Thursday, 11 June 2009

Review – Protect and Defend – Francesca Hawley

 

 

 

 

 

Back Of The Book

Mikaela Laughlin discovers a whole new world, and an entirely new species, when she tours the crime lab to meet Lieutenant Diarmid Redwolf while researching her next book. She’s lusted after “Delicious Diarmid” from afar for a long time, but meeting him sets her body on fire. It doesn’t take long for Mikaela to discover there’s more to Diarmid than meets the eye. He is far more delicious up close than she ever dreamed.

Diarmid has bad guys to catch, but one look at the voluptuous writer has him wanting to catch her instead. His shapeshifter blood recognizes his True Mate and he wants her naked body arching beneath his. Now. But with a cold-blooded serial killer on the loose, Diarmid has one shot at his future and he will not fail. Because this time, the killer wants Mikaela.

 

 

 

Review

Characters

Diarmid Redwolf – Strong, determined and single minded when it comes to his responsibility. Having loved and lost and surviving – he is not prepared when true mate comes a calling.

Mikaela Laughlin – Author, professional, daughter and friend, has a huge crush on the one person she dared not hope to wish for. Loved by all who comes into contact with her, she had a spark to her that is not easily hidden and it’s little wonder Diar keeps her on a very short lease.

 

The Plot

Mikaela has gotten two of her wishes rolled into one when she gets the chance to visit a crime lab. Not only was she going to see first hand info that will help her in her writing, but she will be up close and personal with Diarmid Redwolf or '”Delicious Diarmid” has she called him in her mind.

Everything goes better than expected when she meets him – with her getting the chance of a lifetime offered to her. At the end of the day Mikaela soon realise that it’s actually the beginning of something else as Diar is just as caught up in her magic as she is in his.

The story is just beginning as Diar past is still chasing him and Mikaela may have just become his next target, as well as Mikaela past also has some missing pieces and Diar is clearly not happy about it.

 

“Sorry,” he muttered.

“No problem.” She glanced at his kit. “You weren’t kidding about keeping it stocked were you?”

“No, Mikaela, I wasn’t.” Diarmid raised a red-gold brow at her as his lips twisted into a wicked smile. “I keep my weapon clean and ready for use whenever it’s needed too. You’re welcome to inspect it at length if you’d like.”

Miki blushed a fiery red from his suggestive banter, almost tripping up the stairs as they climbed the steps to the entrance.

“Yeah. Um… Right. I’ll take your word for it, Diarmid.” Miki could almost visualize his weapon ready for use and had to look away when he chuckled at her as he pulled open the entry door to allow her to precede him.

“Too bad. I was looking forward to showing it to you.”

His gravelly voice sent chills down her spine making her clit throb in response. Damn him, he was enjoying this. She stopped to slug him in the shoulder before breezing past him through the doors. His laughter echoed behind her.

Half a dozen cops stared at her as if she had two heads when Diarmid followed her inside. He tossed the garbage into a trash can, motioning her toward the elevators. Miki sucked down the last of her shake and threw it away. She glanced around the lobby. Miki had the impression the cops in view wondered how she was still alive after whacking him. She raised her brows at one or two of them. They looked away, pretending they had other business to conduct. She shook her head.

“Do they think you’re a god or something?” Miki asked curiously after the elevator doors closed behind them.

“No, but I do outrank them.”

“Your rank wasn’t the reason they looked at me like I’d just taken my life in my hands by smacking you, though I think you will admit you deserved it.”

Miki turned to him. Diarmid pressed the stop button, set his kit on the floor and stalked her into the corner of the elevator.

“All I did was offer to let you inspect my weapon.”

Protect and Defend © Francesca Hawley

 

Surprise Element

I think I have gotten jaded sometimes with all these shifter books – for every so very many shifter books i sometimes am lucky to find one that easy demands a space on my shelf.

Ms. Hawley is a new to me author and i found her writing style to be easy – very edgy with an underlying element of fun. It has a “expect the jack to jump out of the box at any minute” feel and this sort of tension filled expectation continued a good way through the book. I really like it and it was a pleasure to be surprised. 

 

Predictability

Yes there are some predictability – without even the pheromones in the picture – boy meet girl or girl meet boy and the sparks leads them forward. Ms. Hawley however gave her wolves there lead to live, to love to carve a path for themselves.

I like the directions, the genetics and history of  these wolfs. Every author brings their own style to a heavily subscribed subgenre – but i must admit i liked Ms. Hawley’s wolfs – they are very attractive – in every way.

 

Smut/Ick Factor

Yes, Yeah, Yup and more – no word to describe how hot it was – see for yourself…

“Mikaela?”
“Yes, Diarmid?”
“Where is your bedroom?”
Miki chuckled. Diar’s voice was raspy with need and his erection pressed against
her lower belly. It was definitely bigger than his gun. “Let me lead you there,
Lieutenant, then you can provide your weapon for my inspection. After I inspect it, I’ll
help you holster it.”
Miki raised a brow at him, making him grin wickedly. “It will be my pleasure, Ms.
Laughlin.” Diar kissed her hard and quick before motioning her to lead the way.

