Review of GUARDIAN'S KEEP by Lori Devoti (see her website)
Silhouette Nocturne, January 2008
Witch Kelly Shane knows there's a connection between the outbreak of huge wolves destroying one of her client's business and the Gateway run by werewolf Kol Hildr. When a new client claims that her child has been stolen and taken through that gateway, she's even more convinced that Kol is a force for evil. The hot physical desire that she feels for Kol simply has to be ignored. Unfortunately, ignoring that desire isn't easy as it's apparent that super-sexy werewolf Kol knows it's there--and feels the same toward her.
Kol has guarded his portal for a long time and doesn't intend to give it up--not to the rogues who seem arriving from everywhere or to the council supposedly in charge of these things who are now demanding that he accept an 'assistant' who is completely prepped to take over when he screws up. One common thread seems to connect all of Kol's problems--that pretty witch who insists on sticking her nose everywhere it doesn't belong. Despite everything, though, Kol can't bring himself to take Kelly down. On the contrary, he wants to take her to his bed--and keep her there.
Author Lori Devoti (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Devoti) continues her creative Norse Mythology-inspired gateway series with an enjoyable story that combines lots of adventure with sizzling sexy. Werewolf Kol is the strong alpha type--very male, very certain of himself, and very angry with the world. Kelly, with her empathy and concern for others makes a perfect foil--and eventual mate for the were. The bar setting, where mythical creatures congregate as a sort of home away from home is a lot of fun and should prove the launch for many more stories.
During the first half of this story, I found myself frustrated by Kol, and especially Kelly, making assumptions about the other's motives and actions--and not ever really asking about them. The story really settled down when Devoti cleaned up the misunderstandings and got into the hard core of the conflict between these two characters, and between the many enemies they share. GUARDIAN'S KEEP is a fun and enjoyable read--with plenty of steam.
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