Book Reviews

Absolution (The Protectors 1) by Sloane Kennedy

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Assassins/Mercenaries / Officers of the Law / Menage MMM / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 08-September-2017

Book Blurb

"But what I felt most was the perfection of what these two men were giving me. And I knew in that moment that I would do anything to keep it. Anything." --Cole

After four years abroad, artist Jonas Davenport has come home to start building his dream of owning his own art studio and gallery. But just as he's ready to put the darkness of his past behind him forever, it comes roaring back with a vengeance.

The only thing keeping ex-cop Mace Calhoun from eating his own gun after an unthinkable loss is his role in an underground syndicate that seeks to get justice for the innocent by taking the lives of the guilty. Ending the life of the young artist who committed unspeakable crimes against the most vulnerable of victims should have been the easiest thing in the world. So why can't he bring himself to pull the trigger?

After years of fighting in an endless, soul-sucking war, Navy SEAL Cole Bridgerton has come home to fight another battle - dealing with the discovery that the younger sister who ran away from home eight years earlier is lost to him forever. He needs answers and the only person who can give them to him is a young man struggling to put his life back together. But he never expected to feel something more for the haunted artist.

Cole and Mace. One lives by the rules, the other makes his own. One seeks justice through the law while the other seeks it with his gun. Two men, one light, one dark, will find themselves and each other when they're forced to stand side by side to protect Jonas from an unseen evil that will stop at nothing to silence the young artist forever.

But each man's scars run deep and even the strength of three may not be enough to save them...

Trigger Warning: This book does a possible trigger for some readers. Specifics can be found by utilizing the "Look Inside" feature or downloading a sample and scrolling the page marked Trigger warnings. Please note that reading what triggers are included may cause spoilers.

***This is Book 1 in the series, but can be read as a stand-alone story - no cliffhangers.***

The Protectors series crosses over with some of my other series, so for the most enjoyment, they should be read in order, but it is not required. You can find the correct reading order at the beginning of each book. I've also bundled all my series in the correct reading order under the title of A Family Chosen: The Protectors and Barrettis.

Book Review

“Pain, hope, grief…I saw it all. And as he’d returned to the room, all I’d wanted to do was enfold him in my arms and ask him who he was and why he needed to use a paintbrush to tell the world what he was feeling.”

These are definitely not feelings Mace is supposed to be having when it comes to Jonas. In fact, Mace should have assassinated Jonas a number of days ago but something in his gut tells him there's more to Jonas, to the story, and Mace can't take the shot. Jonas is thrown back into his past when Cole shows up and Jonas has to relive what happened all of those years ago. ‘Absolution’ began with a bang and the hits kept coming. I was caught up in this story of three men from the beginning and had a tough time putting it down, even to sleep.

Mace, Jonas, and Cole have to be the three most emotionally vulnerable men I've read in a while. Mace’s world imploded eight years ago and he lost everything. Cole’s just exploded a few weeks ago when he, and his parents, finally got confirmation of what happened to his little sister eight years ago. And Jonas has so much hurt and pain in his background, it's a wonder he isn't an addict or a suicide statistic. I'm not going to get into a ton of detail regarding each of their backgrounds or how they all came together, mostly because, for me, their story is about the love they found, and the way they helped each other with their hurt.

The roller coaster of emotions that flooded every single moment these men were close to one another was mind-boggling. The moment when Cole confronts Mace about his secret apartment, rifle, and file on Jonas, all while Jonas is standing there with betrayal in his eyes, and then to watch Cole and Mace go on the defensive together to protect Jonas was exhilarating. Of course, the aftermath when Mace’s role is revealed is pretty fraught with feelings of betrayal and hurt, on more than just Jonas’s side.

“I knew what was about to happen between us wasn’t about sex since Mace was way too vulnerable for that but that almost made it worse because what we were seeking in each other wasn’t about pleasure –it was about so much more.”

Whoa. I wasn't anticipating where the author went in terms of the mystery of who wanted Jonas dead and a super exciting ending had me sad that I finished the story. I wanted more and, luckily for me, there are more books in this series. I loved ‘Absolution’ with all of its angst, pain, and the foibles of human weaknesses. Mace, Cole, and Jonas are great characters, and I enjoyed every moment of this story. Now I'm looking forward to Ronan’s tale as I'm sure the mysterious man in black, with his über-confident personality, is going to make me weak in the knees.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book was a promotional free read from the author.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 256 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-April-2016
Price $4.18 ebook, $14.50 paperback
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