Sept. 3 2013
AN ASSIGNMENT SHE CAN’T REFUSE
Agent Vaughnne MacMeans would do anything to avoid setting foot in Orlando again. But her new assignment, keeping tabs on a psychic kid who may or may not be in danger, is forcing her right back to the city where her sister was murdered. And the Special Agent in Charge isn’t taking no for an answer.
AN ATTRACTION HE CAN’T DENY
Protecting the boy Alex is a priority for Gus. Gus may not understand the boy’s “gift” but he just knows that some people would kill for it. When a beautiful stranger moves in next door, his impulse is to take the kid and run. But Gus has learned never to flee without a plan, and besides…she doesn’t exactly look like an assassin.
A GAME THEY’LL PLAY FOR KEEPS
When some dangerous people from Gus’s past catch up to him and Alex, it’s too late to run. His cute neighbor is the last person he thought he could turn to, but Vaughnne isn’t just cute. She’s fearless. And she’s the only chance Gus and Alex have left
Read an excerpt HERE
A little about Shiloh:
Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more…ah…serious works of fiction. She loves reading and writing just about every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest. She writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy under the nameJ.C. Daniels.
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “He never saw me. “
Vaughnne MacMeans works for a secret shadow group in the FBI. Composed almost entirely of psychics, the group uses their gifts to help bring down criminals that conventional means can’t seem to manage. When her boss, Taylor Jones, gives Vaughnne an assignment in Orlando, FL, Vaughnne is dismayed. She was part of the team who broke the slave trade ring down there in The Reunited and the job took a lot out of her both professionally and personally. Told she will be babysitting a kid with supposed psychic powers, she finds there is much more involved once she meets her assignment.
Gus has been charged with protecting his nephew, Alex. A former mercenary/spy for a foreign country, Gus intimately knows the danger Alex is in; especially if the person who want Alex gets him back. Gus’s paranoia has no boundaries and he trusts only one person-Alex. He will do anything and everything to keep Alex safe.
“There is nobody, and I mean this with every bit of strength I have in me, absolutely nobody who means as much to me as that boy. I can, and have, killed for him. I will do it again, without blinking.”
He hates that he has to use Alex as a human lie detector but the circumstances demand it. When Gus first meets Vaughnne, the attraction is unexpected and unwelcome. He has no time for romance or even a dalliance as his life is nothing but a convoluted layer up layer of lies and deception.
Vaughnne is astounded when she is hit by the raw psychic power Alex holds. Also by the intense chemistry that sparks between her and Gus. As Vaughnne struggles to keep Gus and Alex in her sights without them knowing, other agents are are becoming involved, each with their own agenda. When Alex’s location is compromised, Vaughnne has no choice but to blow her cover and do everything possible to keep Alex safe. But that is easier said than done when Gus places roadblock after roadblock in Vaughnne’s way and she is forced to finally take matters in her own hands.
The Protected is the fourth in Shiloh Walker’s intensely sensual and intriguing dark paranormal series-The FBI Psychics. The Protected picks up after book three, The Reunited. Though part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone. The Protected is a shockingly seductive paranormal thriller that hooked me from page one. Shiloh Walker has an addictive writing style that draws you into her characters’ emotional pathways and lets you feel with them what they are experiencing. Romance and taut suspense go hand in hand as we follow a gritty and dark well plotted storyline down a twisting path of deception, betrayal, and madness.
Heavily character driven, The Protected introduces us to two extremely complicated characters-Vaughnne MacMeans and Gus (Gustavo) Hernandez. Vaughnne has been on her own since she was fifteen when her father cast her out due to her manifesting gifts. Only through intense trial and tribulation did she get her life on track, which eventually leads her to Jones and her FBI position. Vaughnne is extremely loyal and independent. She has lines she won’t cross but those lines become blurred when she and Gus begin working together.
Gus went into the military and left his family behind when he was co opted into a special ops group. He has killed, lied, deceived, and betrayed all in the name of the job. He is extremely attractive and has no issues using that to achieve his mission goals. Though he has buried his conscious deep and fears he has starred too long into the abyss, becoming like the monsters he hunted, something about Vaughnne makes him begin to question the things he has done.
“There were days he swore that this was some hell that had been dropped on him because of the life he’s led. The lives he had taken, the lies he had told. “
Gus has to be one of my favorite characters to date in this series. Dark and dangerous, he embodies an anti hero feel though you know that he is one of the good guys. He has his own rules that he follows and woe to anyone whom he decides is a threat.
The chemistry between Vaughnne and Gus is an aching pulse that beats beneath the storyline. Intense sexual tension keeps us and them on the edge as they struggle to stay professional and on top of their mission. The romance is hot and bittersweet, slowing revealing in a way that elevates and enhances the main plot without overshadowing. Their physical scenes are tasteful, satisfying, and extremely steamy. Gus is definitely an alpha and Vaughnne is more than able to hold her own when he unleashes his full repertoire on her.
“ It was though. A taking. A marking. A claiming.”
She sees behind the mask he has cultivated and that both intrigues and scares Gus. It was very easy to get caught up in the emotional turmoil of these two star crossed lovers as try to find their second chance.
The secondary characters are bold, viable additions to the story as they add layers to the suspense and mystery. Each one is a piece in the puzzle; they make up a solid foundation for our storyline to build upon. We see old familiar faces that are a welcome addition to the story. Taylor Jones is ever present, only offering information on a need to know basis. It’s nice to see a personal side of him since our first meeting in The Missing (Book one). Taige and her daughter make an appearance and I still adore seeing Taige’s protective instincts in action, especially when children are involved. We also get some clues to Taige’s daughter’s eventual role in the arc. Tucker and Nalini, seen in The Reunited, play much bigger roles in here I enjoyed seeing the foreshadowing of their future interactions. Tucker has such an amazing gift and I like that Walker gives us more hints into his background. I am looking forward to his book.
As with any good thriller, there are multiple sub plots running through the main storyline and each one is a key to the final outcome. Ms. Walker does a fabulous job of maintaining these separate entities without overburdening us with unnecessary information or complicated scenarios. When it all comes together in the end, we are treated to an astounding finale that ties it all together, solid and tight, with no questions left unanswered. Though we are informed of the villain early one, the journey into their reasons for wanting Alex and the catalyst that pushes Gus and Alex to run and hide was thrilling and packed with surprises.
The Protected is an action junkie’s thrill ride that hits all the high notes. I recommend this series as a must read for those who love their paranormal romances to be wrapped in dark emotional suspense and intrigue. I cannot wait to see where Walker takes us next.
Now for the giveaway. One lucky commenter will win a Shiloh Walker promotional tote and a copy of The Protected. The contest is open to US participants only. Winner will be chosen on September 10, 2013.