Title: Salvation (The Protectors #2)
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Release Date: May 13th 2016
Page Count: 358
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Trauma surgeon Ronan Grisham lost everything the day the man he loved was stolen from him in a brutal attack. Driven by a thirst for vengeance, he turns his hatred into building an underground group that can do what he couldn’t that fateful day…take the lives of the guilty to save the lives of the innocent. But years later, he’s forced to confront the one link to his past that he can’t sever.
Seven years after the loss of his parents in a violent home invasion that left him permanently scarred both inside and out, 21-year-old Seth Nichols is trying to put his life back together so he can take over the reins of his father’s global shipping empire. But the last person he expects to come back into his life is the man he drove away with one innocent, stolen kiss.
With one brush of his lips, Seth managed to do to Ronan what no other had since the day Ronan watched the light in his fiancé’s eyes go out forever. He made him need again. But Ronan can’t need anyone, least of all his dead fiancé’s younger brother. Because even one touch from Seth could shatter Ronan’s carefully constructed world and Ronan knows there’s no coming back from that a second time.
But when a series of escalating attacks against Seth forces Ronan back into his life, Seth knows it’s his last chance to show Ronan he can be the man the broken surgeon needs. Only the Ronan who returns isn’t the Ronan Seth fell in love with so long ago…
Can Seth be Ronan’s salvation or will he end up destroying them both?
I can’t even begin to tell you how torn I am about this book. I went back and fourth with my rating a hundred times. I’ll settle with 3.5 stars, because by the end of the book my few niggles became too big to overlook, but note that I did enjoy this a lot, and I’m really looking forward to the next installment.
The Ronan we meet in Salvation is nothing like the one we met in Absolution. I loved that. We get to see how he became such a cold, heartless bastard, after he lost his partner, Trace. At first, he made me mad because he kept letting Seth down again and again. And again. But I couldn’t really hold it against him because his reasons were valid.
And that’s something that happened a lot. The character’s actions would piss me off, but a few pages later, everything made sense. For instance, I thought that Seth was a damsel in distress at first, but later on it became clear that he’s no doormat.
Seth is Trace’s little brother. Needless to say, it’s not that easy for Ronan to just give in to his feeling about his dead partner’s brother. But he will.
The sex is extra dirty. Like “hands tied behind your back with a belt” dirty. Or sex “while hanging from a coat hook” dirty. You get the picture. Oh, and Seth was a virigin.
The mystery was nice, although I saw the resolution coming from a mile away. There were many emotional scenes, especially when Ronan started breaking down, that I liked a lot.
And a great cameo from Mace, Jonas, and Cole. It was nice seeing them again.
What didn’t work for me:
There’s a lot of “magic dick” involved. Ronan feels “broken”, and Seth “could actually start putting him back together”. And Ronan does the same for Seth. That’s a big no for me. I believe 100% that a supportive partner can make it better, but no dick can “cure” anxiety or PTSD caused by abuse.
Seth’s reaction when he learnt who Ronan really is.
- You just can’t accept and applaud the fact that you partner is a killer and leads “an underground syndicate that seeks to get justice for the innocent by taking the lives of the guilty”, just like that, without even being shocked.
Like in Absolution, I felt that the MC’s internal monologues took too much space and became repetitive.
Overall, this was a good story that reads easily despite the heavy content. I didn’t like it as much as I liked the first book in the series, but I still enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to Hawke’s story.