Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Review: Atonement (The Protectors #6) by Sloane Kennedy

Title: Atonement (The Protectors book 6)
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Published: January 15, 2017
Pages: 304
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

“Once a fuck up, always a fuck up.”

Words twenty-six-year-old Dante Thorne has had to live with for more years than he can count and a title he finally earned at the tender age of sixteen when one careless decision led to tragedy. And since he can’t deny the truth of the words, why not live by them instead? Fucking up, fucking, it doesn’t matter; as long as it feels good and makes him forget the day he failed the one person he’d always sworn to protect. A good philosophy to live by until Dante meets the one man who might actually having him wishing he was something more…

At forty-one and with a distinguished career as a Texas Ranger under his belt, Magnus DuCane should have been in the prime of his life. Instead, he’s mourning the loss of the daughter he couldn’t save and contemplating a future that looks nothing like the one he had planned. The only bright spot in his life is the young grandson whose suddenly been returned to him after going missing two years earlier and the new family of men that he’s been welcomed in to with open arms. But with his iron will, unfailing self-control and unflappable discipline, Magnus knows he can start a new chapter and get his life back on track…if he can just get past the disturbing, unexpected feelings one young man stirs in him.

Because everything about Dante Thorne is wrong for Magnus. His arrogance, his cocky attitude, every single unfiltered word that falls unchecked out of his mouth and, of course, the fact that he’s a man.

But when his well-meaning friends send Dante with him as a bodyguard when he returns to Texas to testify in a high-profile case, Magnus begins to see beyond the brash words and endless sexual innuendo. And when he starts to discover that what he sees isn’t all that bad, suddenly the fact that Dante is a man instead of a woman no longer seems like such a big sticking point…

5 Stars!

I've been wanting to read this book ever since it came out, but, usually, my reading schedule is pretty insane. This month, however, I scheduled both Atonement and Unbroken to read, because if not, I'd never read them, and I'm very thankful I did.

Atonement is book 6 in The Protectors series and can be read as a standalone, however, after reading this sample of Sloane Kennedy's writing, you can be certain I'll be going back and reading the rest of the series ASAP.

I loved both Dante and Magnus, even if Dante was my favorite. His backstory just broke my heart and explained so much of why he would try to bury his guilt with sex with everything that moved. And Magnus, well, I just adored him, he was so supportive and caring and once he finally realized he was into Dante, he was all in, full-steam ahead. Yet, his realization that he was interested in Dante wasn't sudden, I loved that he started noticing some things until he couldn't deny it any longer. And OMG, the chemistry between them was scorching, as were the sex scenes, which were passionate and intense.

I absolutely hated Magnus's bitch of an ex-wife, Mel, who was truly despicable. I didn't like his best friend, Colton, either. Really, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

I'm really intrigued over Aleks's—Dante's brother—story, especially after what happened in the last portion of this book, and I'm especially glad I won't have to wait long since I have it already scheduled for later this week.

Overall, I'm really glad that my lovely co-blogger Jaymie insisted on us doing a buddy read while reading Atonement, it was awesome having someone I could rave and rant with and who could help me through the heartbreaking/suspenseful scenes. I definitely have no trouble recommending this book, it was amazing and fantastically written, emotional, character and plot-driven and I just couldn't put it down until I was done with it.

5 +++ Stars

Magnus does not like the idea that he has to have personal protection and to add fuel to the flames, the man watching his back is Dante. Dante, the man who has been dominating his thoughts since the very first time they met. It hasn't seemed to matter that he isn't gay and hasn't ever been with a man. That's not the problem, it's the fact that Dante sleeps with anyone who catches his eye. Whether male or female it doesn't seem as if Dante has any preference and Magnus is too old now to play those types of games.

Dante only takes one thing seriously in his life, his job. At least that's the way people see him. He's a screw-up and he knows it. He failed the most important person in his life when he was A teenager and it destroyed everything. Now he only has room in his life for his job and his search for answers. Magnus stirs something inside him he doesn't want to identify but he knows it will never happen. Magnus hates him and can't stand to be around him.

When they are forced to be attached at the hip it starts off disastrous. These two men have no idea how to deal with the other, especially as they're trying to tamp down their attraction. A tentative truce between them leads to the two of them letting down some of their walls and realizing they may have similar desires.

But it only takes one phone call to change everything. Dante and Magnus will have to depend on the other to get through what they now face and there's no guarantee they'll survive.

I adore this series so much and I am so so grateful that I got the opportunity to review an ARC. I didn't know how I was going to feel about Dante in the very beginning but I quickly grew to care about his character and by the end of the book, I loved him. My heart broke for him, for his past and his present and at some point, his future. I wanted him to fall in love with Magnus and to get a happy ending because he certainly needed one.

Magnus was a great character from the very beginning. I knew from the brief glances of him before that I'd love him and I definitely did. He's got that reserved strength and even-keeled personality but at the same time, he was sweet and funny. I felt like he was the kind of man that would be able to change the way Dante felt about himself. Which is something he really needs.

The chemistry between the men is explosive and as always, Sloane Kennedy definitely knows how to write those steamy bedroom scenes. At one point I thought I might need a cigarette afterward, it was so hot. I loved these men together in and out of the bedroom.

I also loved the story itself, I cried and I laughed and I felt the tension at wondering what would happen. This is the type of book you don't put down until you've read the very last page. I needed to know what demons Dante was hiding, what happened in his past to make him the man he was. Through the whole thing, I was completely engrossed in every word and getting more and more anxious for that happily ever after. I got exactly what I was hoping for with this book and I definitely recommend it as well as the rest of the series. This is a "Must Read".

Now, of course, I'm sitting here not so patiently waiting for Sloane Kennedy's next book.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

About The Author:

Although Sloane Kennedy always dreamed of being a writer as a teenager, she didn't take the plunge until 2015 when she released her first novel. Since then, she has released nearly 30 books including the Amazon best-selling "Pelican Bay" and "Protectors" series. While she initially began writing M/F romance, she found her true passion writing gay romance and nearly all of her most recent releases reached the #1 spot on Amazon's Gay Romance bestseller list and several have made it to Amazon's overall bestseller list. Sloane was born in Germany but grew up in the U.S. and although she currently lives in Wisconsin, the place where she has always felt most at home is Seattle and many of her books take place in the Emerald city. When not writing, a menagerie of 2 dogs, 3 cats and 2 horses takes up what little time she has left in the day!

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