When everyone's existence depends on the lies they tell, trust doesn't come easy.
Ivy’s neighbors have a secret. They aren’t human. But Ivy has a secret, too. She knows. As long as everyone keeps quiet, she’s happy working as a P.I. by day and chillaxing with her BFF Florian, a vampire, by night. When a routine pickup drops her in the middle of a murder, her two worlds collide. While Florian knows how to throw a punch, deep down he's a softie. His idea of scary? Running out of hair product. It’s time Ivy faced facts. Even with a vampire on stand-by, one gal can only kick so many asses.
For help, she must put her faith in others. A human, who might just be the one. A demon, who will, for a price, open the doors to her heritage. And a werewolf, who wants to protect her from herself.
Torn between these men, Ivy must tread carefully, because one wants her heart, one wants her body, and one wants her dead.
2.5 I really like the idea for the story but could not stand Ivy, She would say one thing and act the opposite. I am tempted to read the next book in the hope the author improves Ivy's character who is far to whiney in this one. Florian what can i say right from the start i thought he was Gay maybe I'm wrong but by the end i felt like the possibility was being shoved in my face just incase i had not picked up on that vibe all the way through.
This book was a blast. You have humans, vampires, werewolves, fae, demons and so on, all butting heads. There’s so much going on. So many different agendas. And a whole lot of surprises in store for you.
And then there’s the characters. too many to focus on just one or two. I can say that I really liked the friendship between Ivy and Florian. They are so opposite. Florian is a guy and he’s more concerned with fashion than a lot of women, whereas Ivy is all business. As things get going, they all get caught up in the action. The dialogue is very well written. And the snark had me snorting.
There’s some love interests too. The blurb might have you thinking there’s a love triangle, which I sometimes find annoying, but there isn’t one here. And while the romance isn’t the main focus, it sure adds some hilarious moments with Ivy and spices things up.
I think what I appreciated most was how easily the story flowed and how visual it was. It’s almost like you can see everything as it happens. I even had some idea of what I thought the characters should look like, which added to the fun.
A solid beginning to the series, and I’m on to the next one.
I received a complimentary copy. My review is voluntarily given.
Guarded by Carmen Fox will draw you in from the first pages
I just love, love, love phantasy stories with some erotic elements mixed in (always a bonus). I won’t go into plot details or even character descriptions as you have to read this story for yourself. I will say that I’m so glad I picked out this book! It’s a real page-turner and you’ll definitely spend a few relaxing evenings with it. Steamy scenes throughout the story will keep you entertained and wanting more. This author did a wonderful job: there are complex characters, unexpected plot twists and mystical creatures along with some magic. Her writing style is easy to follow and entertaining. I would love to read more books from this series!
This read is truly one of a kind. Not only is it loaded with mystery, but the characters are interesting and lots of fun. I can't describe how refreshing it is to read about a heroine who is strong and independent. Without question, however, my favorite element about this book is the humor. This author had me laughing right from the start and the quick-witted dialogue was genuinely entertaining. Overall, I highly recommend this one for fans of paranormal mysteries.
First of all I want to say that I really loved the cover of this book. I liked the simplistic lines and bright colors. It was a significant reason for me choosing this book to read.
This storyline is not necessarily an "off the beaten path" tale but does incorporate a multitude of paranormal characters and an intertwining plot that keeps you intrigued and interested until the end of the story. A 25 year old female Private Investigator that has been raised as a "normal" child is finding out that her real roots are grounded in a multi-cultural background and as such is struggling with her newfound "powers"! Yeah...being desired by almost every male in a half mile area could definitely be a "struggle"!
Even though raised as a "normal", Ivy had just recently escaped after being kidnapped by a powerful "kin" demon. A nasty little bugger that taught her (under duress) to make "guards" for paranormals to use as protective devices. He knew at 25 she would come into her real powers and wanted to keep her in Althea to combine her powers with his so he might gain majority control of his world. Ivy thwarted that plan by escaping to the "old world" before her maturity (and powers) kicked in but Lantham still haunts her dreams and seems to have a direct though weak connection to her mind. He will try anything to get her back to his realm.
Of course, there is a best friend, a hunky neighbor and another "potty mouth" hunky mentor that set the main stage for her dilemma. A simple case of retrieving an artifact for her boss turns out to be a major case of "foul" intentions of which she finds herself front and center in both the cause and the solution. Clues build around her bringing the different cases to a single "dangerous" assignment.
Ivy is your typical "don't tell me what to do" female that finds herself in some dangerous situations and begins to understand the significance of real "connection" with a mate instead of hot unbridled lust and passion. HMMMM...both would be nice! Not only does she have syncubus powers but throw in some demon, slynth and who knows what else and you can understand her struggle to adjust!
