Review: Provoked (Dark Protectors #5) by Rebecca Zanetti
Determined to find a weapon in the war against the demons who have held his brother captive, tortured in mind, body, and spirit for the last four years, genius scientist Kane Kayrs follows a line of clues that takes him into a honkeytonk bar in small town USA, eyeing the lovely blonde waitress. Raised in a commune as a vegan and pacifist, Amber Freebird wants nothing to do with the rich and dangerous-looking man in her section and has no idea she is one of the legendary Demon Destroyers, a very rare enhanced human capable of blocking demon mental warfare. An unlikely pairing, Kane and Amber will have to figure out how to work together, and face some hard truths about themselves without compromising their individual beliefs, before it’s too late for Jase. Provoked is a GraveTells Fave!
- Title: Provoked
- Series: Dark Protectors book #5
- Author: Rebecca Zanetti
- Prominent Characters: Kane, Amber, Jase
- Recommended Reader Age: 16+
- Genre(s): Paranormal romance
- Sexual Content Level: moderate, intense
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Jase Kayrs, the youngest and most care-free brother of the vampire nation’s ruling family, has been a captive of the demon army for four years now, and a pacifist, eco-loving Demon Destroyer is his only hope of rescue. Now there’s a tough predicament for a vampire wanting to use her as a weapon… unless that vampire is Kane Kayrs, and the logical solution is a union that will result in Kane inheriting his mate’s abilities. He’d be able to do the fighting himself and share his empathic abilities with a woman who can use every shred of help defending her brain from the demons hellbent on annihilating it. But marriage and life-long mates should be based in love and happily ever after, or so Amber says, and she is strong and stubborn enough to stand up for what she believes in against even the most brilliant Kayrs brother.
The Kayrs men are large and in charge, domineering, and genius scientist Kane is no exception. Instead of using his brain as an excuse to be less involved in his romantic overtures, he taps that vast supply of knowledge & intuition and turns it into sheer, dominating pleasure… and I do mean DOMINATING! I thought Conn was hot in Hunted (and he was, don’t get me wrong! *fans self*), but Kane is memorable enough that I am still thinking about him 2 weeks and half a dozen books later. Kane Kayrs is an incredibly dedicated lover, and his combination of meticulous attention to detail and raw force of personality makes for some smokin’ scenes between him and Amber.
I absolutely loved Hunted (#3 in the series – it won our Book of the Month award in May 2012), but I think what sets Provoked above even that high standard is the integration of Jase Kayrs’ storyline. Jase has a rough time in this book. Four years of mental and physical torture in demon captivity have stolen nearly all his strength and fighting spirit. Even if he does survive, who will he become? The scenes where the Kayrs brothers are dealing with Jase’s situation are emotionally powerful, and exactly what the series needed to amp up the intensity as it moves into the final stages of the demon conflict.
How Ms. Zanetti functions with all these uber sexy, domineering, hot hot HOT men in her head, I have no idea – I’d be a quivering mess of “yes, please, and thank you” just about all the time! Hah! If you haven’t started reading the Dark Protectors series, what are you waiting for? Go go go!!
PS – Amber names her pets after Star Trek characters. Who can resist a heroine like that?! Get ready for the onslaught of quotes! =P
Isn’t that where everyone keeps their stack of doctorate diplomas?
“A combination of string theory, quantum physics, and neurobiology,” Kane said absently.
The paper crinkled more when she fidgeted. Science had never made a lot of sense to her. “Oh. Have you studied all of that stuff?”
“Yes.” He rubbed his chin, frowning at the paper before jotting down more equations. “I’m not sure how many doctorates I have— the diplomas may be in a drawer somewhere.”
Ah, I’m with Kane on this one…
“We can’t leave them to die.”
Exasperation rode his strong sigh. “Why the hell not?” So much for not swearing around her.
He glanced back at the quiet scene. “Not really.” Examining Alex still lying on the ground, Kane cocked his head. “I’d say it’s more self-defense, and well, death by being a moron.” He glanced up at her, and his lips tightened. “I don’t think their plans for you were very honorable.”
Yeah, you tell him, sister!
“For goodness’ sake. Why in the world would you buy bottled water?”
“Ah, I was thirsty?”
She shook her head. “So drink from a fountain. Do you know what that plastic does to the environment? You should care, darn it.”
“I won’t buy water in a bottle again.”
“Thank you.” The earth wasn’t going to last if people failed to start taking care of her. A smart man like Kane, regardless of his insanity, should realize that fact.
Focus, Amber. Focus on not dying!
He had nice hands. Tapered, strong, and capable, they handled the steering wheel of the Suburban with ease. As the SUV whipped around dangerous curves over black ice, Amber reached for her seatbelt. His nice hands wouldn’t save her from crashing through the windshield if he hit a Ponderosa pine.
That’s right, Kane. Be afraid. Be very afraid…
“As a race, we’re rather protective of females. Sometimes too much so. My sisters-in-law would never be allowed to work alone in a bar— just for safety reasons.”
He stiffened, catching his breath. Then he stood and whirled to face her.
“Don’t ever tell them I used the word allow. God. Ever. Please.”
How is any woman supposed to argue with that?!
Running both hands through her hair, he gently tugged her head back until her eyes met his. “Amber, I like you. Against all rational thought, I like the way you think, the way you move, even the way you feel everything too strongly. And I want to have one night with you— not to relieve some stress, although it would— not to cement your help, although it might— and not to further any of my rather pressing goals. I just want to get inside you and drive you crazy until you scream my name.”
Tomorrow sounds good…
Too fast to track, he grabbed both her hands and flattened them against the blanket under his.
“Not that I mind wearing your marks, sweetheart, but a man does like to take his time.”
“I’m going to kill you.” She wrapped her legs around his hips, holding him in place. “Tomorrow.”
You don’t need an intro for this one… 😉
“Now tell me what you want.”
She stilled. “Um, well, what do you want?”
His woman was shy in bed. Interesting . . . and not what he’d accept. “I want you to tell me what you want.” Oh, she was wet and primed. He knew exactly what she wanted— but she’d have to ask. Nicely.
“You’re kind of an asshole in bed,” she moaned.
If you liked…
If you liked Provoked but haven’t yet read the other books in the series, definitely check out Fated, the story of Kayrs brother Talen and his scientist mate Cara. I don’t recommend starting this series reading Provoked, as you’ll spoil some of the previous plotlines and the cast of characters is fairly large.
If you liked the style of Ms. Zanetti’s writing and are looking for something new to keep you addicted and enthralled, check out Joan Swan’s Phoenix Rising series, starting with Fever. Its sequel, Blaze was awarded GraveTells’ very rare perfect score 5-heart rating and both books were named as GraveTells Books of the Month in 2012.
Another author great at writing emotion, passion, and adventure no matter the story length is Laura Kaye. Check out her Vampire Warrior Kings novella series (starting with In the Service of the King) and her Hearts of the Anemoi series (starting with one of our other perfect score recipients and a 2011 GraveTells Book of the Year, North of Need).
Hunted was my first trip through the Dark Protectors universe (book #3 in the series) and I fell in love with Conn, Moira, and all the Kayrs brothers. Consumed was an excellent followup and gave us a glimpse into the leadership of the shifter nation, allies of the vampires. Now with Provoked, the storyline has moved from isolated conflicts and ground-building side plots to a full-on sprint into what is sure to be an explosive next few books. If you have never read a book in this series, now is the time to start, so you can get caught up in the release madness of Ms. Zanetti’s brilliantly addicting storytelling and world-weaving! This is not a book or series to be missed and is a new GraveTells Fave!