Monday, April 3, 2017

AotM ~ Absolution & Salvation by Sloane Kennedy (Reviews + Giveaway)

Please join us in welcoming our Author of the Month for April, Sloane Kennedy! I hope you all enjoy the posts and giveaways we have planned throughout the month as we feature Sloane's books! <3

Title: Absolution (The Protectors Book 1)
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Pages: 356
Published: April 1, 2016


After four years abroad, artist Jonas Davenport has come home to start building his dream of owning his own art studio and gallery. But just as he’s ready to put the darkness of his past behind him forever, it comes roaring back with a vengeance.

The only thing keeping ex-cop Mace Calhoun from eating his own gun after an unthinkable loss is his role in an underground syndicate that seeks to get justice for the innocent by taking the lives of the guilty. Ending the life of the young artist who committed unspeakable crimes against the most vulnerable of victims should have been the easiest thing in the world. So why can’t he bring himself to pull the trigger?

After years of fighting in an endless, soul-sucking war, Navy SEAL Cole Bridgerton has come home to fight another battle – dealing with the discovery that the younger sister who ran away from home eight years earlier is lost to him forever. He needs answers and the only person who can give them to him is a young man struggling to put his life back together. But he never expected to feel something more for the haunted artist.

Cole and Mace. One lives by the rules, the other makes his own. One seeks justice through the law while the other seeks it with his gun. Two men, one light, one dark, will find themselves and each other when they’re forced to stand side by side to protect Jonas from an unseen evil that will stop at nothing to silence the young artist forever.

But each man’s scars run deep and even the strength of three may not be enough to save them…

5 Stars! 

Mace Calhoun just has to pull the trigger and there will be a little less evil walking the streets and hurting children. Once a cop with a picture perfect family, Mace loss everything at the hands of a monster. Now the only thing keeping him going is knowing he has a hand in ridding the planet of some of the worst and deplorable people out there. Now, however, something has him hesitating and he has to know what it is. Jonas is a mark, his target, he can't have Mace wanting to get closer to him. But Mace can't fight the need to know why this particular job feels so wrong.

Thrown out at 14 for being gay, repeatedly being violated while trying to survive on the streets, Jonas Davenport faced heartbreak and tragedy that would forever haunt him and shape his life. After escaping that terrible period he's finally started to carve out a good life for himself. Now Jonas has come home after 4 years in Paris with intentions of building his own art studio and gallery. With hopes of helping children who will benefit greatly from art classes they'd otherwise not have access to, Jonas is excited as his dream starts to become reality.

Navy SEAL Cole Bridgerton has come home to bury his younger sister. Her body has finally been identified after disappearing almost a decade earlier. A fight with their parents had led 17-year-old Carrie to run away to Chicago and had her on the very same streets as Jonas. Desperate, Cole has to know what really happened to his sister and Cole seeks the answers from Jonas. It comes as a surprise when Cole feels drawn to Jonas and finds himself spending as much time with him as he can. Even crazier is the fact that Mace has him feeling things as well.

Jonas feels the connection he's always dreamed of with both Mace and Cole. When both men jump into the line of fire to save him it becomes obvious that there is something more between the three of them. Jonas isn't sure he can give them everything they may want. Cole has no clue if it will work but he's willing to try. Mace can't walk away from either man but isn't sure he deserves them.

One thing is for sure, though, they will do anything to keep each other safe.

Oh, how I loved this book. All three men are easy to fall in love with individually but together, I absolutely adore them. Sloane Kennedy did an amazing job writing a relationship between three men who belong together. It's not an easy thing to do but I feel confident in saying she pulled it off.

One of the best things about Absolution, in my opinion, is the fact that not only did I love all the characters but the story itself had me completely engrossed in it. Well-written, there's a great combination of action and romance, drama and angst and some very very hot and steamy scenes between Jonas, Mace and Cole.

Absolution is a great start to a fantastic series and I highly recommend it!