I found this easy to read but thought Ivy's multicolored background a little much. I could do with just one or two genetic features to keep tract of instead of 3 or 4. There were a couple "aha" moments in the story which is always a delight for me. Being able to strategically reveal a clue before the reader picks up on it is a great feat.
I would say pick this up and enjoy the passionate scenes then yearn and watch for the romance....I feel that is the purpose here.
1.5 Sigh, mechanically the writing and editing in this book seem fine. Unfortunately, in my opinion the plot is totally useless. The book is all over the place, but more to the point, I hated it.
As a romance it fails on SO MANY levels. Let me put it like this. She has a condition that after her 25th birthday (because apparently magic knows your b-day, y'all) she literally lusts after every man she sees, even though she actively doesn't want to. She then goes on to try and date one man, have sex with another (several times), almost have sex with a man in an alley, and love a man. Unfortunately, she doesn't do any two of those things with the same man. That's right, she's trying to date one man, while having sex with another (and lusting over everyone) and then on the last page, last paragraph basically we're told she loves another. WTF? There was no development on that. But what kind of satisfying romance do you think a book can have if the heroine trying to give her body to every man she meets,?
But, for me personally, the biggest issue is that this idea that women can't control their own sexual urges is an old, painfully patriarchal one. It's one of the reasons why they can't be trusted to own and have authority over their own bodies. We still fight this stupid idea to this very day, in real life. And the book had the perfect patriarchal ending, she pretty much ended up with a man who had the power (extra power she gave him) to control her. She goes against her own natural inclinations to be with him. You know what, author, write historical if you want to write this kind of trite. I ended the book steaming.
The whole thing was only made worse by there being exactly 3 women in the book, other than main character and some background victims (who were raped, because of course they were). Two were characterless sisters, basically just names to fill in the cast. One was the cliched jealous harpy who will probably sell the heroine to the villain in future books, because that's what the jealous harpy always does in such books.
I bought and read this book because, somewhere along the way I ended up with an audible copy of book two, and wanted to listen to it. Now, I'm kind of regretting both.
My Review: 4 stars: A fun story that will keep you guessing
A sort of summary of events: This story is about Ivy, who thinks she is just a human private investigator. However, when she turns 25, things start to change, and she discovers she has been protected from the truth. She has the ability to identify creatures of the multiple species of kin. She had been held captive in Alethia (the magical otherworld where some pretty bad creatures live), and it has haunted her since her escape. The more she uncovers about her heritage, the crazier the story becomes. There are so many paranormal creatures in the story; vampires, werewolves, fae, demons, among several others. It's hard to give much more detail without giving things away, but following Ivy on her journey of self discovery is a trip that is fun to take. It is laced with some humorous moments, a bit of suspense, and quite intriguing magical elements.
My thoughts: The plot is pretty complex. This isn't a story I could quickly breeze through at first as I was trying to get my bearings on all the different creatures and figure out the story. There are a few layers to the plot, and even though it all comes together, it takes some time to get a handle on what was going on. The men are pretty tasty, and there are a few steamy scenes thrown in. Because Ivy has several suitors, you flip flop on who you want her to end up with, but the end is satisfying. It felt a little rushed at the end. It could have used a few smoother transitions or markers to explain how much time passed between events. The pace of the story makes you feel like it takes place within only two or three days, even though that isn't the case. I had some difficulty at the beginning sorting out who all the players were because there are so many to keep track of. But I was glad I made the effort to continue on. The twists the story makes will keep you guessing until the very end. There are some moments, especially when Ivy starts acting like a wolf, that will make you laugh.
Who this will appeal to: Fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon will probably enjoy this book. The layers to the plot, the complexity of the story, and the variety of preternatural creatures will appeal to many paranormal romance fans.
I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
Carmen Fox has done it again, people! If you haven’t read her other book, Divide & Conquer, then I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Go get it!
Guarded is just as (or even more) entertaining as her debut.
The MC, Ivy, was a badass. No sitting and crying while other people got things done. She was the one taking care of things, and I loved how she reminded me of Veronica Mars at times. Ivy was also extremely funny and sexy. I enjoyed all her interaction with the boys. The girl had great chemistry with every male character. I was shipping her with anything that moved, breathed and talked at some point.
