Book Review: The Protector by Cooper West

Reviewed by Nikyta

21894447Title: The Protector
Author: Cooper West
Heroes: Alex Taylor/Marcus Stephanek
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 250 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 5, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Guardsmen are always matched in a bonded pair. The Protector can shift into a weredog, and the human partner is his Handler. They are incredibly rare and highly valued, but people also fear them for their mystical abilities. No Protector in living memory has outlived his Handler—until Alex Taylor.

Now a widower, Alex lives a lonely half-life and faces day after day of grief with no hope for happiness in the future. When he unexpectedly bonds with the young and vibrant Handler Marcus Stephanek, Alex is angry and unwilling to leave the memory of his former Handler behind. He pushes Marcus away and tries to distance himself from their bond. But then a mysterious villain who has been secretly shadowing Alex for years sets his plan in motion. Alex and Marcus must learn to trust their bond and love each other, or risk not only their own lives but the lives of those closest to them.



When Alex’s Handler was killed, he should have died with him but some miracle kept him alive and for three years his life has been miserable and filled with grief.  Alex’s life is about to change again when he unexpectedly bonds with Marcus, a Handler who’s been dreaming of bonding since he could remember. Unfortunately, Alex wants nothing to do with Marcus and especially doesn’t want to bond with him. But now they’re stuck together and there’s no way to break their connection. When they return to Alex’s home, things just get worse and the animosity between them climbs. Until their friends Sam and John come to help and Sam gets injured and kidnapped, leaving them to uncover a devious plan by a villain way too close to home that just so happens to revolve around Alex.

Okay, okay, that recap is not the best I’ve ever written but it’s just so hard to write about this story because it’s so complex! Add to that, I don’t want to spoiler much of it because I don’t want to ruin the story and also I fear I wouldn’t really make sense LOL. Still, as a story, I was very intrigued by it. I loved the world and the fact that no Protector could survive their Handler until Alex proved it possible… and then he proved a broken Protector could find another mate. It’s a heartbreaking type of story because of the love and emotion Alex still has for Theo, his dead Handler, and his fear of forgetting that love if he opens up to Marcus.

At the same time, Alex is a complete asshole about being bonded to Marcus. I ADORED Alex but I really wanted to smack the shit out of him more than a few times. As for Marcus, my heart broke for him. He had all these hopes and dreams about finding a Protector and none of them came true and instead, he got one who didn’t even want him. They’re polar opposites but they’re also both selfish and stubborn. Marcus had his dreams of how their relationship should be while Alex didn’t want any part in them. They both were all about “me” and not about “us”, which made things interesting between them to say the least!

I ended up really liking this one but I felt like the beginning was too slow, which made it hard to get into. In fact, I ended up reading about 30% a few months back and putting the book down, not picking it up again until recently and finally finishing it. Thankfully, the second time I picked it up, I really got into the story and ended up loving it. Beyond that, though, I felt like the end was a little rushed and I didn’t really like the fact that Alex wanted to solve the conflict by thinking like ‘the police’ but then ended up doing something that I found hard to believe the police would do. Also, there were a few loose ends that weren’t tied up such as the point of the sonar gun and how Alex was able to bond again.

Still, all in all, this was an interesting story. I loved the fact that the world had Handlers and Protectors and that prejudices were still alive and kicking when it came to them. Alex just about broke my heart but I loved that Marcus still tried his hardest to get Alex to give their bond a try. The push and pull of their relationship might annoy some people but for me, I loved the fight in them both. I’m hoping there will be more to come of these two in the future or at least more of this world. I’d love to see other Handlers and Protectors and a little sad that Ryan ended up with Sam and John 😦

Overall Impression: I really liked it!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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