The Protector by NL Gassert
Seventh Window Publications
Gay / Contemporary
ISBN: 0971708967, 978-0971708969
Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Former Army Ranger Mason Ward isn’t too happy when an FBI friend asks him to do what amounts to a babysitting job.  He’s even less happy to see the young man he’s supposed to be watching—a sexy young redhead who’s secretive, argumentative, and entirely too fond of alcohol and partying for his own good.  Despite his annoyance, he’s determined to do his job.  He doesn’t expect it to get complicated in more ways than one.

Soren Buchanan is in hiding, both from his ruthless crime boss father and his on-again, off-again girlfriend Jolina, who just happens to be a terrorist.  When he tried to break it off with her and received a beating from his father as a warning not to, he fled and went into hiding.  To his surprise, he’s attracted to the big, brooding man who’s assigned to protect him.  With his father’s goons after him and secrets weighing him down, can he and Mason survive long enough to explore the attraction between them?

The Protector is an action-packed roller coaster of a book.  Mason is the strong, silent type, and I really liked the way he dealt with Soren, who initially came across as a spoiled brat.  As the story progressed, however, I began to like Soren more and empathize with him.  After a lifetime of abuse and having his dreams ridiculed, it took a while for him to learn to make decisions on his own, and trust himself.  The Protector features some well-written suspense, especially near the end.  Squeamish readers should probably use caution before picking up this book, as it also features considerable violence, as well as a bit of drug use.  Those who like mafia / law enforcement stories will find a lot to like in NL Gassert’s first novel.  While it may not have been the most realistic novel I’ve read recently, as a fun and diverting escape The Protector kept me entertained and interested from page one.

     

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