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Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Bloodgate Guardian by Joely Sue Burkhart

The Bloodgate Guardian by Joely Sue Burkhart
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (197 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Larkspur

Worlds within worlds await through the Maya Bloodgate...

Dr. Jaid Merritt doesn't do digs. The last time she ventured into the jungle, someone died. Now she's content to decipher Maya glyphs from pictures sent to her by her famous archaeologist father. But when he goes missing while trying to perform a ritual based on her translations of an ancient codex, Jaid must put aside her fears and travel to Guatemala to find him.

After misusing the Bloodgates to bring his twin brother back from the afterlife, the Maya priest known as Ruin was cursed by the gods to stand as the guardian for all time. He was unable to stop Dr. Charles Merritt from opening the gates, and now demons roam this world. The last thing he wants to do is hurt the beautiful woman who is somehow infused with his magic, but if she uses the codex to retrieve her father, Ruin must do his duty. And this time, he won't fail. Even if it kills him. Again.

If you were the gatekeeper to the Maya version of Hell, what would your ideal mate be? Not the daughter of an ambitious archeologist, who’s an expert at reading Mayan glyphs, that’s for sure.

Joely Sue Burkhart brings us up close and personal with all the various demons of Mayan beliefs. Now as the “end date” of the Mayan calendar nears I have seen a lot of different apocalyptic tales relating to this, but Ms. Burkhart’s is unusually unique as to the ultimate outcome. She brings us this tale with no-nonsense dialogue that gets very descriptive as our hero and heroine explore the many Mayan levels of Hell. So if you get a little queasy, you might have to skim over a few pages.

Let’s talk about our hero Ruin, a Mayan priest from the beginning of the religion who’s ultimate sacrifice is love. And our heroine Dr. Jade Merritt is the consummate child of a famous parent: always in the shadows, but she has some difficult phobias to overcome too. Now have you ever seen a more unlikely couple? I know I haven’t and yet our adventurous master storyteller of an author makes it come to life in our minds.

Ms. Burkhart also believes in making her couple work hard for their happily ever after. So much so, that by the time it finally comes around her audience will release the breath they’ve been holding. Her supporting characters are mostly demons and are unbelievably demonic, let’s just say that Ms. Burkhart has an excellent imagination and isn’t afraid to use it. This romance is so full of pitfalls that you’ll need handrails to get through it, but get through it you will. And it just makes that Happy Ever After so much better when it’s worked for. Her love scenes, though few, are very visual and physical, and yet tender.

If the Mayan end date is one of your favorite topics, or if you’re a lover of the paranormal or apocalyptic romance this one’s for you. If you’re not afraid of adventure on the edge, give this one a try. It’s the perfect summer read.