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I Belong


Review: Guarded by Mary Behre

GuardedTitle: Guarded

Author: Mary Behre

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Tidewater (Book #2)

Publication Date: August 5, 2014

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425268624 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425268629 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

She’s given up on finding love…

Veterinarian Shelley Morgan has always preferred animals to humans, and not simply because she can communicate with them psychically. Unlike most people she’s known, animals have never broken her heart. But after six months in her new town, some of her favorite four-legged companions begin disappearing from the local zoo. Determined to track down the animals and their thief, the telepathic vet decides to investigate, unknowingly delving into a deadly mystery…

He’s ready to make her heart go wild…

Although his bear-like physique has been an advantage in the Tidewater Police Department, Dev Jones’s size often intimidates people. Only Shelley has seen past his massive build to the intelligent man inside, but that was years ago. So when she contacts him requesting his help to solve a series of animal kidnappings, he’s eager to reconnect with her. But the thefts escalate to murder and all the evidence points to Shelley as the killer, and Dev faces a devastating choice: forsake his career or risk losing the woman he’s grown to love…

Quick & Dirty: A woman who can talk to animals is desperate to figure out who is stealing animals from the zoo. Luckily, she knows just the detective for the case…

Opening Sentence: The coffee sucked.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Shelley is a veterinarian in the small town of Elkridge. Her gift for being able to talk to animals has helped her immensely at her job. All is not well in the town though. Animals have been disappearing from the local zoo. While excuses have been made for why this is the case, Shelley knows better due to what the animals have told her: someone is stealing the animals, and some new tiger cubs are the next target. Shelley obviously has no way of proving this, so she decides to call Dev Jones, a college friend who is now a cop.

Dev has had a crush on Shelley for as long as he can remember, so he jumps at the chance to see her again. His hopes to sweep Shelley off her feet go awry though when bodies start showing up and Shelley starts looking good as a potential suspect. Now, time is running out for them to find out who is behind everything. Will they be able to figure out who the culprit is before it’s too late?

I really wanted to like this book. I’m a huge animal lover, and I really liked the idea of a heroine who could communicate with animals. Unfortunately, that aspect of the book wasn’t enough to keep me from being disappointed. I found myself bored much of the time, as the pacing of the plot just felt off to me. I was also often annoyed by Shelley, specifically with her constant use of the word “frack” or “fracking” to replace a certain curse word. Using it one time is cute, but using it repeatedly got old real fast. Shelley’s reasoning for not wanting to get too close to Dev also didn’t ring true for me, and I just found myself rolling my eyes a lot, which is never a good sign.

The one bright spot in the book is the chemistry between Dev and Shelley. From the minute they see each other, there’s a spark, and I was just dying for them to finally get together. While it wasn’t enough to save the book for me, it definitely deserves to be mentioned.

Ultimately, I was just let down by this book. I figured out pretty early on how some parts of the plot were going to be wrapped up, and I just never felt any urgency to know what was going to happen. I like to try and read more than one book from a series before making up my mind on whether to continue, but I honestly don’t see myself picking up book 3 any time soon, if ever.

Notable Scene:

A huge, blurry mass appeared so quickly in front of him, it seemed to pop into existence from nowhere.

Blam!

It flew at his chest, knocking him to the ground. Dev’s head smacked the pavement. Tiny stars burst to vibrant multicolored life in front of his eyes.

The something was large and furry and pinning him. Still he managed to get his hand free. He reached for his sidearm, which…shit!…he’d left locked in the trunk of his car.

The damned beast burrowed its muzzle against his cheek and rumbled a deep, throaty growl.

A bear?

Cold fear slid down his neck. Or that might have been the animal’s bloodthirsty drool. He might be a city boy, but he’d heard all about bear attacks in small towns like this one. He held perfectly still, eyes closed, playing dead as he tried to get a sense of the animal’s size. If it were a bear, it wasn’t full grown. A cub, maybe? But a big one.

Relief at the thought evaporated at the next.

Where there’s a cub, there’s a mama bear somewhere. Dev couldn’t just lie there; he needed to protect his vital organs before the animal figured out he was still warm enough to chew on. He rolled onto his side and into a ball, protecting his head, face, arms, and torso.

The bear seemed to tighten its hold on him. Its breath coming hot and nose hair curling against Dev’s ear.

He was going to be eaten by a bear in the middle of this damned street while everyone in Elkridge was out to lunch.

Tidewater Series:

1. Spirited

2. Guarded

2.5 Harmonized (July 21, 2015)

3. Energized (August 4, 2015)

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FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Guarded. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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