After her husband's death, a young widow with a faithful Great Dane must decide between two men -- but as new love blossoms, jealousy turns deadly in this suspenseful New York Times bestseller.
Julie Barenson's young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died - a Great Dane puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her. Now four years have passed. Still living in the small town of Swansboro, North Carolina, twenty-nine-year-old Julie is emotionally ready to make a commitment to someone again. But who?
Should it be Richard Franklin, the handsome, sophisticated engineer who treats her like a queen? Or Mike Harris, the down-to-earth nice guy who was her husband's best friend? Choosing one of them should bring her more happiness than she's had in years. Instead, Julie is soon fighting for her life in a nightmare spawned by a chilling deception and jealousy so poisonous that it has become a murderous desire...
On Christmas Eve, Julie Barenson, 25 years old and newly widowed, finds an unexpected present a Great Dane pup that her late husband, Jim, had arranged for her to receive after he died from a brain tumor. On that melodramatic note, bestselling author Sparks (Nights in Rodanthe) begins his latest love story, one in which he combines elements of romance with those of a thriller. Julie's new dog, Singer, turns out to be a better judge of character than she, which is unfortunate because the dog nearly gives away the book's ending when he growls warily at Richard Franklin, the new man in Julie's life. On the other hand, the pooch loves to be around Mike Harris, Jim's best friend, who has grown to love Julie. Richard's increasingly bizarre behavior causes Julie to break up with him, and his subsequent stalker tactics make for compelling action, especially when he plots to destroy the budding romance between Julie and Mike. But the writing is lax at best, with multiple point-of-view shifts in the course of one page or even one paragraph. Secondary characters are two-dimensional, such as Pete, the dumb cop who is taken in by the scheming Richard, and Andrea, Julie's co-worker at the local hair salon, a low-class broad from the wrong side of the tracks who might as well have "next victim" tattooed on her forehead. Yet Sparks fans clamor for his brand of love story, and, with the added punch of suspense, this one will be another bestseller.
I’ve admittedly never read a Nicholas Sparks’ book before but I can’t say I’m disappointed. Romance has never been a particularly favored genre of mine, but I decided to give this Romance Thriller a try. Besides some of Sparks’ more outdated conversations in the book (though it must be acknowledged that THE GUARDIAN came out around 2003) that tended to be inherently misogynistic and at one time, heteronormative, I really did enjoy his writing. He’s wonderful at creating an engaging scene and appropriately ending it. His grasp of time within THE GUARDIAN will be forever commendable.
This book was excellent. I have read almost all of his books and this one was my absolute favorite. It is comparable to his newest book Safe Haven, in the sense that it is a love story but also has a sick and twisted character in the story as well. A must read I recommend especially to all of Nicholas Sparks fans.
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Nothing typical about this sparks novel, he took a step further into writing beyond just a story of love and hardship, I truly felt I was part of this book and felt a connection with the characters, must read, even if takes a bit to get into...SO worth it u wont put it down!!!!