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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Review - The Combat by Crystal Kauffman

Title: Guardian’s Realm: The Combat

Author: Crystal Kauffman

Publisher: Loose ID, LLC

Buy The Combat Here!

Rating: You Need to Read

Reviewer: Nerine Dorman

Amidst a cataclysmic war between the Guardians, an ancient sect of gargoyles charged with policing vampirekind, and a maniacal vampire king who intends to enslave humanity for the sinful pleasures of vampires worldwide...

Desperate to locate her missing sister, Gabrielle Langston travels to San Francisco expecting to find Linna in a fanatical Goth community of wannabe blood suckers. Instead Gabrielle discovers real--real!--vampires, sexy gargoyles, and an undead prince intent on claiming her as his bride.

Though it's been over eight hundred years since a vampire killed his young wife, the scars on Davin McCain’s soul still burn deep. He has risked his life for the Guardians for eight centuries, yet never again has he risked his heart. But when he rescues feisty Gabrielle, drugged by the vampires to make her insatiable, Davin is lost to the charms of the pretty, green-eyed human.

Gabrielle's dangerous idea to infiltrate the vampire coven is the only chance the Guardians have to finally locate the vampire’s “Palace,” but Davin realizes while he’s just found the mate he wants by his side for eternity, he could lose her in mere days.

“I don’t think I trust you, Lord Winslow.”
“I’d think you foolish if you did, Ms. Langston.”

These two sentences made the book for me and pretty much sum up the edgy world that Gabrielle Langston enters when her sister, Linna, goes missing. Far from home in San Francisco, Gabrielle is out of her depth in an unfamiliar environment. She is soon at the centre of a tussle between two immortal races. The vampires prey on humanity, using them to sate their unnatural lusts while the noble gargoyles have taken on the role of guardians of the human race, holding the vampires in check.

This precarious balance is threatened by an ambitious vampire lord seeking world domination, who will stop at nothing to achieve his aims. Added to the equation is gargoyle Davin McCain, who has every reason to hate the vampires who robbed him of happiness centuries before. A terrible choice lies before Gabrielle, one that may have far-reaching consequences when she finds love in the most unexpected circumstances.

Crystal’s setting is vividly realised as she plunges readers into the shadowy, erotic underworld where vampires and gargoyles stalk each other. Her action sequences are handled well and there is enough of a plot to balance out her very charged love-making scenes. I’d be keen to see further offerings in this series because I think she’s onto something here with her Guardians and I’d like to know more details of their culture and history. There’s a lot of scope here to build on. As a writer I do feel she needs to give more sensory input but on the whole, this story was an entertaining read.

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