Reviewed by Morgan
Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator: Paul Morey
Series: Warder #5
Heroes: Marcus Roth/Joseph Locke
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: Book – 164 Pages; Audio – 4 Hours, 1 Minute
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Book – October 26, 2011; Audio – March 8, 2012
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Marcus Roth is a top criminal lawyer by day and demon-slaying warder by night, but he is simply one of five warders—not really important to anyone but Joseph Locke, his hearth. Or so Marcus mistakenly believes.
On a trip to Lexington, Kentucky, to celebrate Joe’s grandfather’s birthday, that belief changes as Marcus unwittingly uncovers a paranormal dilemma and ends up revealing his identity as a warder to Joe’s family. Faced with a traitor, demons, and the return of an old enemy, Marcus must put his own needs aside to save his friends—though in so doing he may lose the man he loves forever. Even living through the ordeal might not be enough if Marcus can’t forgive himself and learn that his hearth and the rest of his clutch can’t do without him.
This is book 5 of the Warder Series, so by now you know that each town has Warders who protect the city from demons and things that go bump in the night. Each Warder has a Hearth. The Hearth is important because most “regular humans” have their energy drained by spending too much time around a Warder and end up hurt or worse. When a Warder meets a human who isn’t drained by them, they can potentially be their Hearth, or someone they can live with and love, their caretaker after they return from fighting evil.
In book five, Marcus has already found his Hearth, Joe, and the two are with Joe’s family in Kentucky for Joe’s grandfather’s birthday. While there, Marcus discovers that Joe’s dad is being shaken down by a demon and a corrupt Warder. He steps in to fix things after enlisting the help of the other Warders and ends up nearly losing his life.
After months of recovery, he makes his way back to Joe, but he fears Joe may no longer want him, since he put himself at risk rather than save himself for Joe.
In the end, after much drama, the pair is stronger than ever, and the entire “Clutch” of Warders is even stronger than before.
I really enjoyed the entire Warder series. I loved the relationships between Hearth and Warder and between the Warders themselves. The demons they fight are scary, and the “action” in each book is always exciting. In this book, the drama is extra scary but also really funny. All the Warders have to go clubbing (essentially) to gain admittance to the demon they are hunting, and that scene was hilarious.
Joe is snarky and sweetly needy, a fantastic juxtaposition for Marcus’ steadfast devotion and leadership. Joe’s family is funny and understanding and serves as a great anchor for the pair. The rest of the Warders look up to Marcus, and their devotion to him is touching.
There is a fair amount of awesomely hot sex – Mary Calmes writes some of the hottest sex scenes around- but the love the two share is what makes this story stand out. Joe and Marcus already love one another, though the relationship is tested, we get to see them function as an already involved couple more often than not.
I believe you could read each book as a stand alone, but reading the entire series in order makes each book resonate more.
I highly recommend this book and the series, and give it a 4.5 of 5 stars.
Paul Morey narrates this and the last book in the series, and I know and love him from some of his previous narrations. Apparently, the other books are narrated by someone different, and they didn’t get quite as good reviews as did Paul.
Paul did his standard excellent job. I thought it was funny that Joe (the smaller man) had the deeper voice of the two, but other than that, I enjoyed his variations on the different characters and love his general cadence and timbre.
I would definitely recommend this book on Audio and enjoy this narrator a lot.
I give the narration a 4.5 of 5 stars as well, for an overall 4.5 of 5 stars.
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*