Title: Dark Protector
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2017
From the moment I saw her through the window of her flower shop, something other than darkness took root inside me. Charlie shone like a beacon in a world that had long since lost any light. But she was never meant for me, a man that killed without remorse and collected bounties drenched in blood.
I thought staying away would keep her safe, would shield her from me. I was wrong. Danger followed in my wake like death at a slaughter house. I protected her from the threats that circled like black buzzards, kept her safe with kill after kill.
But everything comes with a price, especially second chances for a man like me.
Killing for her was easy. It was living for her that turned out to be the hard part.
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Conrad Mercer views her through the window of her flower shop, admiring her beauty and innocence. Charlie is everything he cannot have, until he has to save her from those who want to take him down. As a mercenary, Conrad takes out anyone for money, but his desire to protect Charlie once a hit is on her head comes from the heart, a heart he didn't know still beat.
Charlie knows he's been watching her, but she never knew it would lead to her life being at risk, again. Choosing to let someone with so much power protect her takes her into her past, but the attraction and trust with Conrad makes her believe in love again.
"I'd always thought of her as a delicate flower, but her past had given her thorns."
Told from dual points-of-view, Dark Protector is a twisted romance filled with guns, bloodshed, secrets, and lust. Though not as dark as I expected, Dark Protector is a complex novel that kept my attention from start to finish. Conrad was revealed to be much more than met the eye and Charlie's past plays a huge part in how the novel progresses. There are minimal interactions from secondary characters, outside of Nate, Conrad's friend that steps up to protect his friend and his companion as they face the head boss. I enjoyed the character development quite a bit, but definitely felt the relationship progressed very quickly. Ultimately, I ended up falling for them just as much as they had fell for each other. Faced with the risk of death and separation from one another, they leaned on one another as they took on the unknown in hopes to coming out the end together.
"Killing for Charlie was easy. Dying for Charlie was easy. But what I wanted more than anything else- to live for Charlie- had proved impossible."
Celia Aaron is one of my go-to authors, always. With a collection of works that range from contemporary-romance to the dark and suspenseful, Celia never fails to entertain with her imaginative stories and beautiful, descriptive writing. Dark Protector is a standalone novel with two intriguing main characters, as well as one secondary man (Nate) I am desperately wishing gets his own novel.