I received this book for free from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Last Guard by Nalini Singh
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Ocean Light , Wolf Rain, Alpha Night, Slave to Sensation, Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Visions of Heat, Branded by Fire, Shield of Winter
Series: Psy Changeling Trinity #5, Psy Changeling #20
Published by Berkley on July 20, 2021
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Futuristic Romance
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Length: 10 Hours and 52 Mins
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Berkley Publishing Group
NYT bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to a world devastated by change in her award-winning Psy-Changeling Trinity series, where two people defined by their aloneness hold the fate of the Psy in their hands . . .
Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.
For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed "imperfect" by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel of the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an Anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.
To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet . . . or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.
Last Guard is the fifth installment in the Psy Changeling Trinity series, and it continually baffles me how long of a series this is becoming especially if you combine all the books in this marvelous series together. I was actually wanting to enjoy this so much but unfortunately, it didn’t quite make it to the rating that I was expecting. This story just didn’t engage me immediately like I was expecting it to, and it took a while to really become invested in the story. I think I have tried to read this over the past couple of months but finally pulled myself together to get it to read. And I am so relieved that I was able to do that. Because while it starts slow, once you become invested in this pairing, you won’t be able to put it down. This is the talent of this author, that I just wanted to see how these two would find their HEA and overcome the conflict that is facing their people.
The Last Guard features our two main leads:
Canto Mercant-Head of the family, Spinal Injury, Cardinal Empath and Anchor
Payal Rao- Anchor, Designation A, Cardinal Telekinetic, CEO, Indian Descent
Last Guard features two characters that once knew each other as children, where they were tortured among the unwanted at the time, until they were rescued and they never saw each other until now when they are to work together in the search of solving the problems involving the psy net, and now the net is dying, and only if the anchors work together will they be able to save it. But Canto recognizes Payal for the girl he always loved and never stopped, but he also needs her to help save the net. Payal, the girl he once knew, is hidden behind her cool exterior, but he is going to take a lesson from the courting handbook of the bears, and court his girl no matter how long it takes. He is dedicated to digging deep and finding that sweet strong girl who loved fiercely. Payal is not the girl that Canto used to know. Her father and brother are brutal psychopaths, who only use her for their own means, and as a means of survival, she protects herself behind a shield of ice. She doesn’t truly know Canto, but a hidden part of her trusts him completely. And with each day, she feels her shields against him, softening and slowly trusting him and desiring full on “skin privileges” and more with Canto. But they have enemies, and the whole psy’s survival depends on them. Will Canto and Payal find their way fully together and saving their people?
I’m going mad, but its a beautiful madness was her last conscious thought before she slipped into sleep
Last Guard was such a brilliant story and I was so much in love with this one here. But it took a while to get to the “love” part of the story. I do struggle with books where you want to love it, but can’t quite get on board all the way through. However, despite the struggles I had initially, I just knew that I would eventually fall for this book, and man Singh really worked her magic in this book. I just couldn’t get enough of Payal and Canto. They were utterly brilliant together, and one aspect I have truly adored about this author, but most especially in this series, is seeing characters fight for each other in such a equal way. I truly appreciate the way that she shows the hero AND the heroine fighting for each other in the relationship. In most romance, you will see more fight from the hero than the heroine, but in this one, even though the fight begins with the hero at the beginning of the story, this heroine fought for the hero in the latter half defended him, and protected him. And this is my true catnip in a romance and will win my heart every time. This book also contains many of the tropes I adore: friends to lovers, childhood sweethearts, second chance romance, forced proximity. The secondary characters in this one (most specifically the BEARS) were hilarious, and I just wanted more of them. They are the true delight from this “trinity” series that Singh has implemented. Loved seeing members of the Mercant family and even some delights from our beloved favorite psy “Kaleb Krychek”. I am curious about what Nalini Singh has planned for the series next because I need more, but she is worth waiting on.
“Don’t thank me. Not for looking after you. You’re mine to care for, mine to hold” The possessive words just came out, and he wasn’t fucking sorry. “You know it and I know it. It might’ve begun in childhood, but it’s a bigger, stronger, far more powerful thing now
Overall I found Last Guard to be a story that combines the beauty of two lost souls finding each other once again, to the intensity of the battle in the fighting for your people, a sweet yet sturdy courtship that wins your heart with each step in the dance, a romance that will strike a transcendent chord in your soul and leave you with a smile on your face.