Wednesday, October 22, 2014

review || PROTECTOR

You know that carousel at the bottom of your or page that shows you other books you may like? That's where Gennita was sitting when I decided to add HUNTER to my sample list. And to be honest? HUNTER made it to my sample list because the cover image was also the cover image for WESTINS CHASE of Titan-land. Nothing like choosing a book because the image is on another book.

After adding it to my sample list... well, there it sat, forever (ok, so for a long time) on my Kindle carousel with a 'sample' sash. If I'm being honest, many, many, samples will remain samples. Occasionally I'll read the sample and will be drawn to paying for the book, but more often than not, I don't read the samples because I don't want to spend my little 'play' money (...because I'd so much rather spend my grocery money on books. Makes a ton of sense, I know...).

I got to a point in my NetGalley files where I had 2 months until the next book on my list was published, so I decided I would take the time and read a book that I chose, that I spent my money on (...even though WHEN DAY BREAKS and the first THE DEVANEY BROTHERS double book are still sitting on my counter begging to be read; hey, now, when my only chances to read are limited, it's super easy to pull up a book on my phone. I should probably find a system to incorporate my much-lover paperbacks back into the mix). I pulled up HUNTER and decided, what the heck, let's start at the beginning, and purchased PROTECTOR, being book one in the series, instead.

...and oh, am I glad I did.

Protector by Gennita Low

Publisher: GLOW World, 2nd edition (6/24/2012)
Series: Crossfire, book 1
Genre: Military Romance
Source: Purchased
Buy It For Your Kindle | Amazon | BN (not Nook) || Goodreads
My Rating: ★1/2

There are two things Navy SEAL Jazz Zeringue knows:
1) his black ops team will always have his back, and
2) there's nothing more enticing than a woman of mystery

When the best of intentions gets Jazz arrested overseas, he couldn't be more surprised to find Vivi Verreau ready to spring him out of jail. Obviously more than the civilian she claims to be, he's sure Vivi is hiding an agenda...and he's determined to stick by her side until he uncovers all her secrets.

A covert agent who shrouds herself in disguises, and who fearlessly jumps into dangerous situations without thoughts for her own safety, Vivi has no need for a protector. But if she is to have any hope of completing her most important mission, she'll have no choice but to recruit Jazz and his men.

And when everything explodes around them, they will need each other more than they ever imagined...

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Connect with Gennita Low || Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Right from the get-go, I knew the heroine of the story was somewhere in that smokey bar. I didn't think she was Rose, but I was certainly thrown for a loop when I found out it was little miss grandmamasan -- that is, until she walked to the back:
'She slowly got on her feet, and carrying the box and keys in her hands, she shuffled into the back, past all the cubicles with the ugly numbers painted on the plastic curtains. When she turned the corner, her steps lengthened. Her back straightened. By the time she reached the back room where the owner of the bar waited with an Interpol agent, she'd gained several inches in height, her stoop was gone, and her movements were unhurriedly assured.
I love that. I can totally picture the transformation as she's walking, moving from hunched old lady, to taller, confident woman.

I'm torn with my feelings of Vivi keeping her identity a secret, though. On one hand, I hate secrets. I get that secrets help bring huge climaxes in plot lines for stories. Big secrets are typically the fall-out point in which the relationship crumbles, and then someone realizes it was stupid to get mad over, then they kiss and make up and BAM. He puts a ring on it.

However, keeping this particular secret doesn't really take anything away from the story, and the fact that Vivi and Jazz end up laughing about it and make cute pet names out of it... well, it works in the story's favor. So points to Gennita there.

I love the unfolding of Vivi and her story. I liked how it slowly came out, even to the reader. Often times, the reader knows more about one character than the character's counterpart(s). There are times that I don't like not knowing, but it worked in PROTECTOR. Learning what makes Vivi tick, and the reason why she was semi-distrustful of Jazz and his ways helped the story move from one point to the other.

Like most stories that I just love, I really loved that Vivi is a strong heroine -- regardless of her job title. Sure, her job makes her a strong lady, but her personal battles and headstrong behaviors make her a desirable heroine in my opinion.

I enjoyed the comradery between Jazz and Hawk. I liked that while they both were heading their team, they worked well off of one another. They had much of the same thought cycle and like most good friends, being as close as brothers, they could read one another like books. I am curious, though, how exactly Hawk put all of the pieces together to the puzzle of Vivi, but Jazz didn't. Maybe because, as fast as it happened, Jazz was too mentally/emotionally close to Vivi to really look at the full picture. I love that Hawk doesn't tell Jazz his theory (...maybe Vivi and Hawk had a conversation and I didn't catch it, which makes me feel like a terrible reader, but I really don't think this conversation happened), and lets him figure it out on his own -- even with the kissing taunts and other friendly jabs about the grandmamasan.

One of my favorite scenes of the book shows Jazz's feelings toward Vivi, without him even admitting said feelings to himself.
'"She's going to walk in the kill zone with goats." He was going to kill her, if she survived.
'{...}Jazz ignored the admiration in his friend's voice. 'Our girl won't have a neck left when I'm done with her.'
So no, that doesn't really say a whole lot, but I think it speaks enough in the context of the story. While he trusts her judgement, he's scared for her -- even when not admitting it.

...and all of this was before sleeping with her, too. I love a man who has feelings for his lady before all the messy stuff.

Now, what I didn't like. I'm not a big side-story person. Many times I'll skim them, or even skip over them. That's sassy of me, yes, I know, but I'm 100% invested in the main characters. I ain't got time for the side stories (that's a joke). Really, I just love to read about the main people. I become emotionally invested in them and only want to know them. Even in books where the side story is the bad-guy's point of view -- yeah, I just don't want to read it. However, in that case, I like the surprise element when everything blows up to pieces (figuratively and literally). I like to be caught off guard with the main characters.

All of that aside, I did enjoy the story enough to immediately purchase Hawk's story. And by immediately, I mean that second I read the last word of PROTECTOR, I didn't even bother with that sample I had sitting on my carousel. I was all over my Amazon cart and purchasing, downloading, and opening HUNTER. 

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