One to Protect - Tia Louise

Monday, April 28, 2014

One to Protect - Tia Louise
WARNING: Recommended for adult readers (18+) only. Mature themes, strong language, and sexual content.

One scar.
One betrayal.
No escape.

When Melissa's ex-husband Sloan beats criminal charges, she stops believing he will ever pay for what he did to her. Derek Alexander can’t accept that--a tiny silver scar won't let him forget, and he is determined to get the man who hurt his fiancee.

Then a face from the past turns up dead.

After exhausting all legal options, Derek is ready to do whatever it takes to protect his family... until his partner Patrick devises a trap that changes everything.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US     |     Nook     |     Google Play     |     ARe     |     Amazon UK

My Thoughts:
Disclaimer: “One to Protect” was the continuation of “One to Hold” while it also happened before the end of “One to Keep”. Just a note, “One to Hold” and “One to Keep” were standalones though a reader must read “One to Hold” to be able to understand “One to Protect”.
Also, this novel is adult-themed. Mature readers only.

First and foremost, Tia Louise had done it again. She had written another beautifully-crafted novel. It was still as heartfelt like the previous ones she had written. I praise for her finesse as a great storyteller: knows how to pace the story, makes the flow fluid, knows how to drop a climax and to end it while asking for more; but mostly, she knows how to make a reader immerse in her novel.

Congratulations to the author, Tia Louise, since my ultimate favorite was “One to Hold” yet “One to Protect” stood so close! This was a tricky and a well-thought story. Tia Louise had used layman's terms and wrote a very detailed narrative of the scenes. The way she had written each POV was spot-on without giving away too much of the story. Once again, as a reader, I was captured by the magnificence of the story. As always, Tia Louise never fail to make me ache as the characters – I felt lost while Mel was confounded on what Derek was doing and I was frightened while Derek was just to protect his family.

As for the double POV, it had enlightened the story more. The passion, love and care that each Derek and Mel had for each other was shown here. But who was the One to Protect? Was it Mel? Dex? Derek? Patrick? Elaine? Who?

“Entangled with a mess from the past,
Haunting their future,
And fear lingering the present.
How will they overcome this?”

“One to Protect” had that suspense, thrill and heart-clutching moments. It made me sit up right on my bed, my leisure reading became an all too consuming fist-sheet-clenching reading as I swipe pages to unravel what would Derek do and what would happen to Sloan. In all honesty, I am a TV crime-drama bias and I would admit that this novel was like watching one. Though this novel dealt with such anticipation for action, it was still filled with unconditional romance. The action was there, the risks, the emotions and the reason that kept the character doing these things.

It was again Derek and Melissa’s story but now they were faced with a bigger fight. Mel's case was not yet done… Sloan was taking his time. Sloan was delaying and it was the calm before the storm.
Sloan was, if not, like a psycho. He was obsessed. Obsessed with what or obsessed with whom? I couldn't help but think it was an obsession of an idea. An idea of Mel or the physicality of Mel? But one thing was clear: Sloan had this obsession to possess. He once had Mel and it had kept him addicted to the thought of possessing Mel. The one he deemed he loved and the one who was his. He was like a victim on loose, he was needed to kept tabs with but Sloan was sneaky, rich, powerful and he had his mind set on what he wanted and he would go for it. A person with a mind like his would always seek what he wants and he would do his best to get it… especially if he knew it was his on the first place. As if Derek would not put up a fight? Mel was, is now, Derek’s and no one would change that. Yes, Mel was Sloan’s before but it already ended. Derek was also a man with a mindset like Sloan. This would be difficult, both guys were competitive and they always reach their goals. And sometimes you resort to different tactics and strategies, to protect someone.

So that the gang was back and they were stronger than ever. Mel was still that strong woman I had described in my “One to Hold” review, like Derek was still an enigma of sorts in here. There were things that changed for the better between these two. Not just the baby in the mix but also how their relationship had become. They were each other’s saving grace. When all felt like life had let them down; they found each other and everything was almost right again. It was as much as a drama-filled book as it was cloaked with romance. The book shouted “I’d do anything for love”. The sacrifice and all in-between? Amazing.

The development and progress of the story were congruent with the characters and their relationships. It showed that Mel and Derek were in a very serious relationship. They were let talking about building a future together. A path where there would be no turning back. Full-on responsibility and deciding together. That would lead there. But first, Derek must eradicate the barrier. Yes, eradicate. Intentionally or not. Then there were times that the story was all-too-consuming and I was glad Elaine and Patrick were there. They were the ice-breakers in the story. Yet, I also feared for Elaine and Patrick since they were helping Mel and Derek; they were also at risk (more so on Patrick, too).

