The past and present meet, a lover's secret is revealed, and doors to forbidden places
open as the Shadowstone's power awakens.
Rebecca never believed in the Fae or Faerie legends, let alone considered she was descended from one. Becoming embroiled in a dangerous quest with an invisible foe, Rebecca has no choice but to rely on the assistance of the cocky Scottish laird to stay alive.
Torn from his time, Cailen is thrust in to the mystical role of Guardian by an ancient pledge. Sworn to protect the bearer of the enigmatic Shadowstone, he must unravel the magic and power of the sacred Fae object before the Fae can reclaim the stone and the one who bears it.
As undeniable passion ignites, and the talisman's secrets are revealed, Cailen and Rebecca must confront the looming heartache that threatens their future.
*A Fantasy Romance full of Magic, Mystery and Sizzle!*
* Adult content.*
This was a total trifecta of new for me. New author. New narrator and my first ever audiobook review. The first two didn’t bother me so much, but to review an audiobook is definitely a different beast from reviewing a book because much of my enjoyment lays heavily in the hands of the narrator bringing the story to life and that can be a slippery slope, but in the case of The Guardian, Hollie Jackson did a wonderful job of bringing Angela Aaron’s characters and story to life all the while keeping me engaged the entire time.
As I said, Hollie Jackson did a wonderful job narrating The Guardian. Not only was she able to convey the emotions of the characters well, but she did a great job with the Scottish accents and being able to change her tone so that each character had a distinct voice. Not an easy feat by any measure and after listening for about an hour I was able to tell who was speaking because of it.
Rebecca and Cailen were characters that I really came to like and want to see if they could get past certain roadblocks that could keep them apart. Rebecca was spunky and though she could be impetuous, she had a good head on her shoulders, even when faced with the fact that the Fae were real and that she was one. Cailen was protective and compassionate. He was every bit the Scottish laird, and good lord could he brood, but he never wavered from his oath. Their road to their HEA was a fun, if not bumpy one thanks to the fact that they were raised in very different times, had Fae trying to kidnap Rebecca and a prophecy of sorts hanging over their heads. But as the story progressed the chemistry and connection between them grew stronger and I found that I really wanted them to be get their HEA.
The story was well crafted and I enjoyed the pacing of the story. Nothing was rushed, whether it was Rebecca and Cailen’s budding romance to figuring out how to keep both the Shadowstone and Rebecca out of the Fae’s clutches. Everything felt as if it occurred as it should. One of my favorite aspects of the story was how Ms. Aaron included the various festivals that take place throughout the year in Scotland into the plot line. The geek in me definitely liked learning what each celebrated and learning about the preparations for them.
The Bottom Line: If you like stories about the Fae, hot Scottish lairds, intelligent and feisty women and a well thought out and written story, as well as an excellent narrator, then you should definitely give this one a listen
~ Audiobook provided by the author in exchange for an honest review ~
Rebecca opened the heavy library doors and slipped inside the darkened room. She could see Cailen's silhouette sitting at the desk and stepped toward him cautiously. As she drew close, she could see he was wide-awake, watching her as she approached. He sported a rough growth of beard; she thought looked pretty sexy. His eyes held the tale tell strain of a massive headache, as did his hand, which was rubbing his temple.
"I brought you some coffee."
"I have not acquired a taste for this drink."
"Maybe you should start. It helps with a hangover."
"If you refer to the morning after a drinking binge, then aye."
Cailen lifted the steaming mug to his lips.
"You look like shit, by the way," Rebecca commented on his disheveled state,
"but the beard is nice."
Cailen half-heartedly smiled.
"So did drinking yourself into oblivion help?"
"What do you think?"
"I think you're mad I know what transpired with your brother. I think this is the
reason you keep pushing me away."
"You know nothing."
"Why don't you enlighten me, then?"
Cailen just glared at her, a scowl furrowing his brow.
"Cailen, your intentions were honorable. You acted in the best interest of your
"But what of my brother? Did I act in his best interest? Blood comes first, and I
failed him. I am not a good person, Rebecca."
"Yes. Yes, you are."
"Donnae make me a saint. Your assumption that I accepted the role of guardian to atone for not helping my brother is incorrect. My purpose is nothing more than vengeance toward the Fae. My actions are nae noble, only necessary retribution."
