Cover Image: Rare Vigilance

Rare Vigilance

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Member Reviews

This was such a fresh and interesting take on the vampire story! I will admit, I didn't read the tags on Goodreads, and I love how the synopsis skirted around vampirism because when I got to a very telling part in the book I was genuinely surprised. I was already interested but my interest little skyrocketed after that. 

I am very excited for the sequel!
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Thank you to Netgalley and Carina Press for an eARC of this book. 

I absolutely adored this book! It was the perfect beginning to a new paranormal series. I loved how this beginning was full of action and mystery. I had an inkling of some of the twists in the book, but not all of them. I loved how Atlas was portrayed. I also really loved how there was discussion of PTSD and the effects of combat on a person. Atlas' character was so well thought out and fascinating. 
Christian was also really interesting as a character. I really liked the kind of enemies beginning of these two characters and how over time they gradually grow to trust and rely on each other. 

I am really looking forward to the next installments of this series. I was not expecting that twist at the very end and I can't wait to see where it goes next!
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The perfect blend of fantasy and realism. Easy to love characters and engaging prose make this a must read for fans of the genre.
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I use to stay away from any LGBT+ romance books because I thought I would not be able to relate to main characters or love stories. Once I gave it a shot, I saw that that could not be further from the truth- if the story is good, it's good (and romantic) no matter the genre. This is one of the very best ones, I've read in a long time. :)

Atlas is a former Marine, suffering from PTSD. He bears scars from a mysterious attack on his last mission, that still haunts him every minute. Now he works for Whitethorn agency as a bodyguard. The latest job, is the one everyone quit from, protecting Cristian Slava. Gorgeous and bratty son of a known businessman. 
 
Protecting someone who doesn't want to be protected is very hard to do, but Atlas is not one to quit. There are mysterious things happening, and there is more to Cristian than meets the eye. His loyalty is drawn in different directions when he has to face his biggest fear and uncover who he really works for.

It's a very intense story, full of twists and turns. I read it one sitting, cause I couldn't put it down. :)
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5 extremely excited stars! When I heard M. A. Grant was coming out with a new series, I was beyond excited. I LOVED her last series, The Darkest Court, and have been on pins and needles waiting to see what would come next. A paranormal m/m romance trilogy featuring Vampires?! Sign me UP!

This first installment did not disappoint! I love the characters so much….especially Cristian. He’s so intimidating, stand-offish, and, if I’m being honest, very jerk-ish in the beginning.  But by the end we begin to see who he really is and I’m in LOVE! Atlas is fantastic, too, and I love their dynamic together. I’m very excited that this trilogy follows the same couple - I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops.

“No matter what you may believe, you are worth the wait, Atlas.”

*Thank you to NetGalley, CarinaPress, and M.A. Grant for providing me with an advance reader copy (ARC) in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
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This book was just okay for me. It didn’t feel as epic as the books in the author’s Darkest Court series. The book was fast-paced but there wasn’t enough extraordinary magic and mystery and action overall.

It was pretty obvious from the start that the mystery about Cristian was that he was a vampire. Atlas took the job to be Cristian’s bodyguard because of the late night hours, which were better for his PTSD, severe migraines, and difficulty sleeping.

Cristian definitely had all the traditional vampiric qualities, seductiveness, inhuman strength, blood drinking, but he didn’t seem larger than life to me. He and his vampire clan didn’t use their powers much. For vampires, they weren’t very extraordinary.

Atlas and Cristian were a sweet and sexy couple, but it seemed like they fell in love pretty quickly. Atlas had been traumatized and terrified when he found out Cristian was a vampire, but his fear and distrust didn’t last very long.

Maybe, it was because Cristian seemed like a very normal vampire that Atlas didn’t think he was that dangerous. Cristian was a good guy no doubt, and he had fangs, but I felt like something was missing there in the transition from hate to love.

