Thursday, April 22, 2021

Dianne Duvall - Broken Dawn

Nick Belanger can't stop thinking about the single mother who lives next door. She's smart. She's funny. She's so beautiful he can't stare at her too long for fear his eyes will start to glow. But Kayla thinks he's just an ordinary guy who works in security. Finding out he instead is a powerful immortal warrior who hunts and slays psychotic vampires for a living may not go over well, particularly since she has a daughter she doesn't want to endanger.
Kayla Dorman can keep neither her gaze nor her thoughts from straying to the man next door. Who can blame her really? He is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome with smart, charming, and honorable thrown in. He's also a few years younger than her and surely would not be interested in a single mom who hasn't dated since her divorce. At least that's what she thinks until an accident nearly takes her life and Nick risks all to save her.
The dynamics of their relationship swiftly change. The friendship they've developed over the years deepens into love as the two spend every minute they can together, laughing and teasing, never suspecting a threat may lurk in the shadows. But that threat soon strikes, making it clear that Nick is the target and his enemy doesn't care if Kayla gets caught in the cross fire. Though Kayla bravely rises to the occasion and is determined to do whatever it takes to help Nick defeat his enemy, Nick is terrified of losing her. Can he identify and eliminate his new nemesis before the man takes everything from him?

Comment: This is the 10th installment in the Immortal Guardians series by Dianne Duvall. The series follows a group of characters with special abilities who fight vampires and protect humans. The vampires exist due to a virus which compromises the brain and the immortal guardians are humans with special DNA who aren't affected the same destructive way. When changed into immortals, they gain abilities and powers and despite the constant work, they all want to find a soul mate and be happy... 

In this book we follow Nick, an immortal who has a neighbor, Kayla, he feels rather attracted to but he knows his life is too dangerous and she has a teenage daughter so he only admires from afar. However, Kayla admires him too but believes a handsome man like him would not be interested in her, especially since she also thinks he already has a girlfriend. They are friendly neighbors but thing finally change when Kayla suffers a car accident and in the aftermath, a series of events turn their lives around completely. Will Kayla trust Nick and accept how different he is and grab their happiness?

Like I said, this book #10. My little summary gives the very basic of what this series is about (among the fighting the bad guys and such) and until the last book there was this overall plot which was more or less solved. That means that I think the series is now in transition mode, the author will certainly think of a new direction or, perhaps, she will focus on smaller scale sub plots related to the characters which are known to the readers...

That leads me to this book. Perhaps from my also summarized personal blurb you might have the indication this is a rather.... simple story. In fact, it is. I should be fair and say nothing big happens in this book, at least not related to the big quest of the books which is to defeat the enemies - now apparently only the vampires. The books focuses only on Nick and Kayla's relationship and how the secondary characters come to help when problems arise caused by someone wanting to trap Nick believing he has a means to be eternally young.

I mean, I don't really mind that the book doesn't advance things in any way. It was actually nice to have just a love story with some action scenes to stir things up but it is true that many readers might feel this was not really necessary and that the book was a waste of time. I don't mind reading about mundane things as long as the world building keeps being interesting and I have come to like the familiar characters enough to just want to read about them, even without a complex plot, but... yes, I can see why this no longer works for many people.

I suppose many would feel differently had the romance been such an amazing love story that would surpass every weaker detail but to me this was not a huge win either. Nick and Kayla are neighbors but apart from that and the (therefore easily placed) physical attraction, we don't really have much depth on them or their personalities...they fit a role.I think the author could have done better, if the overall series no longer has an action targeted intention, then more complexity on the characters and their challenges in being or turning into immortals could be a way to go...

I feel the romance was not done as well as it could and the sex scenes were more of the same. There was no...excitement in ho these two would connect, we are told of their chemistry but I didn't see it, nor sufficient sexual tension scenes to convince me they were a good match. Kayla has special DNA and that puts her in the perfect path to be part of this world. I wish there was more on her personality and on why she and Nick would suit besides the obvious. 

I wonder if the author put herself into a corner with the kind of world rules she established from the start; now it seems there isn't much she can do to bring lots of changes...well, unless we think about the spin off, that was a huge one but I don't think it works for many readers either.

It might seem I'm being harsh considering my grade but I liked to read this despite the flaws it has (in my opinion). I was still entertained and I feel invested enough in the characters, especially the secondary ones and the tidbits we keep having on them and their lives, so the less than good aspects don't affect my enjoyment of the book. Nevertheless I can't ignore this could have been better and although i appreciate the sentiment, I don't feel this is yet a world which can be sustained only on the characters' relationships, it would require more complexity all around. At least, I think this would be better for the series as a whole.
Grade: 7/10

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