C.J. Pinard is a fan and author of bad-boy romances, and her Imperfect Heroes series is no different. ABOVE PROTECTION is the first book of the series, with novella Antihero as it’s prequel. If a bearded, muscular Neanderthal ex-Marine, whose protective hands you are in, but who can be as cold as ice one minute, but as HOT as fire the next floats your boat then you’re in for a wild adventure of lust and action!
Author: C.J. Pinard
Genre: Contemporary romance, military romance
Release date: March 30th, 2016
Length: 185 pages
Blurb: He’s bearded, angry, highly trained, and has a job to do.
She’s the damsel in distress who’s smarter than she looks, and doesn’t want anyone’s help.
Could it be they both need something neither will admit to? Fate fuelled by the laws of attraction may just decide for them.
I didn’t ask for this. I was just doing my job, and they have the nerve to put me on a Witness Protection detail? This is crap. I’ll do my assignment, then go back to my job and what I love – kicking ass and taking names. I hadn’t spent 6 years in the Marine Corps to be put on babysitting duty once I’d joined the FBI. The witness they assigned me to, Rayanne, is an annoying, brainless blonde with a sassy mouth and a body that belonged on a website you had to pay to access. Not that I noticed or anything.
I can look after myself. I don’t need anyone’s help, and the government is being ridiculous for putting me in the Witness Protection Program. I’ll testify against my former bosses and then go back to my life as a single girl in the big city. I love my career as a paralegal, and once this Neanderthal they’d assigned to babysit me was out of my life, I’ll go back to it. I just wish he wasn’t so easy on the eyes. The beard, hard body, and that voice. Why couldn’t they have sent me someone ugly – and nice? Because Duke is neither of those things.
REVIEW ***** (5* rating)
Excitingly told from both points of view, Above Protection is a quick-paced, contemporary bad-boy romance read. The reader is met with Duke Hawthorne, ex-Marine-turned-FBI agent who has been dishing out a little more muscle than is expected of him, leaving him with an ultimatum after receiving three strikes for excessive behaviour; he can either allow Internal Affairs to carry out an investigation into these complaints – which will be long, drawn out and ongoing, or he can carry out one case of Witness Protection Duty.
Duke could do without the babysitting duty but, what the hell, one job and it will be over! On first sight he expects his female blonde bombshell of a witness to be vulnerable and ‘scared sh*tless’. He immediately notices her beauty and hot body, yet within an instant he turns on the professionalism. But, there are some surprises in store for Duke, and some twists in the story for the reader, making for some action further on in more ways than one!
Rayanne has felt like a part of the family with her employers, and struggles to believe what they have been charged with. She doesn’t need protecting surely? However, as she has been receiving some harrowing threats it becomes clear that she needs protection just in case the threats become a reality. She has been betrayed, and if she can make it through the trial she doesn’t even know how she will make ends meet, and/or if she will be employable.
Rayanne is aware of Duke’s mood, just as she is his masculinity and a fire he ignites inside her. She is flirtatious with him on and off, although Duke doesn’t seem to be the playful type. His stand-offish bad, bossy attitude doesn’t impress Rayanne. That said, there is something about his coldness that plays on her mind, and deep down she knows his sombre manner means that he is doing his job in protecting her.
When the characters share moments of HOT lust early on, it is so hot and cold in a flash the reader will question whether these two really are compatible, which adds to the fun. Duke does turn pretty cold at times, which will leave you tearing your hair out, and being annoyed with him. In his personal life he has to deal with nightmares from his time in the marines, and he is well aware that he is an a**hole to women, leaving them hanging on, but never keeping anyone close. There are times when you probably won’t like him at all. But bear with, and as the pace of the story quickens with a turn of events I’m sure you’ll come round!
A copy of Above Protection was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
You can also check out our review of the Imperfect Heroes prequel, Antihero here. (Please note that both can be read as stand-alones, and the various author box set that is advertised with Antihero is no longer available, however, you can purchase the Antihero novella in it’s own right on Amazon US and Amazon UK)