Bond of Blood

Irish Devil

River Devil

The Southern Devil

 
The Shadow Guard
by Diane Whiteside
(Kensington, $14, R) ISBN 978-0-7582-2519-1
*
Note to Self: Interesting front cover of a book does not necessarily live up to its promise. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson from Diane Whiteside’s The Shadow Guard.

Okay, background check: Astird Carlsen is a very, very old woman, but she’s still hot. It isn’t explained why she looks like she’s in her early thirties after living decades upon decades, but she does. Astrid’s magickal abilities may have something to do with this. She’s a mage who works as a helper to the FBI as well as secretly for The Shadow Guard, named a black ops mission for magic.

Jake Hammond is a detective with a chip on his shoulder. He has devoted his life to justice and taking care of others. Jake’s just recently come up against a high profile murder case he can’t crack. He needs help, and Astrid seeks him out to tell him what she saw. While they have been gaming buddies online for some time, they have never met in person and they’re shocked to find themselves attracted to each other. They are both lonely, isolated people for different reasons and both welcome their instant personal connection.

Jake and Astrid take on the case, and Astrid has to admit that she has some magical secrets. One of them is that she needs to have sex with a kubri, an earth energy channeler, to recharge her magic. It works out great, because Jake is unknowingly a kubri. So they have sex a lot and mix in a bit of working on the very twisted yet often vague details of the case. In the meantime, it looks like there are a lot of suspects out there who want to stop them from finding out the truth. So, of course, they will need to have more sex to magically discover the villains.

While my synopsis of the plot line of The Shadow Guard might as well have been written in Italicized Sarcastic Font, it is the plot of this book delineated without going into too much detail.

I really can’t find anything positive to say about this story, I would recommend that you skip it for the following reasons:

- Astrid remains a wispy shell of a character for the entire book, without gaining any personality or insight throughout.
- Jake comes off as a total patsy for Astrid’s supposedly amazing talents and wit.
- The blatant sex scenes were awkwardly placed, and the more sex the characters had, the less chemistry was expressed.
- The scenes had a bizarre, sudden change mode. There wasn’t even a symbol or spacing to separate the different scenes of the book within chapters, which was both jarring and annoying to me.

--Amy Wroblewsky


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