After enjoying my introduction to the Sentinel World and another wonderful series by this author in Born in Blood, I was eager to continue with the series and read about another Sentinel’s story. I like the blend of paranormal, intrigue action, and passion in these stories. This second book was no exception.
I’m not sure about the rest of the series, but these two definitely need to be read in order. Both the hero, Fane, and the heroine, Serra, were introduced as minor characters in the previous book. The events of this book begin nearly as soon as the last one finished and the beginning of this one is sparked from that one both the character arcs and some ongoing series arcs.
The story begins with Fane, the lethal Guardian Sentinel, at a loss after the high born he guarded for so many years begins her new life with her husband Guardian Sentinel. He is decided that he needs to return to the Sentinel training role he had before and leave behind the woman he dreams about and loves. In his mind, he is giving her up for her own good as his life is dangerous and takes him away a lot, but in Serra’s mind, Fane is just issuing one more crushing rejection after she has put herself out there for him over and over. This time, really was the last time. No more. She’s done letting Fane, intentionally or not, stomp on her heart. She will move on even if it kills her.
In the meantime, a shadowy secretive rogue high born brings Serra too him by a compulsion and issues her an ultimatum. Help him find his abducted child or he will allow the poison he has put inside her body to activate and kill her. Any attempt to seek help from her fellow Valhalla highborns or Sentinels will result in the same. He is desperate and there is more at stake than just his missing child. Unfortunately, the rogue doesn’t anticipate that Serra has a very dangerous protector who tracked her and will be staying right there with her until the rogue releases her from the poison. Serra is glad to have Fane there, but is determined to see his arrival to aid her as anything, but love. Fane knew the moment that Serra disappeared that he had made a huge mistake. How could he have even thought about separating from her? Serra is his- his to protect, his to care for and his to love- and the rogue will find that his days are numbered as soon as Serra is able to find the little girl with her psychic ability. Meanwhile, others and their activities move forward with their own plans that are on course for Armageddon if they are not stopped.
This one presented so many actions and threads to keep my mind busy and my attention that I couldn’t get lazy as I read. The book didn’t drag, but I confess that some threads were more intriguing than others for me. I learned that sometimes the smallest thing can be a big deal later on. Like a really minor character from a previous book, Myst the archivist, red flagged for me when some mysterious and tantalizing details crop up. Then there is the growing role of the secret normal human organization set to take out all the highbloods (magical and gifted humans) along with the investigation of the temple in the desert that was revealed in book one. Add onto these things, the ongoing and growing plot of Wolfe and the Mave’s relationship and that doesn’t even include the current main characters. There is also the insertion of more Sentinel lore with the intro to the other rogue high blood groups and the assassins. Yeah, lots going on here.
And that leads me to the hero and heroine. I liked them individually- Fane was all I hoped for after seeing the huge, trained warrior-protector who really cared for the woman he guarded. He was reared in a monastery without the benefit of familial love and only a harsh, strict regime, but yet he cares deeply and loves Serra passionately. He doesn’t believe that he is a good bet for a long-term satisfying relationship so he seeks to do the right thing by Serra and not entrap her to him. Can’t fault his motives even though he really wasn’t giving her enough credit. At least not the Serra I met in the first book. Now, the Serra of this book maybe he had a point. Her about face in personality made me wonder if she could handle him being out of the room from her let alone out doing his job as a warrior Sentinel.
Serra didn’t make sense to me once Fane changed his mind and decided to quit resisting their relationship. She’s this tough, confident, kickbutt woman with strong psychic powers who is gorgeous, brazen and knows her mind. She is determined to get her guy even if nefarious means are needed. He frustrates her and keeps her on her toes. He’s the only guy that she can’t just waggle her hips or give the come hither look and he comes. Serra’s a cocky one so it was a nice balance that Fane was attracted, but not slobbering at her heels too. But then, as soon as she does have his attention, she turns into this insecure needy type that starts dinking around throwing up emotional walls and making excuses that he doesn’t love her and that this is just duty, etc. Not once has Fane lied or given her less than the truth so why she suddenly can’t seem to believe a word he says makes no sense to me especially when her actions made it clear that she both trusted and loved him. Fortunately, they are kept really busy on their mission so I didn’t spend a lot of time with her doing her wishy washy thing.
In the end, this was another exciting installment in the series. That teaser at the tail end will drive me nuts until I get the next installment. It wasn’t a cliffhanger just this twist that leaves things in an interesting place. I would recommend this one and the series to those who enjoy paranormal romance involving witches and gifted humans or X-Men style spicy romance stories.
My thanks to Kensington Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.