RELEASE DAY LAUNCH: REVIEW AND EXCERPT: PROTECTED by Lexi Blake

Their first chance at love ended in heartbreak

Wade Rycroft fell in love with Geneva Harris when she was the smartest girl in his class. The rodeo star and the shy academic made for an odd pair, but their chemistry was undeniable. They made plans to get married after high school. Those plans changed when Genny broke his heart. Joining the Army gave him a chance to leave that life behind. News that Genny married the town’s golden boy let Wade know that he could never go home again.

A chance encounter rekindles an old flame

Fifteen years later, he’s found his place in the world and tried to forget the woman who left him standing in the rain. After leaving the Army he forged a new life as a bodyguard at McKay-Taggart, but he still feels incomplete. When his brother’s wedding brings him home to Broken Bend, Texas, he walks into a storm of scandal. Genny’s marriage has dissolved, the town has turned against her, and someone is making threats. Seeing her again reawakens feelings he thought were long gone, and he worries that staying close enough to help her could be too much to bear.

Their reunion just might kill them both

After an attempt is made on Genny’s life, Wade can’t refuse to help her. Watching over her day and night, it’s clear that having her back in his life could be the thing to finally make him whole. When the danger follows them back to Dallas, their second chance at love could be over before it even begins.

AMAZON | AMAZON PRINT

Coming to other retailers October 29, 2018

My Review

In my opinion, there’s nothing like a second chance romance; the fact that there’s a history between the main characters and an already established foundation, even if it’s tenuous, allows readers to understand just how much love was between the hero and heroine and why they can’t help but want another shot with their first love.

I’ve read a lot of romances where either the hero or the heroine broke the other’s heart for unexplainable reasons – ones that forced a deep divide between them, making it extremely difficult when they come face-to-face regardless of how much time has passed, and while they thought at the time that they would never have a chance to make things right, that day does come and the revelations always seem to negate the anger and hurt feelings from the past.

This scenario is exactly what happens to Wade Rycroft and Geneva Harris, and while they’ve spent the last 15 years apart, when Genny’s life is threatened and the reasons behind Genny’s decision to break Wade’s heart are unraveled, Wade’s professional and personal lives collide and he vows to protect the only girl he’s ever loved as well as prove to her that what they used to have is still there and worth a second chance.

It’s more than obvious that Wade and Genny belong together, and while their reunion seems inevitable, I appreciate how Blake crafted their new beginning, ensuring that they work through the past, healing old wounds and forging a new connection – one that can withstand anything that’s thrown their way and with the threats surrounding Genny, Wade has plenty of opportunities to prove that he can protect and love her, which is all Genny has ever wanted. 

Wade and Genny’s novella is an emotionally charged second chance love story; it’s one that addresses sensitive topics that readers can relate to and Blake also brings in a bit of comic relief by a character we know and love, which is a fantastic way to lighten the intensity while still developing the overall arc of the story.

It amazes me that Protected is book 16.5 in Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series because most series that reach that number of stories sound repetitive, but that is definitely not the case with Masters and Mercenaries, which hopefully means that there’s still a slew of stories to tell.

4.5 Poison Apples 

Excerpt

“There’s no reason for you to be jealous of Hutch. He gave me a few kisses, that’s all.”

He dropped her hand, turned, and started back toward the office. Hutch’s truck was still here. He would kill the little fucker and that would teach him. He would torture him first. Hutch liked computers. Wade would see how much he liked them when they were shoved hard up his ass.

“Wade.” Genny ran after him, her laughter a musical sound he didn’t want to hear right now. “Wade, come on. I was joking. He let me raid his desk for chocolate. Those kind of kisses. Please don’t murder him.”

He stopped, completely embarrassed. He hadn’t been thinking. She was used to being around a man who took out his temper on her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

She grinned up at him, her hand on his arm. “You didn’t scare me. Why would you… Wade, I know you’re not Brock. I’ve always known that. I’m not terrified of all men. Hell, I’m not afraid of Big Tag. He’s kind of funny once you let him know where the boundaries are.”

“You gave Tag boundaries?” He’d been afraid to leave her alone with Ian. Not because he thought Ian would hurt her, but because he could be intimidating at times. Now that he thought about it, Big Tag was actually perfect for Genny to start practicing her newfound sass on because he would like her more if she gave him hell.

“Very firm ones, but I also offered him something in exchange. We’re going to get along fine, Tag and I. And Hutch and I are only ever going to be friends. He talks way too much about Game of Thrones, but he does have a lot of candy so it evens out to a nice friendship.” She moved her hand up to his shoulder. “I’m not interested in Hutch, but there is this guy who works in the office I am interested in.”

His whole body went on full alert. He had things to tell her, things that were important, but was here really the place to do that? Here was the place to talk about work things and who she was interested in. Interested in seeing? Interested in spending more time with? “Who might that be?”

Her eyes met his, heating up. “He’s in the bodyguard unit and he told me once that if I ever want a real kiss, I should ask him.”

He could feel the erection coming on like a runaway locomotive. He’d spent the last few months going without. The scene at Sanctum had gotten boring for him. At first it had been filled with excitement, but watching all his friends settle down had made him look at his life in a different way. Having Genny back in it made him absolutely sure he didn’t want casual sex. He wanted a woman who belonged to him, who he belonged to. He wanted disgusting, nasty, utterly committed sex. “Then you should definitely ask.”

“Wade, will you kiss me?”

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

 

 

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