One To Protect
By Tia Louise
WARNING: Recommended for adult readers (18+) only. Mature themes, strong language, and sexual content.
Then the body of a former call girl turns up dead. She's the breakthrough Derek's been waiting for, the link to Sloan's sordid past he needs. But as usual, legal paths to justice have been covered up or erased.
Derek's ready to do whatever it takes to protect his family when his partner Patrick Knight devises a plan that changes everything. It's a plan that involves coloring outside the lines and taking a walk on the dark side. It goes against everything on which Alexander-Knight, LLC, is based. And it's a plan Derek's more than ready to follow.
(Standalone, M/F, HEA)
Tia gives us a little treat before she tells Kenny’s story. One To Protect is Derek and Melissa dealing with the aftermath of her screwed up marriage to Sloan and trying to create a safe future together for their family. Derek and Melissa don’t really reveal anything new about themselves, but how far they will go to protect one another is a bit of a shocker.
We always see the softer side of Derek when he’s with Melissa. Everywhere else he’s closed off and sort off judgmental. He’s lived life by a set of rules and standards, so he doesn’t get it when other people don’t hold themselves to higher standards as well. But there is definitely a softening in his view of others as OTP progresses. Some of the things he does to protect the woman he loves, along with some of the things others do to help him causes him to take a step back and reevaluate how the conclusions he has about people—Patrick and Toni/Starr most of all.
Melissa has moved on with life. She’s preparing herself to be a mother and putting in the effort to be a life partner with the man she was lucky enough to fall in love with despite his initial deception. Dwelling on Sloan, her abusive ex-husband, will derail all the progress she’s made, and Melissa is determined he won’t beat her again, mentally or physically. Sloan no longer has the upper hand in her life, even if he did beat the criminal charges against him.
Derek isn’t taking any chances. He’s been given a second chance at love. There’s no way in hell he’s going to let someone like Sloan take it away from him. The police aren’t able to do anything because Sloan is rich, highly connected, and knows how to cover his tracks for the most part. What’s a guy to do? Well, if the guy happens to have some experience in covert operations, he decides to bait a trap with the help of Patrick and the unlikely ally of Toni Durrango. Their plan is strong, but they all know it’s dangerous. When things don’t go exactly how they planned, just how far will Derek go?
What will Melissa say when she learns the truth? Tia takes on another journey with a couple trying to forge an honest life out a deception. Can they keep it together and move past the fear that hangs over their future? Tia left me somewhat stunned in the direction the story took. OTP is a story of the gray areas in life. Not everything is cut and dry. It all boils down to the question; how far would you go to protect the one you love?
Reviewed by Liz