Series: Rescue Ops #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Mine to Save
Also by this author: Mine to Save
To keep her safe, he'll have to uncover all her secrets...
Rayne Alexander. A face I never thought I'd see again, and one I never could forget. Nine years ago, she left town-and me--without a backward glance. But now she's back, with a haunted look in her eyes and a feisty attitude that didn't exist when we were teenagers. Seeing this grown-up--and sexy--Rayne is something I wasn't prepared for... and it's bringing up feelings I'd thought I'd buried years ago.
Although I want to demand answers from Rayne, working on black ops at Night Eagle Security has taught me that it's sometimes better to keep my mouth shut. So when I catch her hiding a photo of a little boy, I'm curious. When I see her jump as her phone rings, I'm concerned. But the second I notice a car following her home, I know she's hiding something. Something dangerous. And while I may not know why she left or why she's back, if there's someone out there Rayne is afraid of, I'll make damn sure that threat is eliminated.
Second chance romance, stalkers, and hot security guys! Sworn to Protect is like the romance novel version of lions, tigers, and bears! Oh my!
We start with Rayne on the run. She has discovered something incriminating in her boss’s office and she knows she has to flee. So, she grabs her son and they fly back to her hometown, Wilmington, NC but her boss is hot on her tail. She hasn’t been back since her family shunned her when she was 17 and pregnant. However, she never let her old boyfriend, Jeremy, know she was pregnant with his child.
Jeremy struggled to come to terms with Rayne’s abrupt departure from his life. Now, many years later, he is working for a black ops security agency. When Rayne suddenly reappears in his life, he is thrown. He is still hurt and angry, but he never stopped loving her. He knows right away that she is in some sort of trouble. Cue the alpha male!
These two have a big miscommunication to clear up while dealing with Rayne’s boss, who not only is upset about what she found in his office, but is fixated on her as a romantic partner. Honestly, there are a couple times the chapters are in his POV and it was just weird. I think because you have no idea where these feelings of his come from. She worked for him for years and had no idea he was obsessed? Because he is taking obsessed to a new, creepy level.
While enjoyable overall, Sworn to Protect wasn’t anything new in terms of plot. I hate the miscommunication trope, but it really irritates me when a child is involved. While I do understand Rayne’s actions (she was young), this trope is still annoying and frustrating! Sworn to Protect is well written though and engaging if you are looking for an easy weekend binge read! You get the danger and suspense from the crazy boss, the second chance romance of a couple who need it, an adorable kid, and it will leave you smiling!
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: secret baby, on the run, second chance
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler
From Sworn to Protect:
Even when I tell it not to, my body reacts to Rayne. Every time she pulls her lip between her teeth. Every time her midnight blue eyes meet mine and smolder with some unseen emotion. Every single time I see a peek of the perky breasts that were really nice in high school, but are just spectacular now.
And I’m having a more difficult time every day hiding the way my stomach clenches when she checks her phone with that look of fear on her face.
It’s at one of these times that I don’t fight the pull and stalk toward her desk.
Snatching the phone from her hand, I read the text that put the disturbed expression in her eyes.
“Jeremy! What the fuck?”
Ignoring her pissed-off shout, my eyes narrow and my teeth clamp shut when I read the words on her screen.
You can’t hide forever. I will find you. And I will take what’s mine.
Rage explodes inside me. Glancing around the lobby, where people are acting like they’re not listening to us, but who are clearly paying attention, I grasp her by the elbow and tow her and the phone down the hallway and into the lounge.
Tossing her phone onto a countertop, I spin her around until she’s pressed against the nearest wall. I cage her in with my arms, leaning forward while taking deep breaths to try and control my temper.
“Tell me about that text, Rayne. Tell me now.” The words are gritted out through my teeth.
“It’s none of your—”
“Dammit, Rayne! If you tell me it’s none of my business I’m probably gonna break something. I know that I shouldn’t care, shouldn’t want to know. But I do! Okay? If someone is threatening you like this, then I need to know about it. I just do.”
She clamps her mouth shut, staring back at me with stubborn fear in her eyes.
While I’m watching, a lone tear escapes and rolls down her cheek. She’s too mulish to wipe it away, so it just keeps falling while I trace its track with my gaze.
“Fuck me.” The curse is muttered from me while I use a thumb to wipe the tear away.
“Rayne…I know it’s been a long time. You don’t know the man I am now. But there’s no way in hell I can watch you keep getting these texts—see the fear in your eyes when you read them—and not do something about it. You’re working in an office full of guys that can take out whoever this is. But you have to trust me enough to let me help you.”
She sniffs. “I don’t trust anyone, Jer.”
Jer. The nickname rocks me, sending me reeling into the past where her plump lips would utter that name on a sigh while I kissed the sweetest spot in the world—the hollow right above her collarbone.
Blinking, I shake off the image and dip my head a little. “I know. What I don’t know is why. What happened to you?”
Her mouth stays firmly closed.
“You think I’m gonna let this go, Rayne?”
She just stares up at me, a war going on in her eyes. It’s like she wants to tell me what’s happening, but something inside won’t let her. She doesn’t want me to get close.
I’m suddenly aware of the fact that we’re only inches apart. I can smell her. The fresh, slightly sweet scent of something floral washes over me, mixed with the hint of spice that is just Rayne.
“I just want to help you,” I whisper, before letting my thumb roam over her soft skin.
One hand is still braced against the wall while my thumb sweeps a path across her cheekbone, and even though I’m fighting the lust bubbling up inside me, my cock swells in my jeans. Taunting me. Forcing me to think about what she’d look like now if she were lying naked under me. All that gorgeous black hair splayed out on the pillows, my name falling from her lips while I please her.
Whether I’m willing to admit it or not, that’s still a deep, dark desire inside me. Pleasing her. And I don’t want to just please her. No, I want to possess her, to own her. Because a long time ago, I did. But she slipped through my fingers, and I was left wondering how the hell I lost her.