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…
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…
Type: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance--Psychic
Heat: 3 out of 5 (though minimal)
Rating: 4 out of 5
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Huge girly sigh! I mean. I'm loving this series. Guarded was an incredibly fun ride. How could it not be with one seriously sexy detective and a heroine who can talk with animals? Add in a murder mystery and touch of danger, a second chance at finding love and a man eating ferret and, yeah, I was a happy reader girl. *nods*
The quick of it is that Shelley can talk to animals--ahhh I love that!--and she's in need of help. Something fishy is happening in her local zoo and animals are disappearing. So she reaches out to a college friend--and unrequited crush--Dev who she hasn't seen in year but knows she can count on not knowing he was actually searching for her! See, he knows her long lost sister and is trying to get the siblings back together. Ahh I just love the Fates when they mettle like this. But the simple case Shelley needs help with turns into so much more with murders popping up all over the place and things heating up between the sheets too!
I really liked these two. Dev is just such a hottie. I was totally smitten with him in Spirited and fell even more in Guarded. He's just...a good guy. Dependable, honorable, ripped as all get out. Yes. He's one you'll totally want to lick. Mmmhmm What I loved most about him though was he was completely okay with Shelley's crift--her gift/curse of being able to talk to animals. Something that can be a struggle for Shelley from time to time. It's not something that phased him or he doubted he just...went with it. And that totally made me love him.
Dev eyed Lucy with distrust. He brushed a hand through his sandy-blond hair, sighing. "If you want to bring her along, it's fine. I'd already mentioned the possibility to Seth. But you might want to bring her cage just in case he decides to attack anyone else."
Shelley laughed. "Lucy's a very loving animal. She doesn't usually attack." Lucy pushed all four paws against Shelley's chest, as if preparing to launch herself at Dev again. "On second thought, maybe she should stay here. They've got a kitten over there now."
Bringing Lucy up to eye level, Shelley said, "I'll give you some extra treats and let you run around when I get back." I also don't want you attacking Dev anymore. She sent the thought winging into the ferret's mind.
Images of Lucy's hammock, munching on treats, and snuggling with Shelley came flying back in response. She'd started to smile until another image hit her--of Lucy latching onto Dev's jeans in Shelley's apartment.
That's not funny. She mentally scolded Lucy, who sent back an image of her doing the weasle war dance...Lucy's way of laughing.
"Yep, she'll be fine here." Shelley said, glancing at Dev as he opened the door.
The romance and tension between them was very nice though it seemed to take a backseat to the suspense this time. Which really worked and wasn't a problem for me. It fit the storyline and and since these two already knew each other it was easier to go along with their quick connection. I would have liked a little more one on one time with them, personally, but it was still a nice romance with a bit of steam happening. I liked that they'd known each other during their college years and that both had been more or less already in love with each other all those years ago but the stars just hadn't aligned for them. I don't know. It was just sweet seeing them finally get their chance.
The suspense. Well. It was pretty damn good. It surprised the hell out of me. I don't say that too often but this time Behre got me something good. It wasn't until way close to the reveal that I figured things out. The last little bit was a bit chaotic reading-wise with lots of spurts and direction changes but it worked. It really made you feel that high stress adrenaline fueled atmosphere as things finally started to happen and everyone was going everywhere to wrap things up.
From the nerve wracking suspense to a sweet second chance at romance Guarded was a fantastic ride. There was some excellent humor added into the mix with the animals and some very touching moments as Shelley reconnected with her sister--the heroine from book one. It was just a nice read and one that has me very excited to see what will happen next in the series. Especially after meeting Ian and Ryan who totally have me panting after them and hoping they'll have their stories told.
More Behre on herding cats!