Title: Protect and Defend
Mikaela Laughlin discovers a whole new world, and an entirely new species, when she tours the crime lab to meet Lieutenant Diarmid Redwolf while researching her next book. She’s lusted after “Delicious Diarmid” from afar for a long time, but meeting him sets her body on fire. It doesn’t take long for Mikaela to discover there’s more to Diarmid than meets the eye. He is far more delicious up close than she ever dreamed.
Diarmid has bad guys to catch, but one look at the voluptuous writer has him wanting to catch her instead. His shapeshifter blood recognizes his True Mate and he wants her naked body arching beneath his. Now. But with a cold-blooded serial killer on the loose, Diarmid has one shot at his future and he will not fail. Because this time, the killer wants Mikaela.
Author: Francesca Hawley
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Alpha vs Alpha
Published: January 7, 2009
Genres: Erotic Paranormal Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website
Another great story by Hawley! I love the world she has created with her shifters. In each book we get a small cameo from previous characters but they aren’t necessary to the story line. As I have been following the series, I love to get little glimpses into past characters.
In this story we have Michaela ’Miki’ Laughlin, a writer who is doing research for an upcoming book. In the course of her research she decides to interview Lieutenant Diarmid Redwolf, a wolf shifter with a painful past. When they meet the sparks start to fly and they fall into an easy camaraderie that makes them feel like they have always known the other person. Diar knows they feel this way because she is his True Mate but there is a small problem, she has no idea that shifters exist. Not to mention he has a serial killer that is obsessed with him and doesn’t mind hurting those close to him to get his attention.
From the first page, I loved Miki. She is so funny and relatable that I was instantly pulled into her story. My only disappointment with her is we don’t get to see much of her at work. What little we do see is funny and engaging and I would have loved to see a bit more of her interacting with her friends there. Diar, on the other hand, we see quite a bit at work. From the moment he appears on the page his sexiness and alpha attitude make the reader feel the need to fan herself as she reads. He is a ginger which is sexy and surprising since many male leads aren’t. As a woman married to a ginger, I appreciated this.
There were also so many sexy scenes that I lost track. This was defiantly not a fade to black kind of romance. The sex was hot, often, and creative. Diar is not one to let an opportunity pass him by and Miki holds her own with him by taking what she wants and needs. I loved their dynamic in bed and out. Diar was so kind and gentlemanly toward her at all times and Miki appreciated it but also took care of him in her own way.
There was a lot of sensitive content in this story that I felt was handled really well. You learn toward the beginning of the story that Diar has lost his wife and children to violence as well as a past girlfriend. All that has marked him and make him less inclined to form attachments. However when he meets Miki and discovers she is his true mate, he knows he has to take the risk. He also has a rocky relationship with his parents that bothered him while he pretended it didn’t. There is more but I don’t want to give any spoilers.
I was so happy this story was longer than some of the previous installments in this series because I always want more. Even at the end of this book I still wanted more but I was satisfied. The characters reach out and grab the reader and make you pay attention and I am mot ashamed to say that I shed a tear at the end as a wrung my hands. No spoilers but it was incredibly well written and touched my heart. I hope there are many more stories to come!