Like at “One to Hold”, I was still mystified with Derek and it helped that he had his POVs in here. There was a heavy feeling I always encounter whenever I read Derek's POVs; that I felt trapped with his darkness yet overwhelmed by all his emotions for Melissa. He was still moving-on from his past love and he was consumed by a real and new love with Melissa. It was tougher because Mel and he were faced with a very strong opponent. I saw, felt and knew how powerful his love was at Mel especially that part when he voiced out his fear at Mel, I couldn’t remember it verbatim but Derek said that he fears a person who could take Mel away from him (that was total spoiler and swoon-alert!) not only that, consequences be damned he has a goal in mind: Mel and Dex. No questions asked and no second thoughts. He was all-in, to hold and to protect.

As for the romance, I covet every moment Derek and Mel meet. It was like a lover who was sent back from the war (no pun intended). It fills that longing. They relish the affection and the savor each moment together. The sexual tension and the intimacy were there, as powerful as ever. The fire from within was ignited and they fused not only their bodies but also their hearts and minds. The raw craving, that I mentioned back at “One to Hold”, to feel again was met and love was included in the equation, it made the story overwhelming, brilliant and beautiful.

On another note, it felt like there was more to the story. I thought about how it still had the sense of elation yet the closure was not fully-reached. Derek and Patrick still had an unfinished business. For me, I'd say he did what he had to do and it was justifiable. A piece of advice: have a great defense attorney. That aside, the problem ended all right but there were still strings attached and I couldn’t wait if there would be more or that was it. Either way, the overall story had created a great sense of balance of romance and drama.

Lastly, what I loved the most was that after reading this novel, there was something that clicked. It was the double entendre about the title. It was not to be overlooked. I literally said, ‘Oh! Oh! I get it!’ when I had the light-bulb moment and I even disclosed what I thought to Tia Louise! The title really acknowledged not only Mel and Dex but also for Derek (and Patrick). The questions were: ‘Who was the one to protect?’ and ‘Who was the one protecting?’ There were interconnections within those questions; plus the epilogue was very fulfilling.

“’It is over, we’re going to be okay.’
An assurance, a half-truth.
That was all he needed to say…
For now.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Book Trailer:

One To Protect by Tia Louise from MsKelley Kell (The Book Nuts) on Vimeo.

Check out the first two books in the series that can be read as a Stand-alone:
One to Hold (One to Hold, #1) - Tia Louise
WARNING: Mature themes, strong language and sexual content. Recommended for adult readers (18+) only!

Derek Alexander is an ex-Marine, ex-cop, and the top investigator in his field. Melissa Jones is a small-town girl trying to escape her troubled past.

When the two intersect in a bar in Arizona, their sexual chemistry is off the charts. But what is revealed during their "one week stand" only complicates matters.

Because she'll do everything in her power to get away from the past, but he'll do everything he can to hold her.

Standalone, M/F, HEA.

Purchase Links:
Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     Kobo     |     All Romance     |     Smashwords 
CreateSpace     |     Amazon

You can check out my review of the first book: One to Hold review

One to Keep (One to Hold, #2) - Tia Louise
WARNING: Mature themes, strong language and sexual content. Recommended for adult readers (18+) only!

Patrick Knight is not a nice guy.
At least, not anymore.

After a failed engagement, a one-night stand, and a random office shag, he’s sent to the desert so his business partner (Derek Alexander), can clean up his mess. Before he kicks his ass.

When Patrick meets Elaine on his desert exile, all he wants is to make her his. The problem is Elaine’s not looking for any guy—or a long-distance relationship.

Now Patrick’s doing everything he can to change her mind. And just when it seems he’s convinced her he’s the one to keep, the skeletons from his past life start coming back.

Note: Standalone, M/F, HEA

Purchase Links:
Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     Kobo     |      ARe

In the mood to read a long poem? After my review, I made a long poem about this book

Stalk the Characters of One to Hold & One to Keep:

Author Bio:
Tia Louise is a former journalist, world-traveler, and collector of beautiful men (who inspire ALL of her stories... *wink*)---turned wife, mommy, and novelist.

She lives in the center of the U.S.A. with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations... It's possible she has a slight truffle addiction.

ONE TO HOLD is her debut adult romance.

Books by Tia Louise:
One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013
One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014

Author Links:
Amazon Author Page
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