Guardians of Stone by Anita Clenney is the first book in the Relic Seekers series. I chose this book as my selection from the Amazon Vine program based on the description of "Indiana Jones meets Stephanie Plum." Unfortunately, I failed to notice that the book falls into the Romance category as this is a genre I don't typically read. Now that I have that little bit of a disclaimer out of the way lets get on to the review.
Kendall Morgan has the gift of visions that allow her to track down ancient objects. After the death of her archeologist father and her best friend in a plane crash, Kendall uses her gift to keep these treasures safe. This unusual talent brings her to the attention of Nathan Larraby, a wealthy collector who hires her to locate various artifacts. Nathan sends Kendall on a treasure hunt to Italy with Jake Stone to protect her. The item they seek is powerful and their lives are in danger as others try to obtain the relic before them.
When I started Guardians of Stone I was afraid I wasn't going to make it past the first chapter. Kendall's first thoughts of men are sexual. Jake sees Kendall as a sexual object the first time he meets her. The sexual tension is insanely thick every time Kendall, Jake, and Nathan are in a room together. Initially the characters make no attempt to get to know each other, only judging each other on physical appearance and their own desires. I am not a romance reader so I'm not sure if this is how most romance books go but some of the sexual thoughts seemed forced and clumsy to me.
Once I got past the initial character and plot introduction and the action started I enjoyed the book much more. The story is compelling and fast paced when the author doesn't break for more sexual innuendo. All three of the main characters are clearly holding secrets tightly. Some of the minor characters seem to know more about the main events than they are letting on as well. I want to get to know these characters and discover what they are hiding and how it impacts their relationships. If that is to happen though, Clenney is going to have to go deeper into the character development in future books. Guardians of Stone was fairly superficial in terms of getting to know the characters beyond their physical desires for one another. There were a few times when I just wanted someone to have sex with Kendall already so I could move past that element of the story and get caught up in the adventure again.
Will I be reading the next book in the series? Almost definitely. I want to get to know these characters and have more adventures with them. I want to know their secrets and what the future holds. Whether I continue reading beyond the next book of the series will probably depend on if the sexual aspects of the relationships continue to overshadow what could be a very powerful storyline.
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