Monday, November 12, 2012

The Valkyrie's Guardian by Moriah Densley

Title: The Valkyrie’s Guardian
Author: Moriah Densley
My Rating: A-

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Crimson Romance / F+W Media

ISBN:  1440551375
ISBN13:  9781440551376

Number of pages:  300
Word Count:  91K

Book Description:  
“Augmented strength, lightning weapon, chronic PMS – you’re a valkyrie, Cass.”
You might call them superheroes. “Extra-sentients” are one in 4.5 million with the extraordinary ability to unlock the full potential of the mind.

Cassiopeia Noyon is descended from the most powerful known extra-sentient, but she’s a dud – no impressive talents except a healing ability which lands her in trouble. She’s all wrong for Jack MacGunn, her dazzling immortal berserker bodyguard.

Cassiopeia Noyon has a medical degree at age twenty-one, which makes her a total loser … for an extra-sentient with merely superhuman strength and healing powers but not much else. Cassie may not even be immortal, which is a downer since the man she’s adored since age six, is.

Jack MacGunn is King of the Bad Pick-Up Line. A true blue kilt-wearing, pipe-playing Scot descended from a long line of berserker warriors; if he’s awake, he’s either hungry or itching for a fight. Lately Jack feels lost. His career as a Navy SEAL detachment agent is on a slow train to nowhere. He suspects it has something to do with his out-of-control superhuman rages.

The one task Jack has never failed at is guarding Cassie from their enemies, but now he fears he can’t protect her from himself. Even if they could go a single day without fighting, Jack knows he’ll never be good enough for her. The boss’ granddaughter is off-limits anyway.

A chance encounter with a villain long assumed dead sends Jack and Cassie on a race to save the children secreted away at Network One, the academy for genius extra-sentients. Jack discovers a new side of Cassie when in the heat of combat she invokes unheard-of powers. Has Jack finally met his match?

My Review:
This book is labeled as paranormal romance, but that genre doesn't quite encapsulate what this book really is. This is superhero fantasy at it's finest...definitely an X-men style of action adventure with a HUGE, wonderful dash of romance thrown in and I loved it!

Jack has been part of Cassie's life since he saved her when she was six years old. He's always been there ever since as her bodyguard, but lately things between the two of them have been changing. There's an incredible heat between them and that isn't just's literally a heat when things start to ratchet up.

Jack is a Viking Berserker, an immortal with incredible power and size, even when he's not in a Berserker rage. Cassie has her own abilities, but unfortunately they simply haven't lived up to expectations which she hates. What she doesn't realize is that things are subtly changing for her. She doesn't see it, but Jack has noticed. Honestly, both of them are pretty darn impressive and so much more than a normal human. Cassie complains about her inability, but she can bench press 975 lbs, runs incredibly fast, and can heal through her will....and all that's before her abilities develop.

There is a whole society of these humans with extra abilities (seriously, here, think X-men) and they've created schools to protect the children. There is a bad guy out there after Cassie and is exploiting the children to get to her. That's the over-arching story, but there's also a fantastic military aspect. Jack's a SEAL and his commander knows what he is and covers for him because his abilities aid the teams so much. When he sees what Cassie can do too, he wants her to join up. I LOVED the scenes with the SEALS. These were a great group of guys...lots of personalities within it and all of them fun characters.

The kid...Cheese/Henry...who is so damaged he can only communicate by quoting from books...he broke my heart, but I LOVED what he added to the story. I can't even imagine how long it took the author to come up with all his amazing lines (which are ENTIRELY creative!)

But the best thing about this book absolutely was the relationship between Jack and Cassie. Because he's a Beserker, it will literally endanger her life to become involved with him. Every time they are together, which is all the time, they are coming closer and closer to losing control. They are most definitely playing with fire and it is hot to read. But I also loved their relationship because they are best friends. Cassie calls him out on things...I loved that!

My only complaint about this book is that it read like a second book in a series and I really honestly thought it was. I spent a lot of the first 25% of the book slightly confused about how everything tied together. There's a lot of backstory to this story with the history of the characters and the extra-sentient beings. Those details were slowly woven into and explained throughout the story, but I just kept feeling like I was just missing a little bit in the details.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Author Bio:
2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. Moriah lives in Las Vegas with her husband 

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