Review of ‘Guardian Angel’ by Becky Harmon
Elizabeth Turner (Ellie) is the newly appointed US ambassador to Mauritania, Africa. Six months into her post, a crowd of protestors gathered in front of the embassy, threatening the safety of the ambassador. Ellie’s old friend, the owner of a private security company, sends a team lead by Angel McTaggart to protect her. Ellie and Angel bump heads while developing a mutual attraction until things escalate and they both have to lean on each other to survive.
The book blurb hooked me right away and the story delivered for the most part, although I was expecting more action. In the beginning, I found that the narration got repetitive with the hostility between the mains who were also attracted to each other. I got a little whiplash with the interactions that ran hot and cold. This would have been better set up if they had a shared past instead of being new acquaintances, but I think that without it, the author was ineffective at maintaining the sexual tension.
I found that the pace of the story was a bit slow and the real action began three-quarters of the way into this book. Once it started, however, the author delivered it well and the book became a page-turner. The characters’ journey through Mauritania was definitely fun to read about and I found myself searching on the internet for information about the country and its different towns.
I also enjoyed how Ms. Harmon provided some info on life in an embassy. I’ve never given any thought to the number of employees and military personnel needed to run such an operation. There were also some interesting political discussions between the main characters regarding the struggles in Mauritania. Ellie’s beliefs that she could make a difference and promote change were admirable. Angel’s criticism of the country was legitimate and gave me reasons to ponder about social and political issues. In my opinion, the black and white vs gray thinking of the mains was fantastic and even powerful.
The ending was on the abrupt and somewhat inconclusive end of things but I will embrace it and take this as a solid first installment of a lesbian action series. Here’s hoping. 3.5 stars
ARC generously provided to me by Bella Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.