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Marked by Passion: Guardians of Destiny    by Kate Perry order for
Marked by Passion
by Kate Perry
Order:  USA  Can
Forever, 2009 (2009)
*   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Gabrielle Sansouci Chin has always denied her birthright as guardian of one of five ancient Chinese scrolls said to have been created by a group of monks determined to save to world. Her passion is painting and no amount of cajoling or threatening on her father's part will ever convince Gabe to embrace her birthright. As far as she's concerned, she has a very good reason to turn her back on her destiny: the last time she tried harnessing the powerful earth energy attached to the scroll her mother was caught in the crossfire and died.

But when Gabrielle's father also dies, she can no longer ignore his pleas - especially once she discovers that his ghost is guarding the scroll until such time as she accepts her duty. Now Gabe finds herself torn between giving in to her father's demands or accepting the encouragement of her artistic mentor who's managed to secure Gabe a spot at a prestigious art show. Things only become more complicated when an enigmatic Englishman named Rhys Llewellyn breezes into town and begins showing Gabrielle, and the scroll, unwarranted attention.

Newcomer Kate Perry's writing style is engaging, and she adds nice bits of humour to her story, as well as putting a unique twist on the Earthly elements concept. Unfortunately, her plotline meanders as the overly stubborn Gabrielle repeatedly bemoans her fate as the chosen Guardian. She also spends a lot of time arguing the same point with her father's ghost, whose constant nagging that she embrace her fate reads more like padding than a plot device.

As for the love story, Perry infuses a considerable degree of heat between the leads and their verbal sparring is entertaining. However, it's not until the final few chapters that Rhys finally comes clean with his true motivations. This leaves little room for the suspicious Gabe to actually trust him, let alone have readers buy into a believable romance.

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