Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ARC Review: The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Pub. Date:Sept 6, 2016
Publisher:Forever Grand Central
Length:384 pages

It's been a while since I have read the This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas, and one of my friends is a big JEM fangirl. So I jumped on this opportunity to review her new standalone romantic suspense, The Protector.

Jake Sharpe was driven to join the British Army after his parents went down in the Lockerbie Disaster, the terrorist hijacking of PanAm Flight 103. After some personal drama, he became reckless and was discharged from his position as a sniper for the Special Air Service. Now Jake is back in London working as a bodyguard and suffering bouts of PTSD. The only thing keeping him sane is work, indiscriminate sex and Jack Daniels. Jake is the type of hero I typically like... an alpha male with protective instincts that can kick ass but also has a touch of vulnerability.

Camille Logan is a headstrong socialite, a willowy blonde model who is no stranger to the party lifestyle and stints in rehab. Her overbearing father is a misogynistic womanizer, on wife number three, and still trying to control Cami's life. While she tries to be independent from daddy, she isn't quite there... and she definitely has her hands full juggling two high-handed parents. Cami isn't usually the type of heroine I go for, and there were some moments when I flat out hated her. She threw temper tantrums and was a total brat to Jake, and ran off half-cocked a few times. However, by the end she was a tolerable heroine so I was glad to see she had some personal growth.

Cami's father hired Jake to be her bodyguard after he received a threat against her. It wasn't a job that Jake wanted to take, and Cami likewise did not want a permanent shadow. But even though neither was keen on the situation, each had an instant attraction to the other. So we started off with a bit of lust mixed with disdain, which resulted in a lot of sniping and bratty behavior. That moved to a love situation fairly quickly, and I felt like I was missing a connection to either character. This story was not dialogue-driven, instead there were many inner monologues where we are told what the characters are feeling and thinking. I would have liked a bit more show vs. tell in this regard, which would have helped draw me into the story more. The steamy scenes were abundant and well-written, which should please erotic romance fans.

The Protector had good bones and I liked that it was a nicely wrapped package, the entire story contained in this single standalone novel. The suspense plot was intriguing and not quite predictable, but I wish it would have been spread more over the story instead of rushed in at the end. I think one or two of the intimate scenes could have been sacrificed to beef up the suspense plot... but I know everyone won't agree with me on that. I like my romantic suspense to get my adrenaline going and make me feel anxious, and without it the story seemed to drag through the middle.

I would recommend this book to JEM fans, and those who like contemporary romance with just a smidge of suspense, particularly if you are a sucker for sweet endings. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

About the Author

Jodi was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer, a Converse & mojito addict, and has a terrible weak spot for Alpha Males.

Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters has become her passion – a passion she now shares with her devoted readers. 

She’s now a proud #1 New York Times bestselling author – all six of her published novels having hit the New York Times bestsellers list – as well as a Sunday Times bestseller and international bestseller. Her work is published in over 20 languages across the world.

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