by Ashley Robertson
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Formats Available: eBook ~245 pages
Synopsis: Guardian angel Selene was so close to becoming an archangel—the supreme of all beings—until she fell in love with Cole, a forbidden dark one. Once she discovers her vampire lover has been kidnapped and the only way to save him is by abandoning her number one priority—Caitlyn, her human charge—there really is only one answer in Selene’s mind, even though leaving Caitlyn unguarded will most likely cause Selene to fall from grace.
But her choice to save Cole doesn’t come without a price…and now Selene is racing against time to not only save her dark lover, but find a way to keep Caitlyn alive as well.
With the help of a new vampire ally, Luke, Selene will push her diminishing angel abilities to the point where her very existence lies in the balance. Now threatened with the chance of becoming a fallen angel or even dying, Selene can only pray she’ll have enough time—and good grace—to save the ones she loves. - from Goodreads
Cover: The cover of UnGuarded is so gorgeous. I love the ethereal glow radiating through the purples and the light from the heavens bursting through the clouds. I also like that you can somehow feel the sadness radiating from the girl sitting with her head bowed. Cover design by www.phatpuppyart.com
I won’t spend too much time giving the recap of events because the synopsis above gives the most important information already. Mini recap: Selene is a guardian angel. Her job - her existence - is to protect her charges from the darkness that encroaches daily. However, she has found herself loving a vampire, a big no no for those who work for the light. She has already been demoted once and has broken more rules than she can count. But what she doesn’t understand is why loving something – even something dark – could cause her to fall.
Love her or hate her, Selene is a memorable character. She is moral and selfless and loyal to a fault. Everything she does is for the love of someone else, even if it isn’t exactly “legal” for an angel. However, we see that even though she is full of love, it is a certain type of love has led her astray from what her true calling is. As an angel she is supposed to love everyone, but when she falls in-love with one person she starts neglecting her charge. She can’t grasp that even though her love for Cole feels so right that her actions have put someone else in danger. The old adage “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” describes Selene’s actions to a T. Every time she is told to do one thing, to be obedient, she does the exact opposite because she thinks she knows better than anyone else. She takes on a God complex and seems to think that she gets to decide everyone else’s fate because she can’t bear to lose them.
Ashley Robertson has created a world in which angels, demons, and vampires dwell. You don’t see this very often combined together. Usually it is either angels and demons or vampires and other supernaturals. The idea that everyone has both an angel and a demon following them at all times, while similar to the angel/demon on your shoulder, is made more real and that they are not just whispering things in ears, but can affect a person physically. I also liked the fact that there was a hierarchy and that there was a God they were accountable to and one that made the ultimate decisions. Not every angel book does this and I really like the fact that the world was based on the general biblical belief system and not a new mix of various pantheons. The one issue I had was the intermixing of the pronoun ‘him’ in italics. It is used not only for the God figure, but later for Luke or Cole and it was a tad confusing.
The relationships in UnGuarded were fascinating to say the least. I know that Selene loves Cole, but all we really get to see of them is through her memories and a few interactions so it was hard to love them as a couple. I found myself rooting for Luke even though I was never sure of his intentions. But I liked that Selene, though tempted, stayed true to her love for Cole. It is good to see that a female heroine can make a decision and not fall in love at first sight, or more aptly fall in lust. We also see that she never stops fighting or trying to find answers and she never stops to wallows in her own pity.
I would love to read a prequel or short story describing how Selene and Cole fell in love. Maybe then I would feel more for the couple. So far, Ashley is undecided if this will be a series, but I have hopes for more. The writing is well done and the editing is near flawless. I love books that are not only fun and entertaining, but I also love a book that makes you think and UnGuarded made me ponder the ideas of good vs. evil, heaven vs. hell, and how the choices we make affect others.
Favorite Quote: "Why was love so strong, so blinding, and yet so satisfying? Why do we risk everything we hold to be true in the name of love? When you know it's wrong, when you're certain it's not good for you, why is it still impossible to shut your feelings off?"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I recommend UnGuarded to anyone who loves Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, angels, and hot vampires!
Author Bio: Ashley Robertson resides in sunny Orlando, Florida and loves reading and writing about everything urban fantasy and paranormal romance. When she isn't writing you'll find her spending time with family and friends, training in her home gym, traveling and exploring new places, drinking fine red wines, and making gourmet coffees with her Nespresso machine. Visit her website to learn about her upcoming releases, guest blog posts, and featured giveaways at: www.AshleyRobertsonBooks.com
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