Gabriel's Mate: Scanguards Vampires

Gabriel's Mate  - Tina Folsom The third book of the Scanguards Vampires series follows Gabriel, physically scarred from an incident when he was still human and emotionally scarred from a physical affliction that severely affects his love life. We first get a very brief and distant introduction to him in the first book of this series. He then shows up as a more prominent secondary character in the second book. His character never really appealed to me much, so I was curious how I would feel about his story. I did end up liking him more by the end, but he still isn't one of my preferred characters.At times the story was predictable. I guessed Gabriel's "issue" before it was revealed and it actually reminds me of another paranormal series that uses this same, um...attribute. I also guessed the bad guy very early in the story. If you are looking for a story that has tons of intrigue and suspense that keeps you guessing until the very end then you might be disappointed, but if you prefer an emphasis on the paranormal and romance elements with a little suspense to keep you interested then this book is more up your alley. I'm in the latter category so even though I quickly guessed who the culprit was, I still found the story enjoyable overall.I did have a couple of "huh?" moments -- small details of the story that didn't make sense to me. One was where a vamp gets staked (and no, I'm not telling who it is!) the vamp turns to dust and all the inanimate things like cell phone and pocket change fall to the floor amongst the dust...except the clothes. Where did the clothes go? If there is a reason for the clothes to disappear that was explained in the previous books then I don't recall it.I can't say that I felt the romantic connection between the main characters as much as I did in the previous two books and I'm not sure why that is. The focus on building the connection between Gabriel and Maya was evident, but there was also a lot of internal angsting that I felt went on too long at times so maybe that cut into my sense of connection.Samson and Amaury don't play a big role in this story. The reader gets a little of Samson at the beginning and a little of Amaury towards the end. The bulk of the story’s secondary characters mostly focus on Yvette, Zane, and Thomas, which makes sense since their stories will be coming up. Yvette's book is next and you do see some of her story being set up. There is one particular aspect that I'm quite curious about and eager to see how it plays out – it involves dogs but that’s all I’m saying ;)If you are already a fan of this series and invested in this universe, then you will likely enjoy Gabriel's Mate. If you are new to this series, I suggest starting with the first book, Samson's Lovely Mortal as the characters do carry through in varying degrees and you will get a better feel for Gabriel and the Scanguards world by reading the earlier books first. I do enjoy this world and the characters so even though I had a few squabbles with some aspects of the story, I did enjoy it overall and it kept me turning the pages. Tina spins a good story and I always look forward to what is coming next.= = = = =Heat Level: This is an erotic romance and contains explicit and graphic sex scenes. Frequency of sex scenes is low but some scenes include rear-door activity and the nature of Gabriel’s condition may also be objectionable to some readers.