Serve and Protect by Shelly Connors

71T9BmJsDLL._SL1500_Title: Serve and Protect
Series: Serve and Protect, #1
Author: Shelly Connors
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: Novel (184 pages)
Publisher: Publish Green (September 17, 2014)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: It’s been five years since twins Kolby and Kaleb Bailey moved north from Texas. Kolby trying to escape her abusive husband and Kaleb trying to get out of a corrupt business partnership. Detectives Dean Davis and R.J. Kennedy live and breathe their job, and as partners they spend most of their time together working. The twins and detectives lives intersect when R.J. forces Dean to go on a double date with him and they decide to take their dates to the Baileys’ restaurant.

Here to Serve is a different kind of establishment that has great food and dancing. On the Friday night of their double date R.J. and Dean both find something that they didn’t realize they were looking for. A confrontation with a disgruntled patron, and one of the Here to Serve employees being beaten in the parking lot, leads to the Baileys seeing a whole lot more of the detectives.

Even though R.J. and Dean aren’t working the case, they can’t seem to keep their hands out of it. One accident leads to another and then to tragedy, but through it all Kolby and Kaleb continue to run their restaurant while trying to help their friend, Jason, recover from his beating and his loss. As Jason lies in a coma his world is turned upside down while the detectives work to find out who put him in the hospital.

Sifting through the evidence causes both the twins and detectives to deal with past and present emotions. Can Kolby separate R.J. Kennedy, the handsome detective, from her abusive husband? Can R.J. come to terms with his past and move forward into a relationship with Kolby? They both have their reasons for trying to stay far away from each other, but sometimes the sparks between them are too much of a pull to be avoided.

Detective Dean Davis moved north from Atlanta after his co-workers found him at a gay bar and decided they didn’t agree with his alternative lifestyle. After his experience in Atlanta, Dean hasn’t told anyone his secret and keeping it was easy until meeting Kaleb Bailey. Kaleb let his interest in Dean be known and the feeling is mutual. If Dean succumbs to his feelings, will he get the same treatment he received in Atlanta? If he shares his secret with R.J. will he lose his friendship and respect?

The group of strangers is brought together for a reason, but it takes loss in order for them to find the courage to move forward and understand why it’s so important.

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Reviewer: Portia

Review: Usually, I would start with a brief retelling of the story. But, while R.J. and Dean have the most page time, they are not the only main characters.

Serve and Protect is an unusual story, in that it is more of an ensemble piece than a traditional romance.

Basically, best friends fall for fraternal twins. None of them are looking for romance, but literally from first sight, they just click. All have to work through some issue to take a chance. And other than a couple of on page kisses, it’s pretty mild in the sex department.

You would think that with all the subplots going on, Serve and Protect would get a little messy, plot wise. Shelly Connors did an excellent job with both pacing and twisting to keep my interest. Truth be told, the typos and formatting errors in the first couple chapters were distracting. But, by chapter five, I was too invested in the story line. My inner Autocorrect kicked in and I really can’t remember but a handful of errors after that point.

All in all this was an excellent debut novel. Enough romance to be interesting, but also enough suspense to be thoroughly engaging.

As I’ve said before, one of the best parts of this gig is finding new authors. Shelly Connors has a strong voice and I look forward to more from this series and other titles from her in the future.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *