22 June 2014

Duty Bound by Samantha Chase & Noelle Adams

I used to think I could be a hero, but one deadly night destroyed that delusion. So I’ve come home defeated. My military career, my best friend, my purpose—all of it is lost.

What I find is her.

She’s my best friend’s sister, and she’s everything I shouldn’t want. She’s on a hopeless quest for answers about her brother’s death, but those are secrets that can never come to light. She’s always been a fighter, and she desperately wants the truth.

I desperately want her.

Someone is trying to kill her now, and she won’t let me keep her safe. I have to do it anyway, even if she doesn’t trust me, even if she hates me for it. A man protects what’s precious to him, whether or not he can ever claim her for his own. So she becomes my purpose.

I’ll become a hero for her.

A pretty straightforward and dare I say slightly overdone story, Duty Bound is about a man returning home from war, a woman who wants answers about her dead brother and secrets.  Levi served with Harper’s brother, and now Harper is one a mission to find out what happened to her brother, and she’s getting nowhere quick.  They are, of course, attracted to one another and as they fall deeper into each other, the secrets and lies between them are like the proverbial pea under the mattress.  Levi doesn’t want to share what happened, Harper wants to know.
I truly have mixed feelings about this book.  I feel that the mystery surrounding the whole story is interesting, and the execution of the plot is fine, but the characters killed the entire story for me.  I mean, Harper is angry…I get it.  She wants to know what really happened with her brother, but she just seems unnecessarily angry and snarky at times and after a while it really started to get old for me.  In fact, I really felt myself wanting to get the story over with quickly not because I had to know what happened, but just to get rid of Harper.  Ugh.
Levi was a descent character, though, and really saved the story for me.  He’s sweet, alpha and sexy as hell…a great combo.  I guess at the end of the day I had a hard time understanding why he didn’t just want to admit to Harper what really happened.  Perhaps my lack of connection with the characters was why I didn’t understand his particular motivation in that sense.
Also, the subplot of someone trying to murder Harper seemed incomplete to me.  It was just kind of like BOOM!  It happened.  I wish there’d been more to that particular part in the story.  And I’m not sure if it’s a good thing if you want one of the main characters actually to be murdered in a book.  Part of me was really hoping the killer would succeed.  I’m joking…mostly.
Overall, this was just an ok book for me.  It’s not that it was written poorly, I guess at the end of the day it was lack of a connection with the characters that made the story ho-hum for me.  3 stars.

I just finished Duty Bound and I liked it.  It is a military based novel and if you are into this sort of thing then this is for you.  Harper's brother Gavin has died in battle.  Levi and his friends (friends of Gavin) are at the funeral when Levi sees Harper.  He hasn't seen her in a while and man has she grown up.  Things are sad that are not very good so you think that there wouldn't be anything that would happen.  Nope, Harper is being targeted for trying to find out what happened to her brother.  Asking the wrong questions leads to some attempts on her life.  Levi is trying to protect her so what would happen when you have 2 very stubborn people together.  Yep.  It is exactly what you think. But Levin knows what happened to Gavin.  With so many secrets will Harper be able to forgive?  You will have to read and see...

I enjoyed the story.  I thought the plot was good and it flowed really well.  This for me is always the same plot that authors tend to write.  I was ok with it.  It was a good story with good characters.  I just found it to be predictable.  Did it take away from the story?  A little but again I was still able to read it and enjoy it.

Levi is exactly how you would picture him.  He is sexy, stubborn and just the ultimate hero.  Harper is a very opinionated girl where men try to stay aware from her because they are intimidated.  For me, I didn't quite get that from her.  I just got that she was determined and just very bullheaded but I was ok with that.  Levi and Harper had a good chemistry in and out of the bedroom. 

Overall this was a quick story with a lot of potential and cannot wait to see what happens.

Duty Bound is a great start to The Protectors series and it marks the successful collaboration between Ms. Chase and Ms. Adams. These authors do a wonderful job of creating an entire cast of characters that you can’t help but enjoy spending time with. The fact that the series appears to be centered on the core four returning home from the service – Levi, Sebastian, Declan, and Cole – makes it that much easier to become invested in their stories.

In this first installment, the four have returned home injured and without their fifth – Gavin. The book opens with Gavin’s funeral and the reader gets immediate insight into Levi as the Prologue is told from his perspective. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to not feel an immense sense of sympathy for Levi as he deals with the loss of his best friend and feelings of guilt as he internally “what ifs” the incident that lead to Gavin’s death. His guilt is further exacerbated when Gavin’s little sister, Harper, lashes out at him in her moment of grief. Because the authors alternate between Levi and Harper’s points of view from chapter to chapter, the reader gets to know Harper just as well and I found her to be a feisty, mouthy woman who I would so enjoy hanging out with. As great as Levi and Harper are, they’re even better when they’re together and the sparks start flying when Levi realizes that Gavin’s little sister is all grown up. While the sex scenes are hot, they are not graphic and we are well into the story before they occur.

Because Duty Bound contains elements of romantic suspense, specific plot points can’t be discussed without risking spoilers (which I don’t do). So, if you’re looking for a romance with interesting characters, a bit of heat, and even more suspense, then you’ll likely enjoy this book. The authors have done a great job of laying the foundation (pun intended) for the series and I’m looking forward to reading Honor Bound, the next book in The Protectors series.
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About Noelle Adams: Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.
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About Samantha Chase: Contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
Her second book, a holiday novella titled "The Christmas Cottage" hit #10 on Amazon's Best Seller List on Christmas Eve. It was a great Christmas gift! Watching the numbers rise and fall is a daily roller coaster ride but definitely an exciting one! And on February 25th, she released the follow up novella - "Ever After" - available exclusively on Amazon.
When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, blogging, playing way too many games of Scrabble on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 23 years and their two sons in North Carolina.


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