Reviewed by Kausambi Patra
The Reluctant Guardian by Elisha Bugg is a paranormal romance that reminds of Twilight.
Elisha Bugg has a gripping writing style. She pulls the reader right inside the world of her novel. The characters seem very real, and we feel that we can readily touch and talk to them. We race through the story, eager to know the rest. The novel is the first of the “The Otherworld Guardians” series and sets the tone for the next. The book is a fast read and does not lag anywhere.
The male lead is a wolf shifter – powerful and hot-blooded. Due to his painful past, he has closed his heart, concentrating only on his quest, as his inner wolf threatens his humanity with irrationality and bloodlust. The novel begins in a masquerade party teeming with teenagers, alcohol and plastic cups, revolting to the superior senses of the shifter. Thane's developed olfactory sense loathes the cheap perfumes and the environment. The enticing honeysuckle fragrance of Anya, a beautiful stranger, interrupts him. The irresistible pull stirs the beast within him and hints that she is something more. The passion and tension between the lead characters build up from the start. They share an intense attraction which cannot be restrained.
Anya is extremely weak and passive at first. She does not protest in awkward situations and at uncomfortable actions of people. The party disorients and repulses her making her lose consciousness. She accepts guidance and protection from her friend, Keri and Thane. Anya is a foundling lovingly brought up by a shifter, but she is unaware of her past and the supernatural world. Slowly she discovers her voice, identity and repressed memories. Thane delights at Anya's gradual unravelling.
Anya meets Thane in wolf form and revels in an exhilarating wolf ride through the forest at night. As their bonding and connection blossom, Thane interrogates his loving a human. Anya loves unconditionally, faces many difficulties, does not give up and willingly takes on life as it comes.
Supernatural creatures populate the novel and take the plot forward. Each of the bear, jaguar and lion shifters, vampires, witches, demons and magical healers, woven into the narrative have a function. Their enemies are the hunters, who love killing and capturing them. The shrewd hunter leader's mansion imprisons a wolf shifter with silver shackles and mystical runes for long.
The shifters are marginalised and scorned by the hunters, who flaunt their authority and hatred. The supernatural beings disguise their presence. The characters explore and question their connections to each other and their functions, uncovering many secrets. All of them put their wits and strength to test and take on the hunters. The situation acerbates at the betrayal of a friend who nurtures a hidden identity. The author lovingly describes the beautiful creatures in detail from their glowing eyes to the shine of their skin. She gives them life, revealing their passion, strength, tenderness and vulnerability.
The characters seem living breathing entities close to us. They become our dear friends in whom we are invested. The encounters between Thane and Anya expose their attraction and connection. Elisha Buggs graphically describes their tension and pull. The reader feels each vibration of Thane's heart and the blood rushing into Anya's face. We tumble through their upheavals, and it is delightful reading for romance lovers.
The novel immerses us in its realm of jealousy, trust, betrayal and love and is an excellent start to a paranormal romance series. We stare awestruck like Anya.
This book is a treat of the romance genre and is highy recommended.
Elisha Bugg is an author from England, UK, living with her partner and their daughter. When not writing, or working a day job, you will catch her reading, watching shows on Netflix, and spending time with the family. Her other hobbies include drawing and making designs (which she sells on Redbubble), and gaming of all kinds.
To learn more about this talented author, visit her website: www.elishabugg.com
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