A Review by Wendy
4 Nightmares and Dreams Stars
* * * *
* * * *
Spoiler FreeAly Martinez took the idea of personal perception and shot it with steroids...There was a heightened intensity of what was real, what was dreamt and what was in between. We are taken on a journey that has many twists and turns... with all of them including a group of men known as the Guardian Protection Agency. This Agency will anchor the series.
This first entry has a complex love story about two people who crossed paths in a way no one should. Rhion was a woman caught in a burning inferno and Jude was an off duty police officer told to go to the site for assistance. He wasn't in regulation shape; he had been at a bar relaxing... but he was the only person able to report.
He did the best he could to save her, looking for a way for her to escape the flames...and some how they both survived...But not without scars...
Scars which would mark them ....the kind you can see and the ones which live deep in the recesses of the mind long after the skin has healed. Both of these people moved forward in their own way... but it was the perception of what actually took place that night which is the key to this tale.
These two people are reunited 5 years after the accident.
Rhion has managed to rise from the ashes through all of the difficult operations, skin grafts and pain. She has covered her arms and body with tattoos and her scars are like silk threads. Her own personal therapy was writing. She had created a life where she was doing fine...but then her father died cutting out siblings and an ex wife, leaving everything to her. The inheritance has caused Rhion to be at odds with her brother. He has been threatening and this has caused Rhion to withdraw from the outside world. She has closed ranks.
Jude's life was not what he had dreamed of... all he ever wanted was to be a police man... the hero who helped others. He was stripped from the force and found a position with a security agency. They handled serious needs and he felt at least he was doing something worthy. But every night he was visited with the reoccurring nightmare of Rhion on the ledge, engulfed in flames... and his inability to make her safe. It was a constant in his mind and something he could never escape... like the thick scars on the back of his neck and skull.
The owner of Jude's company retires and closes the agency leaving him looking for work. Somehow Jude is referred to The Guardian Protection Agency and is hired.
This agency is run by a man who takes things personally... cares about his charges...This isn't just a security agency...This is the top, elite level....Lawmakers, Royalty, Celebrities etc.. are their clients and Non Disclosure Agreements are their middle names.
Rhion has been under their care for years and even lives in the same building as their offices. This has worked to provide Rhion with a surrogate family...with a rag tag group of Alpha men and a few woman who are partnered with them. They really are her life line and provide a sense of love and caring besides security.
It is when Rhion and Jude collide at a group get together where this tale takes off...and from that moment, perception of everything is key.
This is a love story where questions of trust, understanding, communication and just straight talking are the focus. These two have all the necessary chemistry to light a few blazes of their own...and Aly Martinez shows how it can be done... and done well.
She also has done a tremendous job in fleshing out all of the the other Guardian Guys... she didn't just give a few sentences to each... and then be done with it. She made all of the fellows real with each having their own quirks and issues. The groundwork has been laid for us to want to know more about each and every one of them.
This was my first Aly Marinez read but won't be my last.
A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five- including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.