Guardian (Halflings #2)Featured
The fact that I enjoy the Halflings series by Heather Burch remains an utter surprise to me. They are so much not my thing that I keep expecting to be annoyed beyond repair on every page. I say this to emphasize that, while my rating is certainly on the low end of liking the book, it's a miracle that I liked it at all. If you enjoy paranormal romance and Christian themes more than I do, then you should most definitely check out Heather Burch's Halflings books.
As those familiar with my reviews probably know by this point, one of the few genres I generally cannot stand is Christian fiction. Not being a believer myself, I hate being preached to, so that kills a book immediately. Thankfully, Burch does not preach much at all. Both Halflings and Guardian felt more like they were merely set in Christian mythology rather than trying to impart Christian values to me, a fact I am immensely thankful for.
Another reason I like these books is Nikki. Except with regards to romance, Nikki Youngblood does not act like the stereotypical heroine. She's strong, and always wants to help, even when people (primarily Will and Mace) try to marginalize her. From years of martial arts training, she's physically powerful. She loves motorcycles, and actually knows how to ride them, unlike Bella Swan who used them as suicide machines. On top of that, she knows and appreciates her own skills and refuses to let anyone tell her what she can or can't do. Best of all, she will not compromise herself to make a boy happy.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The plot meandered a bit in the beginning of the book, but took shape towards the end. I never did figure out precisely why the trip to Europe at the opening was necessary; the explanation that a higher power told Will does not fly with me. They really do not seem to have accomplished anything there that could not have been done in Nikki's home town. However, once the actual plot kicked in, it was both exciting and creepy, as Nikki confronts her internal battles and Raven studies some mad scientists.
The biggest weak point of the series is the love triangle. Of course, I'm generally not a huge fan of love triangles, so I suppose that's not surprising. On the plus side, there does seem to be a slight possibility Nikki might go for either guy, but I don't really imagine she would choose anyone but Mace. Unfortunately, Mace bores and irritates me, what with his desires to protect her like a manly man. Raven may be the "bad boy," but he empowers Nikki, helping her gain in strength so she can protect herself. Sure, he'll protect her if she needs it, but that's the back up plan. Mostly, though, I dislike the way Nikki acts when she's with them, because she finds herself unable to resist either Raven's or Mace's charms, swept away. Nikki is stronger than that, and it seems out of character for her to be so indecisive and to go from boy to boy, and especially to cheat.
The Final Verdict:
Though I am not the ideal audience, I happily recommend these books to those who welcome Christianity as a main theme in their fiction and who are perhaps more tolerant of love triangle shenanigans than I am. They're well-written and certainly some of the better angel books I've read.
I have to be honest here. I was somewhat disappointed and here's why:
The storyline tended to jump POV's without warning and I got confused a few times because I wasn't sure what was going on. The story would be in Nikki's POV and then all of a sudden I was reading what Mace was thinking. It threw me off at first, but once I was expecting it, I could read through a bit more easily. Secondly, the book seems to fall short of the first book. I say that with so much love because I adored the first book so much! So I had really high expectations of this book. Thirdly the plot line was a bit confusing to me. It seemed to jump around a bit. Now, let me say this. I just had a baby and I have the "mommy brain" so this could totally account for my confusion. It could just been me! Hopefully it was and you won't have that issue. I was also a bit confused as to how all of a sudden a relationship between a human and an angel is okay once both parties have agreed to it?! Not necessarily ok, but they don't care about the consequences anymore? That threw me off. I really liked how Nikki could never really be with Mace or Raven for fear of them losing their souls. However in this book, that kind of gets pushed aside.
I still enjoy this series and I will recommend it. I just had the bar set a bit higher for this book. I hope the third book is more on pace with the first book.
Here's why I will still "push" this series even though it doesn't fall into my "LOVED IT SO HARD" category...this book is clean - no language, no "sexy" parts, BUT still has plenty of swoon worthy moments to get your racing. It's also action packed with the spiritual battle, good vs. evil element and is filled with fantastic moral lessons!