Oh man, I don't even know where to start.. My obsession with this series started with the first book Priceless which was first released in November of 2012. I LOVE this series. It is one of those lucky finds you just happen to run across out of the blue. I found it and by the time I finished the first 6 books I had to wait a month for the next one. I was antsy as hell. I needed it. Badly. Rylee and Alex had my attention from book one. I love Alex. He is so not your usual werewolf. He has grown since then but he is still the doofy half shifted werewolf. Best friends with Rylee and loves his family. But will bite ya in the ass if you mess with them.
My review is for Guardian, the latest Novella Shannon put out and Wounded as it is the book I just finished. But I will give you a small run down of the series’ characters. Seriously, if you love paranormal, vampires and werewolves, magic and hell even demons this is the series with it all... and my God this book was hard to read not because it was a bad read but the emotions. My feels went ape shit. My ass was crying while reading the last two chapters. I was at work nonetheless. (laughs) I read everywhere especially if it is a GOOD book.
In case you haven't read any of this series let me introduce you to our band of merry supernatural characters…
First off we have Rylee, obviously. Rylee is a Tracker. Riley is a slayer. (Though she only just found that out Veiled Threat; book 7.) Rylee is immune to all magics, (witches spells and demons spells just slide right off of her), part of her charms. She uses her abilities to track a child's thread with only knowing their name and seeing a picture of their face. She is bad-ass and wields swords like she moves her arms. She is not one to piss off. No matter the supernatural you are a friend or you end up dead at her hands. Makes no nevermind to her.
Liam, ex FBI agent who stalked her thinking she killed her sister Berget when she was younger. In the first book though he learns of who and what Rylee is and that she is innocent as are the ones she saves. They fall in love, Liam is attacked by a Guardian and is turned into a guardian. He is the Wolf, the one who only comes about when the world needs to be rescued. He is responsible for keeping the one that will save the world from demons alive. That would be Rylee. They secretly married and bound themselves together while on a vacation. No one knows this but the Alpha who performed the ceremony and them.
Alex, Rylee's very own pet werewolf whom she saved from a pack in the area who was trying to kill him. In the beginning Alex was a submissive wolf, stuck in mid shift. He is not fully werewolf nor man. His body is distorted. In this world only the strongest of men or woman can be werewolves. But Alex is special. More so than he seems. He is one of the few that has and will always be there for Rylee.
Charlie, is Rylee’s friend and the one that brings her her salvages. He is a brownie. And a clever little one at that.
Berget, Rylee's little sister who was kidnapped and turned into a vampire. Rylee rescued her from the parents that stole her and is trying to keep her parents who took over her body from getting loose and trying to kill Riley.
Pamela, a teenage witch that Rylee saved from a group of priests who were trying to exorcise the 'demons' from her. She had no demons but she had magic. She is Rylee's right hand gal now. And a powerhouse of a witch.
Milly, Rylee's Best friend, a witch that is now bound to the Demon Orion. She turned on Rylee and at the time no one knew it was Orion's wish but she is in the 'deepest veil' now along side the demon master.
Erik, Rylee's blood uncle (her biological father’s brother). A slayer and the only member left of her blood family. Again we didn't find him until Veiled Threat. He is awesome and a cheeky bastard but he is the only one to train Rylee on how to use her slayer abilities to take down the demons and win the war that is raging around them.
Blaz, Rylee's DRAGON! Yes, I said Dragon. He is bound to her and she to him. They are a killer team to contest with.
Eve, A harpie (big flying bird; bitchy at that) who has pledged her loyalty to Rylee after she was used in a plot to keep Rylee from a black coven in book 1. Rylee killed her sisters but spared her once she was no longer a threat.
Marco, or Zorro as riley calls him. A male Harpie and Eve’s friend. Another Allie for the side of good.
The Crush. A herd of Unicorns that have pledged their allegiance to the Tracker after they saved the smallest member of the crush, Callie. The first Unicorn foal born in 50 years. She is a healer. With one touch of her horn she can make you as good as new. Rylee saved her from Orion and his minions.
