Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guardian's Faith by Jacqueline Rhoades

Title:  Guardian's Faith
Author:  Jacqueline Rhoades
Series:  Guardian's of the Race #4
Published:  November 9th 2013 by Jacqueline Rhoades
Page Count:   379
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Shelf:  Review Copy
Rating:  ★★★★


Physically and emotionally damaged by the horrors of her past, no one is more surprised than meek and silent Faith Parsons when she feels compelled to stow away in the van of the taciturn Liege Lord, Lucien ad Toussaint and travel to his House of Guardians in the faraway Southwest. She's even more surprised when some of the local women see her as the one who will heal the 160 year old wounds that are destroying their way of life.

Lucien, too, is haunted by his past. He has withdrawn from the world around him and lives a reclusive and duty-bound life. He never expected that a tiny Daughter of Man could open the doors to a heart he's kept closed for so long.

As the attraction between Faith and Lucien grows, the events of both their pasts begin to replay in the present. Must history repeat itself or can their future be changed?

Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.


"Agdta worries," he repeated, ignoring the rest of it, "And what about you, little hummingbird? Do I worry you, too?"

"This… this isn't about me," she signed with trembling hands as he approached.

There was something in his eyes that made her take a step back. His irises were a deep, dark blue, so dark that she'd first mistaken them for black. There was no mistaking the color now. There was a half-smile on his face, turning up one corner of his mouth in what was very close to a smirk and those eyes glittered brightly with what she could only describe as victory.

"I think this is all about you, little hummingbird." He took another step toward her and grinned when she took another step back.

His eyes were hypnotic and Faith couldn't pull her eyes away. Her breath became heavy with the weight of his stare. She kept pulling in short gasps of air, but felt as if she couldn't breathe. The backs of her legs bumped the overstuffed chair behind her and she was left with two choices. Her head told her to sit, but her heart told her to stand and face what was coming. She not only stood, but kept her chin up and her eyes locked on his.

Lucien took the glass from her hand and carefully placed it on the table alongside his own. Hands now free, he placed one at her waist and cradled her head with the other.

"Hummingbirds feed on the nectar of flowers," he said softly without taking his eyes from hers, "I've dreamed of tasting that nectar."

Keeping his hand in place, Lucien bent to kiss the lips that haunted his dreams. They were warm and soft and pliant beneath his own. She hesitated only a moment and then sighed softly as if she, too, had dreamed of this moment.

Lucien used her sigh to press his cause. He touched his tongue to the tiny space between her lips through which her sigh escaped. Her lips opened only a fraction, but it was enough to tell him she wanted this, too. He withdrew and she followed him.

His hand slipped further around her waist and his body arched over her, bending her back. He wanted to grip the curls at the back of her head and force her head back to give him access to that slender, enticing neck, but he held himself back and continued to hold her head gently in his hand.

It was Faith who laid her head back in the security of Lucien's palm, exposing her neck to his kiss.

"You are lovely," He whispered against the pale skin.

"No," she protested, "I'm not," but it was hard to argue with a man who was running the tip of his tongue up her neck and sending shivers of excitement to places she'd long thought dead.

Faith closed her eyes to keep the fantasy of this experience alive and emblazoned on her memory. For these few moments she was what she could never be; a beautiful woman in the arms of a beautiful man. She savored the feel of him as her hands moved along the muscles of his back. She relished the flavor of his lips against hers and when his tongue sought entrance, she opened for him.

Even as the kiss deepened and his mouth's demands became more urgent, there was a gentleness to it that made her feel cherished as well as desired. Her heart swelled at the sentiment and she was grateful Lucien couldn't see the tears that welled up because of it.

These were feelings that were previously unknown to her and they awakened in her a yearning to know and experience more. Tommy Barrett's kisses had been sweet, but nothing like these. Lucien's kisses had all the sweetness of honey tinged with a fire that heated her blood and warmed her body, preparing it for his touch.