My second favorite character was Parker. Damn! Hot, hot, hot! I liked everything about him. Let’s just say I fell in love with Parker and I’m not over those feelings yet. Sure at first he was kind of a douche, but as Ivy and Parker got closer, got to know each other, it was clear that he was a great guy. He did everything in his power to keep her safe (even though she could take care of herself just fine), but he also gave her space when needed. Yes, he got carried away a few times, but he was always there when Ivy needed him most. And his exchanges with Florian were priceless! Loved their dynamic and how, by the end, he was calling him Flo. BROMANCE!
Florian was another great character. I absolutely adored his friendship with Ivy. He stayed true to himself from beginning to end. And I know Carmen Fox is writing a book with Florian as her main character, so YAY!
Well, this book was wonderful. It made me happy, sad, heartbroken, everything at once. I can’t wait for what Carmen is writing next. I'm a fan.
I found myself drawn into this fascinating world from the very beginning. Ivy is a PI with a secret, she can tell who is paranormal and who is not. Even her bff, Florian, who is a vampire, doesn't know this secret. When a job goes wrong, Ivy suddenly finds herself in need of help. As I don't want to spoil the surprises, I am going to keep this review very short.....Amazing! Ivy is a fabulous character who is intent never to be dependent on any man, be they human, vampire, werewolf or demon. She is smart and feisty. The author did a wonderful job building this fantastic world with its amazing characters that I am looking forward to more books in this series. I highly recommend this beautifully well written book to lovers of urban fantasy stories that have a fantastic blend of romance, humor, suspense and action. 5 stars a copy was provided in exchange for an honest review
This is simply the best book of the year so far. The chemistry is hot, the plot is complex, and I love the characters. I bought the paperback last month because I liked the cover. Shallow, yeah, but it's really good. The writing is astounding. It's kind of unique and deeply immersive, but you need to pay attention. The ending surprised me twice, so that was good too. The author does not sell it as a romance, but I think it kind of is. Just not the usual romance-by-numbers. The same goes for the suspense. I read a lot of crime, and this definitely keeps up with the best, although it's wierd to see it done this well in an urban fantasy.
Yes!! I loved this one. I'm seriously pumped to see where the next book will go, too, but I'm getting ahead of myself. :) There's so many fun things about this book, the plot of demons staging chaos, suspense with things trying to kill you, learning about yourself especially the things you never knew, romance, some very interesting side characters. All wrapped up with a little magic in some guards. This book had it all and I am glad to say I was quite surprised with how things are turning out, and did a seriously loud cheer at the ending. Yeah, I didn't think it would happen that way, but I am so freaking pumped up for it.
So Ivy is a PI, she was raised as a human, but she's more than that. She was also kidnapped by a demon king and held, until she escaped. That little magic she had has kept her alive. Her best friend is a vampire. Her neighbor is a werewolf. And there's a magical relic that all the demons want, and now, without any care who dies for them to get it. Ivy is literally in the center of all of this, she just doesn't understand how. When another demon helps her escape another kidnapping attempt, she found out so much more than she thought about her parents, her real ones, though she didn't know better. And though she's got guys all around her, some want her for more than just her heart, though some could probably do with just ripping it from her chest, she has to figure out who are actually her friends. I liked Ivy ALOT. She has flaws, and that's what's so likable. She knows she's in trouble, so she asks her BFF, Florian, for help. He's a vampire, but he doesn't know that she knows this, so it's kinda funny how it plays out. Meanwhile, her mother is still trying to marry her off, so she kinda sets her up on a date with her neighbor, the werewolf, much to both of their dismay. It was quite funny there too. Oh, and she can't help the powers that are coming now, because she turned 25, and that's when magical puberty hits. LOL
Just for a minute, I need to talk sexy guys. I almost rooted for Flo, yes, I know he's a vampire, but I had my heart set on Parker, the hawt werewolf. :) Flo is hilarious. Seriously. He is the perfect side kick for Ivy. Parker is everything else. Now, scary Letham, the demon, he's something crazy. Greg, the very attractive human who seems too good to be true, and the extra sexy demon Waylon. Waylon is who I originally thought would be the bad boy that Ivy turned good. I almost, almost picked him. Yeah, he may want Ivy, but maybe not the way she needs. And Ivy is literally revolving around them. It's amazing that I thought this was going to turn into a love triangle, and get real complicated, which it did- but only for a moment. There's always attraction, and temptation, but in the end, there's always, just one. Yeah I liked her "just one". Though it almost slipped away. LOL The characters are all so fascinating and well written with a lot of depth and complexity. It's like knowing actual people where you cheer for them, cry for them, want to hug them, or lick them LOL
I loved the plot line because it was so unpredictable. When I thought I knew what was coming happened, something else twisted and had my slack jawed. And I loved the writing. There is much creativity weaved here. With Ivy trying to uncover her powers, the plans behind the artifact, find her boss, figure who is helping demons, flee from big mean demon who wants her back, and try to make sure she keeps herself and her family and friends safe, there was no way I could put this down. Oh yeah, I am salivating for book two. I want it, like right now. :) There's so much I want to say, more but I can't, not without basically telling you every little secret of this book. I can't do that, so with that said, this could be great for paranormal, mystery, and urban fantasy fans a like. Magical! 5 PAWS!!
