Sunday, August 24, 2014

ARC Review: Stone Cold Lover

Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyles #2)

by Christine Warren


A prominent art restorer, Felicity is more than game to help a friend track down an obscure statue in Montreal. But when "Fil" finds it, she’s taken by surprise at how drawn she is to this statue. Attracted to it in a way a girl shouldn’t lust for a stone gargoyle; she revisits it at night, longing to feel its embrace. Little does Fil know, her desire for this stone cold beast is about to heat up a notch.
Locked in stone for centuries, Spar has slept, waiting for when a human would need him. When he is awoken, Spar is taken aback to find that a human female needs his help. A very sexy woman who’s about to be the victim of a cultist attack. Saving and leaving her should be no problem. But as more questions arise, Spar knows that he cannot rest until Fil is safe in his arms
Themes: paranormal, shifters, magick
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 

Wow who would have ever thought that gargoyles could be so sexy and desirable!?! I was skeptical about this series when I first read that this was Christine Warren’s next project.  While I have been a fan of her Others series, I just couldn’t see how she could pull this one off. But boy am I glad I gave the series a chance. With magic and mystery, demons and Guardians, and sexy as hell men that can shift into deadly and terrifying gargoyles, this series is one that should not be missed. If you missed book one in the series I recommend going back and reading it before this one, because while you get some details you will miss a lot of the subtext and importance without book one in your memory banks.  I cannot wait to see what comes next and just how many of these sexy Guardians are in the world.
Fil and Spar’s story really began in book one when her friend asks her to visit a local museum and check into the rumor about a huge gargoyle sculpture that might be located there.  Fil finds herself drawn inexplicably again and again to the statue and even breaking rules to have more time to visit, but on one such visit her world is turned upside down and inside out.  When the statue awakens, she is face-to-face with the beast that was no sculpture at all, instead he is a Guardian who has awakened from his sleep state at the call of danger.  Spar has been asleep for centuries and when he awakens things just do not seem to be going his way.  First his warden is nowhere in sight and he is forced to deal with the strange and unwelcoming world, and then he has to deal with a very distraught and confused Felicity and the attraction between them that could be his downfall.  As they explore and learn more about the world that exists under the one Fil has always inhabited, the passion between them becomes irresistible and it is obvious that there is more to their attraction than meets the eye.  Can this Guardian keep his mate safe as they battle the darkness and she learns to better understand her powers, or with the darkness consume them both in the end?
Can I just say the best part of any Warren novel is the dry wit and the unexpected humor, even during the darkest of moments, which can leave you laughing so hard it is difficult to keep reading.  Felicity is just the type of character I love by this author.  She’s strong-willed, independent, sarcastic, and irreverent, while also having a vulnerable side and the passion to handle the hero that is thrown in her path.  When she is faced with the truth that she never even knew to look for, she doesn’t break down and cry—too much—but instead fights for her life and finds the humor in her new situation as a host to the sexy and dangerous Guardian she inadvertently awoke from his supernatural sleep. 
Spar is another one of those alpha males that just makes you crazy as you listen to him, but makes you want to drag him into your bed at the exact same moment. After awakening into an ongoing battle, he doesn’t question his actions, just jumps right into the fray to protect Fil and defeat the evil that is threatening them both.  Only when he has insured their safety does he begin to question their new circumstances, showing that the best warriors know how to prioritize any situation.  I liked Spar’s curiosity and his willingness to embrace the new era he has awoken into, getting quite a few laughs out of his opinions on cars, motorcycles and cell phones.  Accepting that Fil is meant for him is a little more difficult, but he only resists the pull for so long, and then the need to be with her is so all consuming that there is really no more denying it.  It is obvious he will do anything and risk a lot to keep the world, and especially Felicity, safe from the spreading darkness.  And when he finally takes her into his arms, you will find yourself wishing and dreaming you were her and could have you very own sexy gargoyle.
In the end you are left with the feeling that real changes might be coming for these guardians and that only by finding their mates and battling together can they ultimately defeat the demons they face and the army of evil magic users that support them.  I loved seeing Fil and Spar interacting, one minute laughing my butt off and another reaching for the ice water the cool down from the passion.  Fil was the ultimate example of adaptability, going with the flow as the world around her morphs and changes into something unrecognizable, while still finding the love of her life and accepting that being with Spar is worth any danger or drama that might come along. Spar is the ultimate warrior, bred entirely to battle back the darkness in the world, and protect others at any cost to himself, but he has never had any personal motivation for the battle as important as his Felicity.  Now that he knows that his mate exists, his highest priority becomes keeping her safe and keeping the world safe enough for her.  I enjoyed watching them working together to defeat their enemies and uncover more of the secrets of their world.  I have a sinking suspicion I know whose story will be next and if I’m correct it will be even greater than the previous novels in the series.  Keep those sexy gargoyles coming my way, Christine, and I can promise you will always have at least one tried and true fan.  Great work!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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