has fangs, claws, horns, skin like stone and wings. Once out of his slumber he can change to look more human and then back to his Guardian form at will. He has no magic of his own, but he’s made from magic so he’s extremely hard to kill. Good thing because he and his six brother Guardians are what keep the Seven from overrunning the Earth and destroying all of mankind. But something terrible has been happening while he and his brothers slumber and it’s up to Kees and Ella to find and wake the other Guardians, and stay alive while being pursued by vile creatures, before all is lost. I love this new world and the people who inhabit it. Kees is a hunk of nommy badassness and Ella is spunky and smart. It’s fast, funny, hot, interesting and full of magic and danger. Ella’s friend Fil (Felicity) is introduced and I like her. Good thing since she’s in the next book. I look forward to reading more about this world.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read! The way the author writes, the lines of dialogue she comes with are unique, funny, and original. The female character, Ella, is spunky and entertaining. Ella has hidden her magic even from herself, because she fears that it killed people she loved when she was younger. The problem with holding it in is that the longer she holds it in, the harder it is to keep it in and it explodes out of her. When she meets Kees she is forced to realize that the magic is part of who she is and that she needs to understand it in order to control it. She learns that it isn't something she should fear, but embrace. The male character is a brooding and passionate partner for Ella. He doesn't understand the little human and he doesn't understand his draw to her. He fights his attraction to her, pushing her away, thinking that he has to be nonemotional in order to fight the Darkness. But as the story progresses, he learns that she is his mate and that together they are stronger. I enjoyed the plot and the conflict was well developed. I didn't see all of the bad guys coming (one was an obvious giveaway), some were a nice surprise. The love story wasn't over done and felt realistic (not like some romances where you feel like things are rushed). I definitely look forward to reading more from this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this book, it felt like a flashback from my childhood from watching Disney's Gargoyles. Every time Kees opened his mouth I swear I heard Keith David's voice, and Ella keep calling Kees "Big guy" just like Elisa Maza did to Goliath, so that did not help. I was even waiting to hear someone say jalapeno as a cuss word. It was so much fun to read this story, I can't wait to read the others in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your time or money. This book reads like a 16 year old wrote. I deserve my money back.
SongBirdJB More than 1 year ago
I am usually not into the whole witchy syfy stuff but I love this series.
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LTBC More than 1 year ago
I'm ready for the next following story of the brothers. Want to know how they all do. Enjoyed this book.
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