Doran & Faris, are the vampires in this group. Doran, is the vampire king. He is a shaman that Rylee helped during one of her salvages to become the powerful vampire his is today. He is also in love with her. Faris, is an asshole. He was a bad guy but then Rylee kicked his ass into submission and now Doran hold him by the balls. (laughs)
Frank, a human who happens to be a teenage necromancer. New to the craft but he is a help to Rylee when things get hairy.
India, a child Rylee rescued in book one. She can see and commune with spirits.
Beauty & Her Pack of wolves have been around from the beginning. They tried to kill Alex may times now but each time Rylee and even Liam have made them back off and step away from Rylee’s wolf.
Orion, the demon master of the deepest veil. He is an evil the world is not ready to face, neither is Rylee.
Now that you know most of the main characters…
On to “Guardian”
A novella that is set between “Tracker” and “Veiled Threat”. So it is book 6.5 to be technical. It was a surprise to get a novella that explained some of the missing pieces of Rylee and Liam’s “vacation”. I loved this novella! I knew from reading the books after their "vacation" that they had gotten married. Or mated, whatever you’d like to call it.
It was obvious to me in a way, but dear God I never saw the whole “baby” thing coming. Though now that I say that, sometimes you get a glimpse of something but are blind to the fact that what you're seeing is as big as that. Alex saying her heart sounded funny.. well duh that is way. I'm excited though. I’m not sure if it will be a helpful or a harmful point in the story as to how Rylee finds out she is pregnant with Liam’s baby. I'm hoping what Catya said about love being able to stop the darkness. Rylee can’t lose Liam. She'd lose herself and she is such a big part of saving them all...
Now, onto “Wounded”
This book starts off right where Veiled Threat ends. Rylee is trying to find a way to stop Orion and his demons. After a meeting of the council, Rylee, Liam, Doran, Erik, Faris and Berget get a rude awakening while questioning Bert (a demon doppelganger bound to Erik). Rylee wanted to know what Orion was planning. But since Bert, as were most demons, he was bound to Orion, he could not tell her. Rylee threatens to torture him for the information and he tells her to track demons and evil spirits. He says he is on their side. Well Rylee does. She gets the surprise of a life time. The Ogres camp, the outer line of their defense, was taken over by demons. the ogres, their allies were now the biggest danger to them all.
Needlesstosay all hell breaks loose in Rylee’s head but she keeps it together. Faris is told to get the veil open so they can get away. But Rylee, being Rylee, she can’t leave until she warns the Unicorns who are in the dead center of the Ogre’s camp. They’d be slaughtered and she couldn’t let that happen. Especially since they had Callie with them. She could be used as a weapon to free the demon master Orion. If the demons got her they were doomed; more so than usual.
Before Rylee can act Liam has a plan. He kisses Rylee bye and shifted, his feet hitting the ground on all fours paws as he runs off, opening his mind to the world. There is a pack close by. He uses his Alpha powers and pulls them to him, making them attack the Ogres. The element of surprise is a bitch. (laughs) The pack attacks the ogres and Liam runs to the rescue. No one the wiser that he was the reason they attacked. He calls the dogs off and then moves through the camp saying he needs to talk to the Crush. As Liam heads for the Crush he hears something in one of the tents, it’s Mer, a female ogre, mated to Raw. The leader of this horde. She has been beaten. Just another sign that the demons are out of hand. Liam takes her with him to speak to the crush. Once there Liam speaks to the leader, Callie’s father. He doesn’t tell them what all is going on he only tells them that Rylee wants them to go and protect the other side of Doran’s. The stallion knows there is something up. He asks Liam to keep Callie with him and take her back to Dorans’.
While Liam is speaking to the Crush’s leader Callie comes up and heals Mer. A simple act of a pure heart. Liam, Mer and Callie walk towards the edge of the camp; Liam feels a shift in the air and tells Mer to protect the foal at all costs. Raw steps out in front of them. Big ass red ogre with a demon in him is asking for an ass whoopin’. Liam tells Mer to run, she scoops up callie and takes off, getting to safety. Now it’s Liam, the wolves and the ogre possessed demons. A big ass fight breaks out and the ogres are attacked. During his fight with Raw Liam is stabbed with a curse bronze sword. It manages to take him down. He is lying helpless on the ground...
