Published by St. Martin's Press
Ivy Beckett has always known about the Guardians and the Wardens—the humans who help keep the humans safe from the darkness with the Guardians. The males in her family have been Wardens for several generations. All the families who are Wardens have special gifts. Ivy’s gift is distant hearing, which is something that Ivy considers a curse, especially when she hears her uncle and cousin being killed. Now Ivy works hard to help other Wardens escape to safety. It is a type of underground railroad that has been set up by others in the know about the Guild. All is good until the night Ivy is placed in danger while trying to help yet another Warden escape harm.
Baen is one of the gargoyle Guardians of the Light. He has been asleep for centuries until he is awoken by a call—a call that seems to come from Ivy. Once Baen takes care of the demons, he begins to see that the world has definitely changed since the last time he was awakened. First off, the Guild no longer exists, the Wardens are being killed, and the really strange fact is that no one knew where the Guardians had been put to sleep. That last fact meant that no one knew where to go to wake them up when the darkness threatened.
As Baen and Ivy begin to answer his questions, they also begin a search to see if any other Guardians had been awoken. This search is quickly answered in such a way that again shocks both Ivy and Baen. With Baen, all but one of the Guardians have been found and awoken and now one of the Guardians is a woman—something that never happened before. Most shocking is that several of the high demons have been released already, and the Order is determined to bring the other four over. Ivy and Baen are joined by the other five Guardians and their Wardens only to discover that the last Guardian has been awake the longest of all, and it appears did not try to locate and wake up the others. There are serious questions and answers going around as all of the Guardians and Wardens, along with the underground, prepare for a final showdown. By the end of this, either the Guardians of the Light will have once again defeated the darkness or the world will have descended into darkness and horror.
A woman trying to help light win the threat of darkness soon as a special partnership with a Guardian in Hard Breaker. Ivy was all that a lover and Warden should be for a Guardian, both feisty and determined. I found Baen was of the same mold as all the Guardians but, like them, he found that love could allow him to bend and let his mate be in danger in order to defeat the darkness. I enjoyed watching as Ivy and Baen found their own forever love. I loved the final battle, because it showed Ivy that her gift was not a curse, but a special gift. It was proved once again that when the dust settled, it was love that won the day. Hard Breaker is a mixture of suspense and humor that had me turning the pages to see what would happen next. While this is the end of the series, I now know just how well the light won against the darkness and that all I have to do is open up my books to once again watch as each Guardian meets their special Warden and love rules the day.