March 25, 2015

REVIEW: Protecting Fate (Serve #6)

Protecting Fate (Serve #6), by Katee Robert
Publish Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Format: e-ARC, obtained from the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) He’ll keep her safe…but who will protect her from him?
Fixer Sara Reaver is in serious trouble. She’s stepped on the wrong toes, and now her uncle is sending her out of the city in an effort to keep her safe—and he’s assigning her a glorified babysitter. The last person she expects to show up is the gorgeous Z, or for him to tempt her and then reject her in the space of a single night. Twice. Now she’s out to prove to him just how good they’d fit up together in every way imaginable.

Mercenary Z Loreto hates protection jobs, but he’s willing to make an exception for his best friend’s little sister. The only problem is she calls up things he’s been doing his damnedest to keep under wraps for the last seven years. But when she pushes him too far, it all comes rushing to the fore, and the fact she’s willing to submit to his every desire only makes the loss of control sweeter.

Sara and Z have a boatload of issues between them, but they’re sure they can make things work if they take it one day at a time… Right up until things spiral beyond their control. Now Z’s playing for keeps in a big way, and Sara’s got to decide if a chance at true happiness is worth the risk of repeating history.

Protecting Fate is another sexy addition to the Serve series, where the men are dominant, the women are headstrong and sexy times are plentiful. As for me, I’m such a sucker for those alpha male protectors, so Z really revved my engines.

Protecting Fate had a bit different vibe from the other Serve books, because most of it took place away from the actual club. Sara, who is Garrett and Will’s little sister, has gotten herself into some hot water, and her family decides to send her away to hide out with a protector until things die down. Independent woman that she is, Sara is flatly against this move, that is, until she gets a look at her bodyguard. Z calls to her in ways that both thrill and terrify her – both of them, actually. Because how can either of them do what needs to be done when they feel this way?

Although being surrounded by family who loves her, I got the impression that Sara has lived a lonely life. Because of some relationship missteps in her past, she has set some very rigid boundaries in regards to men. No sleepovers. No fourth dates. No sharing. Sara calls it self-preservation, but it’s really just a very organized avoidance tactic.

Z absolutely blows through her boundaries one by one, some inadvertently and some on purpose. Initially, he’s hesitant to start anything with Sara, despite his insane attraction to her and her obvious willingness to do pretty much whatever he wants (within her own box, of course). She is the little sister to a man he deeply respects, and he doesn’t want to do anything to screw up his relationship with Garrett.

But, fate has another plan for both Z and Sara. Although it took her awhile, I loved when Sara reached the point where she started questioning those rules she lives her life by. She’s obviously a strong woman – capable, intelligent and compassionate. It was hard for her to shift the parameters of her life for Z, thereby putting trust in him along with the ability for him to stomp all over her heart.

For his part, Z has some reservations of his own, stemming back to some truly heinous acts by his ex-wife several years earlier. I find it interesting that in Z’s and Sara’s relationship, the traditional roles were reversed a bit. Because a lack of communication in his past destroyed many of the things he loved, he is adamant that Sara always talk to him about what she wants and feels. Sara is the one who wants to keep things bottled up – she’s not used to having actual meaningful conversations with her lovers.

Just when Sara and Z seem to be on the right track, her time in seclusion ends, and both of them are sent back to the real world. On top of that, another huge complication is thrown in their path, and with Sara’s commitment issues, I was left wondering for awhile if there was any way these two were going to be able to get their stuff straight. It made for a wonderfully angsty ending.

Protecting Fate is told in third person, so we get the benefit of both Sara’s and Z’s POVs. And, thank goodness for that. I loved Z so much, and his head was a beautiful place to be. Despite only a teeny portion of the book taking place actually inside Serve, there was plenty of sexy action to be had. Both Z and Sara are on the adventurous side, and although some other Serve books have delved more into the fun kinky stuff, there was enough here to still satisfy. I will never look at my pretty candles in the same way again.

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