The Guardian (Dream-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #9; Hellchaser, #4) - Sherrilyn Kenyon
I really enjoyed this book up until about halfway through, which is a shame because it is my first reading of a book in this series and I might, otherwise, have picked up a few more. The ending just seemed too quick compared to the lovely, long drawn out beginning and the characters seemed to become suddenly diluted. For centuries old immortals, at the halfway point they began to speak and act in a way that I deemed rather childishly.

I think the point at which my enjoyment began to fail was where Jaden was introduced. Sure, I understand that Lydia needed to learn about Seth's past, but through Jaden opening up so completely with little more than a hello it felt too contrived. After this we suddenly get pet names and, when moved to a safe haven for help, Lydia shows absolutely no hesitation in accepting that the characters there are true to their word, despite the fact that she knows the being who sent her there is too dubious to trust and she has, just minutes before, misgivings about arriving where there are people who could potentially hate and try to destroy her by simply recognising her kind.

The dark beginnings and slow blossoming of the relationship between the two protagonists was lovely. I always enjoy a good falling in love through the bonds of self-sacrifice and torture (don't judge ;)), but these age old beings, as they are described, suddenly start acting and talking like kids when they reach the wide world, something that completely disappointed me. Not to mention, it felt like the plot points thrown in thereafter to bring the couple together were two close together, allowing for no real character development in between. Not to mention the suspense and tension that just didn't feel as if it was present before we were launched into that long awaited love scene.

Then the ending was just wrapped up like anything else had barely happened. Compared to the slow burn of the brilliant beginning, I was intensely disappointed with the suddenness of how everything was brought back together. And to top it off we didn't even get to see or be involved in the transformation from memoryless to remembering and the all important rescue finale! It almost makes me cross that this book, with such a fantastic beginning could all just dwindle slowly into nothingness. It makes me wonder if the author felt hard pressed by the word count and thus cramped from middle to end. I would genuinely have enjoyed this more had those sections been better. It could therefore have formed a fantastic trilogy or two parter with these particular characters instead of a single book that just felt as if it fell apart at the end.