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Heat of the Night: Dream Guardians    by Sylvia Day order for
Heat of the Night
by Sylvia Day
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

As the new leader of the Elite Warriors, Connor Bruce is one of the few who can protect humanity from a terrifying fate. His former captain, Aidan Cross, has already begun fighting the battle in the mortal realm alongside his mate. Now it's Connor's turn. With suspicions that the Elders have been lying about the Guardians' true existence, he takes a team of men into the Temple of the Elders looking for clues. What he finds instead is a demonic being the likes of which he's never seen before. When his team uncovers additional information about this new threat, Connor must travel to the mortal realm to warn Aidan.

Once there, the first person he comes into contact with is Stacey, a friend of Aidan's fiancée. He's drawn to her, both as a lover and as a protector. Soon, the threat to them becomes real and Connor finds himself doing everything he can to protect Stacey, her son and the rest of humanity from a dark threat.

Day's second installment in the Dream Guardians series is a pure fantasy treat for lovers of paranormal romance. Connor is everything you'd expect from a romantic hero. He's gorgeous, of course, but he's also brave, intelligent and romantic. Although he's eager to protect Stacey, he doesn't demand her complete obedience in all things. Instead, they work together to solve problems. Their relationship develops at an even pace, despite the fact that they get physical very early on in the book. Stacey has a son to consider, and the truth of Connor's existence isn't exactly easy for a woman to come to terms with. Despite those obstacles, Connor gives her the time she needs while gently reminding her why they'd be so good together.

The only problem with Heat of the Night is the author's assumption that readers are familiar with its prequel, Pleasures of the Night. She doesn't take the time to explain anything about the Guardians or the world of Twilight, preferring instead to plunge us right into the middle of the action. It's a solid tactic, but it doesn't take long before the action becomes confusing. I found myself re-reading entire passages to figure out who the Guardians where, where they were, what they were doing, and why any of it mattered. A little more time spent describing the complex world that had been built in the previous installment would have gone a long way toward engaging readers. However, fans of the first book will be delighted with Day's latest offering.

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