Back at Doran’s he and Pam send a spell to the ogres to try and expel the evil spirits from the ogres that they can. Rylee can feel when Liam is hurt. She, Erik and the Unicorns head off to the fight. Rylee uses what her uncle taught her of her slayer side and starts dispatching demons in a hurry. The fog that Dorin and Pamela sent to get the evil spirits out of the ogres hits them and works quickly. Now, we have ogres against ogres. The demons however and taking them down too quickly. Rylee has Blaz take Liam to safety and they hightail it back to Doran’s. They have to get to safety.
They only have moments once they are back at Doran’s before they are over run by demon possessed ogres attacking. Riley, Erik, Pamela, Alex, Frank and Bert are the only ones left at Doran’s. Faris got the other’s out and to Jacks place in London like she had said. They have to trust Bert (the demon bound to Erik) now to lead them out of this. Of course he is bound to Orion and as with any of the demons bound to Orion he can’t go against him so they are confronted by ogre demons. Pamela blasts their way through them and they get away. Rylee has Frank open the veil and he gets them close to the farm house. The hotel she always uses. John gives her a room and they try to rest. But as usual, that doesn’t happen.
As the group decides to leave the motel they run into a small group of demons. They have John. Rylee can not let them have him. Even if they are out numbered. As they start fighting against them Rylee kills one. A child’s body is left in it’s wake. The demons have taken children. It is one of the best ways to piss her off and throw her off her slayer game. Love is what she has to feel and be wrapped in to effectively kill demons. Hate, Anger, rage even only makes it harder for her to be effective. Their trick worked. The demons manage to maneuver around and capture Rylee. Orion’s necromancer has opened the veil and they disappear with Rylee.
Things though never go as they should. Or seem as they should. When Rylee is dropped, literally, into a room in the deep veil she questions his necromancer, sword still in hand. But the necromancer isn’t the one to answer her it is Milly. Milly had Rylee brought to the deepest veil so she could retrieve the purple book, the book of the lost from a spelled room. Since she has a natural immunity to magic and an immunity now to demon magic, Rylee was the only one that could get the book from Orion’s possession. It’s the book that will help Rylee defeat Orion. As she is lead to the books location Milley’s water breaks. Her baby is coming. Rylee runs up the last set of stairs and defeats the guard that is there to protect it. Running back down with the book she waits to see Milly’s child be born. Rylee promised her (in a previous book) that she would keep her baby from Orion. Just as the baby starts coming out (laughs.. gross I know) Orion shows up. Riley’s only way to attack him is bare handed. Literally. She jumps on him, grabbing his face from behind and holds on. Her love for her family starts her slayer mojo and she burns Orion. Badly. Herself as well but he is down for the count. After the baby is born him and the book are packed into Rylee’s hand and the veil is opened to her farm house. She hides in the barn buried in the hay until the others come to find her. She is severely burned from her hands to her elbows. Pain. Pain. Pain.
Charlie show up and says that they were all out looking for her. Riley tells him what has happened, that Milly is dead and now they have to hide the baby. After Erik, Pam, Alex and the others meet her at the old home they meet baby Zane (Rylee named him after Milly’s little brother who died when he was younger.) The innocent child they all have to protect now. They have to do anything in their powers to not let Orion get this kid. Pamela heals Rylee as best as she can. They had to make a plan. Rylee calls upon Charlie to take Zane to the first veil with him. He will be hidden from Orion there. Its a temporary fix but it’s not as if she could take him with her.
