This is a very sweet story but it felt a bit lacking in exploration of the issues raised

Danced Close (Portland Heat, #6)Danced Close by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*

I’m not sure where I’m going with this review because there were elements that I absolutely loved and parts where there didn’t seem to be a full fleshing out of the situation.

I loved that this book introduced a genderfluid character in Kendall, but it then didn’t really go anywhere else with expanding on what that meant, other than in terms of him liking to look pretty and have a more ‘feminine’ style on some occasions.
Yes it mentioned the issue of what people thought or how they reacted towards Kendall’s fluidity as a brief throwaway, but it seemed more to just be there as the unique tick for his character.

With Todd we got a bit more depth into his sobriety and the causes of his previous addictions but the reader was also left to assume how he ended up with other complications in his life which would have been better explained I felt.

Both had had relationship issues in the past which made them wary and perhaps too easy to fall into doubt and the mini dramatic angst moment just didn’t really feel earned by the narrative.

However, having said all of the above, this series is fundamentally about finding love among the disparate people who make up this crazy world we live in and ultimately, the romance between them worked, and worked well, as a believable relationship.
As it’s Albert, there’s also a super sweet epilogue showing them still together and still happy.

#An ARC was kindly provided through NetGalley by the publishers in return for a fair and honest review.

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Emotional and explosive

Atonement (The Protectors, #6)Atonement by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m seriously conflicted, Magnus might be about to overtake Ronan as my favourite man in The Protectors series.
This is a real dilemma for me because, come on, Ronan right? But Magnus is just perfection, well for Dante at least. He’s strong, caring, prickly, willing to fight for what he wants, he’s hurting, he’s confused and finally, he’s open to finding love, even if it’s with a man.

Sloane Kennedy has a supreme talent when it comes to writing this type of man, someone who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable but who, at the same time, can become the rock to which all things are tethered.

In this one, the sixth in the series, Dante is struggling with how attractive he finds Magnus and the feelings he evokes in him are confusing because he doesn’t want to care about the indifference he sees in Magnus’ eyes when the two men first meet.

Magnus, in turn, is frustrated and baffled by his attraction to the younger man, especially when he’s so far caught Dante in various throws of passion with at least four random people. He’s also struggling to deal with Ronan and Memphis’ desire to make Dante his bodyguard while he is waiting to give evidence in a high profile murder trial.

Magnus has been a Texas Ranger for 20 odd years, he’s not used to not being the strong one, even though he’s dealt with tragedy, loss and hurt in his own life, he’s been taking care of himself since he was 10 and finds it difficult to allow someone else to do it for him.

But Magnus now has a new family, his grandson Matty has brought him under the wing of not only Ronan’s Protectors organisation but also the Barretti security family and together these men are all determined to make sure he won’t ever lose anyone else.

When Dante’s own past comes back, bringing with it guilt he’s never been able to leave behind and a determination to make things right, he finds that Magnus can be the one on whom he leans, that he doesn’t have to go it alone any more.

The sex in this is as you’d expect from anything Sloane Kennedy writes, it’s powerful, sensual, dirty, erotic, emotional, passionate and explosive.

And she’s a great big meanie for giving not one but two! sneak peaks into the next two books coming from her very talented pen. I can’t wait to find out more about Protector Cain and Ethan, the man he’s been sent to recover for Ronan, and see just what Beck is up to in the Finding series.

If you’ve never read a Sloane Kennedy book then why not? Go out and pick up one today, I’d recommend the Finding series as they’re only loosely connected to the rest and then jump on in with her other men, it’ll be worth it.

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