Title: Out to Protect
Author: Amber Skyze
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: 102 pages
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: This book had great potential, but unraveled in the middle and never did recover.
Someone is killing prostitutes and Grant Wesson has been assigned to find out who the killer is. Problem is he just came out to his best friend and partner. Ralph didn’t take it so well, so Grant’s been reassigned to the new kid on the block, Parker Townsend.
Parker is young, sexy and very much in the closet. Grant fights the growing attraction he’s feeling for his new partner, until Parker changes things up. He wants to break the rules and have sex with his new partner.
Against his better judgment, Grant agrees. It’s the hottest sex either of them has ever had, but it’s a distraction. The killer has Grant in his sights. Parker promises to protect him, but it’s his heart that needs protecting.
I love a good GFY/OFY book, throw in a few cops, a serial killer…and really, it’s the perfect read for me. I had high hopes for Out to Protect by Amber Skyze when I read the blurb. Unfortunately, despite my love of the tropes I discussed, this novella just did not deliver.
Grant Wesson is having a bad week. First, he came out to his homophobic partner with disastrous results. Second, a serial killer is murdering prostitutes. And third, he’s now got to break in a new partner he’s trying very hard not to be attracted to. I hate to tell Grant, but it’s only going to get worse from here.
Out to Protect has everything I love in a m/m romance book:
1.) Closeted cop – check
2.) Cop partners in lust – check
3.) Serial killers threatening our heroes – check
4.) Homophobic co-workers who might/might not be crazy killer – check
You’d think with all my kink buttons checked, I’d be rolling in the love, but Out to Protect had some very real issues that made this a low-star read. I can hand-wave the incorrect police procedure which made an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit look realistic, but it was the utter lack of common sense by any of the cops in this book that did me in. For example, if I think my former partner might be a crazed serial killer, I don’t think I am going to meet him alone somewhere and if I did, I’d be armed to the teeth. So with two main characters who seemed Too Stupid To Live, I lost all respect for them.
Throw in a confusing murder-mystery plot, two dimensional secondary characters and BDSM-themed sexual exploits which came out of nowhere and I was mystified. The book felt like it was meant to go in one direction (Gay For You) love story, but instead got confused and went in another (whodunnit-thriller). The other down side? Neither Parker or Grant were very likable protagonists. I could have excused all the other issues, but when it came down to the nitty gritty, I just didn’t like either man.
I do not like giving negative reviews, and since this is the first book I’ve read by this author, I am going to hope it was a fluke and recommend you pass on it and try another title by her.