I also didn’t feel like the world building was as awesome as it could’ve been. I just wanted more of everything. The romance aspects of this book was fine, but didn’t especially woo me. At the same time, I had a hard time suspending disbelief that the US military would be operating in Romania.
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Rare Vigilance is the first book in the Whitethorn Agency series by MA Grant. It's also the first book I've read by the author. The world Grant has created here is an intriguing one, and the characters are interesting. I liked the back and forth between Atlas and Cristian, and the attraction and chemistry felt real. That said, I did have some problems with a few things about this story. First, it's a slow burn, and there's nothing wrong with that, but this romance felt like it took forever to get off the ground. That may be because the story doesn't end here. It's a continuing storyline and this one has lots of loose ends to ponder. I still would've liked a better progression of the romance. The rest of the story moves along at a pretty good pace, so I'm puzzled about why the romance lagged. Then there's the whole bodyguard thing. In an effort to avoid spoilers, I'll just say that I didn't really get the need for a bodyguard - not when you consider the one being guarded or his entourage. Considering this is paranormal romance, we already know to expect it not to be based in too much reality, but that angle just didn't work for me. It's still an entertaining story, and I'll be interested to see where things go in the next book as well as learning what the deal is with the way this one closed.
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Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book, my thoughts are my own.

This was a nice read. I have a soft spot for supernatural romances and can always binge read them. While I did not love the cliffhanger, I understand that this is the first book in a series. 
The beginning of the story sort of threw me off, I wasn't sure if the guy we saw was our second MC, that quickly answered though. 
If you loved this author other work called "the prince of air and darkness" , then you will really like this book, I found myself enjoying this one a lot more than the other book previously mentioned. Her books and story telling definitely get better and better, I really enjoyed it, I could've read a longer novel to be honest it was that entertaining.
I'm trying to keep it vague as the blurb doesn't say much and I really enjoyed going into it partially blindly to the true storyline and world.
Overall, quick fun read, will most-likely continue with this series if our MC's are the MC's of the next books !
4/5 stars
Bookarina
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Holy moly... That was a cliffhanger of an ending!!! Readers avoiding cliffhanger ending might want to wait for (at least) the next book - or even the series completed - to arrive before diving into RARE VIGILANCE. 

That said, this book was a heck of a way to start a new series. RARE VIGILANCE is first to MA Grant’s “Whitethorn Agency” series and as such set the path and world-building of this AU America and their supernatural beings. At the center is Atlas Kinkaid whose latest assignment a mysterious heir to a wealthy and powerful family, Cristian Slava. 

While reader could almost predict the gist of the story, the chain of events gripped me while I alternate between applauding and lambasting over Atlas’ antics. The story is told in sole POV from Atlas’ that played well into the guessing game of what’s actually happening. Not everything is black and white in RARE VIGILANCE. Even those considered ‘the good guys’ were not above reproach - even could be villains while viewed from different angle. It was an overall intense with a tad gloomy tone. One that Grant had a penchant with my experience with her previous series has any say. 

The action came to a head at the most unexpected time and abruptly ended without warning. Personally, had I known this beforehand, I would prefer to wait until more installments release before digging in. But aa it is, RARE VIGILANCE is a riveting tale and I can’t wait for the next book to find out how Atlas figured everything out. 


Copy of this book is kindly given by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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When I saw the cover for the first time, I knew this book was a great story, and I wasn't wrong. This is a kind of story you will love to read for sure.

Atlas works as bodyguard at her sister's company. His life seems to be pretty normal, but his mental health is fragile. Atlas past was hard, and the nightmares hunt them each night. His life changes when Bea, his sister, gives him the opportunity to work for her most importan client: Decebal Vladislavic. The job seems to be perfect for Atlas: great salary, good schedule and nothing difficult to deal with. 
But being Decebal son's bodyguard could to be a challenging task. The guy is hot, a jerk and a vampire... And Atlas has some very bad memories about these creatures... But Christian Slava is a different vampire, and it's too late for Atlas to forget him. 

I loved this story, I've enjoyed it a lot. It was very beautifully and carefully written. The writing style is just delightful. The book hooks you since the first page. It has the perfect dosis of mistery, thriller, friendship, love, humor and fantasy. 
The characters are PERFECT !!!! I fell in love with Atlas: so serious, so deep thinking, so smart and strong. Christian is the kind of guy you will love to have in your life: funny, vain, helps others and shameless.
I became a very huge fan of this couple. They're so perfect. Seriously, please, read this book. It's amazing.
I'm very glad that I've discovered this author, and I definitely will read her others books.
A huge thanks to Netgalley, Harlequin and M. A. Grant to provide me with the copy of this jewel.
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I think I’m the odd man out here, but Rare Vigilance was okay. I think I was expecting a lot more than what I got with this book. It took me awhile to read, because I kept finding myself wanting to read something else. 

How would I read this series? Wait until the next book comes out then read them back-to-back. I feel like it would be more enjoyable that way.
 
What did I like? The idea of the vampires in this world. Vampires can eat and drink regular food, but also need blood. There’s a bond/connection that can be formed with the donor. There was history behind Cristian and his family. Things were hinted at, but we weren’t given a full picture. 

There was a lot of build up for the story to end on a cliffhanger. In several ways. 

I’m a fan of slow burn romances, but this was the slowest of burns. I wanted more for the relationship between Atlas and Cristian. There were hints of intense chemistry, but something about it was unsatisfying. Then the abrupt ending. I feel like there was no sense of resolution. I really wise this would have been released as one lengthy novel instead of being split up into two.
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No surprise, but I think I'm gonna love this series. <3 

I love it when the author of a series I loved comes out with a brand new series. M.A. Grant first showed up on my TBR list with the first book in her Darkest Court series, Prince of Air and Darkness. As much as I grew to love that series, I have to say if Rare Vigilance is any indication, I’m going to love the Whitethorn Agency even more.

Atlas Kinkaid was the kind of broken character that it was hard to not sympathize with. He had been through a horrific ordeal that was so crazy he soon learned to be careful who he shared the details with. His sister was his rock though and she believed him, but she couldn’t keep the haunting terror away. All she could do was be there for him, including giving him a job with the security agency that she ran.

His newest assisignment wasn’t an easy one, mainly because the man he was in charge of protecting had run off most of the other agents assigned to him. Atlas was determined though and he found ways to out maneuver Cristian and his seemingly childish antics – most of the time. Nothing was quite what it seemed though and soon Atlas had to decide if keeping his job was worth losing himself.

There were a lot of twists and turns, danger, suspense and at times it was hard to sift out the good guys from the bad. Atlas had to figure out who to put his trust in, which wasn’t always easy.

One word of warning, if you’re not a fan of cliff hangers, prepare yourself. The final chapter is a jaw dropper – but it also left me smiling. Needless to say, I can’t wait until the Whitethorn Agency continues.
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Vampires, bodyguards and creepy creatures oh my! M.A. Grant's new series kicks off with Rare Vigilance and wooo it is so good! Atlas is still mentally recovering from a horrifying encounter with what he thinks are vampires during his time in the military when his sister offers him a job protecting one of the most well known families in town. Little does he know, his new clients are the thing he fears most. He and Cristian don't exactly hit it off from the start but eventually a friendship starts to form followed by something so much more.I love Christians family, blood and turned, especially Dinu! There are touches of snark, a lot of feelings and well...plenty of betrayal to go around! I can't wait to see how the secrets unfold and things play out in the rest of the series. Especially that ending!
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I loved this book so very much. Rare Vigilance is exactly the story I was looking for, and I had so much fun reading it! I can't wait for more!
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Atlas Kincaid just barely survived when he and his fellow Marines were attacked by mysterious creatures while on a mission. The attack left Atlas emotionally and physically scarred and he is still haunted by the nightmares. Now, Atlas works for his sister, Bea, at her security agency. When she offers him the assignment as a bodyguard to the son of a local businessman, it seems like a great option, as they are willing to be flexible with Atlas’ needs (such as having sensitivities that trigger migraines). The fact that no one else has been able to stick it out on the job doesn’t scare Atlas off either.