"Cailen, the sacrifices you've made in order to ensure the safety of Brynn's bloodline are the epitome of noble. I've seen firsthand the heartbreak you suffered at being displaced, of seeing everything you defended reduced to a pile of stones. I've seen your willingness to protect me, to be taken to Fae with me, to die for me. Those aren't the actions of a spiteful person. Those are the essence of nobility and speak volumes of your loyalty to your brother. You said yourself you wondered if you played the role fate had in store for you. Maybe everything happened the way it was supposed to."
Cailen's face had the most pained expression; it reached right inside her chest and twisted her heart. She sighed. "I'm so sorry I brought up these memories. There's
more I wanted to tell you, but it can wait."
"More? Tell me." Cailen requested.
Rebecca rose and picked up her coffee cup. "It can wait until you feel better."
"Tell me, Rebecca," Cailen demanded in a much firmer tone.
"Not now. Not when you are hung over and pissed." She turned to leave.
Cailen rose from his chair and came around the desk, standing right in front of her, blocking her exit.
"God's blood, Rebecca. Tell me," he bellowed, grabbing her arm to turn her around. Coffee splashed over the edge of the mug.
This moment was the second time in her life Rebecca felt like she was in a Hollywood movie, anticipating the action of the scene. The first time was when she first walked into John's pub, and she knew all eyes would be upon her, and now as Cailen's stormy eyes bore right into her. She knew he would kiss her the instant he grabbed her arm. His whole body exuded sexual tension. He was rigid with frustration on so many levels, and her reluctance to speak of what she saw in the stone only added to his already pent-up rage. He had reached the end of some self-imposed limit, and now crossed over that invisible barrier.
His lips slammed down on hers with such heat and desperation, the intensity stunned her. And just like the first time he had grabbed her and kissed her to keep the Fae from seeing her, denying him was not an option. He ripped the coffee mug from her grasp, dropping it on the desk with no regard for the liquid sloshing over the sides. His arms encircled her, pulling her tight against him. He tasted of Scotch and coffee and unleashed fury that rolled off him in waves she could not resist. Every part of him was hard with need as he backed her up against the desk, moving between her thighs, grinding his hips against her.
His kiss was hot and passionate and left fiery trails along her jaw and neck. His tongue demanded entrance to her mouth, tasting, exploring…claiming. His hands roamed the length of her, stroking and caressing as if reacquainting themselves with something that had been lost.
Everywhere he touched, she burned with total surrender, and she would have capitulated right then and there to anything he wanted of her. However, through her passion-induced haze, Rebecca became aware that Cailen stiffened, and his movements ceased as the voices of Ewan and Fenora reached them. They entered the library, unaware of what was transpiring.
"Oh," Fenora exclaimed.
Everything froze in that awkward instant, until Cailen stepped back. Regret washed over his features like a veil falling into place. He took another step back, allowing her room to scoot off the desk. She discreetly straightened her shirt and returned her gaze to Cailen.
"Don't do this," she whispered, knowing exactly what he was about to do. He took another step back, increasing the space between them.
Cailen glanced back over his shoulder at Ewan and Fenora who were making a hasty retreat. He spun his head back toward her, his eyes boring deep into her.
"I let my need overshadow reason," he gave her an apology of sorts.
"Oh, Jesus, Cailen. Cut the self-sacrificing crap. I was just as caught up in the moment as you. Twice you've done this to me. Twice you've retreated from me. Don't let this happen again. You can't do this to me." Her voice fell away. "Please don't do this to me. Whatever it is that makes you pull away from me, tell me."
Cailen turned away from her.
"Don't walk out of here."
Ignoring her plea, Cailen strode to the door and walked out of the library.
Angela Aaron is a writer of Romance with a fantasy twist. Her stories have stormy courtships, intriguing secrets, magic, mystery, lots of downright HOT moments between her characters and of course, happy-ever-after-endings. Angela loves to write big, strong alpha heroes and a story that can suck you in and make you believe every word of it is true. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and credits her vivid imagination for the visual appeal of her stories. Angela has four books published to date, The Guardian - Shadowstone Legend, The Fire of Beltane, Pleasure Island and A Mediterranean Affair.