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Monday, January 25, 2010

Flesh and Stone, Book Two of the Gargouillen Series by Vickie Taylor

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group / Penguin Group
Pages: 297

From the Cover: Acclaimed author Vickie Taylor introduced an extraordinary ancient race of immortas in the dazzling novel Carved in Stone. Now, she presents a bold new adventure about the Gargoyles--a race if shape-changing immortals who have watched over humanity through the ages. But now, they fight for something more....they fight for love.

In her world, she was a protector.

Mara Kincaide knows what is is like to live in chaos. For six years, she has operated a shelter for women, bearing witness to the dark side of mankind as well as the great potential for good in humanity. But when a client whom she deeply cared for disappears, a concerned Mara follows her friend's trail--and ends up falling victim to the same ominous fate....
In his world, he would protect her.

Powerful, lithe, and cunning, Connor Rihyad is a force not to be trifled with, even among the other Gargoyles who, with him, have watched over humanity for centuries. But when Mara is "given" to Connor, she senses something about the brooding guardian that separates him from his ageless brethren--an untamed desire that yearns to be unleashed.... Now, as betrayal and savage violence threaten to explode around them, Mara must decide if she has truly found the man of her dreams--or the embodiment of her nightmares.

Mara has had a hard life, nearly raped at 17, she kills her would be rapist. But, she's just a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and the judge doesn't see it that way. She's incarcerated, locked up for protecting herself. After eight years of incarceration and time to think of what's important, she runs a women's shelter, helping others. Until Angela, her one true friend disappears. Mara follows the breadcrumbs and meets the same foul end, kidnapped for whatever reason, she has no idea what's going on.

Connor Rihyad has been sent on a mission. Someone has tried to steal Chicago's Gargouillen children, this cannot happen, the children are the Gargoyle congregation's life blood. Minnesota is where he has been led. The Brethren there aren't willing to protect humanity, they want to use it, abuse it, murder it if they have to. Just to gain entrance, he'll have to do the unimaginable, kill another Gargoyle and just not any Gargoyle, but an old friend and sometime rival, Nathan.

But an ancient evil exists in coldness of Minnesota, and it's haunting the Chicago Gargoyles. Rachel and Teryn can sense it and soon it will be coming for them all.

Flesh and Stone, Book Two of the Gargouillen Series by Vickie Taylor is the continuing story of the Gargouillen from Carved in Stone. Connor Rihyad is Nathan's rival in Carved in Stone. When Nathan is excommunicated, it's Connor that takes his place. When Nathan is returned to the congregation, there's no room at the top for two leaders, so Connor accepts the mission to Minnesota to see what has gone wrong and why. The Gargoyles from Minnesota are like nothing Connor has seen before. They're not interested in protecting humanity, but raising an army, an army of Gargouillen. But why are these Gargouillen so different from all of his past memories? What has changed to cause them to no longer hold with the values of old? And what's worse, a dark evil is echoing through his body that can be felt all the way back to his roots in Chicago. Rachel, our heroine from Carved in Stone, has been searching for her long lost brother for years with no success until Teryn helps her focus her abilities, but the dark evil again seeps into the visions. Mara, our heroine, tries to help Connor in his quest to find out what has gone so terribly wrong in Minnesota. She's tough as nail and she's trying to keep herself and the group of women detained with her alive. While searching for her friend Angela, she and her group were kidnapped and sent to the despicable miscreants living in Minnesota. Her friend, Angela, disappeared after applying for a job. And the same thing has now happened to her. Living with men more animal than human, she bides her time all the while, hoping for news of Angela. When Connor enters the scene, he'll either be her savior and her ultimate downfall, only time will tell.

When I first met Connor Rihyad in Carved in Stone, I wasn't sure I was going to like him. He's unwilling to change with the times, he wants the Gargouillen to remain the same as they have been for centuries. But, this is a different time, a different place than he has ever existed in before. The times have change and the Gargoyles need to change with it or die out. It's hard won knowledge for our alpha hero, Connor has to grow. When Mara enters his life, his beast comes to life, begging him to take what he wants, daring him to give what she needs.

Flesh and Stone is an exciting conclusion to the story which began in Carved in Stone, without spoilers ruining the tale, I can't say much more. The story continues with Levi's story yet to come in Legacy of Stone, the long awaited third book in the Les Gargouillen Series. Flesh and Stone was very quick read for me. It was begging to be read after Carved in Stone. Connor's story was waiting to unfold and I needed to see how he had changed or if he could change. Again, I wasn't disappointed. Another fun read from Vickie Taylor, an excellent addition to the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genre.

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