A nicely timed mystery with paranormal and romantic overtones, Anita Clenney’s Guardians of Stone opens with a brief, gently haunting prologue then moves swiftly into the lives of the talented Kendall, manipulative Nathan and rebellious Jake. Soon there are hints of mystery in all the protagonists’ pasts, but the author fills the story with adventures the present, keeping the reader intrigued as the pages fly by.
Sent on a quest to find a curious box, hidden by a secret order, perhaps, and never to be opened except… Kendall and Jake are soon entangled in banter filled with pleasing double entendres and adventures filled with fear. Entertaining dialogue, sharp descriptions, dark hints of evil, and fast cars on beautiful Italian roads—what more could you want?
The point of view switches convincingly between the three protagonists as the story progresses, a technique that works smoothly and pleasingly as each has their own different take on their purpose, and a nicely curious attitude to each other’s skills. Dangers threaten, St. Peter’s gorgeous architecture beckons, and mystery turns to ghost-hunting, murder and constantly thwarted romance.
Jake “believe[s] in strength, wits, and common sense. And a good supply of weapons.” But there’s evil afoot and Kendall has an unpredictable skill for seeking it out. In the gothic dark of an ancient castle, with the gloriously handsome Jake Stone platonically sharing her bed and the mysterious monk filling her dreams, will she or Jake be first to uncover the secrets of their pasts? Or will Nathan intervene.
Guardians of Stone tells a fascinating story with enough closure to complete the novel and enough loose ends to leave me eager for more. I hope the author’s working on another tale—these characters have so many secrets still waiting to be told. And the telling’s fun.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be given an ARC of this novel before its release, which I suppose means I’ll have all the longer to wait until the next book comes out. Alas poor me. I really enjoyed this tale.