Thanks to Rylee’s gift of tracking she finds Kyle, her human hacker that helps her out at times and India a girl she saved months ago are together with a new kid, supposedly a tracker like her. They are in Boston. A place that made Rylee’s heart ache to be in. That is where her parents (adoptive of course) were. The last place she saw them before she was cast out by them because they believe she kill Berget. As they walk through the streets of Boston towards where Rylee is being pulled by the threads of her kids and the black coven that seems to have swallowed himself in around them she comes to a cross roads. Does she see her parents or not? A side trip is needed, while everyone waits for her Rylee takes off and runs to the place she grew up. While debating on ringing the buzzer her parents and a family friend show up and her mother, Amelia decides to be her ass of a self but her father he embraces Rylee. Asks her to come back, he knows she didn’t kill Berget. This fills Rylee with some hope as she runs back to her troops.
Once they arrive at the Navy yard they get a good look around. No one is around. It’s quiet… a little too quiet. As they make their way to the boat they hear a scream. The damn witches have her parents. Rylee is set into action and they all head for the boat. Making their way on is the easy part. Rylee follows the kids’ threads to the center of the boat. Four levels down there are her parents and witches, black and white (as in good and evil). The white witches (good witches) are bound and collared. Meaning they are binding them to demons. That would supe up their already high powers. They set a plan and get it into action fast. Riley and Alex head down to the bottom floor. Of course there was a fight but mid-fight something… you know I’m not sure what to call it.. amazing, completely out of the norm maybe… anyways Orion shows up and Rylee freaks out. There is no way she can defeat him here but the kicker is…. he isn’t there to hurt her.
Rylee “What the fuck, Orion, you thinking you can speed things up?”
Orion “No, no, not at all, my dear. Things have changed. I’d like to help you survive a little longer, though you do seem intent on pushing the boundaries of your life at every possible turn. You see, you have something I want very, very badly. Especially since you have spirited away little Zane. He would have been perfect. But I think the irony of what I have planned now is much, much better.”
Rylee “Go fuck yourself.”
Orion “I can’t stay long to play, that is the downside of being me, I suppose. But” -he lifted a finger- “I realize this coven is no longer working for me as I wish and I no longer have a use for them. Too unruly. Unlike your precious Milly.”
Rylee “Don’t you fucking well talk about her!”
Orion “Milly is biddable as always, more so now that she is no longer with child.”
Rylee “She died.”
Orion “I brought her back from the brink. Demons can heal, you know.” … “I will save you from having to kill them all.”
Rylee “Why would you do that? They’re your allies.”
Orion “You have a precious gift and I want it. They would kill you with no real care of what they would take from the world. From me.”
Needlesstosay Orion takes out the black coven. He is there to save her, after all. With his powers, and they are a plenty, he claps his hands and the witches around them, good and bad all um.. well they kind of explode and fall to the floor. Rylee is so stunned, she has no idea why he is there. Even with the way he says things. I wanted to yell “HE’S AFTER YOUR BABY! RUN WOMAN, RUN!!” but it would have been pointless. Now that they are all dead Rylee and Alex set off to get the kids that are being held captive. Riley has to fight her way to them as the one that was the ‘tracker’ has been taken over by a demon. She and Alex kill him and get the kids out of the room they are locked in. The boat is steadily filling with water and they have to hurry. Berget and her vampire strength pull them out and they manage to all escape the ship, even her mother before it goes down.
Amelia, Riley and Berget’s ‘mother’ starts to yell at Rylee that she wasn’t satisfied with killing her sister now she had killed her father. As if any of this shit was Ry’s fault. Rylee let’s go of her anger and lets Amelia have it and then walks away from her. Making it back to dry land Rylee has Frank open the veil again and they decide to go to New Mexico so she can speak to the Shamans.
In the mena time Rylee has no idea of what has been happening in New Mexico. Liam after waking up from being healed by the Shaman, Louisa is greeted by Beauty and her pack of muts. They are now loyal to Liam. It is a drawback to the power of the Guardian Alpha in him. He used it on them not once but twice. Now, Beauty thinks she is his mate. (laughs) Like they don’t have enough issues already. Liam needs to see Louisa so he can warn the other guardians of what is happening. They are all in danger as they are allies of Rylee’s. Orion is trying to take out everyone he can so she is left helpless and easy to pick off.
