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Watchers in the Night
by Jenna Black
Tor, $14.99, 336pp
Published: January 2014

Watchers in the Night is book one of the Guardians of the Night series. It works fine as a stand-alone read, but also sets up characters for future books so it is helpful to read first if you are planning on starting on the series.

Carolyn Mathers has come far since she was abandoned by her fiancée, Gray James, three days before their wedding. Leaving the police force, Carolyn opened her own P.I. firm in hopes of finding out what happened to him. When, three years later, Gray appears out of the blue, Carolyn is determined to get answers. She soon finds out that Gray is just as determined to not give them.

Gray will always love Carolyn but, since his life was changed forever when he was made into a vampire, he thinks that in order to protect her from his kind he must keep out of her life. However, he just can't stay away; stalking her from afar until one night he sees her in danger and can't help but rush in to play the hero.

In his world, there are "good" and "bad" vampires and Gray has chosen not to belong to either group, making him a target to be watched with distrust and suspicion by the Guardians, the good vampires who try to keep their home safe from the bad vampires.  Now, with a serial killer on the loose, who also happens to be a vampire and one who seems to want to frame Gray for the murders, he is under very close scrutiny and more than a few of the Guardians want his head.

While Gray is trying to protect Carolyn from his world by pushing her away, he only manages to anger her and make her want answers more; so she decides it's her turn to do the stalking and won't leave well enough alone until she is also in danger from not only the killer, but the feelings that still live in her heart.

Watchers of the Night is an adequate read but I found the characters two-dimensional and didn't feel like they were fleshed out enough. I did go on to read the second novel in the series, Secrets in the Shadows,(click here for review) and found that author Jenna Black had managed to grow with her characters and writing and the results did improve enough to the point that I will go on to the third book, Shadows on the Soul. So, if you are willing to give this book a chance, it will be a helpful introduction to better books to come. ~~ Dee Astell

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