Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren

Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (227 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Her name is Wynn Powe. A woman of great instinct and inner resources—and insatiable beauty—Wynn has returned to Chicago to do what she does best: Locate Guardian statues. But the Order of Eternal Darkness has beat her to the punch, and the statue she’s come to investigate has been blown to smithereens. An elusive enemy is on her trail…and this time, she’s on her own. Until a mysterious package falls into Wynn’s hands—one that contains contain a chunk of old stone, along with instructions for the spell required to summon a new Guardian.


Enter Knox. He’s a Guardian magically embued with the skills and memories of his race…and drop-dead, expertly-chiseled good looks. Bound to Wynn as his Warden, Knox vows to learn the truth about the destroyed Guardian—and protect Wynn at all costs. But he never could have imagined the fierce attraction that has taken hold of him, body and soul. Is his desire for Wynn worth the risk of being destroyed by the Order? The only thing he knows for sure is that he won’t go down without a fight. Nor will he pass up a night of pure blind passion…

Hard as a Rock starts off with a first chapter filled with drama as the heroine flees for her life and everything thing she does is thwarted by the bad guy chasing her. Ms. Warren wastes no time in bringing a reader up to speed that this book isn’t going to be boring and is, in fact, quite arresting and gripping.

Wynn is not a typical heroine. She likes her life just the way it is and she’s in control. But in the previous book in the series she helped a friend out only to find that her comfy, staid and organized world is about to go BOOM. She’s a bit out of shape, she’s a tad argumentative but she’s got a loyal streak a mile wide. What the heroine has to deal with is the discovery that her brother is not only missing, he may have known his abductors, she discovers that she’s the very thing she always wanted to be but now hates, and that she doesn’t want a fated love but a chosen love. Wynn is a stubborn lady who has to reconcile her wants with reality. It’s a bit bumpy but the hero, while not driving her bonkers, is able to smooth the way as only a Guardian can.

Knox is a typical Alpha Guardian whose sole purpose it to protect mankind from the ultimate evil. The author describes him in great yummy detail and he’s growly, assertive, assured and a bit paranoid with protecting Wynn. As much as I liked Knox, his characterization was a bit flat for me. He seemed too perfect and shallow in self-actualization. Kees and Spar from the first two books have stronger personalities with greater depth. Still, Knox does have a certain appeal and charm so I went with the flow. And what a flow it is.

The romance isn’t as strong as the first two books either. This had a ton more action, plot development, investigation and revelations. Finally someone with knowledge has been found but every time this person left the safety of a Guardian’s protection I got worried and a bit paranoid myself. I adored his character, I believe there is a lot more about him that the author has yet to share and I don’t want anything to happen to him. Hard as a Rock is a very busy novel and the story moved at a fast clip. Because so much went on, I suspect the romance suffered for it. But that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t romance or that I didn’t like the book. Au contraire. I could not read fast enough because the conflict is one that grips and took ahold of my imagination and all my attention. When Wynn gets over herself and succumbs to the wonder that is Knox, the scenes sizzle and a reader is not left in any doubt as to their physical and emotional attachment for each other. There is one scene where Wynn finally realizes the depths of Knox’s love for her and it’s a powerful moment.

As for the bad guys, they earn the title of bad to the bone. There are creepy entities to deal with and I was treated to some gross and icky descriptions of their demise. It was effective writing.

I liked Wynn’s family, especially her mom. Actually, the scene with the food and its interpretation made me laugh. Now that’s a family I could relate to.

Hard as a Rock is a fine addition to the series and a worthy read. From the discoveries, the research, the planning and ultimate confrontation, this novel is meaty, rich in detail and full of suspense, mystery and quite a bit of action. Wynn and Knox are sweet together as a couple and after what they went through during this story, I truly believe they’ll have a wonderful happy ever after – once all the bad guys are finally trounced and defeated. I can’t wait for the next book and I definitely recommend Hard as a Rock for paranormal romantic suspense fans, even new ones because for the most part, this is a standalone read.

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