This is my favorite series by Traci Hunter Abramson. The main reason I read all her other books was to better understand the side characters of “Safe House” (which was my first novel to read by her). Yep, I read the Guardian’s series all out of order; starting on book 2, then 3, then 1, and I plan to read book 4 as soon as it’s released in October. Even after reading all the others, plus the Undercurrents trilogy, AND the Saint Squad series, “Safe House” (Guardians #2, and Saint Squad #9.5) is still my favorite.
Why? Well, for starters, I simply enjoy the concept of the Guardians. They’re a myth among even the spies. They’re the people who analyze all the data between FBI, CIA, NSA… EVERY agency to make sure no one’s caught in crossfires. They’re the people who help undercover operatives to disappear when their cover’s blown. The Guardians basically comprise of a head analyst, an analyst within each agency, a senator for funding, and about seven Ghosts who have death certificates and skills to remain invisible. They work the field to protect anyone in the lines of fire, as seen in “Safe House” (book 2), “Kept Secrets” (a stand-alone), and “Mistaken Reality” (sequel to “Deep Cover,” Saint Squad #10.5, and Guardians #3.5).
“Failsafe” (book 1) deals with what happens when their all-knowing information and security is breached. It follows Hannah (the only surviving analyst) after the breach. She tries to disappear from her enemies and figure out how to contact the Ghosts to help her reestablish security. She runs into Jake, a famous author who’s forced to take care of his family ranch.
Like most of Abramson’s books, there’s horse-back riding (and/or boating or swimming), chaste co-habitation (even though this is her only series not focused on members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), scenes from the villains perspectives (which I skip), lots of action during 80-95% of the ebook, and a proposal at the end.
In “Safe House” (book 2), they lose their senator and funding. It’s the first book that combines the Guardians, Saint Squad, and Senator Whitmore (Undercurrent trilogy and “Obsession”) as large players. We got a small introduction to Kade through “Drop Zone” (Saint Squad #8), even though the Ghost character wasn’t named or explained.
Book 2 focuses on Kade (a Ghost) and Renee (their new NSA analyst) as Renee is targeted for her alliance with the guardians. Kade is like Mr. Darcy if he was a spy; he doesn’t like people, but is fiercely loyal and will literally give the shirt off his back to help someone. Also, of all the houses/living places Abramson describes in her books, Kade’s home is my favorite because it’s surprising and fun to imagine.
“Sanctuary” (book 3) focuses on Ace (the leader of the operative guardians) as the agency creates a new base for themselves off an island of his ex-girlfriend’s. I was a little annoyed with this book as some average officer is able to endanger the guardians and evade capture for as long as he does. Seriously, these are guardians! They should be able to pick this villain off like lint on a shoulder.
I keep re-reading “Safe House,” but I’ll need to re-read book 3 before book 4 comes out in October, because that’s where book 4’s star (Nolan) is recruited as the newest guardian.
An unnamed Ghost is heavily involved in the stand-alone “Kept Secrets,” though since it’s based in Asia, I suspect it’s Erik. (He’s too young to be Ace, and he talks too much to be Kade.) Another guardian I look forward to reading about is Troy. Poor Brody.