Guardian (The Protectors #2) by Nancy Northcott

GuardianA POWER TO KILL FBI agent Camellia “Mel” Wray is no stranger to violence but when an old friend is brutally murdered, she takes it personally. The case hits even closer to her heart when the best person to help with the investigation is Dr. Stefan Harper, the only man she ever loved-and lost. One look at the gorgeous medical expert and Mel realizes he’s still impossible to resist-and still harboring a secret after all these years . . . 

A POWER TO LOVE Afraid Mel wouldn’t accept him, Stefan never revealed his study of magical medicine or his abilities, instead allowing her to believe he’d been unfaithful. Now she’s back in his life-and their mutual attraction burns hotter than ever. But when something dark and otherworldly threatens humans, Stefan must summon his mage powers to keep everyone safe. Will Mel be able to trust him again? Or will their love cost him even more than it did the first time?

This series is getting  better and better.  I stumbled on Renegade, the first book in The Protectors series, last year, and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only by the world building and the mythology, but also by the depth of the characters and the emotional whirlwind that Nancy Northcott’s writing took me on. These characters have intensity, power, loyalty and humor. They are a close knit group of friends and family that definitely live up to the series’ name.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Guardian features Stefan, who played a major role in Renegade. He was actually one of my favorite characters from the time he was introduced. He was a friend who was both loyal and compassionate. He was also lonely, even surrounded by his friends. He envied the close relationships of those around him who had found their mates. Readers found out exactly how much he envied them in Protector, the novella that falls between the first two books in The Protectors series. It seems that Stefan not only envied the love that his friends had found, he also was mourning the loss of the love that he had let out of his grasp. *sigh*

Camellia wasn’t just a random FBI agent. She was the love that Stefan thought he had lost. Her coming back into his life was either fate or cruel. Camellia wasn’t sure how she felt about the reunion either. What they both learned is nothing is quite what it seems and love has a way of winning out… the path is never easy though and definitely not in this series.

One of the things I like best about this series is the interaction between the characters. There are a lot of relationships interwoven in each of these books and those threads become even stronger and envelope more characters as the series progresses. I love getting to know the characters introduced in the previous books better and watching their story lines progress even further. It keeps things interesting and fresh.

As much as I loved this book and the characters I was torn at the end. Not because of the outcome, that was a given. I just felt like they got there a little too fast. There was plenty of drama leading up to it and enough tension to keep readers on the edge of their seat, but then it was over. To be fair, I think it may have been just me – and for totally selfish reasons. You see, I really liked Stefan and always have since the moment he was introduced in Renegade. Even though Camellia’s feelings and sense of betrayal were totally justified I was still mad at her for doubting Stefan’s sincerity and is character. In my opinion he forgave her much too quickly. Crazy, I know, but that also proves how well Nancy Northcott has done her job in bringing to life these characters. The world is amazing, the mythology is a huge draw for me and the characters are full of depth laced with wit and an undying loyalty to one another. What’s not to love?