ARC Review: Last Guard by Nalini Singh

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ARC Review: Last Guard by Nalini Singh
Last Guard

4 Stars


Book Info

Released: July 20th 2021
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published by Berkley
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
 

“The chemistry between them was almost immediate without falling too hard into that “insta-love” category.”

~ Under the Covers

Recommended Read!

I’ve seen a lot of comparisons between Last Guard and Heart of Obsidian and I get it, at first glance it does have a similar dynamic, only with the gender roles reversed. Instead of Kaleb Krychek you have Payal Rao, both are widely known to be ruthless and powerful; the embodiment of Silence. Then as a foil to that hard robotic edge we have Sahara Kyriakus and Canto Mercant. Neither of whom have ever been Silent. But, I think digging any further into the similarities between Kaleb and Sahara and Payal and Canto does Last Guard a disservice. No one will ever be Kaleb. Before the reader had even started Heart of Obsidian his character had been carefully crafted; we’d been with him on that wibbly wobbly edge of morality waiting to see which way he would fall. Luckily for the world, he fell in love. But, in Last Guard we are introduced to two completely new characters. There’s no build up to them, we are going in cold.

But, this is Nalini Singh, so we don’t stay cold for long. Canto Mercant may not have shown up in the books before, but as the influential Mercant’s head of intelligence it’s clear that he’s a lynchpin of the family. If you want to know the brand of cereal your enemy is having for breakfast he’s your guy. Payal Rao is CEO of a powerful conglomerate, but despite her Silent front and the power she seemingly wields, she’s been in one cage or another her entire life. Despite their differences Canto and Payal have two things in common, their shared horror-filled childhood and their designation: they’re both Anchors and without them the PsyNet is going to die.

I was a little wary starting this book, Canto and Payal were unfamiliar characters so I had no idea what to expect. But, as usual Singh seduced me. She cleverly switched between two time frames, the present with Canto and Payal as adults and the past, showing their horrific shared history as children. This seemed to lend a depth to their relationship you wouldn’t have had without seeing what they went through together. The chemistry between them was almost immediate without falling too hard into that “insta-love” category.

The romance is the central focus of this book, but what had me really intrigued was how Singh brought the Anchors into the spot light. They’ve been their since the beginning and we’ve been told how important they are since the beginning. But, much like Psy leadership we’ve taken them for granted and never looked further into it. This book goes into the mechanics of the Anchors and gives us one more puzzle piece in regard to the deterioration of the PsyNet. It makes you feel hope and hopeless all at once as you realise how broken the PsyNet is, even as Canto and Payal come up with a solution to fix it.

Lastly…let’s talk about bears. Ever since Silver Silence, book one in the series, was released and introduced us to bear changelings I feel like I am on bear watch in every Singh book I read. Last Guard is rife with sightings. Canto has become close friends with some of the bears, including Pavel, who is dating Arwen Mercant – and I need a book or atleast a novella on those two, they’re adorable.

This was a great read, I enjoyed the romance and the development of the storyline if you’re already reading the series then you definitely need to read the latest. If you’re not, then don’t read this yet, go back to Slave to Sensation and start at the beginning, don’t let the length of the series put you off you’re in for a treat.

 

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About Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.

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ARC Review: Last Guard by Nalini Singh
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