Ari—Once an Eternal Guardian, now he's nothing but a rogue mercenary with one singular focus: revenge.
His guardian brothers all think he’s dead, but Ari is very much alive in the human realm, chipping away at Zeus’s Sirens every chance he can, reveling in his brutality and anonymity. Until, that is, he abducts the wrong female and his identity is finally exposed. It will take more than the Eternal Guardians, more even than the gods to rein Ari in after everything he’s done. It may just take the courage of one woman willing to stand up to a warrior who’s become a savage.
“We’re just the toys in the hands of another…” - Metallica, Fixxer, Reload Album
On the heights of Olympus, a nymph named Daphne is in training to become one of the Sirens, an elite group of warrior women built for seduction and death. They are lead by Athena, and in service to Zeus as his personal assassins. Before she can complete her training, Daphne is approached by Zeus and Athena themselves with a very special mission: to seduce and kill the rogue former Guardian Aristokles. Ari lost his soulmate years before to the arrows of the Sirens, and with her death lost his sanity as well. He has spent the last hundred years or so of his existence killing every Siren that crosses his path. Zeus tells Daphne that she will have an advantage: as she is not officially a Siren yet, Ari will not sense her as such - and nymphs are a special weakness of his. Daphne agrees to this, although she really doesn’t have a choice. They drop her in the freezing wilderness, with very little information, and even less clothing, telling her that Ari will find her.
Daphne is attacked and injured in the forest, but ultimately saved by Ari. He brings her back to his stronghold in the side of the mountain, healing her and keeping her safe. When she awakens she realizes that this just doesn’t seem like the work of madman. She searches the house until she finds him sparring with Silas, Ari’s one and only friend and companion in his lonely life. Ari gruffly demands that she leave his home as soon as she’s able, thinking to himself that he cannot be trusted around her. Silas tells Daphne how Ari saved his life, and little by little Daphne realizes that the Aristokles she has been told about is nothing like the reality.
Ari’s reputation for violence isn’t the only thing that has been used for propaganda by the gods. Despite his best efforts, Daphne has gotten under his skin, and before long they cannot help but be drawn to each other. Daphne soon learns that the greatest tragedy of her past was caused by the god and the sisterhood that she serves. Betrayed, she delves into Ari’s past, and his description of what he calls his “blackouts”. What she finds out changes Ari’s life.
Ari makes a wonderful wounded hero, and Daphne is his perfect match. I had been curious about his story ever since he was first introduced in the Eternal Guardian series. This book has a Beauty and the Beast vibe that I really enjoyed. It also sets the next Eternal Guardian book up nicely, leaving the reader pawing through the pages searching for more. Zeus is only beginning some plot which I’m sure will set the Guardians on their ears. Power corrupts - and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I predict it will be a war between the gods before long.
And I’m looking forward to it!
About the Author:
Before topping multiple bestseller lists—including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal—Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A rabid reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time.
Besides topping bestseller lists, her books have been nominated for some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the RITA® and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home.
Visit her website at www.ElisabethNaughton.com to learn more about her books