Nick Belanger has had a secret crush on his next-door-neighbor, Kayla Dorman, since she and her young daughter moved in six years ago. Nick isn’t keeping his crush a secret because he is too shy. No one ever accused him of that. Nick knows that any relationship with Kayla would need to include the level of honesty that an Immortal Guardian can’t share with just anyone. It would not just be Nick of suffers if Kayla reacted badly to the news.
But when Kayla ends up in the the hospital with life threatening injuries, Nick starts calling in favors throughout the Immortals and their network of humans to save Kayla’s life. Considering how badly Kayla was injured, Nick knows he won’t be able to get away with “it really wasn’t that bad” and will have to explain how her injuries were miraculously healed.
No one in Nick’s past ever reacted well to the fact that he is different, although, unlike Roland Warbrooks, no one tried to actually kill him because of it. Yet for the first time in centuries, Nick is hopeful that if Kayla can accept Nick’s differences, they might be able to take that next step into a real relationship.
But as we know, there is a downside to being Immortal and while at the hospital, Nick bumps into a former acquaintance from the 1960s who insists that he knows who Nick is and wants to know how he has remained to young. This man is sick and desperate and he isn’t accepting for any of the usual story which the Network has prepared for these instances about family resemblances.
This was our first look at the Dallas crew of Immortal Guardians. Ooooo. On the plus side, we get to meet Eliana, who is Nick’s partner and who I already was loving in the few preview pages tucked in after The Lasarian. We spend a lot of time with Nick and Eliana while they are hunting vampires and spending down time with Kayla, so we really get to know her personality. I already love her. Now I am even more excited to read the second book in that series.
Nick and Kayla were sweet and this gives us a nice romance to break up all that vampire killing, kidnapping intrigue and action sequences.
On the down side was that except for Nick, Eliana, Nick’s Second, Oliver, and the head of the Dallas Network, we really didn’t meet anyone else from Texas. What? Any help that Nick had during this story came from our usual friends in North Carolina. Yeah okay, maybe it is a lot to ask for to meet an entire new crew and get to know them in the space of a novella while still trying to tell the story of Nick and Kayla, but there certainly could have been a healer or a telepath or teleporter that Nick could have contacted in his own backyard. Yes, everyone’s default contact is Seth, but Seth could have assigned locals to handle the things he used the North Carolina crew to do. I would imagine the Dallas people have a place to go just like David’s house for emergencies or to plan their evenings hunts or just to get together, and Nick should have some friends among them. I don’t even believe we learned Eliana’s special ability in this story except that she obviously isn’t a healer, a telepath or a teleporter and even Eliana’s second was on vacation after the happenings of Seth’s book and we don’t get to meet him. I am sure part of the reason we didn’t meet anyone else is because the fans would have immediately starting harassing Dianne about “When are we going to get Bob’s story. He seems so funny/angry/lonely…” and I can only imagine that those demands can get annoying when you are already juggling other stories in your head.
Because of the change of scenery, this novella can be a standalone and works great for anyone unfamiliar with the Immortal Guardians who just wants a taste before they take on the entire series plus spinoffs.
I was offered a review audiobook from Tantor Audio and this was my first audiobook attempt at this series. I think Kirsten Potter did a wonderful job and I was enjoying the story, so much so that I gardened for hours and hours while distracted by the story and I could barely move the next day. Usually I am die hard about sticking with either reading a series or audobooking (is that a word?) a series. But because this story involved mostly, Nick, Kayla, her daughter and Oliver, I didn’t have any problems switching formats until Seth showed up and when I heard his voice, my brain started screaming “no, no, no, no” because I have already cast this entire series in my head and his voice wasn’t what I was expecting.
Broken Dawn is a great addition to the series and is perfect for anyone who wants to give the Immortal Guardians a try and see what they are all about.
Received an ARC from Tantor in exchange for an honest review.
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