Review: Desperate Betrayal (The Protectors #1) by Hildie McQueen
When her sister is captured and held prisoner by a nasty master demon, Emma has no choice but to lure Protectorate warrior Cyn into a trap. Determined to follow through and save her sister, Emma couldn’t have known her feelings for the sexy Protector would be so intense or her imminent betrayal of him so incredibly difficult. Emma and Cyn must work together, each trusting the other through impossible circumstances, if they’re to protect their loved ones and head off one of the most ambitious world domination plans the demons have ever attempted. Desperate Betrayal is worth a look!
Title: Desperate Betrayal
Series: The Protectors #1
Author: Hildie McQueen
Prominent Characters: Cyn, Emma
Recommended reader age: 17+
Sexual content level: moderate
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
My first impression of Hildie McQueen’s Desperate Betrayal was the instant connection between the characters, searing and powerful. It really drew me into the world of the Protectors and their struggle against the demons. Ms McQueen has created a colorful and memorable cast of supporting characters that I found myself looking forward to getting to know better in their own stories. However, the writing style is a little simplistic at times: he did this, she said that. The grammar and punctuation are also sometimes disractlingly flawed, and the speech patterns a little awkward and inconsistent, switching between contractions and more formal speech even across multiple characters with varying accents. It made it difficult to get a good feel for the individual character voices and lose myself in the story.
I loved Cyn and all the protectors (especially Fallon – British, yum!) but was frustrated with the heroine, Emma. I understand the pull of family and how seeing them in trouble makes you do things you normally wouldn’t, take chances you would never otherwise consider, but at some point shouldn’t she have learned to be less trusting? Whenever I’m reading about new characters (or old, comfortable buddies – I’m looking at you Cat from Night Huntress), I hope to not think “ok, these people need to have more common sense.” How many times do you need to repeat the same mistake before learning your lesson? Ok, that said, Cyn’s relationship with his son, Blue, was lovely, and the sexual tension between Cyn and Emma is off the charts. Those two are combustible!
The ending is a little abrupt but closes out the story of Cyn and Emma nicely. This is obviously the first book in a series, given the large cast of supporting characters and the healthy amount of development done for some of them. I really want to know more about them and read their stories. I’m hoping the upcoming books in the series are edited more thoroughly and have a smoother flow, because I had a really tough time getting past the constant distraction of grammar, punctuation, sentence phrasing errors, and general technical mediocrity. It’s possible the review copy I had was an advance copy, so some of the grammar and punctuation can be excused, but the flow and feel of the dialogue wouldn’t be much different.
I know it sounds like I’m really bashing this book but I absolutely loved the feel of the story. It’s extremely engaging and the characters are intantly likeable (except the sister, who I disliked the entire time – making her more redeemable would have gone a long way toward making Emma’s blind spot for her more relatable). To express the kind of feel this novel had, to give a more complete picture beyond the technical aspects, it has several parallels with Sheriilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter universe. The setting, the Protectors, the forbidden couplings, the intense emotions… all ingredients for one serious whammy of a story. Technical issues can be corrected and a manuscript can be re-edited, but creativity of story and projection of emotion are much harder skills to hone, and Ms. McQueen has that extra something that makes makes readers sit up and take notice.
Less talking, more kissing, mmkay?
When he reached out to her, she held her hands up defensively. “Wait, don’t kill me. Just give me a couple minutes to explain…”
“Believe me, sweetheart killing you is not exactly what I have in mind right now.” His fingers curled around her forearm and he drew her to him.
Protector Fallon… more than meets the eye.
How could someone so obviously meticulous about his appearance be a demon slayer? Pretty boy or not, he definitely had that lethal air about him. Maybe he was gay. Hmm…now that would be a shame.
“I prefer women. I assure you, I’m not gay.” His smooth voice caused her to snap her head toward to him.
His lips were curved in an amused smile.
Oh God! He heard all my thoughts!
If you liked Desperate Betrayal…
If you enjoyed Desperate Betrayal, most definitely check out the Dark-Hunter series (starting with either Fantasy Lover or Night Pleasures) by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It has demons who drink human blood and are reminiscent of vampires, immortal protectors who hunt down and destroy the demons, a mysterious powerful boss guy with dominion over the warriors, hybrids have a choice to cross over or live as human/apolite, lots of demons converging on the city for a festival in honor of the wine god… plus seriously steamy pairings and a heart-warming fraternity between the warriors themselves. The upside AND downside of starting the Dark-Hunter series? It’s over 30 books long (with spin-off series) so you’ll be reading it for a good… long… time. Amen.
This book (and author) has a lot of potential. A little more thorough editing and experience, and Desperate Betrayal could easily be a “must read”. For now though, I’m giving it a “worth a look” and will be following Ms. McQueen’s new releases, excited to see her grow into her potential.
|Rating: Desperate Betrayal|