Surprising, interesting, explosive...

Hard as a Rock (Paranormal Protection Agency #1) - Mina Carter

Iliona is a heroine of a strong will and a knowledge of what she wants and she isn't afraid to get it. After a hard day's work, Iliona mistakenly opens a door to her ex who is looking for a fight. Even though they broke up months ago he still can't reconcile with that fact. Now he's having his usual tantrum about with whom she's sleeping with and what paranormal serves her best. Since she's working at her father's Paranormal Protection Agency she encounters a lot of paranormal species. Vampires, werewolves, gargoyles... it's all normal to her. What she didn't expect was that her ex could be so filled up with rage to actually raise his fist at her. As she saw the fist coming to her face unable to stop it, something came between them.

Cal is a gargoyle employed at PPA. He protects others for money. He is a strong man with protective instincts. A man of few words but great actions.
Gargoyles, though, gargoyles are careful with their words and actions. Mind you, if I lived in a world where treading on someone’s foot tended to pulverize said appendage, so would I. It saved on the “Is this your hand? Oh, so sorry. It’s amazing what they can do with restorative surgery these days, isn’t it?” conversations. Most gargoyles weren’t that garrulous. They picked their words with care and we were already pushing the upper conversational limit with three sentences.
He has been overseeing Iliona in his spare time and on his own accord without any payment. And without her knowledge. Outside her bedroom window. Now he was placed between Iliona and her ex taking his fist in his hand and almost choking him to death. If not for Iliona, he would most likely kill him. But he didn't. He left him in the lobby and returned to the apartment.

Iliona was grateful for the rescue and even though she was little taken aback with Cal's confession on his late actions she was more aroused than upset. Realizing she hadn't had anyone in her life for months, she let herself go and took the first step. Cal quickly responded and they engaged in a steamy, explosive but meaningful sexual encounter.

The story was well put together and quite unique in the set of characters. The heroine was a smart, strong woman who knew how to get what she wanted. The hero was all muscle, few words, overprotective instincts but also thoughtful and sensible.
The only thing that concerns me a little is the lack of a more astonished and/or violent reaction on the confession that a gargoyle was spending all his free days and nights outside her bedroom window. Practically stalking her. Watching her every move without her knowledge. That would freak me out a little regardless of how well I know the guy in question. My reason for a lower grade.

All in all, it's new, it's different, it's worth reading.