Defender - Diana Palmer
The man who shattered her trust is back to protect her… New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer delivers a breathtaking story of second-chance love.
When Paul Fiore disappeared from Isabel Grayling's life, he told himself it was for all the right reasons. She was young and innocent, and he was her millionaire father's lowly employee. Three years on, Paul is the FBI agent assigned to Isabel's case. Too late, he realizes what life in her Texas mansion was really like back then—and how much damage he did when he left.
Once love-struck and sheltered, Isabel has become an assistant district attorney committed to serving the law, no matter how risky it gets. But right now, the man she can't forgive is the one thing standing between her and a deadly stalker. She knows Paul won't hesitate to protect her life with his own. But if she can't trust herself to resist him, how can she trust him not to break her heart all over again?
I have to tell you that I'm a newer fan of Diana Palmer, having only read a few of her books. Fortunately at my local library's spring book sale I was able to pick up a bunch more by her so hopefully I'll be able to get to those soon. So when I saw this one pop up on a review list, I jumped at the chance because romance is my favorite genre and I already knew she's a pretty dependable author with solid reads.
While this book comes out at the end of June and comes in at 304 pages, it felt like a quick read for me, but most romance novels are. My main issue with this book that I haven't found to be true in her other books is how so many things are repeated. The main characters, Sari and Merrie, are essentially hostages in their own home. They are in early adulthood but you'd think they were 14 and 15 with the level of their maturity and naivete due to their father's extreme possessiveness. Neither can date boys, let alone talk to them, and they don't have friends. Sari basically falls in love with Paul, hired on as private security for her dad and he has a troubled past with the murder of his wife and daughter and mob connections. A whole bunch of stuff happens (see how I didn't give you a spoiler there?) and Sari and Paul are still interested in each other but the fact that she's rich and he isn't is a problem for him (dumb). But some of the conversation exchanges are so... bizarre, people don't actually speak like that and it didn't feel like natural conversation. Some of the romantic moments feel awkward and cheesy, but you're rooting for them nonetheless.
The story isn't totally concluded, it's basically set up as the start of Merrie's story, yet to come. Overall? I would give this book 3/5 stars. Is it awful? Definitely not, if you are looking for a more modest, traditional romance then this is absolutely for you. If you're spoiled by E.L. James, Sylvia Day, Katy Evans, etc- then this isn't going to be your jam. It's definitely not the romance novel that will get you pregnant, if you know what I mean. Ha!
You can purchase your own copy of Defender on Amazon, keep in mind it's on pre-order until the end of June. In the meantime, you can peruse her other books on her website, and catch up with her on Facebook. There is also a fun giveaway for a $25 gift card, head over HERE to enter!