She’d thought she’d left her old life behind. She was wrong.
Surgical resident Maria Moretti’s life is finally becoming her own, that is until her past catches up with her and she is forced to operate on her uncle. Normally, saving a loved one isn’t a problem, unless you’re related to one of the most notorious mob families in New York. Now, the family Maria’s distanced herself from is doing everything they can to bring her back into the fold.
Former Navy Seal turned security expert, Riley “Ash” Ashland, is reluctant to take on the job of protecting Maria. That is, until he meets her. Seeing how much she wants her freedom from the stranglehold her family has on her changes his mind. Even though she refuses to believe she needs protection, Riley watches over her. When her life is threatened, he calls on all his resources to keep her safe. But can he protect his heart at the same time?
Can Maria keep from dragging Riley into her twisted mob world while she fights for her independence all over again?
I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4 Stars
Those of you who follow my blog may know that I am a pretty large fan of Nicole Flockton’s work. Anytime I’ve had a rough day, or am experiencing romantic troubles (an abnormally frequent occurrence), Nicole’s books are the ones I grab for a little pick me up. She is one of my go to authors for a light, fun romance. With her latest book, part of the Special Forces Kindle World, she has proven that she can also write extremely engrossing romantic suspense novels.
Protecting Maria really has all of the things I look for in a romantic suspense: action, mobsters, murder, and, of course, domineering ex-military hotties. For me, a lot of romantic suspense novels fall short because the female lead just can’t quite stand up to the overbearing male in her book. Fortunately, Maria had absolutely no problem standing up to Ash and putting him in his place. As the daughter of a notorious mobster, she’s had a rough life, and she doesn’t need some former SEAL telling her what to do. I loved her independence and self-reliance.
Ash, though a bit of a cliche, was an easy to love male lead. He was understanding and patient, but definitely delivered the alpha-male persona I was expecting.
Generally, I stray away from Kindle World novels because I find that multiple authors writing in the same world can get confusing at times. Flockton, however, had no trouble at all – these characters seamlessly fit into the Special Forces world. Though there were a few redundancies and minor grammatical errors, my copy of the book was an ARC, not a final draft. Hopefully, these little details have been fixed since my copy was written.
My Takeaway: Nicole has proven that light contemporary romance is not the only genre she can write. Protecting Maria was a great suspenseful read with fantastic pacing. Definitely a novella worth reading if you’re a fan of the genre.