Expected Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Imprint: N/A
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Gift From The Author
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Wasteland
Series Best Read In Order: Yes, but worked okay as a standalone
Steam Level: Warm
Pet Peeves: Ancient/Immortal Paired With Young Mate, Forced Nudity
Favorite Tropes: Plane Crash, Fated To Be Mated, Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Mute

Official Blurb:

The voice is a powerful thing…

Russell Leonard is a centuries-old Guardian who’s lost faith in his purpose. So when he’s charged with procuring the first female Guardian in over two centuries, he can only hope it’s the red-headed beauty who’s been haunting his dreams for months. And if it is, he intends to claim her as his. But when he finds his dream woman, Annabelle is mute and bears no Guardian’s Mark.

He soon realizes she’s been tainted by an ancient evil. Russell must somehow release the secrets trapped within this delicate soul to help her tap into the only weapon powerful enough to silence a millennia-old demon—her voice.

***At the time of this review, a portion of all proceeds donated to American Cancer Society***

What Worked For Me:

  • As strange as this sounds, I actually love books with plane crashes. Maybe it’s because they’re pretty rare, or because they almost always involve major injuries and a bit of wilderness survival,  but I’ve snatched up every romance I’ve ever found that featured a plane crash and just devoured it. Weird, I know, but I love it.  In this particular instance, I really enjoyed throwing in the fast-healing Guardians and the mysterious Annabelle into the mix.
  • As always, I’m a big fan of fated mates. I loved how not only had Russell been dreaming of Annabelle for months before he even laid eyes on her, but that Annabelle showed an instinctive trust in him. It had me swooning, and grinning with a bit of evil glee when she took an immediate dislike to poor Durk.
  • loved Annabelle from the moment she appeared on the pages. Everything about her, from the state they found her in, to her fear of Durk, to the mystery surrounding both her past and her powers. Love.
  • I really enjoyed the pacing of this one as well. One of my complaints about the first book in the series was that the action seemed to almost overwhelm the rest of the plot. However, even though there were still plenty of thrilling fights and terrifying developments, there were also enough breaks in the action to let the romance and the rest of the story develop naturally.
  • The villain was pretty terrifying as well, and not just in a typical Big Baddie sort of way. Ancient, evil, and incredibly powerful, he made a pretty horrifying foe.
  • Holy Plot Twists, Batman!  No spoilers, but I was definitely thrown for a loop more than once (and I loved it!).
  • I loved the ending. Even though there was an obvious setup for the next book in the series, Russ and Annabelle’s storyline felt complete, and the climax of the story was an explosive one.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • Extenuating circumstances made it a bit more acceptable, but there we go with the heroine being seen naked while unconscious.  Yes, yes,  I know, plane crash, wet clothes in freezing temperatures, assessment of injuries, etc. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.
  • A very minor issue, but I’m not personally a fan of multi-centennial heroes hooking up with nineteen year olds. It’s just never really been my thing, and I did appreciate that Russel himself seemed a bit skeeved by the idea as well. Like I said, it was a very minor issue, but worth mentioning, just in case other potential readers feel the same way.
  • There was at least once that I was a bit surprised by some of the characters’ actions. I can’t really go into detail without giving away a major spoiler, but suffice it to say, after a big deal was made about a certain bit of danger, there was quite a bit of disregard for said danger almost immediately afterwards that had me scratching my head.

I have read the first book in the series, but it’s been a long time, with a lot of books in between. Even so, I was able to keep up fairly well early on, and while I would recommend reading the series in order, I think that this one stands reasonably well on its own, all things considered.

Readers should also be aware that this is considered “Upper YA” or “New Adult”, and does feature some not-quite-closed-door lovemaking, though it’s written in a way that’s considered very mild by today’s romance novel standards.

I loved the blend of action and romance, and the fact that I was a huge fan of Annabelle from the moment that she appeared on the pages didn’t hurt either. The pacing was wonderful, with just enough “down time” between action sequences for both readers and characters alike to be able to catch a breath, but not so much that anything felt like it dragged.

While I do wish the romance would have been a bit steamier, I knew going into it that this was a New Adult romance, and as such, would be a lot lighter on the heat level than the books I typically read, so that was a very minor point.

Overall, I loved it, and am really looking forward to picking up the final book in the trilogy, TAINTED, which just came out earlier this week.

4half4.5/5 Stars

At the time of this review, the author is offering a FREE short story with the purchase of any Lynn Rush novel. Please visit her website,, for more details. Also at the time of this review, a portion of all sales of Lynn Rush novels are being donated to the American Cancer Society. Please check her website for current status of this offer.