Review: Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson

Reviewed by Shelly

The last good book that I read from this author, Delaney’s Desert Sheikh, was in 2002 and I’m still waiting for another. I wanted to like Forget in Desire. I was ready for it to be so good. I was ready for a hero I could get behind. I was ready for a heroine I could say – yes, that’s what I would do! I was ready for a love story that would make me know that I wasn’t wasting my time. I was ready.

This is the first book in ‘The Protector’ series and sets up at least three heroes and their lucky ladies. First up is 26 year old Margo Connelly – understated heiress who’s in need of a ‘protector’ and Lamar ‘Striker’ Jennings – the ‘protector’.

After serving in seclusion as a juror in a capital murder case, Margo and everyone else in the courtroom, are threatened with death by the defendant. The defendant, Erickson, is a bit of a bad a*s or he thinks he is anyway.

After several people (pretty important ones – the judge, the clerk reporter and the bailiff) who were present during the court turn up dead, Margo’s uncle decides that the best thing is to get a ‘protector’ to watch over his precious niece. Enter Striker. Striker has a chip on his shoulder, either that or he’s a child masquerading as an adult. His introduction to Margo includes that he’s not her bodyguard, he’s her ‘protector’ and not to call him by Lamar – Striker is the only allowed name. I think you misspelled as*hole.

During their first few days of living in close proximity – he’s living in her home since the killer is at-large while Erickson who ordered the hits are in jail – the side eyes start. I didn’t like the whole thing about making law enforcement into bumbling idiots who don’t know how to stop a killer. Then again, Striker hates the cops, so go figure. Turns out that his past includes murder and his victim was ‘deserving’ of his fate. Outside of that, there’s a lot of death in Striker’s past – his younger brother’s death by suicide and his mother death of medical complications (and probably a broken heart).

Margo, too, has had death in her immediate family’s past. Both parents died in the same home fire. She’s been living with her uncle since she was a child, and the two are very close. There’s a cheesy storyline about a long lost brother/uncle that was too easily accepted by Margo. Speaking of – Margo easily accepted everything that happened to her. The threat coming from Erickson didn’t really bother her. Striker coming to live with her as her ‘protector’ – easily accepted.

Her break up with her ex, Scott – easily accepted. The punishment that Scott and his friend Freddy served for their misdeed to Margo was laughable. The quick evolution of the sexual relationship between her and Striker – easy peasy. But what really made me dislike Margo to the point where I didn’t care was when she said that she doesn’t like guns – she pointed out that she would accidentally shoot herself if she had to handle one. She’s literally being hunted by someone who wants to kill her and this is what she’s got.

I pretty much disliked both Margo and Striker. The conversation between them was limited to Margo’s ‘nosey bones’ asking one question followed by a Striker’s one word responses. Even while they were sexing it up, there were paragraphs of thoughts with very little dialogue. Their personalities, especially Margo’s, were so blah I couldn’t sympathize with anything in their lives.

There’s a plethora of other characters – Quasar, Stonewall, Robin, Joy, Roland and the Grangers (they probably had their own storyline – not sure) all who I’m sure will be in future installments in this series.

Last – that entire bit about Striker’s finger contributing to the ‘orgasmic aftershocks’ literally made me laugh out loud.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: C-/D+

*ARC provided via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

Forged in Desire
by Brenda Jackson
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: HQN Books

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