When Liam gets to Louisa’s Bear (her guardian) is the one that invites him in. After a little talking Hawk and Coyote turn up. (laughs) I had a Road Runner moment when I read that in the book.. anyhow, they all meet and the guardians tell them to just tell them what is going on. Not to wait for the shamans. After Liam tells them everything about Orion, the ogres, the plan to get away Bear and Hawk attack him. They are demon possessed. Liam and Coyote are the only ones left. They go on the defensive and it takes a bit of work but Liam takes down Hawk. Bear though, he is not that easy to take down. Bear injures Coote, then Liam. With a desperate howl the wolves come in and attack Bear. It is Coyote that tells them how to take him down. They get him down and dispose of him quickly.
When Rylee, Pam, Alex, Erik, Frank, Berget, India and Kyle they find Louisa’s house empty and the smell of shit and blood, as Alex says. (Gotta love that wolf) Hearing a howl they all freeze until Alex tells them that it is boss and his pack. (Rylee is like.. wah?) Liam approaches them and of course Beauty being beauty is right up his ass saying she is his mate. Yeah, that doesn’t go over well at all. Liam is forced to kill her or risk her trying to harm Rylee or tell her one of his secrets.
They talk and decide it’s high time to get their asses to Jack’s house in London. Blaz takes Rylee, Pamela, Erik, Berget, Frank, India, and Kyle to the old mine shaft close to the old farm. It will take a few hours to get them all where they need to be but Liam and his pack alongside Alex will wait and catch the second trip. Once Rylee and the gang get there they waste no time getting down the shaft and into the tunnels. They find the only open door and.. as usual it can’t be that easy to get over the doorway. The castle which is on the other side of the door is on fire. Pamela is able to keep it back so they can all run for it. Berget being a vampire and highly combustible chooses to stay behind. She will wait to warn Liam and the wolves.
Once Rylee and them are in London Frank gets the veil open and they cross over into Jacks yard. The harpies and unicorns are there waiting on them as planned. Doran is as well. Pamela stays behind to get Liam and the wolves through the raging fire. By the time Liam and Alex get to the door Pam is collapsed on the floor and fading fast. They make it out of the castle just in time. Pam passes out in Liam’s arms and he and ALex just run with her. Doran has a car waiting for them just up the road and they make it to Jack’s in relative good time.
A couple of days pass and Liam, Erik and Doran discuss the only plan that will be able to save Rylee from Orion. For a bit at least. His blood, the blood of a guardian will keep the door closed from the deep veil for a few months time. This will give them all time to prepare and get Rylee to a place of safety to save her and… their unborn child. As with any good plan there is a very bad part to it. Liam must die at the hand of someone that loves him. There is no way Rylee would go along with this in any way so he recruits Pam. She is his family, she loves him and now in order to save Rylee she has to kill him.
Pamela doesn’t want to do it. (I can’t blame her, family is family. Even if you have thoughts of stabbing them you really just can’t do it.. normally) No one tells Rylee or the others what is going on. The only ones in on the plan are Erik, Doran, Pam and Liam. It was heart breaking to see this play out. I can’t even pretend I did not ball like a baby. It was so emotional. to see it play out in my head. Rylee trying to get to him as she sees his threads slipping. The demons surrounding them as the castle falls around them. Making it easy to kill the demons. But Rylee loses Liam, for now. He said it was only for now. God, I hope that means he is coming back. I’ve had other books hit me hard but this one ripped me in two. Would I change a thing. No, it needs to play out as it does for Rylee and the baby. Liam did leave her a note and explained it all. There was no way to tell her face to face. He wouldn’t have been able to see her in pain.
Now, Rylee, Erik, Coyote and Blaz are off to take Riley, baby Zane and her unborn child to a safe place. They have six months before that door will open again. And, I am sure when it does.. all hell will break lose.. in the literal sense of course. The next installment is not out until Spring of 2015... so now we wait. Impatiently of course.