Claire Marta & Nia Farrell-Ash

Today we have the last book in the first season of the Guarded Hearts books. And let me tell you, I think that Ash is the perfect book to wrap up the season. I think that the main thrust of the story for the last 7 books was wrapped up well enough and the hooks were laid well enough that moving on to season 2 is going to be easy and we aren’t going to want to know what happened with what thing.

We start with Ash. She’s 18 and has been staying at a safe house owned by her step-cousin, who should be the Don of his family, but since he was too young when his father died, his uncle, Ash’s step-father and all around scumbag douchecanoe, took over, and he hasn’t stepped down yet. Ash had to get away from him for a lot of reasons, one of which is the fact that he was going to trade her to a vampire. Only now, Ash has overheard one of her cousin’s guards talking to her step-father and she has to leave. So, she sneaks out and runs. For a few days she manages to hide, but then she ends up at the Citadel, where she is able to find somewhere safe to hide. While she’s there, she sees a man working at a forge. He’s her god of the forge.

Tobias is the only one of his cadre to not have a partner or a mate. He leads the cadre, protects everyone to the best of his abilities, and does everything he can to fight the battles they are in with Etienne and his ilk. He also crafts things, usually in his forge, but not always. He’s not looking for a mate. He doesn’t think that he deserves one. He had bad things happen in his past, and he’s pretty sure that it means he’ll never have a mate. Until the day that he looks up from his forge and sees a face that he’ll never forget. And he discovers that Ash is hiding on their property. He takes her up to his apartment, and has to figure out who she is, what to do with her, and what her being there means.

I really like Ash. I think that she is this real mix of worldly and naive. She’s strong and yet she’s really fragile. She is really cynical about some things, but in a lot of other things, it’s like she’s seeing everything for the first time. It’s really interesting to read, and it makes her a really good character. I think that she’s also really protective, and she will do a fuckload of shit to make sure that she can protect the people that she loves. Frankly, I think that she and Tobias are a perfect match, really.

Tobias has been a bit of a mystery during this whole series. We’ve only really seen him as this stern and paternal leader. He makes the rules, he makes sure that everyone follows the rules, he makes the hard decisions, and he does what he can to make sure that they are going to win their battle against the dark. We don’t see much in his head during the other books, so we don’t really get to know him until this one. In fact, a few times in the older books, I actually kinda didn’t like him at all. He made decisions that I didn’t like. Oh, I understood why he made some of the decisions that he did, but they didn’t make me like him. And after reading this book and getting to know more of his past, I can understand his decisions even more. I think he has spent many years being lonely and locking himself away, convincing himself that he doesn’t need a mate, so when Ash shows up, it shocks the hell out of him, and well it should. I think that he needed her, in more ways than one.

I really do think that this wrapped up this cadre’s season really well. And it did it without sacrificing Ash and Tobias’s story, which would’ve upset me. They truly deserved to have their own story.

Nothing under the pic today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

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