Always Watching (Elite Guardians #1) Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 8 hours, 31 minutes
Read by Rachel Dulude

Stories about tough guys who risk their lives to serve and protect others are really nothing new. They pop up in books and movies quite often. But the audio edition of Always Watching, author Lynette Eason’s first Elite Guardians novel, gives the story a twist by focusing on an all-female bodyguard agency.

The story follows the bodyguards of the Elite Guardians Agency as they work to protect a popular radio personality from an increasingly dangerous stalker. Each night, psychiatrist Wade Savage offers advice to listeners—and, naturally, he’s gained some admirers in the process. But when one admirer goes from leaving expensive gifts at his door to nearly killing his bodyguard, agency owner Olivia Edwards steps in to keep Wade and his 12-year-old daughter, Amy, safe. But as she spends more time with her client, she worries that her growing feelings for him might distract her from the case.

Always Watching is a tense, paranoid thriller with a mystery that will keep readers guessing. As the title suggests, it soon becomes clear that Wade’s stalker is never far away—that she’s watching and planning her next move. With each chapter, then, the mystery builds as the threat escalates. This person is clearly unhinged—willing to do whatever it takes to get Wade’s attention—and she’ll lash out against anyone who seems to be a threat. But it isn’t long before Wade becomes a target, too—and the obsession seems to turn deadly.

But there’s more to this story than just the hunt for a disturbed stalker. Eason also takes the time to develop interesting characters, who will carry the series from one installment to the next. Though the members of the team—and even the detectives that work closely with them—all have stories to tell, the main focus is on Olivia. She’s a complex character—much more layered than the typical robotic tough guy, whose back story provides a minimal amount of drama. She’s a child of the foster care system, with a past filled with heartbreak, loss, and insecurities that slowly make their way to the surface as she begins to connect with Wade and his daughter. And since her history makes her a strong and reliable bodyguard, it will be interesting to see how she changes in upcoming installments, as she continues to open herself up to the notions of love, family, and faith.

Admittedly, this absorbing mystery ends in a conclusion that isn’t entirely satisfying, leaving some loose ends and nagging questions. But Always Watching is a solid series introduction, developing interesting characters while promising readers plenty of action, suspense, and drama to come.

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