The second installment of the Guardians of the Realm series presented an interesting dichotomy. The caveman nature of the primary male protagonist, Gregoire, was pitted against the independent nature of his mate Alyssa. And it left me with mixed feelings. I will preface things with the following: I really enjoyed this book. More that the first. But boy, was I torn between loving the couple and thinking Gregoire was just too over the top possessive. It was a struggle to not picture him all caveman “me Tarzan, you Jane”, fists banging his chest and being so chauvinistic that when I read the scene where he storms into a room and flings Alyssa over his shoulder it was just too caveman. And it dulled a little of the romance for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, books of this nature are more sex than romance. But there is usually some, and we did get a little of it shining through so that we get to know the characters a little. But that kind of behavior in such extreme quantities and intensity just isn’t appealing to me, so it dulled things a little.
There was a remarkable improvement in the balance between the mythology of this universe and the story. We got what we needed to follow the protagonists through the plot, as well as all the collateral characters, and yet it wasn’t so much that my head was spinning in confusion because I was getting an unnecessary information dump of way too many details. It was much better that the first installment. And, what a twist at the end!!!! Holy cow!!! Didn’t see that coming! And it was a delight to see that the author isn’t stretching out a villain into a caricature just to ensure that there are obstacles and tension for more books in the series. It was refreshing and made me look even more forward to the following installments.
So, we see the antics of Cyril continue while the Guardians continue to try to protect the Realms and their respective inhabitants. Meanwhile Sam and Erik need to complete their mating but Gregoire and Alyssa and their mating are the primary focus. The battles continue and our family of Guardians continues to grow as they find mates.
Like with the first book, there is steam galore! The explicit warning is again well deserved and there are plenty of steamy scenes to make up for the shift of a number of (formerly) beloved series’ shifts into “urban fiction” – what that really means is that they lose virtually all of their steam, unfortunately. So, like with the first, if you are a fan of the paranormal and the steamy paranormal at that, then this is a must read! Just prepared for some troglodyte type behavior to be fully on display.