Ivy is a private investigator. Her neighbor, Parker Reeves, catches her taking pictures in the park and thinks the camera was aimed at him. It wasn’t and he stalked off, giving her a stern warning not to take pictures of him. We are given hints that Ivy is more than just a “normal” person; so is Parker. Later we meet her BFF Florian, who is a vampire. Magic is in the air! Let the fun begin!!
Ivy checked her mail and shakily read a letter from Lathan, her former demon captor whom she had escaped from 4 years ago. He had talked about them ruling Alethia and wanted her back. She burned the letter. He couldn’t cross over into her world; she should be reassured. She vowed she would never let him take her back there.
With her car in the shop, Ivy asked Flo to drive her to her P.I. assignment – retrieving a statue from the Carters. They found the front door cracked open and entered. Bloodstains covered the carpet. She activated the guards in her pocket that protected her from her frenzied buddy Florian who was out of control because of the blood. Her magic held but the effort weakened her. She somehow got him out the door. Where was the owner? She found the small statue but heard two men – demons -- heading toward her. She hid behind the curtains, then escaped and ran out the door. Florian attacked the demons as they chased behind her. With 4 people already dead, they fled the scene. More adventures awaited.
This was a good read, interspersed with laughable humor. It was quite enjoyable and I highly recommend it.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This story is definitely not for anyone under the age of 18. I am beyond excited that I got to read this. Let me just start by saying that Carmen Fox is one of the best writers I've seen in a long time. There were close to no grammatical errors in the entire story. This has been extremely uncommon in most stories that I've read lately. Major bonus for me. As for the story it was such a great story. It had the perfect balance between story and sexual experiences and tension. Everything was described in detail but not an excessive amount. Ivy was portrayed as a strong and independent heroine. I absolutely loved that she had such a struggle with her sexual desire (also known in this book as motive). Another bonus to the story was that although I was able to figure out some things within the plot there were a few that were tacked on to those items that I didn't guess. Overall I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a paranormal book with a sexual aspect built in. I cannot wait to read volume 2.
Guarded is an urban fantasy mystery that's just a little seductive, too. Ivy and her best friend, the vampire Florian, have had secrets: Flo never told her he's a vampire, and Ivy never told him she knows. But when they go on a routine job assignment to pick up a statue, their secrets are revealed to each other. But they don't have the time to get used to their new honesty, because over the next few days, a bunch of demons are after the statue. At the same time, Ivy's hormones begin to jig around men much more than they used to. And there are three men in particular who might, might, benefit from it. But they're not as straight-forward as she'd like and have their own agendas...
Ivy and Flo together are funny. Laugh out loud funny. In fact, all characters are brought to life with a lot of love and some superb writing. The mystery is a true brain teaser, so if you're after straight-forward crime or a procedural thriller, this isn't for you. Ivy's internal and external world are totally confusing, and she and Florian must untangle all the strands. It really is a page turner, full of fast-paced suspense and great twists.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Ivy never knew there was a world out there beyond human. That is until she was kidnapped by a Kinlord determined to make her his. Luckily, she escaped with knowledge and the ability to know more about the Kin. Now, she is working as a PI. Once she is assigned a task of collecting an ugly statue, her life changes yet again.
A love triangle, kidnappings, and more. There is a lot that is needed to be learned in this book. about this new world created by Ms. Fox. My mind kept working to find out "Who done it?". I love when a book forces me to think a bit. Just when I was sure I knew, my theory was debunked, or was it?
If I had to say one criticism, it would be that I would have liked to know things from Parker's point of view. Florian's too for that matter. I am hoping that those "holes" will be filled in for me in future books. I am looking forward to them.
If you love stories about vampires, werewolves and demons, then you must read this book. It starts with what with Ivy who seems to be a typical human girl who has a vampire best friend. When she starts uncovering her heritage, she finds out she much more than a typical human girl. This book has a lot of suspense, steamy scenes and humor. The author does an excellent job incorporating everything together that makes this book really enjoyable. The characters are great, my favorites are Ivy and Florian. With the authors writing style you really get to know the characters and it's easy to follow along even though their are many characters throughout the book. It's one of my favorite supernatural mystery books. I look forward to reading more from this author!
