Title: Protecting What’s His
Author: Tessa Bailey
May Contain Spoilers
I enjoyed Protecting What’s His because protagonist Ginger was more rough around the edges that most series romance heroines. She and her younger sister Willa have had to depend on each other and protect each other their whole lives. Their mother, Valerie, will never be Mother of the Year, and they are both fortunate that they did have each other. Mom was too busy turning tricks or getting high to do more than blame them for making her life miserable. Scraping by, either by stealing food for Willa or begging the neighbors for handouts, Ginger has become a fierce guardian. When she sees the opportunity to get the hell away from their mother, she takes it, as well as a bundle of cash that she finds in her mom’s purse. Grabbing her sister, she throws their meager belongings into her beat up pickup truck and flees Nashville for greener pastures.
As they move into their new apartment in Chicago, Ginger and Willa make a less than favorable impression on their anal neighbor, Derek. Though sparks fly between the two of them, Ginger quickly places him on her people to avoid list after discovering that he’s a cop. She’s lived her whole life suspicious of the police, and after stealing that fifty thousand from her mother, she’s not in a hurry to get chummy with a cop. She’s got enough to worry about without adding her grumpy new neighbor to the list. New job, Willa has a new school, and Ginger just wants to fade into the woodwork and live a happy, quiet, safe life as far away from her mother and her seedy acquaintances as she can.
Now, of course, Ginger and Derek can’t keep their hands off of each other. Every time they encounter each other there is a spontaneous combustion between them. It was hot! They are both fighting an intense and all-consuming attraction that will not allow them any peace. Derek uses some of his police resources to perform a background check on Ginger and her family, and suddenly he’s overcome with an overpowering urge to protect Ginger and Willa from their past. He can only guess at how dysfunctional their childhood must have been, and despite the disruption they bring to what he thought was a contented life, he can’t get close enough to Ginger. This is probably the only part of the story that didn’t work for me, because he was a cop. Derek is so possessive of Ginger that he physically attacks other men, both on and off duty. I just kept wondering if the police department had a hefty insurance policy to pay the lawsuits that were certain to follow him around.
Protecting What’s His is a quick, blisteringly hot read with likable protagonists. I was glued to the story from beginning to end, and I can’t wait to see what Tessa Bailey comes up with next!
Review copy provided by publisher