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August 20, 2014

Loved It: Guarded by Mary Behre

Series: Tidewater 2
Format: ARC
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance
BLURB:

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.


FAVORITE QUOTE:

"Ever notice, disasters always seem to strike on the prettiest days? Like Mother Nature is laughing at you?"-Shelly


I always get nervous over sequels especially when I loved the first book. I've had my share of sophomore slump and I was a bit skeptical over GUARDED because the heroine, Shelly Morgan, can talk to animals. *head scratch* 

I mean a pet whisperer? I don't know how animal telepathy fits in the scheme of things. From a medium to an animal telepath?! *head scratch*

Obviously all my worries were for naught because I enjoyed GUARDED a lot. It's like The Animal Planet and ID-TV decided to co-produce a movie together, like a dark and deadly version of Dr. Doolittle. The gist is exotic and wild animals are slowly disappearing from the local zoo and Shelly Morgan, the town's veterinarian, thinks there's something sinister going on in the background. She sought the help of an old college buddy and current Tidewater detective, Dev Jones, to help her investigate. Soon enough bodies started dropping and Shelly is being framed for murder. 

I'll start with the romance. Shelly and Dev's is one of rekindling as they've known each other for a while and always had a crush on each other. This time around the stars aligned which made it possible for them to reconnect in more ways than one. *wink wink* I like Shelly enough, she's a little awkward, clumsy, and her ability gives her a quirky air. I like Dev too, he didn't go hardcore Alpha but demonstrated an appropriate degree of possessiveness and protectiveness towards Shelly to reinforce his attraction to her. The heat level in GUARDED is a few notches lower than Spirited, it's still there but not as pressing as with the first book. 

The whodunit was greatly written and made up for the minimal steam. I love it when the authors lets us in the villain's mind, giving them their own chapters so we get a clear sense of how dangerous they are and what motivates them. Until the identity of the killer/robber/animal-napper was revealed, I never had a clue of who was behind the theft and murders. The secondary characters were wonderful additions too, they added a lot of flavor to an otherwise small-town mystery and I got invested in them, especially the kid Beau, as much as I did for Shelly and Dev. 

For me the hook of GUARDED lies on Shelly's reunion with her sister Jules. They've been separated when they were teens after their parents died and they went to foster care. Since then, Jules have been searching for her sisters, Shelly and Hannah, so their reunion was much anticipated on my part. I love how understated it was, how it wasn't this big drama-fest filled with tears and snot. It was heartfelt but very grown up and I can't wait til all three sisters are united and see what comes after that.









43 comments:

  1. Hmmm... pet whisperer does sound kind of odd, but it looks like it worked out in this book. Great review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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    1. Yeah I was skeptical at first too and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out great. Thanks for stopping by Nomi!

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  2. Sequels can be a hit or miss, glad this one worked for you. I like the thought of animal.planet and ID TV coming together :)

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    1. It's a lame comparison, well you get what I meant so I guess it still did the trick. LOL

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  3. Yay! I've been loving this series. I'm so glad it turned out better than you were expecting. I really thought she did a great job as a follow up. I would have liked a little more steam but, well, I'm kinda pervy that way I guess. lol And now dang it the wait for book 3 is gonna do me in! lol

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    1. I feel your pain sister! Write faster, Mary Behre!

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  4. Oh I really enjoyed book 1 and I was curious about this one as well but I'm always anxious about talking animals... but I'm happy to see it was well done. Great review! Now I want to try it as well.

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    1. Don't be, I promise you it's a great follow up :)

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  5. OK OK, book #1 was on my to-read list, now it just made the "next" shelf ;)

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  6. Thank you Braine! Looks like another great find for my TBR. I'll be adding book one, ait's good to know that this one was good too :)

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    1. It's pretty laid back for PNR AND it's funny too! I hope you like it :)

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  7. You are right, at first the concept does sound a bit weird but it seems like it worked out well for the story. Glad you enjoyed!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. I think its because of the unique/weird concept that made it work. It's different in a good way. Thanks Teresa!

