The Guardsman

The Olympic Peninsula series Book 2

Romance - Sizzle
339 Pages
Reviewed on 05/24/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Guardsman is a work of fiction in the romance, interpersonal drama, and thriller genres. Penned by author Cat Treadgold, the plot follows Liam Ryan, who survived a terrorist attack that left him presumed dead when he is found working as a security guard in Jerusalem. Scarred by his ordeal, he joins his sister Ali and her husband Joe at their estate in Port Townsend, Washington. There, he meets Teresa, Joe’s sister, who is escaping a broken engagement and a controlling mother. Despite his distrust of wealthy people, Liam is drawn to Teresa, especially as she becomes accident-prone and needs protection.

Author Cat Treadgold has a keen sense of character and emotion in crafting a captivating journey into the complexities of healing and trust. Liam Ryan's struggle with his traumatic past and his attempt to rebuild his life is a brilliant place to start this emotive tale, and the premise builds into a poignant story that keeps readers hooked with its fantastic pacing. The vivid depiction of Liam’s resilience draws readers in with intricate narrative touches and raw, honest speech and thoughts that give us deeper insight into his pain. The dynamic between Liam and Teresa was intriguing, with Liam’s initial mistrust of Teresa’s privileged background evolving into a protective and romantic connection through open communication and warm attraction. Teresa's vulnerability and the mysterious accidents heightened the suspense and made their developing relationship compelling as the plot events intensified. The backdrop of Port Townsend, with its scenic beauty and sprawling estate, contrasted well with the inner turmoil of the characters, creating a rich, immersive setting and a place that almost felt like a character in and of itself. Overall, The Guardsman is a heartwarming and engaging read that I would highly recommend to fans of heartfelt romance everywhere.

Ronél Steyn

Cat Treadgold brings us a romance that sizzles in the second book in The Olympic Peninsula series, The Guardsman. When Teresa O’Connell goes to Jerusalem to see if the security guard the detective found could be her sister-in-law’s twin brother, she has no idea of the journey she is about to begin. Liam Ryan was presumed dead after a terrorist attack but miraculously survived. When he returns to the States, he goes to live with his pregnant sister and her new husband at their new estate in Port Townsend. Teresa joins them after breaking off her engagement and trying to live out of her mother’s shadow. When Teresa gets a little too accident-prone, Liam does what he does best to protect her.

Author Cat Treadgold has created the perfect escapist romance with an array of beautiful characters. From the very first page, the scene is set for a plot that will make it hard to stop reading. Each of the characters is full of personality, and you can’t help falling for them. Sensory stimulation is abundant with vivid descriptions of the smells and sounds. Written in the third-person narrative from the perspective of three of the characters, you are privy to their inner thoughts and feelings, desires and fears. Even though I wouldn’t recommend reading this book as a stand-alone, the author gave enough information for me to catch up a bit. Not recommended for younger readers due to the intimate scenes, The Guardsman is a story of love and will leave you wanting more.

Priya Mathew

The second book in The Olympic Peninsula Series, The Guardsman by Cat Treadgold builds on the story of Joe and Ali as it left off in the first book, The Silent Woodsman. This is the story of Liam Ryan, a man who survived a terrorist attack and was presumed dead for three years. After an investigator discovers him working as a security guard in Jerusalem, Liam reconnects with his family through a subsequent meeting with Teresa, Joe’s sister. Liam returns to the US and joins his twin sister Ali and her husband Joe at their estate in Port Townsend. He crosses paths with Teresa, who is trying to figure out what she wants from life and recovering from a broken engagement. Although Liam is wary initially of Teresa’s high-society background, he finds himself attracted to her. Liam’s protective instincts are roused when mysterious accidents happen around Teresa. In between the suspense and dangers, romance blossoms between Liam and Teresa, which forces them to confront their past traumas and open themselves to the possibility of love and happiness.

The Guardsman by Cat Treadgold brings together characters who grow with the plot. Although this book could be read as a standalone, I would suggest readers start with the first book in the series to better understand the storyline. This is especially true of Joe and Ali, who with their beautiful twin daughters play a central role in this story along with Liam and Teresa. The characters are well-developed. Teresa and Liam are flawed individuals trying to find their place in life for different reasons. We also see both the characters struggle with the concept of what it would be like to be in a relationship with their ‘ideal’ partner, learn from their mistakes, and move forward to embrace the love and happiness meant for them. The narrative is presented from multiple POVs, with each character having their own unique characteristics, giving the reader an overview of the events as they occur. This adds to the depth of the narrative, making you feel part of the story. The Guardsman beautifully blends suspense and romance and showcases the transformative power of love.