At first, Christian Slava just seems like the spoiled son of a wealthy businessman. He tries his best to run Atlas off, but grudgingly accepts him when Atlas isn’t so easily cowed. It is soon clear that the job is a lot more than watching the party boy son of a rich man, however. The threats against Christian are real and his life is on the line. As Atlas becomes more aware of who (and what) Christian and his family are, he is horrified and his past nightmares begin to resurface. So when a chance comes up to potentially put a stop to them, Atlas can’t help but be tempted, despite the betrayal.

But the longer Atlas works with Christian and gets to know him, the more drawn to him he becomes. Soon, Atlas is developing feelings for Christian and realizing that he not the enemy Atlas once thought. But the threats against Christian and his family aren’t stopping, even as Atlas realizes he wants to protect Christian with all he has. Now that the danger has increased, it will take all of Atlas’ skills to keep Christian safe and fight the enemies conspiring against him.

Rare Vigilance is the first book in M.A. Grant’s new Whitethorn Agency series and it sets the stage nicely for the upcoming story. This is a supernatural series, though Grant doesn’t disclose the exact nature in the blurb, so I am not going to discuss it directly here either (though it is included in the post tags if you are interested). That said, it didn’t take me long to figure it out, and the story is less about the mystery of what Christian is than about Atlas’ reaction to him and his changing feelings about it all. I think the set up is interesting here as Atlas’ first reaction to learning the truth is horror. It all brings back nightmares from his past and Atlas is genuinely scared and angry. So when the chance comes to take some action that may turn the tables, Atlas seizes the opportunity. It sets up a really nice dynamic as Atlas is at once secretly, but actively, moving against Christian and his family, but also building a real bond with Christian that eventually leads to more. Of course, there is a turning point where Atlas realizes he has made some big mistakes, and ultimately he is completely behind Christian. But it makes for a nice conflict and develops well.

The world building here is interesting, from the politics, to the complex family dynamics, to the supernatural side of things. There are a lot of moving parts here and this book feels largely focused on setting the stage, versus making major advances to the storyline. I’ll admit to feeling a little eager to get things started. This is a long book and I felt like it could have been trimmed down to really hone in more on the action and key elements. So much felt like set up to me and a lot of the story is the day-to-day side of Atlas watching Christian go to clubs or meetings. While a lot is introduced, by the end I didn’t feel like much actually happened. The story ends on a cliffhanger, which was exciting, and there are definitely thrilling moments, particularly at the end, but I did find things a little slow.

We learn the basics of what happened to Atlas and it is connected to a related, but different, supernatural group than Christian and his family. It was sort of confusing to me, because Atlas’ reaction to learning the truth made it sound as if Christian’s beings had been the one to attack him, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, so I am not fully clear on Atlas’ response. I’ll also note that the blurb is a little misleading here. It says that “Consumed by the need to find out what happened to him” Atlas takes the security job. But Atlas has no idea that Christian and his family are anything but human when he takes the job, so I don’t think that makes sense. The blurb also suggests that the people after Atlas have knowledge that they are going to share with him about what really happened to him, presumably in exchange for his help, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case in the story (they may know, but there is never a suggestion of a trade of knowledge for Atlas helping them). So there were a few small areas here that seemed a bit muddy.

However, even with some issues, I really enjoyed this one and it sets things up nicely for the series. The ending gives us a lot of excitement and suspense and I am eager to see how the next stage plays out in the second book. So if you are looking for a well-done paranormal with a bit of a different twist and tone, consider checking this one out.
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This was so good & I can't wait for the next book in the series.  Atlas is a veteran who came back totally messed up.  He has major PTSD & debilitating migraines.  His sister is the owner of a security agency and offers him a job.  Since light can bring on his migraines, this job is right up his alley as it is at night.  His protectee is a the spoiled son of a very rich businessman & he can't keep his son under control.  When Atlas arrives, Christian is less than thrilled & works on getting rid of him, like the numerous security details before Atlas.  What Atlas doesn't know is that the family are vampires and someone is out to destroy the family.  Once Christian accepts Atlas, they are a great couple.  The book does end on a end on a sort of cliffhanger as things are left open & someone close to Atlas knows what the family is, but never told him.  I can't wait to see where this goes from here.
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Rare Vigilance was a rare treat for me! I will always love reading vampire books and this one delivered with great characters, a slow burn romance, and a plot filled with twists, danger, and a liberal dose of angst. Atlas Kinkaid gets way more than he signed up for when he's tasked with being Cristian Slava's bodyguard. Cristian does his best to make life difficult for Atlas and try to get him to quit, but Atlas is not deterred and uses his expert experience and training to keep his client safe. Their bond and the things they experience in the story had me on the edge of my seat, both worrying for their safety and rooting for their relationship. 