5 Stars! 

SK's first book in 1stP POV ups the intensity of her tales. An amazingly emotional, heartfelt tale, with more to come!

I'm lucky enough to be a beta reader for Sloane Kennedy, but more than that, I'm an impatient, demanding, greedy fan who read this book at different stages in its incarnation. I liked that though I knew SK wouldn't make a lead out of a despicable character, I did wonder what she had in mind for Jonas, and I didn't have a clue what she'd deliver or how, but boy has she nailed this tale.

It's SK's first attempt at 1stP POV and from the quality of her writing, the smoothness of the tale, and the intensity of the emotions that come off the page, you'd have thought her seasoned in this style. Her books are pretty full-on with emotions anyway, and this book just amps everything up.

I liked that the tale was very different to anything she's done before, and I thought that what brought the leads together gelled. I liked that they were three damaged souls for very different reasons, finding in the others something that they needed, and possibly were looking for, though they didn't realise that at all. None of their issues felt fabricated and I believed that each was truly traumatised and damaged from his past.

At the start, at times, I did feel that Jonas was the glue that held them together, but then SK gave Cole and Mace time together, and it was clear that they had just as strong feelings for each other, too. I didn't doubt Jonas's feelings for them both, and the fact that he wasn't able to be certain that he could have sex with them - ever - made it clear that feelings were what drove them, not instalust or GFY or whatever.

Knowing SK, I did think there'd be more sex in this, but then I realised what Jonas had gone thru, and that Cole had up til now been straight, and that a sex-fest would have detracted from the guys' story. What sex scenes there were, as a triad or as couples with the third looking on, were smoking hot.

I liked that there were no labels in the tale, and that I didn't feel that any of the guys were weak, though until they connected with each other, each had thought that he was. Mace overcame his demons and put his skills to what he thought was something 'good', and his redemption was painful and tinged with a sad sweetness. Cole was broken by his sister's death and what spiralled from there, but he still did his duty to his country, and later on, to his alcoholic father who became an unexpected ally. Cole was gentler to Jonas, which is perhaps why Jonas was drawn to him, as opposed to Jonas being kind of overwhelmed and fascinated by Mace. Yes, Jonas was perhaps not physically as strong as the other guys, nor was he a 'protector/warrior' type, but, he was strong mentally to have overcome so much, so many losses and to realise that he could, and wanted to help others heal, despite not being whole himself. I felt that they ended up as equals in the relationship, and equally in love. I believed in their relationship and their lives together, that they were embarking on openly, honestly and proudly.

This is another Keeper from SK - I can hand on heart say that everything I've read from her is, and that she's now given me an even harder time choosing a favourite.

There's a glimpse of book 2 at the end of this tale, one of the leads of which we get to meet in Absolution. Take my word for it that that book is also going to slay readers emotions-wise - possibly even more than this, and that's saying something.

Disclaimer: I'm a beta reader for this author. No payment was requested or offered for this review, the words of which are entirely my own.

Title: Salvation (The Protectors, Book 2)
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Published: May 11, 2016

I lifted my gaze to tell Seth no but then I saw it. The thing I’d feared I’d lost. It wasn’t hero worship or the wayward emotions of an innocent child. And it wasn’t some distorted reflection of a man who no longer existed. All I saw was me…the way he saw me.  --Ronan

Trauma surgeon Ronan Grisham lost everything the day the man he loved was stolen from him in a brutal attack. Driven by a thirst for vengeance, he turns his hatred into building an underground group that can do what he couldn’t that fateful day…take the lives of the guilty to save the lives of the innocent. But years later, he’s forced to confront the one link to his past that he can’t sever.

Seven years after the loss of his parents in a violent home invasion that left him permanently scarred both inside and out, 21-year-old Seth Nichols is trying to put his life back together so he can take over the reins of his father’s global shipping empire. But the last person he expects to come back into his life is the man he drove away with one innocent, stolen kiss.

