Audio Review: Kim Fielding – Guarded

41esrmvsul-_sl300_Author: Kim Fielding
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Kim Fielding
Genre: MM Romance

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Summary:

A brutal war left Volos Perun with physical and emotional scars and with a reputation as a hero. Now he’s a soldier stationed at the palace, desiring Prince Berhanu while receiving only loathing in return. But when Berhanu foolishly refuses the king’s request to let Volos accompany him on a peace mission to the neighboring country, Berhanu is kidnapped and brutalized. Now Volos must risk his life as he works to save Berhanu and help his country avoid another devastating war.

Review:

I first read this story in 2014, and at the time, my opening statement was: “There’s really nothing about this story that I didn’t like and so much that I did like that I can’t give the review justice.” I feel the same way now that I’ve listened to the audiobook narrated by the incomparable Greg Tremblay. His portrayal of the characters brought them to life with such vivid detail it evoked deep emotion as I listened to the painful journey these two men undertook. Thankfully, the journey’s end found them building a well-deserved future together.

Volos is a former solider and palace guard whose mother was from Wedeyta, his current country, and his father from Korzar, the country with which they fought in the last war. Both of his parents were killed in the war, when he was a young child, so the life of a soldier is all he’s known. Always attracted to Prince Berhanu, who often practiced his swordsmanship with the guards, he’s been disappointed that the attraction is apparently not returned. In fact, the prince rejects him outright, when he needs an escort to Korzar for peace talks, not caring that Volos fluently speaks the language and would be an ideal companion.

As it turns out, Volos does go to Korzar when he learns the prince has been captured by the Juganins, a rogue group of Kozari military. The time spent locating Berhanu and witnessing the torture he’s undergoing was painful to listen to as Mr. Tremblay beautifully portrayed the emotional turmoil Volos goes through before he can find a way to rescue the man he loves. But in a dramatic scene of a chaotic rescue worthy of a superhero, Volos manages to free him and ultimately gets Berhanu to his original destination where he fulfills his mission. Over the course of their time in Kozar, the men finally let down their emotional guard and admit how much they care for each other, but unfortunately, Berhanu regains his aloof treatment of Volos when they return to Wedeyta. At this point, both Volos and I had a broken heart.

It’s difficult not to give away the details of the plot or the final action. Suffice it to say that this story is more than worthy of high praise—both for the author and the narrator.

One word of caution for those who may be triggered by this—there is a description of a brief rape scene during Berhanu’s captivity.

I very highly recommend this story to all lovers of MM romance, no matter which genre you usually prefer. If I could give this 10 stars, I would. To top that off, I am very happy to share that proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders. If you are remotely interested in this story, don’t hesitate to pick up this audiobook now.

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