by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published: September 6, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Jake Sharp resides in his own personal hell. He was distracted from duty once before, and the consequences were devastating--both personally and professionally. He vowed never to let that happen again. Accepting the job of bodyguard to Camille Logan isn't the kind of distraction from his demons he should take. Women and Jake don't mix well, yet protecting the heiress seems the lesser of two evils. But Jake soon discovers that she isn't the woman she's perceived to be. She's warm, compassionate, her presence settling, and his duty to protect her soon goes deeper than a well-paid job, no matter how hard he fights it. He needs absolution. He comes to need Camille. But he knows he can't have both.
Because I need to know if any of her thoughts are matching mine. Thoughts that are wrong. Thoughts that I shouldn't be having.
A new, standalone novel from Jodi Ellen Malpas? YES! I couldn't resist picking this one up, without even reading the blurb, because it's by Jodi! Once I had it in my hands, and read the synopsis, I realized this book was perfect for me. I love a tortured hero and a strong heroine pairing and The Protector didn't let me down.
Strong. Dependable. My protector.
Told from the dual POV's of Jake Sharp and Camille Logan, The Protector is a suspenseful romance with two incredibly headstrong characters. At first meeting we see the alpha tendencies in Jake and we immediately recognize the independent streak that Camille possesses. These two are an unlikely pairing, especially with how the plot is set up. I immediately bought into the suspenseful mystery rather than their slow-burning romance, but as the mystery grows, so too does the chemistry. I love both character's personality and the dialogue that takes place between them; it's a constant push and pull of who's in charge, making for some great entertainment. I enjoyed that there was no insta-love, just recognition of attraction, but they both push one another away so much that when they finally come together it is a surprise for them as well. Jake's story is deep though, filled with twists and turns that lead him down a destructive past. I really enjoyed how long it took to finally break into his past and explain why he'd become so closed off. It definitely is focused on more than Camille's background story, but I think it ends up working out very well for the overall plot. I was most impressed with how freestanding each plot was, the mystery a separate entity from their romance, though the mystery is what brought them together. I found myself questioning everything that happened outside of their happy bubble and it made me that much more desperate to get to the end.
The small light I've found in my blackness is fading by the second.
Like many romantic suspense novels, there are some cliches and exaggerations in The Protector that stood out to me, especially with Jake. As an alpha he goes through some major changes in a short period of time, that worked perfectly in the story, but were unbelievable in terms of reality. I felt like Camille put on rose-colored glasses when it came to Jake, and though I adore him and want more of him, I think their relationship could have been fleshed out over a longer period of time in order to be more believable.
The light I catch in her eyes floors me. So bright and hopeful. I'm the reason for that, and it's both deeply gratifying and equally guilt inducing. She doesn't even really know me. But she will.
Jake Sharp and Camille Logan are the kind of characters that will take over your mind once you open The Protector, both are strong in their own right, but absolutely commanding together. With angst, mystery, romance, and intimate moments filled with hot smut, this book is filled to them brim with all the things that make a good book. If you like your romance mixed with suspense, then this lengthy read, featuring a broken hero, is definitely for you.
I'm desperate to see him, desperate to fling myself in his arms and disappear into an oblivion of Jake. Nothing but Jake.