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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas

The Protector - Jodi Ellen Malpas

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

To the outside world, Cami has lived a charmed life with a multi-millionaire father providing for her every whim.
Jake lost his parents very young in a terrorist attack and grew up to become a SAS sniper.
They both have their fair share of demons and are still fighting them but once they're forced together, they just might make it home.
This isn't just about her needing me. This is more me needing her. Young, strong-minded, determined and brave.
I'm mad for her. I need to keep her. I need to protect her.

The Protector is a stand-alone novel with the classic pairing of spoiled rich girl and rough, hard-hearted alpha man, except Cami is trying to escape an abusive ex and move on from a drug and alcohol fueled past and Jake is battling guilt, panic attacks, and his attraction for his client. I liked how the story started off from Jake's point of view; it gave it a fresh grittier spin. The first person povs between Cami and Jake eventually switch back and forth equally, this isn't usually my favorite format because of the stop and go jerk this can cause but the flow between povs and scenes was spot-on, so I didn't mind it.
The attraction between Cami and Jake is immediate and I liked how their sexual tension manifested itself into sassy dialogue between the two. However, I did think the tone crossed over into insta-lust, instead of just attraction, one too many times and we had our hero losing focus, in possibly dangerous situations, because of a throbbing in his pants. The middle part and around the 60% mark kind of dragged for me as thoughts of banging each other took over everything. Jake was hired as bodyguard for Cami because of threats against her, the life and danger and sexual aspects didn't quite gel together harmoniously.
Most of the action is saved for the latter half of the book and for a storyline that is the whole purpose of Jake and Cami even being together, it ended up feeling extremely rushed and cobbled together; comes up and is dealt with fairly quickly. There were a couple inconsistencies with Jake being able to track Cami through GPS but her uber rich father, who is said to be very controlling, isn't able to? Little niggles like this along with the danger to Cami ignored at times and secondary characters feeling a bit shallow, gave a lack of solidity to the action part of the story.
Really though, the action is usually only meant to be a side course in stories like this and our main dish of Cami and Jake's relationship is enough to satisfy. Cami's past makes appearances but Jake's is what provides the most turmoil, with readers not learning the depth of his pain until more towards the end. This also has one of the most complete, if a bit sappy, endings in this serial and series crazy market that many will cherish. There are twists, turns, and revelations in this story that I don't want to spoil but if you're looking for a heated romance or just misplaced your copy of the movie The Bodyguard, you wouldn't go wrong picking this one up.