Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: To Serve and Protect, Book 3
Hero: Tommy Godsoe
Heroine: Paige Harmer
Date of Publication: August 20, 2010
Started On: August 27, 2011
Finished On: August 27, 2011
Protecting Paige, book 3 in the To Serve and Protect series explores the story of how a single mother finds much more than she bargained for in the arms of her sexy and younger neighbor that makes for one of my favorite tropes of romance. 34 year old Paige is a product of the foster care system making a life for herself and her 17 year old son Dillon whom she has brought up on her own after her husband had bailed out on her.
Moving to her new neighborhood, Paige discovers that her neighbor, the taciturn Tommy Godsoe who is recovering from an injury to his hip makes her heart go pitter patter right from the start. Younger than her by a couple of years, Tommy is hellbent on isolating himself to lick his wounds both physical and emotional in private. But in Paige, Tommy discovers a force to be reckoned with as she practically storms her way into his life, making him sit up and take notice of her and Dillon and drawing him into their lives with an effortless ease that leaves him stunned.
When things take a sinister turn and both Paige and Dillon’s lives end up in danger in a plot that Tommy couldn’t have dredged up even in his worst nightmares, Tommy knows that he would die trying to keep the woman who means everything to him alive and well, even if it means pushing his body beyond its limits of endurance after the injury.
What drew me in with Protecting Paige was in fact Paige’s character that is hard not to fall in love with. She may not be a beauty in the classic sense but on the inside she is a beauty that few can compete with. Growing up in the foster care system and later being abandoned by her husband of 3 years in favor of alcohol may have left its mark on Paige, but she doesn’t let it define who she is and that’s one of the reasons why I tumbled in love with her character as the story progressed.
Paige is one determined chick when it comes to those she loves and is protective towards and when she sets her sights on her sexy neighbor who could seriously give a Calvin Klein model a run for his money and looks like he is in dire need of some TLC, Paige bulldozes her way into his life, refuses to give him a chance to say no and worms her way into his emotions and heart just like that. I have got to say that Norah has a talent when it comes to consistently delivering heroines that readers can relate to and Paige is in no way an exception to this rule.
Tommy’s character is a sneaky one I tell you. At the beginning he is grumpy, surly and right in your face rude because his life has turned upside down with a work injury from which he doesn’t hope he would recover from. But beneath all that surly attitude lies a heart that is steeped in fear of never measuring up, of always failing to meet the expectations of those that depend on him; a remnant residue of a childhood spent with a father who had demanded so much more than a little boy was capable of giving. It is Paige who brings a ray of sunshine into the bleak existence of his own making and it is in her that Tommy finds a reason to try again, to not let the blackhole that his life has become consume him until he has nothing left to give.
I loved the action aspect of this novel that explores the use of canines in police work which is a vital facet of the daily grind of law enforcement agencies. The interesting explanations of dog handling, the full of life relationship between a dog and its handler which is explored to just the right extent lent something extra to this novel that made things that much more compelling for me as the reader.
And of course, worthy of a mention is the secondary romance that develops between Dillon and Rachel, a character whose entrance into the story opens up a lot of possibilities. Maybe if we are very lucky, one day, Norah might write a story for Rachel and Dillon. A girl can always hope!
Recommended for fans of the series, fans of Norah Wilson and fans of younger hero and older heroine romances. This one’s seriously good!
Her lips parted on a shocked gasp, and he took full advantage, sweeping into her mouth. She tasted of surprise and cinnamon and an unexpected innocence, which took the edge off his anger, but did nothing to dull the keenness of his intent. He grasped her face, tilting it for better access to her mouth, and proceeded to kiss her with deliberate, frank eroticism. No gentle request, no teasing enticement, no sweet cling of lips. Just pure, driving sexual demand.
Her tongue was in his mouth, and oh, Jesus, God, she tasted good. Like coffee and brandy and woman. Any thought of resistance fled.
She kissed him endlessly, again and again and again, like she was starving. Like she might never get enough. Like she could eat him alive. It was the sexiest thing he’d ever known.
(Danni) “I was kinda busy on the way back, too,” she admitted, her face reddening.
Tommy frowned. “I thought you said Dillon was passed out?”
“He was, but Derek wasn’t.” She grimaced. “I guess he got a little hot and bothered by the action in the back seat and wanted a little for himself.”
“Chrissakes,” exploded Ray. “Did anyone not get blown on this trip?”
Danni’s gaze came up then, her eyes glinting with tears and suppressed anger. “Yeah. Those of us without dicks.”