Reviewed by Susan65
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Series: The Protectors #9
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 333 Pages
Publisher: Sloane Kennedy
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: “All I ever wanted was to serve and protect my country. It ended up costing me everything …”
At 49, Vincent St. James has learned to live with the choices he’s made, even if he isn’t always proud of them. After the military decided his sexuality was more important than his impeccable service record, Vincent lost everything, including the man he’d planned to spend the rest of his life with.
And a man with nothing to live for has nothing to lose.
With a bone deep hatred of all things government, Vincent found another way to serve his country, but it too came at a steep cost that he never could have foreseen. Dealing in secrets and death means there’s always someone waiting around the next corner trying to either take his place or bury their secrets along with his body. Even if he wanted out, it’s far too late for that.
When he’s given the chance to help out a friend who once had his back when others didn’t, he jumps at the chance to repay the favor. Even if it means protecting the kind of man he despises most…a power-hungry politician looking to push his own agenda on an unsuspecting public.
“I made a terrible choice twelve years ago and it cost me the only person who ever really mattered to me. But maybe there’s another way I can make things right …”
30-year-old Nathan Wilder can’t take back the moment he betrayed his twin brother, but he can try to make sure that the legacy of hate that drove him to turn on Brody never has a chance to rear its ugly head again. And if that means going against his powerful father’s right-wing political constituency in a down and dirty race for a seat in the U.S. Senate, then so be it. But when the threats that had been limited to harmless emails start taking an uglier turn, culminating in a violent attack that leaves no doubt as to the assailant’s intent, Nathan is thrown into the direct path of a mysterious and dangerous man who may end up forcing Nathan to confront truths he just isn’t ready to face yet.
“Protecting him was supposed to be a favor for a friend and nothing more. Once he’s safe, I’ll let him go. I have to …”
Protecting Nathan was supposed to be a walk in the park for a guy like Vincent. But nothing about the younger man is what he’d been expecting, especially the long-dead feelings Nathan stirs in him.
The feelings that aren’t just about protection.
Which is a problem, because while the threat against Nathan is temporary, the danger that’s become a way of life for Vincent is just waiting for the next thing it can take from him. Caring about someone means painting a target on their back and Vincent is done losing people he loves.
But letting Nathan go may not be as easy at seems…especially when Nathan decides to finally stand up and fight for what…and who he truly wants.
Review: It took me a while to read this one, but I still loved it. I don’t think that makes much sense, but there you have it. I especially loved the ending, so much so, that I immediately started on Shattered, and finished that one in nearly one sitting. That is what this series does to me. I know I will love them, for the most part, but there are times when I just need a little break, a palate cleanser, if you will.
Vincent and Nathan have an uphill battle before they can even consider a happy ending. For one, Vincent had his one true love and he died, and two, Nathan has yet to accept his sexuality and his career as a politician is the epitome of everything Vincent hates, and what cost him his lover. It is kind of hard, at first, to see how these two will overcome such thick obstacles.
There is a lot to Vincent and there is a lot to Nathan. I think getting through their combined issues is what held me up in the reading process. Nothing was gratuitous or overly drawn out, it was just a lot to get through. For the most part, I just wanted Nathan to go back to his twin and reconcile. My heart broke for both of the twins but more so for Brody because Nathan was incommunicado and left his brother hanging. Yes, they reconcile, and Brody took the high road, in my opinion, but Nathan took freaking forever to get there.
Vincent is living a very strange and sheltered life. He lost his lover, he lost his brother, he lost everything that made him human. I was beginning to wonder how these two would form any life together if Vincent couldn’t put his past to rest. Of course, this is Sloane Kennedy and she doesn’t give this series any real cliffhangers, so we know it will settle in the end. We just have to let it play out. And in the end, it was perfect.
My heart ached many times in this installment, and reading the blurb at then end for Shattered, meant that it was going to get a lot worse before it got better. But, I can unequivocally say I am thrilled with this series and I have no doubts that I will love the rest of the books, too. Now, if only I could read them in order. But, baby steps.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*