The vampire world building and hierarchy is really well done and intriguing. I like that aspects of vampire society and biology are gradually revealed as they become important to the plot rather than being told in an info dump. I also liked the supporting characters, especially Atlas's sister. This book ended on a major cliffhanger and left me hungry for more! Come for the vampires, stay for the unforgettable characters and killer story.
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This book starts a trilogy set in a paranormal world. Atlas provides protection for the agency owned by his sister, and he suffers from PTSD from the military and from an attack he suffered at the hands of mysterious creatures. He’s given the assignment of protecting Christian, which is presented as a difficult assignment as every other agent assigned to Christian has walked off.

The book spends a lot of time trying to set up the world and trying to keep things mysterious. I never got the full effect of the style and at some point it’s helpful to know what is going on. I didn’t gravitate to either Atlas or Christian, so it was a lot of just moving along with them as Atlas starts to piece some things together.

I was left looking for more from both the relationship end and the larger story of the paranormal world.
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M.A. Grant has been on my radar for a while, but I haven’t yet managed to get around to reading any of her books, so when I saw she was starting a new series, it seemed the perfect time to jump in.  Rare Vigilance is book one in her Whitehorn Agency trilogy and the well-paced, wonderfully balanced combination of action, paranormal suspense and slow-burn romance had me captivated from start to finish.

Note:  This is a trilogy with an overarching plot and this book ends on a cliffhanger, so don’t go into it expecting an HEA or a firm conclusion. 

Former marine Atlas Kinkaid returned from his military service in Eastern Europe with scars both inside and out, the result of an attack on his unit from which he emerged the sole survivor.  He has PTSD and lingering health issues – sensory sensibilities and debilitating migranes which can affect his balance and vision – so finding work hasn’t been easy, but his half-sister Bea, the owner of the successful and rapidly growing Whitehorn security agency, has been able to offer him enough work to enable him to keep body and soul together.  Her biggest client is Decebal Vladislavic – the businessman  and investor who is almost single-handedly revitalising the small previously industrial town of Scarsdale, and who has business interests in pretty much everything in town, from medical facilities, to housing to entertainment.  Recently, Decebal has experienced “complications” with some of his business deals, and he wants an agent to provide security at home. He’s asked Bea to provide someone who is happy working night shifts – which is perfect for Atlas, who agrees to take the job.

Arrived at Decebal’s impressive home on the outskirts of town, Atlas is waiting to meet his new employer for the first time, and hears the unmistakable sound of an argument – not in English – coming from the office he’s waiting to enter.  The raised voices quickly stop and then a strikingly handsome young man emerges, muttering under his breath and clearly annoyed – until he notices he’s not alone and his whole demeanour changes.  Suddenly all effortless poise and charm, the rudeness with which he treats Atlas is clearly designed to make him re-think his desire to work there.   Atlas is, however, undaunted and refuses to be put off; and it’s just as well, because of course this man is to be his new charge – Cristian Slava, Decebal’s son and the heir to his business empire.

Rare Vigilance starts out as a regular-enough bodyguard romance in which the protectee is convinced they don’t need protecting and takes every opportunity to be rude and to give their minder the slip.  Cristian clearly expects Atlas to quit just as his other bodyguards have, but when Atlas proves himself to be surprisingly tenacious and impervious to Cristian’s attempts to drive him away, Cristian starts to gain a reluctant respect for him.  And as Cristian begins to accept Atlas isn’t going anywhere, Atlas gets intriguing glimpses of a different side of Cristian, seeing a quieter, more thoughtful and capable man behind the charming party-boy image – and starts to actually like him a little.

