The Bloodgate Guardian by Joely Sue Burkhart
Worlds within worlds await through the Maya Bloodgate…
Dr. Jaid Merritt doesn’t do digs. The last time she ventured into the jungle, someone died. Now she’s content to decipher Maya glyphs from pictures sent to her by her famous archaeologist father. But when he goes missing while trying to perform a ritual based on her translations of an ancient codex, Jaid must put aside her fears and travel to Guatemala to find him.
After misusing the Bloodgates to bring his twin brother back from the afterlife, the Maya priest known as Ruin was cursed by the gods to stand as the guardian for all time. He was unable to stop Dr. Charles Merritt from opening the gates, and now demons roam this world. The last thing he wants to do is hurt the beautiful woman who is somehow infused with his magic, but if she uses the codex to retrieve her father, Ruin must do his duty. And this time, he won’t fail. Even if it kills him. Again.
This was the title I bought when Carina Press opened their virtual doors a month or two ago. I’ve been meaning to post about them. The ebook division of Harlequin, this is a GREAT and reasonably priced source for ebooks (EPUB and PDF formats). List price for this one was $5.99 and I got it for the completely reasonable price of $4.79 in their opening sale. I was immediately drawn to this one by the cover–as we all know, I’m a sucker for a good cover. But also the mythology. In a world where we’re overrun with vamps and werewolves and team this or that, it’s the first thing I’ve seen in romance that deals with Mayan mythology. Since the world is supposed to end in a couple of years, it seemed wise to go ahead and read it. BOY was I glad!
Burkhart presents an action-packed read that I couldn’t put down (we won’t talk about what I didn’t do at work just so I could finish it). The mythology was beautifully woven into the story in a way that–if I didn’t quite get everything because I hadn’t heard it before–was well enough explained that I didn’t feel I was missing anything. I absolutely identified with the heroine, this brilliant and flawed “UnIndiana Jones”, and adored watching her come into her own and go toe to toe with Ruin. And Ruin. Delicious. Sigh…there are not enough big, broad muscular sexy priests out there. Muscles, brains, and magic? What’s not to love? Burkhart totally puts the characters through the wringer with this book with at least two cases where it looks like there’s no way they could prevail. They totally earn their HEA.
Warning: If blood squicks you, this might not be for you, as the Maya mythology is a very bloody one.