Narrator: Angela Dawe
Length: 10 hrs 52 mins
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #5
Published by Berkley, Tantor Audio on July 20, 2021
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.
For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed "imperfect" by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel of the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an Anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.
To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet…or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.
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Last Guard completely focuses on the Psy and their struggle to maintain the PsyNet. It is the importance of the Anchors and their part in holding the PsyNet together that we explore. This designation has not had a lot of page time so they are brought to the forefront just in time. Cantos Merchant has been trying to pull together a group of Anchors to get more focus on them and what their part is and how they can help Caleb and the Arrows keep the PsyNet from falling apart.
I am going to go insane trying to figure out who the Architect is and just who/what these “children” of hers are. Besides the romance, the story continues with the struggle on the PsyNet with just little tidbits of how the Architect is orchestrating it. She seems to think that all is going well with her plan while each of the attempts on the PsyNet gets foiled. That is what confuses me. If those attacks were hers, you would think she would be more upset when the Trinity figures out a way to plug the holes. I can’t wait to find out more about this character and how her plan progresses.
Canto and Payal share a similar experience as children and developed a bond. Then they were separated. Canto spent many years trying to find Payal, not even knowing her name. His searches have always failed, which is a hard thing to accept for a Mercant. But then he comes face to face with Payal and they are both taken back to their time in a special school. Cantos was rescued by his Mercant family, while Payal grew up getting progressively more emotionless and ruthless. The risks of Payal taking down her shields is life threatening as that is what keeps her safe from her father and brother. Canto and Payal’s relationship faces many hurdles until they can finally, safely be together. Most of the issues are from Payal’s side as she deals with her part in rescuing the PsyNet, her dependency on what she needs from her father, a psychotic brother, keeping her sister safe and then her emerging emotions. Canto is so patient and is determined to be with her every step of the way to save herself.
I enjoyed the couple’s relationship. The flashbacks to when they were young helps solidify how they needed to depend on each other. I was somewhat hesitant about how Payal was handling all the things in her life. Being robotic is certainly one way, but I didn’t really understand why she did not investigate some things in her life further. Mainly that thing Payal’s father was holding over her head. Knowing her family, she should not have trusted in anything either her father or brother told her.
Last Guard was another great installment in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series and with all of the open plots, will keep me anxious for the next book. I listen to this series and Angela Dawe is a fantastic narrator. I would have liked more accent for Cantos, considering he was Russian too, but it only seemed to be really thick for the bears. Definitely a great listen.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: