New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren returns to her Gargoyles series with a bang, featuring a strong, Buffy the Vampire-esque heroine, a tough gargoyle warrior and an intense battle of good versus evil.
Heroine Ivy Beckett posses the gift of “clairaudial empathy,” which enables her to hear things often associated with strong emotions. Unfortunately, she tends to pick up on these things while she’s fast asleep. If she’s unable to rouse herself to consciousness, whoever is in danger could wind up dead. And has, as in the case of Ivy’s beloved uncle George and cousin Jamie. George and Jamie were Wardens, individuals who with magical abilities tasked with summoning fearsome Guardians to protect the human race. But the relationship between Wardens and Guardians has deteriorated in recent years, enabling demonic forces to cause chaos in the modern world. Since the death of her uncle and cousin, Ivy has made it her mission to protect the world’s current Wardens by ushering them to safety. But when her current assignment goes wrong, leaving her cornered in an alley with three very angry demons, Ivy assumes her luck has run out.
Baen has been asleep for three hundred years, awakened only when needed in battle, and this time it’s Ivy’s presence that ends his centuries-long slumber. After Baen dispatches the demons, Ivy is stunned to see a Guardian in the flesh, though she senses it has something to do with the Warden she’s currently escorting to France. She gets bit of a shock, though, once Baen confesses that she is his Warden. Ivy insists he must have it wrong, since she’s a woman. But there’s no arguing with a large winged man.
It’s impossible not to like Ivy as a heroine. She kicks some major butt and she’s incredibly dedicated to her cause. Though Baen is physically stronger, Ivy matches him in intelligence and adaptability. Readers who like their leading ladies with some significant bite will love her. Meanwhile, Baen tempers his intimidating presence with a surprising amount of tenderness. He’s the type of hero who speaks only when there is something worthy to say—a swoony strong and silent type.
Though this is the sixth book in a series, readers shouldn’t let that deter them as Warren does a fantastic job setting up the mythology of the Guardians for newcomers. There’s also the added bonus of non-stop action and truly enviable jet setting. Who wouldn’t want to battle dark forces surrounded by gorgeous Gothic architecture, while sneaking off for a French pastry or two?
The best part of Hard Breaker, though, is how well Ivy and Baen complement one another. They make an extraordinary team, and the two of them slowly come to address the loneliness of their lives. Ivy’s family history is fraught with danger, as no one ever knew when a mission could snuff out a life, while Baen’s existence has been one of mere utility. Once his use has ended, back to sleep he goes.
A steamy, magical romance and an adventure with apocalyptic stakes, Warren’s Hard Breaker is bound to please.