Series: Tidewater #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Berkley on August 5, 2014
Reviewed by: Libbie
Sexual Content: A few sex scenes
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…
Looking back at my review for Spirited, my thoughts at the time were that I'd probably read the second book in the series, but would do so with the hope that some of the little glitches were tightened up. I'm happy to say that they were. GUARDED was a much tighter story - both in terms of the plot and the sparks/relationship of the two protagonists.
Whereas Jules, Shelley's estranged sister, can see and speak to the dead, Shelley herself can communicate with animals - all except dogs who run in fear or go crazy when she's around them. This is explained late in the story and it makes such beautiful sense. I really liked the way that Behre wrote the animal communication angle. None of the animals spoke to her in words, but rather they communicated in a series of pictures. The picures could be anything from things they'd seen to memories they had of good and bad things. I liked it better than the voice-over Dr. Doolittle way of doing things, where each animal has it's own comical accent. Images as communication just seemed to fit better for me.
GUARDED's plot is solid, if a little hard to follow in the climax for reasons that would spoil a plot twist. Not enough, though, for me to drop a star. I was pulled in like a fish and kept there. The mystery was nicely built up and kept me guessing through to the final reveal. Charcters I loved in Spirited were back and I loved seeing Jules and Seth again, catching up on how they were doing and happy to see Jules settling in to using her "crift." And the reunion between the sisters is a scene not to be missed. Very, very well done.
All in all, I enjoyed GUARDED and I'm definitely back for the third book. Not just to meet the third sister, but to revisit Dev, Shelley, Jules and Seth again. I'm enjoying the universe so much, I'm getting better at overlooking the "reworking" of my hometown. If you like a little mystery, a little romance, and some ghosts and guard ferrets, this is probably a story you'll enjoy.Series Titles: