About the Book:
Title: Ancient Guardian
Author: Katie Reus
Series: Ancients Rising #9
Page Length: 284
Publication Date: June 27, 2023
Synopsis: He lost everyone he ever loved before…
Alpha dragon shifter Orion woke from his millennia-long hibernation into a different world—and found a band of humans struggling to survive. He’s been living among them, secretly keeping the predators away, but he’s kept his true identity hidden from everyone. Until an enemy threatens everything he’s come to love, including the human female he’s obsessed with. The female he can never have but will sacrifice everything for.
Now he has to step up and be the Alpha they all need…
Violet fell hard and fast for the stranger who joined their small farming community after The Fall. He lives with them, works alongside them, but there’s something different about him that she can’t quite put her finger on. When a group of visiting supernaturals upends everything in her community, she discovers he’s been hiding a huge secret. But that’s the least of their issues. If they don’t claim their territory and eliminate the growing threat outside their borders, there won’t be anything left to fight for.
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This is such a immersive and original paranormal romance series, and one that keeps getting better and better. I’ve talked in past reviews about how much I love the world-building, which takes place in a supernatural, post-apocalyptical United States where the government has fallen and new territories are being formed. With paranormal threats encroaching on their territory, Orion, an ancient dragon shifter, is determined to protect the people who welcomed him into their group.
The majority of the other books in the series take place in what was once New Orleans, but this book shifts gears a bit and takes place in a small community outside of the New Orleans territory. It was a great change of pace, and I liked seeing how other smaller communities fared after the fall. Though small, Orion and Violet’s territory has a lot to offer, and a potential alliance with King and the New Orleans territory seems like a great match. And since Orion has been protecting his territory from vicious and deadly vampires, King and his people, who have faced the same problems, have a lot to offer too. What one community lacks, the other can provide, whether it’s protection, medical supplies, food, or care.
Though there are a few characters that we’ve seen in previous books in the series, there is a whole new cast of characters to fall in love with. Violet is a great protagonist and the leader of her community alongside Orion. She’s a human healer, and she and her sisters returned to their home after the Fall. I like all of the sisters, and I can’t wait to learn more about each of them.
I have to say Reus sure knows how to create hunky and soft-hearted alpha males who are protective and honorable and so incredibly swoon-worthy. Orion is the perfect example – a fierce and fearsome leader, he is a total cinnamon roll for Violet. A human healer, Violet has no idea Orion is a dragon shifter, and he is afraid to tell her and everyone else even though he’s been living with them for a year. Nevertheless, he is respected within the community, and most people look to him and Violet for guidance and leadership. It was so interesting to see the pair gain a more definitive leadership role, work with their people, and start a potential alliance with others.
Violet and Orion have a wonderful, slow-building, angsty love story, which transitions beautifully from friendship to romance. The pining and longing are fantastic, and there’s a secondary romance in the story that’s fantastic too. While the main romance is a slower building friends-to-lovers story, the secondary romance is more of a steamy, insta-love. And, whew! Their chemistry sizzles right off the page!
If you like paranormal romance with unique magical worlds, great characters, suspense, and swoon-worthy romances, you should totally check this series out! Special thanks to NetGalley and the author for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romances.
- The setting and world-building.
- Dragons and other shifters. (There’s a panda shifter!!!!!)
- friends to lovers
- fated mates
- insta love
- alpha male
- hidden identity