Title: Vengeance (The Protectors #4)
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Release Date: October 4th 2016
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
At thirty-four years old, ex-DEA agent Memphis Wheland has lived, loved and lost…everything. The ultimate betrayal by the man he gave everything to has left Memphis with no family, no career and a bone deep bitterness that refuses to release him from its icy grip. His work with an underground vigilante organization is the only light in his otherwise bleak existence. That and the occasional no-strings hookup with men whose only focus in that moment, and for as long as Memphis wants them, is him and only him. No clingy exes, no unrequited love, no relationship drama. Period.
Because Memphis has one rule that he won’t break for anyone or anything. He doesn’t share.
Now if only someone had told that to the young man who would come into his life in the most unexpected way…
With his entire life ahead of him, graduate student Brennan Devereaux wasn’t expecting it to change in the blink of an eye. But when a case of mistaken identity nearly costs Brennan his life, it isn’t just his future that’s about to change, but his past too. Because for years he’s been in love with a young man who only sees him as a friend and nothing more. And while he was content to love Tristan Barretti from afar, he hadn’t expected to be drawn to the mysterious stranger who saved his life and changed it with a simple promise.
I’m not letting you go.
They were words spoken in the heat of the moment as the darkness of death had threatened to claim him, but even as Brennan’s love for Tristan refuses to wane, his need for the intriguing Memphis Wheland continues to grow.
But any relationship with Memphis means he has to let go of the one thing in his life he’s always valued above everything else…
At nineteen, Tristan Barretti should have had the world at his feet. His musical gifts have garnered him prestige as well as admission to the famed Julliard School in New York and he has a family that most people would kill for. But the protective bubble his fathers have kept him in has burst and he’s discovered that life outside his unconditionally loving family isn’t as accepting of a kid born with HIV. A poor decision to find answers to questions better left unasked, along with the complications of living with his disease, have Tristan returning to Seattle and the solace of his family.
And to the young man he’s wanted from the time he was barely old enough to even understand what that meant.
But with an uncertain future that leaves him nothing to offer the gorgeous and successful Brennan Devereaux, Tristan knows the best he can hope for is to keep building on the friendship they’ve shared for years and not get his hopes up that Brennan will be the one man who sees him and not his disease.
Except all bets are off when danger follows him home…
Even though a physical relationship with Brennan was supposed to be just that, Memphis finds himself unable to refuse his young lover’s request to help put a stop to the threat against Tristan. Even knowing full well that Brennan’s heart lies with the man he claims is nothing more than a friend, Memphis accepts the challenge of ensuring Tristan’s safety.
But when the quiet music student stops being a “job” and starts being something much more, Memphis is torn between his growing feelings for both young men and the fear that he’ll be facing an even greater betrayal that he’ll never be able to come back from.
Except none of that matters when the threat that Memphis never saw coming puts Brennan and Tristan in the crosshairs.
And the cost of the vengeance he once craved suddenly comes at too high a price…
Dissenting opinion ahead!
Ugh…not my favorite book by the author, I’m afraid. This was one of those cases that I would have prefered the story to not be MMM. Had it been just Memphis and Brennan, which is exactly what it was until 20%, I would have liked it much better.
We already know that Brennan has been in love with Tristan Barretti for a long time. But after Memphis saved him, he started crushing hard on him too, and the feelings were mutual. Despite the insta-love central, I loved these two together; they had real chemistry, a very strong connection, and the sex was so very hot. But Memphis had demonds (and stupid rules), so he couldn’t give himself to someone.
Enter Tristan, and that’s where the story started falling apart for me. Tristan is very young (only 19 years old), and acts stupidly, which is the excuse that brought the three of them together. Tristan’s connection with Memphis was way too insta….something. The kind of thing that creates electricity the first time people touch, you know?
After that, it is one tragedy after the other. Too many external events, too little relationship development, too much sex! Which is not a bad thing, when it’s not all there is. The only time these three were together as a threesome, was when they were having sex.
The villain (the second one)….man, he was not just a villain. He was the devil himself, staight from hell! And I don’t even know what his presence had to offer.
And then 80% happened. I STRONGLY advise you to NOT read the spoiler below, if you ‘re planning on reading the book. I tried not to include it, but there’s no way around it.
- On page rape of one of the MCs, part of which the other one was witnessed, totally manufactured and out of nowhere, from someone who we didn’t even know that posed a threat anymore. I felt that the only purpose this served, was to tear the MCs apart, before they even try to be together.
I really wish that authors would stop using rape as a plot device. I really do.
This left such a bad taste in my mouth, that the ending didn’t make it better. In fact, there were some holes, like
- how did Tristan get back together with Memphis before seeking Brennan out?
One thing I have to mention, though, especially after the editing issues we see in self-published books lately, is that despite the number of secondary characters, I didn’t notice a name swap. Not even once! Kudos for that.
Anyway, that’s my two cents. I’m definitely the minority. The reviews are mostly positive, just didn’t work out for me.