With one brush of his lips, Seth managed to do to Ronan what no other had since the day Ronan watched the light in his fiancé’s eyes go out forever. He made him need again. But Ronan can’t need anyone, least of all his dead fiancé’s younger brother. Because even one touch from Seth could shatter Ronan’s carefully constructed world and Ronan knows there’s no coming back from that a second time.

But when a series of escalating attacks against Seth forces Ronan back into his life, Seth knows it’s his last chance to show Ronan he can be the man the broken surgeon needs. Only the Ronan who returns isn’t the Ronan Seth fell in love with so long ago…

Can Seth be Ronan’s salvation or will he end up destroying them both?

5 Stars! 

Wow! I loved this book, more than the first one actually, which I have to say surprised me. I loved Absolution and while Ronan intrigued me, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about him when I first started Salvation. He had seemed so cold and dangerous, though I knew he had a heart buried somewhere below that dark impenetrable shell. However I perceived him quickly changed as I was able to find out more of his story. I pretty much fell in love with him from the very beginning of the book.

The same could be said of Seth, who broke my heart more than once. His loss throughout the book is hard to imagine and I understood why he was the way he was. I loved him and felt the connection to him and Ronan made the best kind of sense. They balanced one another and brought peace to the other.

There were quite a few moments where I felt myself tear up at what both men had gone through. Ronan's brutal attack and the injuries he felt both physically as well as emotionally were almost too hard to read. Everything he went through understandably caused him to be who he now is.

This book was very well written and thought out. Both men balanced and brought peace to the other. I was very happy with how they were able to begin to heal each other. While this may be the second book in the series I felt as if it were truly the beginning of everything that comes after.

I also have to say that I felt drawn to Hawk's character and wanted so badly to find out more about him. The excerpt at the end of the book has me biting my nails for the next story in the Protectors series. Sloane Kennedy has definitely become one of my go-to authors with this series!

5 Stars 

One of SK's absolute best books. Every new book comes closer to toppling Logan and Dom as my No1 SK leads.

This tale technically is a standalone, but Ronan appears as a side character in book 1 of the series, Absolution, so it is best to read them in order, both for enjoyment, and as there are a few things hinted at about the man. There, Ronan appears as Mace's boss, the former doctor turned leader of a group of justice deliverers, a guy who doesn't hesitate to do whatever is necessary to protect the innocent. A guy who's alive, but not really living.

In this tale, we get to learn what made Ronan the man he is today, and how love, pain, danger, a horrendous assault and losing that love turned him into the cynical, stone cold, unbending man we see. But, we also get to see his salvation - Seth - a guy who's faced losses of his own, incredible pain, danger, anguish and trauma, and yet he's not given up on life. He's continued to force himself to go on living, though he knows that there's no chance of his dreams coming true or of a life with the man he loves, but knows he will never have. He's been in love with Ronan since he met him as a teen, despite knowing that Ronan loved another man. A man close to Seth's heart and one he'd never be able to hurt. But now, Roman needs Seth, perhaps more than Seth needs him, in some ways, and this is the start of their love story and their path to forgiveness, healing and happiness.

I could go on and tell you everything about this tale, but I wouldn't want to deprive you of its impact and the pleasure you'll find in it, and, I don't have the talent or the words of my friend, Sloane Kennedy, so I'll simply say that this is a tale about healing, about love, about courage, passion and forgiveness. It's another amazing tale, one which ranks up there with my SK favourites, Logan's Need, Finding Forgiveness, and Freeing Zane. It's another 5 Star Keeper.

Disclaimer: I'm a beta for this author. No monies were offered or requested in return for this honest review, the words of which are my own.

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  1. I haven't started them yet, but Salvation is high on my list.

  2. Congrats and thanks for the post, and good reviews. They made it a tbr series for me. I haven't read any of it yet, but I'd start with Absolution. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  3. I have never read this series before. So I guess book #1 will be high on my list

  4. I haven't read them yet but I would love to give them all a read.

  5. I have the first two book in The Protectors series they are in my TBR pile so I'm hoping to read them soon.