After a few weeks, they’ve reached a détente and have settled into a routine of sorts, but there’s a seismic shift in their relationship – and the direction taken by the story – when Atlas takes Cristian to what is supposed to be a business meeting, but which instead sees them being attacked by – well, I’ve seen other reviews mention it, but I’m not going to because it’s a neat plot twist the author has been carefully seeding all along – and if you’re been paying close attention you’ve probably figured it out by now anyway.

What follows is a gripping, tightly-plotted story in which a dangerous family feud threatens to explode into all-out war and Atlas comes face to face with his worst nightmare – which turns out not to be a nightmare at all, but something very real and utterly lethal.  Secrets, lies, betrayals of the worst kind, mysterious night time deliveries and unexplained animal-like attacks all combine to make Rare Vigilance a real page-turner, and I raced through it in a couple of sittings, unwilling to put it down.

While all this is going on, Atlas and Cristian are growing closer and the author does a really good job with their slow-burn romance.  They have terrific chemistry and there’s lots of lovely UST along the way as the attraction that sparks between them at their first meeting starts to grow into a bond that transcends their status as employer and employee, and Atlas’ competence and protectiveness slowly win Cristian’s trust.  I liked them both; even when Cristian is at his most brattish, there are hints that his brash, cocky persona is an act to prevent people getting close, and there are hidden vulnerabilities beneath Atlas’ stoic, take-no-crap exterior that soften his hard edges and make him rather endearing.  We don’t know much about either character right now, but I’m hoping that will change as the series progresses; what we do get is a good start and a pretty solid foundation in terms of their characterisation and relationship, and I’m eager to find out where things are going to go.

Having Atlas as the sole PoV character means that the reader finds things out at the same time he does, and that works really well here, especially in the early stages of the story were the author creates a real sense of edginess and of something being not quite as it seems. The only negative comments I can really make are that there’s one aspect of the world-building that could have used a bit more detail, and WTF is with that cover? but neither spoiled my enjoyment in any way, and I guess the world-building issue may be addressed in a future book.

Rare Vigilance is a terrific read and a superb start to this new series.  The cliffhanger ending has me chomping at the bit for more, and I’ll be pouncing on book two, Crooked Shadows as soon as it appears.

Grade: A-/4.5 stars
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Maybe I’m the odd one out here, but I didn’t love this book. The cover is a bit deceiving and I initially thought it was a romantic suspense or a histrom? This doesn’t scream vampire to me at all. I could overlook the cover if the book about vampires was good, but I sadly just don’t think it was. I loved the author’s Prince of Air and Darkness, but I’m afraid the joy I got from that book is lost here. The story is definitely part of a trilogy because the romance here is a VERY slow burn and this book does end with a bit of a cliffhanger.

Content notes include MC used to be military (a Marine), PTSD, anxiety, violence, death, blackmail, mentions of parental figures dying before the book starts, and mentions of a grandmother and another dear friend with deteriorating memories of their loved ones.

This book is told entirely from Atlas Kincaid’s point of view. He’s a (former) Marine and after a particularly vicious attack on his men by the supernatural, he was discharged from the military and now works for his sister’s elite security agency. His latest assignment takes him to work for the very kinds of people he both hates and fears the most – vampires. Atlas is hired to look after an unruly son of the most powerful vampire in the town. Cristian Slava has run off every bodyguard who’s ever been assigned to him and he thinks Atlas will be more of the same. He very soon discovers that Atlas might a little bit smarter than those other bodyguards.

So, I think this book was very interesting in the beginning?? I was intrigued by the attack Atlas went through in Romania and how that would affect his looking after Cristian. Atlas still has the scars, the headaches, and the nightmares from that day four years ago, but working as a bodyguard for a vampire means he gets to keep vampire hours. This gives a much needed relief for his light sensitive eyes, even though working with vampires is not ideal.

I LOVE a good slow burn romance that takes awhile for the MCs to hook up. But this book takes what feels like forever and a day, and maybe it’s because of a plot point that gets thrown into the mix that mad it seem even longer? This whole middle part of the book did not work out for me.

