I’d like to thank Tasty Book Tours for letting me participate in this tour event and Zebra – Kensington for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. To see all of the blogs participating in the tour, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
Publisher: Zebra – Kensington
Date Published: December 30, 2014
Series: The Sentinels #2
They are the outcasts of humanity. Blessed with power. Cursed by fate. Driven by passion. The Sentinels have returned. . .
Out Of The Shadows
At six-foot-three and two-hundred-fifty pounds, Fane is a natural born guardian. A flawless mix of muscled perfection and steely precision, he has devoted years of his life to protecting a beautiful necromancer. But after she found love in the arms of another, Fane has been a warrior adrift. He swears allegiance only to the Sentinels. And no woman will ever rule his heart again. . .
Into The Fire
Not only a powerful psychic, Serra is that rare telepath who can connect to minds through objects. When the daughter of a high-blood businessman is kidnapped, Serra agrees to help. But when she stumbles onto a conspiracy involving secrets sects and ancient relics, her life is in mortal danger–and Fane is her only hope. Is the warrior willing to risk his body, his soul, and his heart, for Serra? Or will one last betrayal destroy them both?
And I thought the heat in the first book was steamy, this was book was scorching! I knew the relationship between Fane and Serra was going to be a good one after their introduction in book one, and I’m pleased to see that I was right. As the second book in the series, Ivy’s brought back all the action, suspense, and romance from the first book and multiplied it to create a most enjoyable story. This is definitely going down as one of my favorite books of hers. =^.^=
I love Fane, he’s a hell of an amazing character. Fierce, protective, strong, capable of kicking some serious butt, and yes, even arrogant at times. Aside from the last trait, he’s almost perfect. He’s definitely my ideal bad boy. Serra is just as fierce and strong, she can definitely kick butt, but she’s also got a softer side which I enjoyed seeing as the story played out. As a pair these two are dynamite together. But they are also aggravating as hell because they both danced around their relationship in this book at points, which frustrated me to no end. When they finally stopped pushing each other away though…yeah, seriously hot.
This was an intriguing book from start to finish. It took twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting, and unlike the first book, which I found a tad predictable, this one kept me guessing the whole way through. I enjoyed every minute of it. And the ending left just enough of a question to make me anxious to get my paws on the next book in the series, murr!
The only thing that I didn’t like about the book was that once again you’ve got two men who feel the need to flex their muscles and pull a bunch of testosterone driven challenges against each other. Frankly I’m amazed Fane didn’t kill Bas and that I didn’t throw the book across the room in disgust every time the two of them clashed. I did roll my eyes a lot when these two went at it. Bas’s desire to push Fane’s buttons and Fane’s desire to intimate Bas whenever he made moves on Serra got old real fast.
Still though, the pacing of the book was good, the action and suspense was enough to make me want to keep reading long past when I should have put the book down, and the general plot was enough to make this a wonderful addition to Ivy’s series. As I said, I enjoyed this more than I did the first one, and I really did like the first book. It’s just for whatever reason, this felt more like a solid read for me. Maybe it’s because I already loved the characters after having met them previously, or maybe the lack of predictability in the plot helped, but at this point I’m not about to question it too much. It was great and that’s all that matters.
I definitely think that fans of Ivy’s books, and fans of paranormal romance in general, need to give this series a read. While each book could be read as a stand-alone, mostly because they focus on a different set of characters in each one, I would recommend that readers start with Born in Blood because it will give them a solid grasp of not only the world that Ivy’s created, but also the characters who become the focus of the rest of the books in the series. But that choice is yours to make…just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Can’t wait to find out what happens in book 3 and who the focus for that one will be. Will we finally get Wolfe and the Mave’s full story, rather than just the snippets and teases we’ve had in the previous two books? Or will the next one focus on Bas? Whomever Ivy chooses to write about, I know it’s going to be a hell of a read, murr! In the meantime, I think I’m going to check out her other books and see if they are just as enjoyable.
At midafternoon the corridors of Valhalla were mostly empty. A good thing since Fane was in the mood to knock aside anyone stupid enough to get in his way.
Why had he gone to Serra?
He knew that she was hurting. And that he was the cause.
But the memory of her wounded expression as he’d walked away from her earlier had haunted him until he’d been driven into seeking her out. As if he could somehow ease her pain.
Clearly his decision to leave Valhalla for Tibet was a good one.
All he’d done was make matters worse.
Taking the elevator down to the apartments reserved for Sentinels, he entered the sparse space and methodically began to pack his few belongings.
Unlike Serra who’d created a home that reflected her strong, unique personality, he kept his own apartment with nothing more than the bare necessities. A bed, a couch, and a kitchen table. Except for his workroom. Everything in there had been handcrafted from the tools he used to sculpt his figurines to the workbench where he spent countless hours.
That was the one place he could go to find the peace denied to him in most of his life.
He’d packed his few clothes and was just placing the last of his tools in a heavy crate to take with him when a knock on his door interrupted the silence.
His first impulse was to ignore the visitor. Protracted good-byes weren’t on his agenda. But catching a familiar scent, he realized this was one farewell he couldn’t avoid.
Moving through the apartment, he pulled open the front door to reveal the small, red-haired necromancer who’d been in his care for the past decade.
His expression softened. “Callie.”
She smiled, reaching up to touch his neck in a gesture that revealed the depth of their friendship.
“How are you?” she asked softly.
He grimaced. Only the two of them would ever comprehend the bond that had formed when he’d been chosen as her guardian. Or the wrenching sense of loss when the bond had been broken.
“Adjusting.” he said.
She wrinkled her nose, moving her hand to lay it over her heart that now belonged to Duncan O’Conner.
“Yeah, me too.”