Her rational mind understood that this overflow of emotion was an excessive reaction to a simple kiss, but she did nothing to hold it back. This kiss was the fulfillment of a dream. This one kiss was filled with the last bit of cleanliness and purity her soul had left and she wanted Lucien to have it. It was all she had to give.

Without further thought, she raised her hands to his face and ran her thumbs along the contours of his cheeks. She traced the full dark brows that hooded his expressive eyes; eyes that could look so stern one minute and so soft the next. She liked them best when he laughed. His long nose was slightly crooked with a small dent at the side that he unconsciously rubbed with the pad of his thumb when he pinched the bridge of his nose. That gesture was a sure sign he was thinking deeply or trying to regain his patience. His ears were set close to his head, perfect and even with long lobes, one of which she now sought with her lips and teeth, sucking one into her mouth and releasing it only to have the pleasure of doing it again.

His short, sharp intake of breath told her that he took pleasure in it, too and when he turned with her still in his arms and walked her backwards to the bed, she didn't stop him. Still cradling her, he laid her back and, bracing himself on hands to either side; he eased himself down over her and began to rub his cheek across her tee shirt covered breasts.

His beard was heavy and he shaved twice a day. He was clean shaven now, but Faith closed her eyes and tried to imagine what that bristled roughness would feel like against that tender skin. Her body arched as she reached for further contact. He sighed his pleasure and moved to the crook of her neck where he licked and nibbled gently and Faith was not afraid.

This was not the fumbling awkwardness of her joining with Tommy Barrett, nor the slobbering and groping she was sometimes accosted with in the bars. This was definitely not the harsh brutality of her time with Tyn. This was gentle and knowing. This was special. This was Lucien.

My Review:

All I can say right now is read this book! Seriously. Go get a copy. It can be read as a standalone but is better as part of the series, so take your pick. But seriously, go read it.

Ok, I must admit I’ve been (impatiently) waiting for this novel since the main character was introduced in the 2nd Guardians of the Race novel. Just when I though Rhoades couldn’t throw me for a loop, she definitely did. Even after having read the rest of this series and the synopsis for this book I still couldn’t have imagined how this was all going to play out. Rhoades’ phenomenal storytelling and overactive imagination combine to create a novel that you won’t be able to put down or to forget.

By using the same voice and descriptive methods as the previous stories in the Guardians of the Race series she ties them all together. The recurring characters are not only family to each other, but by this point in the series they are becoming family to the reader as well. The main characters in this novel might just be my favourite yet. Both characters have major challenges to overcome before they can fully accept not only their relationship but who they are. It is an amazing feat to see what they accomplish together.

My overall thoughts on this novel can be easily summed up: written by an adult for an adult audience, has a bit of everything, including romance, suspense, heat, laugher, you name it. Overall, well worth the time it takes to read it and then read again. This novel didn’t just meet my expectations it blew them right out of the water. Rhoades’ books just keep getting better and better. I definitely can’t wait to see what comes next.

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About Jacqueline:

A New Englander by birth and an Ohioan by choice, Jacqueline, known as Jackie by her friends, makes her home in a small, rural town with one lovable husband, one spoiled dog and one disinterested cat. (The adjectives are often interchangeable). An avid reader from a very early age, Jackie has an eclectic taste for books and therefore has trouble naming a favorite genre or author, though she does admit that for pure personal fantasy and 'take-me-away' books, you just can't beat a good romance.

Jackie believes in the beauty of all women and thinks most women don't see themselves as they should (herself included). She tries to make the women in her books reflect the best of 'average' in a variety of shapes, sizes, personalities and backgrounds, and each is beautiful in her own way. Some of her heroes are movie star handsome, while others are not. All her characters are beautiful in the eyes of their lovers and that, to Jackie, is the most beautiful of all.

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The Guardians Of The Race Series 

The Wolvers 

Hidden Mountain  - Contemporary Romance 

1 comment:

  1. Jonel, what a wonderful review. You couldn't me more on spot. I loved Guardian's Faith and the intricate way it was woven just made the read so great! Can't wait for more!