Author: Kim Fielding
Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Story Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 08/30/2016
Length: 03 hours 38 minutes
Genre: Fantasy, Gay Romance
A brutal war left Volos Perun with physical and emotional scars and with a reputation as a hero. Now he’s a soldier stationed at the palace, desiring Prince Berhanu while receiving only loathing in return. But when Berhanu foolishly refuses the king’s request to let Volos accompany him on a peace mission to the neighboring country, Berhanu is kidnapped and brutalized. Now Volos must risk his life as he works to save Berhanu and help his country avoid another devastating war.
BUDDY REVIEW BY BRANDILYN AND CHRISTINE
From a story perspective, Guarded is a bit heavier than my usual choices. It is a tale of a nobleman and soldier. Both wanting what they think they can’t have. Both with scars – physical and mental – that they other is uniquely equipped to deal with.
There are a few scenes in this story that are hard to get through. There are some graphic rap scenes, as seen from an outsider’s perspective. However, the aftermath is what impressed me most. Fielding handled a delicate situation with grace and beauty. There is no magic dick healing all. There is work and emotion, fear and loathing (mostly self), support and kindness. There are hard times and breakthroughs.
At its core, Guarded is an acquaintances to lovers tale set in a time where their sexuality is not the issue, only their station. Fielding has a knack for drawing me into a world completely unlike my own and making me feel welcome, even when the events I am witnessing are less that easy to handle. Guarded is no exception.
I can always count on Kim Fielding to provide me with a unique, intriguing romance that pulls me into a universe worthy of returning to again and again. Guarded does not disappoint, set in a fantasy world laced with medieval tones and where acceptance of sexuality is a given. Conflict arises in the form of territorial/social issues, and it is refreshing to find a m/m novel in which the main struggles center around the brutalities of war and internal obstacles, leaving sexuality out of the equation. Characters, both main and secondary, are cleverly written and provide a perfect layering of background and current events as the story unfolds.
Volos and Berhanu are beautiful, both apart and together. Told strictly from Volos’ third person POV, the story still enables the reader to feel and experience Berhanu as a main character and a nobleman. Though they do not have even a friendship at the start, circumstances, duty, and even commonalities throw them together as Volos rescues a broken and violated Berhanu. What ensues is a tentative dance, gracefully executed with sensitivity and care, as the two characters find their way back from horrors together. There is a rape scene as witnessed secondhand, and Ms. Fielding portrays the act and the aftermath with excellence.
Overall, I highly recommend Guarded. It focuses on hope and healing, both internally and socially, and is a gracefully crafted romance with a satisfying conclusion.
Are you sick of me singing the praises of Greg Tremblay narrations? Well give him a try and tell me I’m wrong. He is seriously my favorite narrator at the moment. He just makes every story he narrates come to life.
I simply adore Greg Tremblay. He can bring a story to life like no other, and everything I have heard him narrate has become a favorite. Another job done perfectly, Mr. Tremblay.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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