***THERE ARE DEFINITELY SPOILERS AHEAD***

Look. I don’t actually hate a double cross storyline. If the character doing the double crossing is on the side of their love interest and, you know, working to double cross the villain. But if we’re not going with a villain origin storyline like The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, then it’s not really going to work for me. I really don’t like that this book has Atlas so willing to betray Cristian and his family. I do get that Atlas doesn’t trust Cristian or his very powerful father, Decebal. But do we need a whole storyline where Atlas is actively trying to get them KILLED? It definitely puts a damper on the romance and it made the book feel like an absolute drag to read.

The people Atlas works with ultimately winds up threatening him with his weak spot, but we see no pay off here since their threats amount to absolutely nothing when he decides to tell them to take a hike. How powerful are these people? Very powerful apparently, but there’s really not enough to convince me they’re scary in the text itself. We’re just supposed to believe it.

Atlas also never winds up telling Cristian he was working for the enemy and I wonder will they EVER talk about it? Maybe this will be a thing in a future book, but I HATE the not knowing limbo we’re stuck in and I’m not sure I’m interested enough to wait for the rest of the books to come out in order to find out. Why drag it out at all?

Also…I’m beginning to think that bodyguard romances aren’t my thing. But especially when it doesn’t make sense. WHY is it necessary for a human to be a bodyguard for a vampire? Logically, it doesn’t make sense no matter how they try to explain Atlas’s presence, because it just seems silly to me.

Which brings me to vampires. This book tries to breathe some life (ha!) into the vampire lore and makes vampires a living species that isn’t part of the undead. There are vampires here born and those who are made. But. Do any of the vampires here have abilities besides enhanced senses or a longer life than your normal humans? The way a vampire dies in this book seems at odds too. Because I thought they just momentarily stunned one, but it turns out…that vampire is now dead? It’s very strange. The world of vampires is unclear to me. This particular family of vampires in this book are Romanian and the book takes place in the United States. Are there United States vampires? Canadian? We simply do not know.

One of the main reasons Atlas takes the job is because it actually seems tailor made for him (minus the vampire bits) and his condition to light and noise sensitivity. But I wonder how that works since it’s like the book only remembered he was light sensitive and not noise sensitive like it was previously introduced, since Atlas has to drive and accompany Cristian and his vampire friends to a night club. Often.

And I know the bodyguard job isn’t glamorous but Atlas doesn’t really…do much? The rare times it does feel like he’s doing his job, it seems at odds with the supposed Marine he’s supposed to be. It’s like he doesn’t actively keep a look out for threats as the book goes on. It seems like amateur hour. He’s more like a glorified chauffeur most of the time and only good for making quick getaways. I feel like Atlas also needs to see a therapist at some point because for a bodyguard to freeze up when he should be protecting his client is probably not ideal.

I can forgive a lot of plot missteps for a good romance, but there’s just a lot of yearning and a slow burn that barely sizzles. If you’re someone who hates waiting until the end of the book for some action…well, you’re not going to love this one.

This romance is playing the long game and I just don’t think the plot is enough to distract me from a romance that barely gets off the ground. Yes, Atlas and Cristian are attracted to one another, and you see them eyeing each other frequently, but that’s about as much as you get in this book. I feel like there are similarities to the Big Bad Wolf series by Charlie Adhara in the way Atlas and Cristian’s relationship seems much like Cooper and Oliver in the human and supernatural aspect, but this book just doesn’t quite have that same pull or mystery to keep me engrossed in the story.

***END OF SPOILERS***

It’s hard to say whether I’ll continue with this series since book 2 is a long ways off. Well, less than a year really, but I’m not that patient. I’m not particularly in love with the storyline or all that convinced of the romance here. And it seems like the same audiobook narrator for The Darkest Court series will be narrating this series as well, so that’s going to be a miss for me since I’m not a fan. I like Atlas and Cristian well enough as characters, but considering this is a single POV book where we only see the story from Atlas’s POV? It’s aggressively fine, but nothing really pulls at me to continue the series at all. This makes me sad because I was looking forward to a new book by the author and hoped for something more exciting than what we got.

***Thanks so much to the publisher for giving me an e-ARC for review!***
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