Protect and Defend © Francesca Hawley

“Don’t go.”
“I’ll never leave you, Mikaela,” Diar promised her with the fervor of a religious
vow. “Only death will ever take me from you.”
“Then you can never die, Diarmid.”
“I guess I won’t then, will I?” He chuckled softly and covered her mouth once more,
delving deep and exulting when she actively began to tease him back. Meanwhile, his
hands found the softness of her ribs and traced his fingertips over the flesh, making her
shiver.

Protect and Defend © Francesca Hawley

What else can i say after that, but – more please…...

 

Positive

Straight off in this book, i love ‘The Moment” when the sparks flew – for about the first twenty pages i was glued to the pages in anticipation – i really expected these two be getting it on and right quick – sparks definately flew.

The characters were fully develop with a nice little back history and a whole lot of why and how they worked, not only in the environ they were in but with the support cast they interact with.

Diar – Was set in his ways. Not known for having a congenial attitude, Mikki brought out all his natural instinct to the service and he took it in his stride. He was not only considerate of the fact that he needed to approach Mikki with care but he knew how to deal a firm hand as well.

Mikki -  A very strong protag. I love the fact that she was strong, she remain strong and she took no rift when she needed satisfaction. As arrogant an Alpha as Diar was – he really had no clout with Mikki. Mikki in one word – Trouble.

The support cast were fun, there was alot of them and they were quite likable. I must admit i felt some were really strong and i hope Ms. Hawley has plans for them – some scene was all about the support cast and how life changes would affect them – very strong personalities.

A sarcastic humour was to be found in this book and this was so my kind of humour – I had a good laugh at and with these people – their antics, their mannerism and there attitude to whatever pissed them off at the moment.

The crime lab set up and introduction to Diar's world was a nice touch, the people he was closet to, the people who cares about him – it was good to see them closing ranks and feeling out Mikki – to see if she was worthy. The whole scene with Diar’s co-workers was one of the major highlights of the book.

One major positive about Ms. Hawley's wolves was the fact that she really went out on a limb to sell her creations – a full history was given, from birth to death, i knew the life cycle of these wolves and how they integrated themselves into “human” society.

These wolves has an understated grace to them that allows them to be found in the quietest of setting to the most upscale setting – but thy also had to work hard to contain the primitive nature of the wolf within them that chooses “his” moment to growl and he did alot of growling.

There was a good pace to this book. It wasn’t rush through – but it had it’s moments where it went just as fast as my heartbeat - racing.

I thought the suspense was really well presented. This wasn’t a who done it with loads of thinking trying to sort it out. This was good old fashion and hunt and chase and i loved it.

 

Bottom Line..

From the first line of this book I was hooked, I barely raised my head enough to take a breath before I was finished. PROTECT AND DEFEND has a plot you can sink your teeth into and with as much as the pheromones made an entrance, Ms. Hawley gave the protags a big enough bone to play with and kept them occupied long enough to sort out the finer points of their relationship.

A read with angsty issues, lots of regret, apologies,satisfaction and more over a read that left me with a smile and hoping for more from Ms. Hawley.

 

Negative

Can  i say the dreaded pheromones here – I love wolf shifter books but the hunt and the hurt that are a part of the make up of forming a strong relationship, the pheromones takes that away.

I was a little thrown off by how easily Mikki accepted shifters in her life – not that i accepted her to tear her hair out, but a calm discussion was not expected  either.

 

Cover.

It’s a hot cover, there is no denying that. With the wolf in the background and a whole lot of chest hairs on display – toss in the badge and i am set.

 

8 Speak To Me:

Munk on 11 June 2009 at 19:58 said...

Love Shifters and that is one hott cover! Can't wait to check it out!

Blodeuedd on 11 June 2009 at 20:47 said...

Love the review, especially since you enjoyed the book so much.
But yes, if someone told me that, calm discussion no, thinking he was crazy yes...and then shock

Sassy Brit on 12 June 2009 at 09:22 said...

Hi! :)

You have an award to pick up!

http://tjbook-list.blogspot.com/2009/06/awards-for-ar-lemonade-award.html

Have a great day. Good review, by the way. (Oh, I rhyme!)

Take care,

Sassy
:)

Erotic Horizon on 12 June 2009 at 13:44 said...

Munk.

This one does have a hot cover, the story is just as hot..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 12 June 2009 at 13:45 said...

Blodeuedd...

You so get it, as much as I read shifter stories and vampire - not sure how I would react if I came face to face with them...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 12 June 2009 at 13:46 said...

Thanks Sassy...

I will be over to collect....

E.H>

Francesca Hawley on 12 June 2009 at 18:02 said...

I'm really glad you enjoyed my book. Thanks for the great review!

Francesca Hawley

Erotic Horizon on 12 June 2009 at 19:44 said...

Hello Francesca

Welcome to my home on the net - Protect was Defend was a thrilling read.. it was pleasure reading it.

Thanks
E.H>