Marked by Passion by Kate Perry
Gabrielle Sansouci Chin is turned for a loop when she receives the ancient scroll that she was marked to protect. Her possession only means one thing...her father is dead.
Gabe has no idea how she is going to balance her new responsibilities as a Guardian being a painter by day and a bartender by night. Having just been contracted for her new "Enter the Light" series, Gabe tries to handle it all.
But it seems like her luck has run dry when she's ill trained to take her proper place as guardian, having a dry spell at painting, and for some reason can't help but fall for Rhys Llewellyn, the sexy Brit who offers his help in more ways than one.
Gabe is a struggling artist who's finally getting her big break, with her first gallery showing . Unfortunately the past she has run away from has caught up with her when an old family heirloom shows up. It's the family heirloom she was marked to protect, the very item she walked away from after she killed her mother trying to control its powers. Not only does she get uncontrollable earth powers from the scroll, but her father's ghost is connected to it and he's determined to make Gabe take hold of her destiny. If things weren't crazy enough her brother shows up to patch things up and take the scroll back, since Gabe has never wanted it in the first place. On top of that Rhys shows up the night Gabe first gets the scroll. Gabe doesn't believe in coincident and she has to battle her ever growing desire for Rhys, because he very well might want her demise.
I don't now how I ended up getting this book, probably in one of my massive book purchases where I get 20-30 books all at once. After chatting about some new debut PNR authors with a buddy from goodreads I had to finally check it out. Especially when she gushed that this was the next biggest thing, once it caught on of course. She claimed it was Kresely Cole good, even as good as the Black Dagger Brotherhood. With gushes like that let me tell you, the expectations were up.
Gabe, or Gabriella, was a very strong female lead. Who was haunted by the fact that she had killed her mother because of her inability to control the Book of Earth, which she had been trained to protect all her life. After the funeral she had promptly ran away and went to follow her dreams. Let's just say even though Gabe is a strong female lead who can still kick some butt, even though she could still use some long neglected training, she does a lot of running in this book. She gets this magical artifact that gives her devastating powers that she keeps losing control of, but she does nothing to try and learn how to control it for over half the book.
Rhys was an interesting character and made for a mysterious love interest. Heavy on the mysterious. We learn he came to kill and take the powers of Gabe's scroll, but falls in love with her. He fights to make it big in the world and is now filthy rich. That's it, I didn't feel that for how long this book is drawn out that the author did not give enough character development to Rhys. So the romance kind of fell flat for me, I just couldn't connect to someone I didn't know.
The story itself was nice, nothing to solid. The killer/bad guy is immediately recognizable and nothing really made me think, “Never saw that coming.” The author had a really great idea with these element books and there powers, but didn't do much. We spend a lot of time with Gabe running away from things and trying to paint. One thing I did like was that the sexual tension was high, and the sex scenes were one. I felt like the reader got to spend more time in the story.
The side characters were interesting, I loved the variety. They could have used some more page time, and considering how many pages there is, I felt the love could have been shared.
This book has a lot of potential but lacks an original plot to carry it on. Gabe is a great female lead, but spends too much time running away. The book moves a long at a great pace, but could probably be shorter. In the end it's a really interesting start, there's just too many buts holding it back.
It is a PNR but there's only one sex scene, accompanied by a lot of make out sessions.
2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out