I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Heart of Stone by Christine Warren
Series: Gargoyles #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on 2013-12-31
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Paranormal
Reviewed by Jo
From bestselling author Christine Warren comes a thrilling new series abouta young woman caught between a rock and a hard place—between gargoyles and demons… Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. Well, as normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people—and her powers in check—while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. But how on earth is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum’s terrace suddenly comes to life? HEART OF STONE Not your ordinary gargoyle, Kees has been asleep for eons, waiting for a portent of evil to wake him from his slumber. Kees isn’t a vision; he’s a bat-winged guardian created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. Somehow, Ella triggered his reawakening. Maybe the demons have been unleashed? Maybe his heart is finally ready to be chiseled open? The fate of the world isn’t carved in stone… yet. “Warren takes readers for a wild ride.”—Night Owl Romance (on The Others series)
Ella Harrow finally has a life that she is mostly happy with – that of a museum docent and the gift shop manger. One of the bad parts of her jobs has to be attending museum functions and fundraisers. Ella has always had psychic abilities and being around people is extremely hard on her for this reason – even though Ella has worked hard at supressing those abilities. Lately one of the top patrons of the museum has made Ella very uncomfortable and her unease was proven correct when he tried to assault her the night just after a fundraiser. Only Ella’s abilities and help from a very shocking place helped keep Ella safe.
Kees is an ancient gargoyle Guardian who has been sleeping in his stone body for centuries. That is until he was awakened by Ella’s attack with the need to protect her. After Kees makes her attacker leave, he is confused on just why or how he was awoken and questioning Ella seems to be his only way to find out. What Kees actually finds is that Ella is much more than just a cute mortal woman – she is actually a gifted and untrained Warden. Why hasn’t the Guild found Ella and trained her? These questions disturb Kees because it seems so wrong to him.
Ella and Kees begin to research the Guild and what has been going on during the many, many years he and the other Guardians have been asleep. What they uncover deeply troubles Kees. If the Demons the Guardians were created to protect against have been allowed and welcomed into the Earth plane makes him worry about the fate of the world as a whole. Ella, even as a geek, has trouble believing everything that Kees tells her about Wardens, Guardians, and Demons and how he is beginning to believe how she fits into everything. That all goes away when Kees and Ella finally discover a Warden and learn exactly what has happened – it’s now a battle to awake all the Guardians to make sure that Demons are never allowed to run free on Earth. While researching the Guild’s past several centuries, Kees is also trying to understand his intense attraction to Ella. Ella has no difficulty in acknowledging that Kees is her one and only love and she will battle anything she has to in order to have his love forever – even help him find and awaken the rest of the sleeping Guardians. With all they have learned, Kees goes back to an ancient legend on how to awaken the sleeping Guardians – they can be awakened when the woman of power who will love them is in deadly danger even if they and the women have never met. Kees and Ella’s adventures are just beginning – both in love and to gather the needed forces to battle the darkness that is coming.
A museum docent who has always been drawn to a stone gargoyle soon learns that the stone façade is nothing to the actual man/Gargoyle who it becomes and their love. Heart of Stone shows Kees and Ella that love can appear instantly. I was almost as shocked as Ella was when Kees just appeared and knocked her assailant sideways. I loved how Kees was determined to locate the danger that is circling around the world. I also loved how Ella was skeptical at first and then jumped in with both feet to not only help Kees but to learn just what her gifts really were and how to control them. The battle that Kees and Ella win is just the beginning of what I believe will be a war that should not be missed – just as the story of Ella and Kees discovering each should not be missed. Heart of Stone combines the best of paranormal romance – suspense, unworldly creatures and someone wanting to rule the world all being brought down by the power of two individuals in love. I am now waiting until the next book in Ms. Warren’s Gargoyle series because I just have to know how Fil discovers her Guardian and just what their journey will be.