I was actually surprised by this book and really didn't think I would like it. I absolutely despise love triangles and this book took it a full step farther. Three men, one woman? But thank God it followed the normal book romance and she ended up with the right guy!
I do find Ivy to be a bit petulant and her attitude pissed me off on more than one occasion. The jump headlong into trouble time after time despite multiple people being willing to help. She also randomly trusts certain people with a blind following while others she question at every turn.
I am glad I did pick it up and continued reading as it had some good action and a decent ending. The book is well written and is an easy read.
‘Guarded’ was one of those stories that is the perfect mixture of urban fantasy, the paranormal and mystery. I loved Ivy, who is a quintessential strong character who finds herself in the middle of a complicated array of people and problems. Put it all together, and you have a truly engaging read in Carmen Fox’s first book in the Silverton Chronicles series.
I thought Fox did a great job of blending action with intrigue and building complex characters with diverse backgrounds and motivations (obviously, what with vampires, werewolves and demons to boot). Although in my mind, none of them can beat badass Ivy. She is a character I will have to follow.
All in all an enjoyable read. There was a point where it went from normal to raging hormones super quick which really threw me off guard, and it took me a minute to catch up, but the author made it work. The ending just about had me throwing my kindle against the wall, but Ivy came to her senses and ended up with the guy I felt she belonged with. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series but really hope it goes back to being with Ivy as the main character. Which don't get me wrong I liked Flo, but I need to know more about Ivy and what will be happening to her in the future.
Okay, I admit this one was a little simplistic, insomuch as the heroine had really convenient things happen which saved her on more than one occasion, but I have to say, the author pulled the plot together so well, I was willing to overlook some of the stuff I normally would roll my eyes over. Good characters and a fast pace kept the story moving forward, even when I wanted to kick Ivy's butt for not being able to decide between her pick of men. The bad guy was fairly obvious, but there was always a tad of doubt, so I consider this one a win. I'd be interested to see what happens next in this series.
Once you're introduced to Ivy and all the wonderful, crazy characters that inhabit her world, you're hooked and you can't stop turning the page. Guarded was a book that was recommended to me and I took a chance on it. I was not disappointed. The world that Carmen Fox has created for her characters to inhabit is a little scary and a little dark and it's balanced with a lot of humor and some exciting adventure.
I loved this book. It's a well-written, paranormal suspense book filled with characters you love. Highly recommended read if you're looking for a good read.
Thought this book was great! And I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of the supernormal (twilight whizzed right by me) but I thought this was well done, the mixing in of demons, vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural forms such as our protagonist. I especially like Ivy's emerging traits and confess I am quite looking forward to finding out what her powers are (her dad locked them until she was 21 but apparently they haven't been activated). And who can resist a love story?
I am an avid fan of these kinds of reads. When I was given the opportunity to read this story, I jumped at the chance. I wasn't disappointed. This story is intriguing, suspenseful, and will keep you guessing at the turn of the page. I love stories that have an in-depth story line, allowing me to exercise my brain by keeping track of the characters, plot, and the twists that inevitably occur. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and would definitely recommend it!
There's so much that goes on in this book. There's secrets, betrayals, friendships, trust and fighting. Ivy is fielding her way through obstacles and interesting twists while learning more about who she is and what happened in her past. She a bit damaged, a bit lonely and able to take care of herself but you wouldn't know it by the way others treat her. Great characters and intriguing storyline.
Better than most. If you're not one for beautiful, but sometimes complicated sentences, don't even try. This is clever writing for clever people, and if you pick up the book, you won't put it down again until you've fallen in love with all the characters and the mystery is solved. And you'll never guess all the twists.
I will honest with you, I had doubts before starting it. Carmen was a new author for me, and I hardly entertain any new author unless it is from a big publication house. Anyway I picked guarded on a hunch, and oh boy was surprised? Yes, very pleasantly! Everything from narration, character building and pace is top notch, which is exactly what makes a novel worth reading.
This is the first book that I have read from this author. Although, the book was not deep or enlightening, I found it to be enjoyable and perfect for what I was looking for. The book flowed perfectly keeping me entertained while also throwing in some twists. I really look forward to the next book.
I decided to take a chance on a new author I'd never heard of to beta read for her, and man, was I happy I did. Her writing is excellent and the storyline was very creative. The characters were easy to relate to and very enjoyable to read about. She is definitely one I'll be keeping my eye on.
This is a sexy, intriguing urban fantasy that you don't want to miss. It may confirm all your ideas about the residents of California. Life there isn't what you thought it was (or maybe you suspected this all along).