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Xarrid Yarrister is barely surviving…he’s living a life in hell.

The love of his life, Saylan, has vanished into thin air, and his telepathic powers can’t connect with her mind.

Saylan, a Guardian of Vesturon, doesn’t know herself anymore. Kidnapped by the Xanthians, she’s had a robotic chip implanted in her brain and is now a prisoner in her own body, lacking free will, at the beck and call of her cruel masters.

For over a year Xarrid has been on the hunt. The Guardians have searched everywhere for her, but when they finally bring her home, Xarrid discovers her memory is gone. He’s determined to restore his love’s mind back to its healthy state. Removing the chip can cost Saylan her life, but doing nothing will cause irreparable brain damage. What choice will Xarrid make and how steep of a price will Saylan have to pay?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

I’ve waited months for this book and I am very, very sad to see this series end. I genuinely adore the Guardians and if I ever got the chance to pick any love interest from one of my paranormal romance books, I would most likely take a Vesturion Guardian. This book deals with darker themes than the other titles in the series, delving into PTSD and rape recovery, and is not for younger readers. There were some parts where I noticed that colloquial Earth slang had crept into the dialogue where it wasn’t before. I wish that hadn’t happened, but I still loved this story and won’t harp on it too much.

The plot:

The suspense in this series is mostly piled on at the beginning with the latter portion more devoted to wrapping up the many subplots (with characters who I adore). Nonetheless, I do which there had been a more focused point of conflict. While the main “question” appeared to be whether or not Saylan would be able to cope with what happened to her, I thought that there could have been a lot more done with what the author had.

Thus far in the series, we have learned that Vesturions practice staunch pre-marital celibacy, but this installment there is an exploration into what happens when one of them doesn’t have any choice in the matter. I thought it especially sad when, after learning what had been done to her, Saylan’s father is surprised to learn Xarrid still wants her. It’s not a theme often brought up in YA and I understand why, though I think Ms. Hargrove handled it well.

The characters:

Aww…Xarrid. Xarrid is the main perspective of the story and I admit I wasn’t particularly fond of him in the earlier books, but here all I cared about was him finding his ladylove and making her happy. He has a lot of anger and a lust for revenge in the beginning that I don’t consider healthy, but it’s only because of Saylan and his desire to shield and protect her.

Saylan has been through a lot and it takes her awhile to even remember her name. It was impossible not to feel sympathy for her. I was in torment as to whether or not she would be able to pull through the traumatic memories and nightmares that haunted her long after her rescue.

I love Jurek. The shapeshifting, sarcastic, fiercely loyal, secretly good leader of the Praestani was a near-constant presence here, helping Xarrid to find Saylan, then to aid in Saylan’s recovery, and the hunt for her captors. We learn a good deal more about Jurek and the Praestani in general and I think it’s a terrible pity that Jurek’s romance is in an Adult book, because I would have loved to read it (but I am a pre-established prude and that probably won’t happen for awhile).

There were a lot of subplots and loose ends that were tied off here, making for a clean end to a phenomenal series. Guardians, I will miss you and I have my fingers crossed for a spin-off series in the future!

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