I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Heart of Stone by Christine Warren
Also in this series: Stone Cold Lover, Rocked by Love
Series: Gargoyles #1
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on December 31st 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Shape Shifting
From bestselling author Christine Warren comes a thrilling new series about a young woman caught between a rock and a hard place—between gargoyles and demons…
Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. Well, as normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people—and her powers in check—while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. But how on earth is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum's terrace suddenly comes to life?
Heart of Stone
Not your ordinary gargoyle, Kees has been asleep for eons, waiting for a portent of evil to wake him from his slumber. Kees isn't a vision; he's a bat-winged guardian created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. Somehow, Ella triggered his reawakening. Maybe the demons have been unleashed? Maybe his heart is finally ready to be chiseled open? The fate of the world isn't carved in stone…yet.
Ella is not normal like everyone surrounding her. Ella possesses psychic ability, but one she keeps under wraps. Ever since her parents died in a fatal accident that she believes is her fault in her failure to keep a tight leash on her powers, she does everything possible to hide them, even from herself. One evening while working at a museum, she is attacked, and a gargoyle statue comes to life saving her. Kees is a guardian in the shape of a gargoyle, keeping demons away. His duty is to protect and destroy evil, but then he is awakened by a woman’s cry, and every protective instinct he has goes into overdrive. He never expected to be put asleep for hundreds of years, or that he would yearn for this woman who fires his blood in a way he has never felt before. Ella is shocked to discover that certain gargoyles aren’t normal statues, they are guardians, and the world is in trouble. That Kees and his fellow guardians are the only ones that stand in the way between evil demons and humanity. It will take Kees and Ella working together to destroy a enemy that seems to surround them on all sides, will they be able to rely on each other and their abilities, to survive the coming battle on the horizon or be destroyed?
I was able to obtain a copy of this ARC through St Martins Press via Netgalley. I only received this a few weeks ago, and after reading some amazing reviews, I knew I had to pick it up. I love shifter romances, and I was intrigued by the “gargoyle” theme this author has going here. The story starts out tame and normal, where nothing abnormal ever happens right? well, the story quickly escalates into a fierce battle of good vs. evil. After Ella gets attacked, Kees stays by her side, with a full Alpha Male personality calling her “Mine” whenever she attempts to get back to her normal routine. Kees is very old and has lived for centuries, and so he is bound to cause complications for a modern day woman right? Well their relationship is tested when evil stalks them, and as they search for aid in helping Ella develop her powers more, they start to realize how dire the situation is. That they, currently, are the only ones that have a chance to defeat the demons that are intent are destroying every guardian and mage out there, that are fighting to protect humanity. The story line is quite full of suspenseful scenes and dramatic action that heats the blood. Danger is around every corner, and my heart just went out to Kees and Ella for not getting much of a break. I enjoyed seeing the intense tone to the plot that kept me on the edge the whole way through.
Now let me talk a bit about the characters involved in the story. The two main characters, Kees and Ella, are wonderful together. From beginning to end there is a sizzling desire that you feel from the first moment Kees has been awakened. Kees is somewhat unique as far as shifters go, since he can turn from a stone beast to a gorgeous hunk of a male in a instant. He is from a older time, so has strong possessive traits especially when it comes to the one woman that matters more than life to him. I have to say that Kees definitely raised the heat meter sky high. There wasn’t anything I disliked about him. He adapts quickly to modern life and I love the way he compromises with Ella time from time, but at others, their fights could be catastrophe at times–but enjoyable at the same time. Now Ella….how do I describe her adequately enough or how much I liked her spunk. One of my favorite aspects of Ella as the heroine is the inner strength she has, but her vulnerabilities that shine through and make her so real to the reader. Ella is the perfect mate for Kees, strong and capable, passionate and full of zeal for life. She brought such zest to the story and I enjoyed the sparks between this couple that never seemed to end. They also seemed to be a solid fighting couple too, especially considering what a novice Ella is.
Overall a surprisingly intense paranormal romance that will set you on a roller coaster of delights, twist and turns, dangers around every corner, and a plot guaranteed to give you a thrill of a adventure!! Hold tight, because Heart of Stone will give you a ride of a lifetime of two people that have discovered a fierce love while battling the greatest evil that threatens the destruction of the world!!!