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  8. Hmm, I haven't heard of this series and the Dr. Doolittle themes are a little strange, but I might give it a try after such a great review. I'm glad you loved it!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. We all need a little different once it a while, helps break the monotony. Thanks, Tracy!

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  9. I bought Spirited not to long ago because of all the great reviews I saw for it. I am so excited this was just as good as the first even if the romance was a little less. It makes me excited to start this series. I need a really good PNR in my life right now. ;)

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    1. You're in good hands with Mary Behre. I hope you enjoy the series :)

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  10. I always get nervous about new series AND sequels, LOL. That's why I was waiting on this one until book 2 came out. Looks safe to try now ;) Great review, Braine!

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    1. Glad to give you the green light, Jessica! Thanks, lady :)

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  11. I think I'd be scratching my head of the pet-whisperer thing too, Braine. But I'm happy this sequel didn't let you down. I'm actually very curious about the story. Nice review, lady!

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    1. I haven't read a lot of pet psychics, I scoff at them on TV. MBehre didn't go over the top here though and that made it believable.

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  12. Yes, I am glad you loved it. The whole animal whispering thing was cool, and the author approached it differently which in itself was interesting. I am looking forward to book three.

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    1. So true! I thought she can speak "animal kingdom" talk, thank god it was more of impressions and stuff.

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  13. Well, with the animal whispering bit, this probably wouldn't work for me. I'm glad it was a satisfying sequel for you, Braine!

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    1. Thanks for checking it out, Andrea. Happy to give you some info about it for future reference, or not! :P

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  14. Now sees - it's the pet whispering thing that would make me want to read it. lol 've ALWAYS wanted to do that!! hehe

    I can see the potential for it to be silly though so I'm glad to hear it works here.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Right?! It's something different so it's worth a shot even if it's for the sake of curiosity at first. But it's so good I'm sure you'll at least find it entertaining.

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  15. Loved your review, Braine! Animal Planet and ID-TV? Haha! I enjoyed this one too even though I wasn't that into Shelly. I thought it would get all angsty over the sisterly reunion too and ended up 'That's it?' Phew yeah! Can't wait for Hannah's book.

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    1. Yes, Hannah's book! Maybe we'll get the Drama when we get to her.

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  16. So I added Spirited to my tbr list a while ago because romantic suspense and a little bit of paranormal is always an interesting combo but for some reason I had no idea there was a sequel and now I am more interested in the sequel :P I mean a weird Dr. Doo like situation?? AND ROMANTIC REUNIONS??? (well even if they were only crushes)... I think I might pick this one up instead :P

    Lovely review, Braine!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. You must read it in order or you'll miss the thing about the sisters. Just read faster so you get to Guarded sooner.

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  17. LOL, so what if she can talk to animals? Don't be an animal-whisperer raciest! hehehe Sounds like a good one.

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    1. Hahaha! I'm not! It's just different and I was unsure of how she'll pull it off. Thank god she did!

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  18. It might be nice to be able to know what my dog is thinking. I'd even more prefer to transmit thoughts to her...like, "NO, you're not getting another treat. Stop staring at me." I try telling her but it doesn't work!

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    1. That would be handy unfortunately dogs hate her... and I forgot to mention that.

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  19. The rekindling of romance is a theme that I like to read about. Also great to hear that this middle book didn't disappoint.

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    1. Yes, reunions are always happy stories... the good kind anyway ;)

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  20. I wasn't sold on the pet whisperer aspect of this series until I read your review, Braine. The sister's reunion sounds totally tear-worthy, and the romantic aspects definitely struck a chord with me. I'm definitely adding this series to my pile now that I know the sequel was good. Have a great weekend girlie!

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    1. Thanks, Carmel, I hope you find the time to try her series. Happy weekend to you too!

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  21. Great review Braine. I've been seeing a lot of books lately with the pet whisperer / talk to animals heroine in them and I just got done reading one "A Highlander's Obsession". It's an interesting concept and if done right can work great. After reading your review I'm think I need to put this series on my TBR. - Angela

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