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The Protector: A sexy, angsty, all-the-feels romance with a hot alpha hero Paperback – September 6, 2016
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"4.5 stars. Top Pick. Readers will love this book from the very beginning! The characters are so real and flawed that fans feel as if they're alongside them. Malpas' writing is also spot-on with emotions."―RT Book Reviews
"[Jake and Camille] together were great. Although both have their pasts and demons they came together and it was a joy to read...This is the first book I've read from Jodi Ellen Malpas, but she's has become a favorite in one read."
―Night Owl Review
About the Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, UK, where she lives with her family. Working for the family construction business full time and with the prospect of taking it over once her father retired, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing a novel until it became impossible. She finally found the time and courage to release her creative streak and in October 2012 self-published This Man as an ebook. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters, notably Mr. Jesse Ward, the Lord of the Manor, and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Two months later, Jodi made the decision to give up her day job to concentrate on her new and very unexpected career in writing.
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An intriguing blurb plus an awesome cover do not necessarily guarantee a good read—and such was the case with The Protector.
Between the odd choice of descriptors, excessive amount of exclamation points, and the use of certain dialogue tags, I couldn't help but wonder if the book had been professionally edited at all. All the spitting and spluttering was off-putting, to say the very least.
Cami Logan is a twenty-five-year-old fashion model and aspiring designer—or half of one, at least. She does the sketching, her friend does the sewing. Then there was her stint in rehab for cocaine addiction, but now that that's behind her, she's ready to get back to her busy schedule of shopping, drinking, the odd photoshoot here and there, and having girls' days with her BFF, where they paint each other's nails, giggle like school girls, and drink copious amounts of wine. But she'll have you know she's more than just a pretty face. Like, duh.
Before long, Cami gets summoned to her rich daddy’s office, a guy I couldn’t help but to picture as Donald Trump, where she’s informed that, thanks to his shady business practices, her life is in danger, and, as such, good old daddy is taking precautionary measures to ensure her safety.
Enter Jake Sharp, a thirty-five-year-old, emotionally stunted, ex-military sniper, and Cami's hired bodyguard. Jake is supposedly the best money could buy. With a 100k a week price tag, he should've been, but that just wasn't the case. Cami easily gave him the slip, the first of many, within five minutes of meeting him. Well, that was money well spent.
From that point on, I couldn't take Jake seriously as a respectable, top-of-the-line bodyguard. He failed to live up to his reputation. It was amateur hour all around, to be honest. He didn’t even do any of the hard work himself. He’d kick back, make a phone call to Lucinda, his partner of a sort, and let her do all the work for him. He even got the added bonus of sticking it to his new boss by sleeping with his daughter. Way to earn that paycheck, Jake.
I had a hard time buying into the romance. Between Cami's juvenile demeanor and Jake's issues—his no strings, no attachments, closed-off emotions—I would've thought things would've been just a little more difficult between them. However, that wasn't the case. The romance was fairly easy. I just had a hard time believing that Jake, the same guy who callously kicked his one-night stands out of his home, could so easily develop this all-consuming, desperate love without a hitch.
The Protector is told from alternating first-person points of view. Something that, depending on the author, I'm just not all that fond of. Perhaps my opinion of Jake would've been different if half the story wasn't told from his perspective.
I wouldn’t have liked Jake either way; not after it was revealed that he had a dead wife and a four-year-old daughter whom he abandoned, because, apparently, it was easier to talk himself into believing the little girl wasn’t his, due to his wife's infidelity, than it was to man up and take care of her. After he abandoned his daughter, leaving her to be raised by her aunt, he spent his time having meaningless one-night stands and taking care of various people who requested his services. How noble of him. There was absolutely no coming back from that, at least not in my eyes.
This book had all the markings of a good romance. Pretty cover, ex-military hero, and an interesting blurb. Unfortunately, I just couldn't warm to the characters. Cami, for all her talk of being an independent woman, fell into the TSTL category. And as for Jake, well, I couldn't get over the fact that he seemed to struggle more over the death of his two military buddies than he did over the abandonment of his own daughter—or, hell, even the death of his wife. I'm sorry, but a man who would abandon his child is not a man, and certainly not the kind of hero I could get behind. Yet, miraculously, once Cami entered his life, he was suddenly ready to be a father—four years after the fact. Yeah, okay. But of course, being the end of the book, it was all rainbows and sunshine and happily ever after.
Overall, the execution left a lot to be desired. The book was overly long and hard to slog through at times, and had inconsistencies that were hard to ignore. At least fifty pages could've been shaved off and the reader would've been none the worse for it. I couldn't connect with the characters. The writing was bland. Furthermore, it took forever to resolve the central conflicts. I found myself bored with the progression of the plot, especially in regard to the threats against Cami, of which she herself didn't even care about. Ultimately, this was a miss for me.
Anna is an architect, talented, focused, hardworking and a bit headstrong. She is about to land the project of her career and couldn’t be prouder. All this hard work leaves her little time to go out with friends. Even though she isn’t really looking for anyone, her friend thinks that she needs to get out and live a little on the wild side.
Jack is a successful contractor. He’s gorgeous but beneath that gorgeousness is a man who is unhappy. It’s this unhappiness that he hides behind his sexy swagger, smile and night outs. You know there is more to Jack’s story but you don’t know exactly what’s coming next.
On an evening out with her friends Anna and Jack meet. OMGosh, the sparks fly between the two of them. Holy h*ll it doesn’t take long for those sparks to ignite into something so white hot, salacious and wanton when they meet up later that night! But it’s only for the night and now names were exchanged so no harm, no foul!
A chance meeting at a party of man who hires Anna introduces her to the contractor who will be doing the work for him. Then everything changes when he turns out to be Jack. Not only is it Jack but he has a wife with him. Definitely forbidden.
Hold on to your hats because this story is going to get a hell of a lot more complex! Guarantee you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat filled with so much angst, so much heat and tons of nail biting tension.
To sum this up the following says it all:
"Ever experience this before?" He asks quietly. "The chemistry, the need?" "No." My answer is easy and it's the truth. "Me either."
Well done Jodi and is absolutely a must read!!
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