Review: The Guardians Short Stories & Novellas

hot spell“Reviewed by Jen

Falling for Anthony” (Guardians 0.5) – This story may fall chronologically before the events of Demon Angel, but I am so glad that I read it after I was a couple of books into the series. I really don’t think I would have appreciated Anthony and Emily’s story without the perspective that the first two full length books gave me.  We’ve heard Colin mention his sister Emily many times –as well as his own turning into a vampire. This is the story of that time in their lives and how Colin’s best friend Anthony fits into the picture.

Basically, Anthony is a doctor, and he owes Colin’s father for putting him through medical school. He’s loved Emily since he was a boy, but he is not a good match for her.  In a dark mood, Emily seduces him –just before he has to go to war, and he dies before he could come back.  Only he becomes a Guardian, and a mission brings him back into her life and back into her bed.

I liked Anthony, especially once he grew a more of a spine along with his wings.  Emily was kind of a brat, though she eventually gains some perspective over the course of the story.  It was fun to see Hugh, Lillith, and Colin back in the day.  It gives some more depth to their story and helps fill in some holes. –Overall, I enjoyed this bit of backstory and I think fans of the series should definitely check it out.

Click to purchase: Hot Spell anthology

wild thingParadise” (Guardians 1.5) – Color me surprised.  I really thought Selah was going to get her own book. Instead, she is the heroine of a short story.  This one takes place chronologically between books one and two, though the events here are not referenced at all in Demon Moon, so you don’t have to read it before that book.

Selah is on a Guardian mission when she meets Lucas, a vampire whose consort has been killed.  He has been living off of animal blood and he is halfway starved and starting to lose his mind a little.  Selah needs him to pull himself together. As the leader of the local vampires, he will be essential to helping her root out the demon who is trying to open a Gate in his territory.  But with blood comes bloodlust and the sexual tension between these two is rolling out from the very beginning.

This story isn’t very deep. It’s basically a vehicle to give Selah a HEA with minimal conflict while keeping her in the Guardian ranks.  It was fairly good, but you could skip it and not miss much.

Click to purchase: Wild Thing anthology

first bloodThicker Than Blood” (Guardians 3.5) – I liked this one.  Annie is a vampire whose entire community was killed by the nephalim.  Now she is on a mission to find the human daughter two of her friends left behind.  She ends up drafting Jack, the man she loved before her change more than five years ago. He thought she was dead, but seeing her again brings all of his own feelings back.  He agrees to help her find the missing girl, but the real prize is reconnecting with the love of his life.

Annie has had a rough time with vampirism. She never wanted it and she certainly didn’t want to lose Jack.  But can he love what she has become?  –Of course!! But the journey is a gratifying one.  This story manages to pull on the heartstrings, even though it’s short.  And it fits nicely into the overall picture, referencing events from the previous books and cameo from Lillith.

Click to purchase: First Blood anthology

must love hellhounds“Blind Spot” (Guardians 5.5) – Blind hero alert! Well, sort of.  Blake is one of the descendants of Colin’s sister Emily.  As we know from previous stories, she was altered by contact with Michael’s sword and some of her progeny have a little something extra. In Blake’s case, it is the ability to see through the eyes of others.  Anyway, his sister has been kidnapped and Great-Uncle Colin decides to help find her by sending in his new “butler” Maggie.

We first met Maggie in Demon Forged, and she is no ordinary domestic servant. She is ex-CIA, and she has ties to the kidnapper. I don’t want to give too much away on the plot, but I will say there is great sexual tension between Maggie and Blake.  I loved the way he saw her –how he picked up her interest through how she looked at him.  It was a good story, but I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get the payoff on all those hot vibes.

Click to purchase: Must Love Hellhounds

angels of darkness“Ascension” (Guardians 7.5) – I hate to say it, but I think this was my least favorite of all the short stories in the series.  Our hero and heroine are both Guardians.  Marc has always taken his calling very seriously… too seriously perhaps.  He had planned to be a celibate warrior, devoting himself entirely to being a Guardian, but he fell for Radha in Callum and lost his virginity to her.  She left him right after. Now, more than a century later, she is back. But why?  As her reasons become clear, she and Marc work together to ferret out who is behind a strange vampire death in his territory.

The entire story felt superficial. Though we do learn the “why” of their past split, I didn’t feel like we got a satisfactory explanation for why Marc said what he did about Radha (especially given how he felt about her.) On top of that, I thought decades of hurt vanished far too quickly –and I just didn’t believe the ease in which these two resumed their love affair.  Plus, the mystery plot was predictable and just not very good.

You could easily skip this one and not miss much.

Click to purchase: Angels of Darkness

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