Review: Guarding Poppy by Christine Wenrick

GuardingPoppy_ReFormat_02252014.inddReviewed by Shelly

FINALLY! Alec’s story is here and it was worth the wait. Christine Wenrick’s writing in this continuation of her Charmed Trilogy series keeps me captivated and considering this is Book 5, I have no complaints. What’s different about this installment in the series is the sexual content. The first 3 books were pretty conservative with the sex scenes. Very little was talked about between Olivia and Caleb in the bedroom. The sexual tension and attraction was kept pretty high and that really worked well for that couple. Kane’s story – the first installment for the Men of Brahm Hill was a bit more risqué with the sex because let’s face it – Kane’s a horndog (he’s off the market and is faithfully married now but marriage hasn’t changed his mouth much). With Alec and Poppy, we get a lot more from behind the bedroom door. Before I go on – be warned, there will be spoilers if you’ve not read the previous stories.

I enjoyed learning about more about Alec and what made him tick. He’s a hard man to get to know and in the previous stories we got glimpses of him but that was always from someone else’s perspective. This time, we get him in full exposure and it’s not all pretty. He’s human after all, and he has the same issues that the rest of us do. He’s just a little meaner and a little stronger. For Alec, it’s hard being a Guardian; it’s hard making the transition from Guardian to Elder; it’s harder being the only human Elder; it’s even harder being the youngest Elder to lead his people.

As the leader and ruling Elder of The Brethren in his neck of the world, Alec has a lot of responsibilities. He has an entire society of humans, shifters, vampires, witches and Dhampirs (human-vampire hybrids) to keep safe. After losing Lucas during the battle with his maniacal Uncle Reese, Alec isn’t doing so well. But you can’t tell him that because he thinks he’s handling those two deaths just fine and dandy.

Shortly after the tragedy on Brahm Hill, Alec gets a request from Joseph, Sovereign Elder on the council, to guard and protect Poppy Honeywell. Alec can say nothing but yes to one of his favorite people. Poppy knows that she’s cursed. She’s been told that her entire life. Born from a vampire father and a witch mother, Poppy’s not sure what her talents are because she’s never had a chance to develop them. But what she does know is that someone wants her dead and they’ll anything to accomplish that.

Poppy Honeywell. I love that name, it invokes memories of Bond girls who are beautiful on the outside but with a strong mental constitution. Poppy’s been running her entire life. Her mother’s answer to being hunted by a power-stealing lunatic was to keep moving, often. So it’s no surprise that Poppy doesn’t know what to do with herself while she’s in Alec’s care because she’s not used to not being on the run. One of her endearing charms is her klutziness. For being part vampire, one of the more graceful beings of the supernatural world, poor Poppy is as clumsy as it gets – I’m talking about destroying property here, not just tripping over her own feet. I thought it was adorable and made her more likable because she wasn’t perfect, not even close.

Back to Alec. To see him grow from the first novels to this was fun. Like I said he’s got his issues but he was a good guy whose main focus was always to protect the members of The Brethren. He’s sowed his wild oats and it’s not until he meets Poppy that he realizes what he needs. That was a big part of my draw to him. He didn’t push her away, nor did he play the macho alpha male (me Tarzan you Jane) crap. He manned up and expressed his feelings towards Poppy in a way that made her realize that it’s time to stop running. The chemistry between these two was pretty hot. You could even say, smoking hot.

Wenrick’s world building continues to impress me because I’m still surprised when I finding out new things about this supernatural world of The Brethren. The reveals keep coming but then the secrets do too, and to say I’m shocked at most of them is putting it mildly. When you’re reading and talking to yourself it’s usually a sign of strong emotion and in this case that was a good thing. The suspense and mystery surrounding Poppy’s curse, the reason for it and all that fun stuff was a nice, slow, fun, exasperating, laugh out loud, jaw dropping, page-turning build.

The returning characters were a joy to catch up with. The new characters are a little bit daunting because I can’t figure out if they’re good or bad – nothing. I’m really looking forward to the next book – I have no idea which of the other 3 from Brahm Hill it’ll be about. I have my suspicions.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: A

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Guarding Poppy
by Christine Wenrick
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Publisher: Red Treehouse Publishing

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