Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
“This woman sees all of my broken pieces, all my pain, and she doesn’t brush it away.”
One of my favorite parts about reading romance is the breadth of options for readers. I’m a fairly easy romance reader in that I’ll read just about anything, save for PNR (paranormal). I won’t ever judge it because I know there are so many romance readers who love it; it’s just not one of my interests. Maybe someday that will change. Anyways, Patricia D. Eddy is my go-to read for military romance/romantic suspense. Finding her Away from Keyboard series was one of the best discoveries in romance. The broken hero coupled with the tenacious, stalwart heroine is like discovering one of the best desserts ever. For me, the message about brokenness and allowing love to seal up personal fractures resounds over and over again in Eddy’s books. She does an amazing job of keeping that message fresh as it’s interwoven into different stories. Even though you find it in many of her books in this series, and her newest spin-off series, the Gone Rogue series, it impacts you the same, time and time again. Rogue Protector, book 1 in this new series, offers more of this message coupled with a driving romance, an exacting plot, and an additional message about the saving grace of family. All of these parts conspire to grab you and keep you suspended in Eddy’s Rogue Protector.
This book follows Austin Pritchard. We meet him in Ripper and Trevor’s stories. Struggling with retirement and the dangers of his past two missions, Austin seeks solace in a journey on the Maya Trail in Mexico. While there, he encounters Mikayla “Mik,” an intelligent botanist conducting experiments on an orchid in a bid to help cure Parkinson’s disease. Austin and Mik meet in the bar of their shared hotel, and their interest and chemistry instantly ignite. Unfortunately, orchid poachers threaten and endanger Mik’s life, and Austin must save her from potential death. Will Austin and Mik find their happy ending? Will he be able to protect her from the people seeking to harm her? Will her research bring possible change?
Read this book. Rogue Protector is an edge-of-your-seat, insta-love, steamy story. Eddy has integrated so many important and interesting aspects into this story that it makes for a read that grabs you and keeps you engaged until the final page:
*Together, Austin and Mik are combustible. However, this isn’t Eddy’s typical steam. This is a relationship that is respectful and careful. One of the reasons is Mik’s cultural heritage. While she is not a practicing Muslim, she respects its place in her life, namely as her parent’s belief system. Austin, always the “good guy,” shows an immense amount of respect for this. There are messages about consent and acknowledging one’s cultural background tinctured throughout this story.
*The plot itself is suspenseful. While I did figure out the entity threatening Mik, it wasn’t until much later in the story, and I was compelled to keep reading to affirm my belief.
*The Ideas of brokenness and family are huge touchpoints in Eddy’s military romance, and those messages are important. As we encounter a few of the characters from the Away from Keyboard series, they speak of Austin and Mik’s place in their family, and the group’s need to protect their own. For anyone who might feel isolated, this is a worthy message in romance.
If I had any criticism for this story, it would be the insta-love between Austin and Mikayla. That’s more of a personal preference, however. It never turns me off to a story; it simply affects my believability for their coupling. That being said, Eddy speaks to it within the story, so that it does feel more organic than most romances.
I will always read Patricia D. Eddy’s military romances. Her pacing, her plot devices, and her characterizations pull you into her storytelling. Her newest book, Rogue Protector, is no different. If you loved the Away from Keyboard series, then you will LOVE Austin and Mikayla’s story too.