Title: Guardian by A.J. Messenger
Published: May 18th, 2014 , publisher not specified / self published (?)
Noteworthy: Forbidden Love troupe, paranormal romance
Rating: ★★★½ , 3.5/5 stars
Eighteen-year-old Declan Jane is just trying to make it through senior year in San Mar, the Northern California coastal town she’s lived in all her life. Perpetually under the radar, she’s surprised by the pull she feels to a mysterious and attractive new student, Alexander Ronin. Despite all the girls vying for his attention, Declan is the one he’s drawn to, and she finds herself returning his interest. As the intensity of their attraction builds and she discovers the truth behind his appearance in San Mar, he reveals the danger she’s in and why their relationship holds deadly consequences. But as Declan overcomes her fears and fights for her life, the connection between the two lovers may be the only thing that can save them both.
Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, this story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
In all honesty, the only reason I got this book was because it strongly reminded me of Twilight and it didn’t disappoint there. Yes, it was cliché and full of cringe moments, but it was overall enjoyable.
“Just my luck to have the kind of special qualities that attract homicidal dark angels.”
The main character, Declan, was multidimensional and not crazy obsessed with the love interest. She was relatable and a really good, pure character that you could root for. The angel aspect and good vs. evil was discussed in a way that made the story feel more important than your average paranormal romance. The social commentary definitely toned down the clichéness (not a word but we’re making it one.)
“‘To an eternity of sunrises together. There’s no one I’d rather greet each day with than you,’ he says sincerely.”
The love interest was not obsessive and creepy, but I did have a few issues with the portrayal of a few situations (we’re avoiding spoilers here.) However, Declan has anxiety but she felt a lot like a damsel in distress the whole time, and I hate that she needed an answer, a higher more noble reason for having anxiety. In reality, it isn’t a problem that it solved with supernatural reasoning, and I wish that the development of this didn’t include a subtle insult to everyone who deals with anxiety and panic attacks.
The setting had to be my favorite part of this whole story, since it takes place in my hometown. “San Mar, California” doesn’t exist, but every single description was that of Santa Cruz, California. And when the setting shifted to the Boardwalk—I had died and gone to heaven.
Overall, it wasn’t a favorite, but it was way more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It’s hard not to compare it to Twilight, since the author seemed to hardly hide the fact that they were rewriting the story. (That cover totally isn’t obvious.) I kept reading and hardly wanted to stop, but I doubt I’ll continue with the series. Nevertheless, I’d recommend for fans of paranormal romance.