I have mixed feelings about this book and it pains me to say so. I really enjoyed Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protector series. But despite the fact that the Realm Enforcer books exist in the same world with crossover characters, this doesn’t have the same magic for me. I was lukewarm with book one and this second installment gave me as much grief as enjoyment.
My biggest issue is with the Alpha-hole hero. Daire is one of the Dunne brothers, who protect the Coven Nine witches. We established in the last book that they are away from their Irish home, trying to root out the source of a drug that is deadly to witches. They are undercover in a motorcycle gang (though in this installment that connection is almost superfluous.) As the story begins, Daire picks up a beautiful woman in a biker bar and takes her home for the night. He has no idea she is not the human she appears. He finds out quickly, though, when she manages to drug him and ransack his house.
It turns out CeeCee is not only a supernatural, but one with major ties to the characters we know and love in Dark Protectors. She is on a revenge mission and is determined to do it on her own. Daire has other ideas. He insinuates himself into every step of her plan and essentially tries to take over her life. Half the time, it seems like he is after her for drugging him; the other half, it’s because he wants to bone her. But either way, it drove me absolutely crazy.
CeeCee is more than a hundred years old. She is intelligent and capable. Yet, Daire spends the entire book acting like he is the boss of her. It’s ironic that by the end of the book, the idea is that he is the only one who thinks she is capable, only… he’s not. I know it’s supposed to be sexy how he is super strong and manly. But this woman takes a polar bear to the face and manages to comfort him. She is tough as nails. She completely plans the takedown of her enemy in spectacular fashion and Daire keeps trying to take the reins. How many times does the woman have to drug you before you realize this on your own?
I found myself tempted to put it down. More than once, Zanetti has walked the line of my female independent ire with her heroes, but it especially irked me here. I also didn’t love how rough these two were with each other physically. I don’t enjoy watching the hero yank the heroine by her hair.. and I don’t especially like rough sex.
I did say my feelings were mixed. It wasn’t all bad. I really enjoyed the cameos and tie ins to the main series. It was good to see and hear about the characters that I loved. The action is good… and I really was impressed with CeeCee. The ending was satisfying and I believe in the HEA. I just wish I could have liked Daire half as much as I did his mate.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Rebecca Zanetti
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press