Title: The Protector
Author: Cooper West
Narrator: Paul Morey
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 8 hours and 47 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (11-25-14)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
Blurb: Guardsmen are always matched in a bonded pair. The Protector can shift into a weredog, and the human partner is his Handler. They are incredibly rare and highly valued, but people also fear them for their mystical abilities. No Protector in living memory has outlived his Handler—until Alex Taylor.
Now a widower, Alex lives a lonely half-life and faces day after day of grief with no hope for happiness in the future. When he unexpectedly bonds with the young and vibrant Handler Marcus Stephanek, Alex is angry and unwilling to leave the memory of his former Handler behind.
He pushes Marcus away and tries to distance himself from their bond. But then a mysterious villain who has been secretly shadowing Alex for years sets his plan in motion. Alex and Marcus must learn to trust their bond and love each other, or risk not only their own lives but also the lives of those closest to them.
Product Link(s): http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Protector-Audiobook/B00Q3G7DO6
Review: Alex Taylor was the youngest Protector in the history of the Guardsman to manifest his abilities at just eight years old. He’s always known who he was and what his destiny was, and knew exactly who Theo was, his bond mate, his Handler. After surviving the death of his Handler, Alex is lost and for the first time in his life, doesn’t know who he is anymore without Theo.
Highly accomplished Handler Marcus Stephanek is an anomaly as well at the ripe old age of twenty-six, he has yet to bond with a Protector. He has more degrees and accolades than anyone else his age and yet, he’s unfulfilled in his life without his bond mate. Fate has a funny way of answering your prayers, and Marcus is certain he’s been screwed when he bonds with Alex Taylor.
Alex goes out of his way to avoid Marcus and try to push him out of his life, he feels like he is betraying the memory of Theo to even entertain the thought of a life with another Handler. Marcus bends, sways, and takes it all in stride, as much as he can, in an effort to prove to Alex that they can be a successful team. Handler and Protector, bond mates, partners, lovers, and friends.
This was a very emotional, angst filled story of how life continues to evolve and change and even the deepest-rooted traditions continually evolve, especially when science and man stick their fingers in the pot. As the story progress, you learn that Alex, Theo, Marcus and so many more are just pawns in one man’s sick and twisted attempt at fame and glory.
But the core of the story is the relationship between Marcus and Alex, how they go from angry bond mates to friends and eventually, lovers. How they get past their own ideals and visions of what their life is or were supposed to be, and learn to make their own life together.
My biggest, well my only complaint about this story was the angst. There were a few times I wanted to bang my head against the wall, or bang Alex and Marcus’s heads together, at the very least! But the society that West created with the Guardsman and the Institute, the history and the science was spectacular.
This was basically a dystopian novel in my opinion with the way everything was conveyed and written, and I love a good dystopian novel. The push and pull between Alex and Marcus was all-encompassing, all be it annoying, but when they finally stopped fighting and started working together, they were lethal.
Morey’s narration was spot on as usual. I could actually feel the pain in Marcus’s voice as he tried everything he could think of to break down the tough exterior Alex has placed around his heart since Theo’s death. Only to be tripped around every corner. Lots of drama, emotion, angst, and action make up the words of this odd romance.
Definitely a must listen though. I was completely captivated by the world West created from start to finish, to spite wanting to spank Alex and Marcus a time or two.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *