Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 (cbriii) #14 "The Protector" by Marliss Melton

I was so disappointed when I finished reading Sizzle that I immediately got on my phone and downloaded The Protector (2011) by Marliss Melton to my kindle. Not only am I thrilled that I can sit in my apartment (that does not have an internet connection) and instantly get a hold of any book I want to read at any time of day or night (I just recently bought my smartphone and my kindle, so it's still very exciting), but I also found The Protector to be much more entertaining than my previous endeavor. Perhaps I prefer some of her earlier novels, but at least it wasn't a disappointment.

Eryn McClellan teaches English at a school in Washington, D.C. Her father is head of the armed services over in the middle east. So, when the enemy takes a personal vendetta against her father for killing his son, and makes her a target of extremist groups over in the United States, Eryn is put in danger. The FBI is watching over Eryn, but the man in charge of the investigation is unethical, arrogant and incompetent. He uses Eryn as bait to draw out the extremists without much regard for her safety. Her father calls on a soldier he's worked with in the past to take Eryn away from the FBI and protect her himself. This soldier is Isaac Calhoun, who is haunted by a firefight gone bad that killed most of his team.

This book had interesting characters that actually grew and interacted throughout the book. The "bad guys" could have been incredibly annoying stereotypes, but I was impressed that Melton gave each of them a little background. Melton could have made the good and bad lines very black and white, but I appreciate that she took the time to delve into actual personalities and motives.

However, there were also some disappointments. The ending and drama forcing Eryn and Ike apart near the end of the book felt forced, unrealistic, and unnecessary. It also drove me crazy when Eryn and Ike descend from the top of a tree by sliding down a rope together. Anyone who has done anything on a rope would know that sliding down a rope tears your hands up like crazy. You wouldn't do it unless you didn't have any other choice. And two people sliding down a rope like that just sounds awkward. Also, if I remember correctly, the couple made love on top of a rock at the end of the book. That would be incredibly uncomfortable--even if the rock had some moss on it. The only thing I could think about was his knees and her butt. These are pretty minor pet peeves, however. On the whole, I enjoyed reading this one and I'll be looking for Melton's next novel.

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