by Sara Davison
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date February 1, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Suspense, Clean Romance
Setting: Canada, Illinois Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
The tip the stranger left sent Nicole a painfully clear message. The past is no longer in the past.
Nicole is fighting to bury the memories. Someone else is fighting to keep them exposed. Detective Daniel Grey is back in town, and diner owner Nicole Hunter isn’t sure how she feels about that. It’s been almost seven years, and now she doesn’t just have herself to think about but her six-year-old son as well. If she does find the courage to take a chance on love, her heart could be smashed into pieces. Again.
And it’s not only her heart that is in danger. Someone is working hard to disrupt her present with reminders of the past she has worked hard to forget, especially her darkest memory—of the night her husband was gunned down in the street in front of her. As much as she might want to push Daniel away, Nicole needs him closer now than ever before.
But the one she trusts to keep her and her son safe has a secret that may prove to be the biggest threat of all.
I would like to thank Mountain Brook Ink for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Warning, if you plan to read Vigilant, don’t read further in this review – go read it first. Whie it is not necessary to have that background because of the excellent manner in which Guarded ties in and stands on its own, it is better to read them in order to fully appreciate the events and the characters.
A couple of additional story-lines had me wondering how they tied in. Chicago? Jail? Art? Huh? Yet I knew there was something to them. They would definitely tie in. And they did in amazing ways. The Chicago story took longer to “explain” itself and yet the timing was just right. And oh! It was so perfect!!
I had already come to appreciate the characters from the first book and was so glad to see them return. I loved Jordan, Nicole’s tenderhearted, six-year-old son. His open and genuine care for those around him made him so endearing!
The secondary characters were as much a joy as the primary ones. I loved the way Tom, Daniel’s friend, managed to give him relationship advice under the guise of not giving him advice. I was laughing, realizing before Daniel what was happening! Oh, and Shar, Daniel’s partner, was so fun with the way she was able to read him. He accused her of psychic powers at one point – in jest, of course!
This was certainly one of the best examples of how to include the important details from a prior book in a series in a natural manner. If I had just read Vigilant, I would not have been frustrated with the recap. Though it has been half a year since I read it, I found that many details had stuck in my mind. And those that were buried deeper were nudged out of hiding with the little nuggets shared to jog my memory in just the right places.
I highly recommend this book and this series to all lovers of Christian suspense!