Fane narrowed his gaze, suddenly wondering if there was more to this visit than a chance to say goodbye.
“The bastard treating you right?”
She rolled her eyes. “He has a name. And he’s treating me very right.”
He hurriedly held up a hand. “No details , little one,” he muttered.
It wasn’t jealousy. But Callie was like a sister to him. He found it impossible to think of her with any man.
She flashed a teasing grin. “Deal.”
“If you don’t need me to beat Duncan to a blood pulp then what are you doing here?”
Her smile abruptly disappeared, a concern darkening the sapphire of her eyes. “I was hoping that you know where Serra is.”
Fane froze, his instincts on full alert. “Why would I know?”
“Fane.” Callie gave a chiding shake of her head. “You can fool most people, but not me.”
His jaw clenched. He didn’t share his feelings for Serra with anyone. Not even Callie.
“I spoke with her earlier. She said she was tired. Have you checked her rooms?”
Fane frowned. “Why are you concerned?”
“She told Arel she was going to meet him in the dining hall, but she never showed.”
Jealousy ripped through Fane. The younger Sentinel had been panting after Serra for years. He’d even managed to lure her into a brief affair that had tormented Fane. It was one thing to tell Serra he wanted her to find a man to love, and another to watch her being seduced by a male half his age.
He wasn’t a dammed saint.
“Maybe she changed her mind,” he said, taking pleasure in the thought of the arrogant cub being stood up.
“She would have let him know,” Callie insisted. Although, cell phones didn’t work, there were landlines placed throughout Valhalla that made communication easy. “Arel came to me when he searched Valhalla and couldn’t find her.”
Abruptly, Fane remembered Serra’s strange behavior when he’d last seen her.
At the time he’d put it down to anger and wounded pride. Now he had to wonder if there hadn’t been something else wrong.
“You said that you tried her apartment?”
Callie nodded. “She didn’t answer the door.”
“She could be asleep.”
“No, I have a key.” Callie bit her bottom lip. “I went to check on her but she wasn’t there. And – “
Fane ruthlessly crushed the fear that threatened to cloud his years of training.
If something happened to Serra she needed a warrior, not the man who’d wanted her for longer than she would ever know.
“Tell me,” he commanded.
“There was a mess in her bedroom.”
Shit. He gripped the edge of the door, the wood cracking beneath the pressure.
“A mess?” he barked. “Like she’d been attacked?”
“No, her clothes were thrown around like she’d been packing in a hurry.”
Oh. A portion of Fane’s fear eased.
If she’d packed a bag then there was a chance this was nothing more than a misunderstanding.
“She has a home south of here,” he pointed out. Most psychics had private homes in isolated areas where they could get away from the “psychic noise” caused by living in a crowded community. “Maybe she was going there.”
“Without a word to anyone? I even called Inhera to see if Serra had been called away on assignment.”
Inhera was the leader of the psychics and was responsible for scheduling their duties.
Fane grimaced. “She might have felt a need to leave Valhalla that had nothing to do with her job.”
Callie stabbed him with an accusing glare. “I know that she was upset, and why. But Serra has never just disappeared. She knows how worried I would be.”
Fane gave a slow nod.
Callie was right.
Even if she was pissed as hell with him, Serra wouldn’t leave without gaining approval from Inhera.
And more importantly, without saying something to Callie and her foster parents.
He spun on his heel to cross to the fare side of his living room where he laid his hand on a scanner. It took only a second for his fingerprints to be accepted and for a panel in the wall to slide open to reveal a hidden room that was built into all the Sentinel’s apartments.
“Fane?” Callie murmured in confusion, following him into the room and gazing at the high-tech equipment in fascination.
It couldn’t compare to the command center at the lowest level of Valhalla, but it was built with steel walls lined with powerful computers, which were linked to the satellite feeds that kept track of government agencies. They also ran surveillance monitors.
Including surveillance for Valhalla.
Going to the nearest computer he tapped on the keys to bring up the camera that monitored the hallway outside Serra’s apartment.
“I want to check the tapes,” he muttered, clicking the rewind until he reached the point of Serra’s first entering her apartment.
“Why?” Callie demanded.
“There was something bothering her.”
He watched as she opened her door and then bent down to pick up something off the ground. What was it? He zoomed in. A gift-wrapped package. Was it the locket he’d seen her holding?
She entered the apartment and closed the door. He zoomed past Callie’s visit and his own arrival and abrupt departure. After that there was…nothing.
No one entered the hallway. Not until Serra’s door was opened and she walked away from her apartment with a suitcase clutched in her hand.
Once again he zoomed in, a cold trickle of sweat inching down his spine. There was no mistaking the pallor of her skin and the tightness of her features. Twice she reached up to rub her temple, as if she were in pain.
“Goddammit,” he growled, clicking to another camera to watch her progress through Valhalla. “I should have insisted she tell me.”
Callie swore beneath her breath. “Considering you were more than likely what was bothering her, I doubt she would have shared.”
He accepted the familiar pang of guilt, he deserved it, but he gave a shake of his head at the thought this was about his decision to leave.
Watching Serra take a tunnel to the outer garage and halting next to her personal SUV, Fane scowled in confusion.
She walked past a dozen friends who’d all tried to get her attention, her expression unfocused and her movements lacking her usual grace.
That wasn’t like Serra.
Then she opened the back of her SUV and shoved in her vintage Louis Vuitton suitcase that had been a gift from her parent. Callie gasped in disbelief.
“Okay that’s it. There something really, really wrong,” she muttered. “Last year Serra nearly ripped off the head of a bellboy who tried to touch the handle of her back without gloves on. She would never toss it around like a sack of garbage.”
Fane was moving before he even realized he’d made his decision.
“I’ll find her.”
About the Author:
ALEXANDRA IVY graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com.
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