Publisher: Love Spell
Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
THERON – Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.
She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.
As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Marked is the first book in Ms. Naughton's new paranormal series called Eternal Guardians which follows seven immortal warriors descended from the greatest heroes of Ancient Greece. This book is Theron's story and he is a descendant of Hercules and the leader of the Argonauts. The Argonauts guard Argolea (a realm outside the human world where descendants of heroes live) but with their king dying and continued threats from the Underworld, it is slowly deteriorating. Theron was prepared to wed the dying king's only daughter and heir in order to bring new strength to the monarchy--that is, until he meets Casey and learns that she is his soul-mate. Casey never felt she belonged anywhere and often travelled, never staying at one place too long. She has been living in Silver Hills, Oregon since her grandmother died, working as a waitress in a strip club by night and managing her grandmother's bookstore by day. She rescued a mysterious yet very sexy stranger one night and she soon finds herself running from daemons and putting her life in Theron's hands. She finds herself caught between two worlds and learns about her past as well as her part in a prophecy where she has to die to order to save the Argolean people--all the while both she and Theron are fighting their crazy attraction to each other.
I admit I was a little iffy about this book because while I really enjoyed the author's romantic suspense series I'm not really into Greek mythology. However, you don't have to be a fan of it to enjoy Marked. No unnecessary Ancient Greek facts here but those that were integrated in the story were interesting. This is a very fast-paced book, action-packed with plenty of drama and lots of world building. I felt it got a little busy in the beginning and it took me a few chapters to catch on because there was a lot of information to take in but I thought the author did a good job in pacing the book. As with most first books in a series, the romance between the hero and heroine often take a backseat to all the world-building and it was it's the same in this book but there is enough spark and chemistry between Casey and Theron to satisfy me. Both the hero and heroine are likable and we are definitely going to see more of them in future books as I think they both have important roles in the series. There were also many interesting secondary characters whose story I'm eager to read as well as vain, calculating Greek gods to cause more drama.
I enjoyed this book and I'm eager to read what will happen next in the continuing storyline involving Casey's sister that ended in a bit of a cliffhanger. This book is definitely different from the author's previous romantic suspense series but if you're tired of the usual vampire and werewolf paranormal fare, give this book a try. It has interesting characters, numerous fighting scenes and if you're a fan of Greek mythology I think you'll like how she integrates the myths into the story and the world the author has built. 4 out of 5 stars