Finding a new author whose book I loved is always a reason to rejoice!
Yes GRs' peeps... I loved Protecting What’s His by Tessa Bailey. Shit, even the title has me swooning. Uh huh!!!
Ginger Peet is a twenty-three year old living a life where she has trouble making ends meet trying to provide for her seventeen year old sister. Their mother has never cared enough to provide for them, loving her drug addiction even more than her daughters. Ginger and her sister have been raised by a mother who brought drugs and men into their home and never tried to hide the fact that she was turning tricks. Needless to say, Ginger has had to grow up fast and has always been the one looking out for her younger sister. One night when she sees her mother passed out with a purse full of money beside her, the temptation for a better life is too hard to resist. She takes the money, packs up and moves with her sister to Chicago leaving her life in Nashville and her mother behind.
Derek Tyler is having a bad day despite the fact that the day has barely begun. One of his men was killed in the line of duty and today is the funeral. The last thing he needs is two very loud females making a ruckus moving into the apartment across from his. When he leaves his apartment to confront the duo, he is taken aback by the sexy brown-haired vixen not afraid to give it right back to him. Well shit! This is the last thing he expected! Not being able to reign in his controlled demeanour, Derek pursues Ginger with a determination that would be hard to resist. Ginger is tempted by this sexy homicide lieutenant who is now her next door neighbour. Can she keep their relationship strictly physical? When they both finally succumb to their desires, Ginger finds out that Derek wants so much more from her. Is she willing to take the risk and give him what he wants?
My Thoughts and Rambles:
This book was freakin’ amazeballs. First, we have a sexy, domineering, possessive alpha-male who refuses to take no for an answer. Yes, please! You throw in a confident and sassy girl who gives as good as she gets and you have magic people. The sexual tension between Derek and Ginger is off the charts. I loved how they danced around each other and right from the beginning you just knew that these two would not keep their hands off each other for long.
I loved Derek. He had me fanning myself right from his first appearance. What’s not to love about a sexy cop who pursues his woman with a steely determination that would have the panties melting off any person with a vagina (and likely many people with penises, too). Derek was not afraid to take what he wanted but once Ginger truly got under his skin, he was not afraid to show her how he felt about her. Seriously, a winning combination! He saw through Ginger’s carefully erected walls and pushed them over like a battering ram. He was everything she needed – protective, strong, someone to lean on. Ok, sighing! Furthermore, Ms. Bailey did not disappoint with the steam level in this book. The sexy scenes were nicely done and left me quite.... er..... warm. ;)
Most of the time, I was like: “Derek, come to mama!”
Ok, moving forward.....
Ginger was a wonderful character as well. She comes across as someone who is confident in her own skin and not afraid to use her sexuality, but in reality she is a vulnerable girl who has had to take on more than most people in her short life. Ginger is a survivor and she has done everything she could in order to take care of her sister. Ginger is also someone who has lived behind a carefully guarded persona and only shows people what she wants. She never breaks down and never shows anyone her vulnerability. That is until Derek barges into her life. Ginger can’t seem to stay away from this dominant lieutenant who seems to know exactly what she needs. As her relationship progresses with Derek I loved watching her come out of her shell and begin to show her true colours to both Derek and her sister. What emerges is an amazing young lady, someone Derek has seen the whole time.
I need to mention Willa, Ginger’s younger sister. Although a secondary character, we see her emerge from a shutdown girl into one who is willing to take risks and move forward with her life. I loved her attitude and trucker mouth. I laughed on more than one occasion at what came out of Willa’s mouth. It was nice to see her get a shot at romance as well with Evan, an athlete from her school. Very sweet and a perfect little side story.
I truly enjoyed Protecting What’s His. It is a shorter book but I still felt that the author did a great job providing enough of a story for me to get emotionally connected to the characters. I truly wanted to see Derek and Ginger get their HEA. My only criticism is that I wish we got more on Derek’s background. Ms. Bailey gave her reader the background on Ginger, but nothing on Derek. It would have been nice to get a little more on Derek since he was a character that I was literally enthralled with. All in all, this is an impressive debut novel and I will most certainly be stalking this author to find out more about her future books.
Some favourite quotes:
“Let me be clear, Ginger, since you insist on talking in circles. I want you underneath me in my bed. I want to be buried inside you so deep that I have to remind you of your own name. And I want those motherfuckers leering at you from the other side of the bar to smell me on you for a week afterward."
“I’m ruined. You’ve ruined me, Ginger.”
“Give me a chance beautiful girl,” he whispered urgently against her mouth.
“Try harder, Derek,”
“Point taken. But one more thing.” Derek leaned forward, resting his hands on either side of her on the counter, then dipped his head lower. Ginger’s mind reeled as he ran his tongue upward in one long lick of her neck. “The longer it takes me to get between your thighs, the rougher I’m going to be when I finally get there. Understand?”
By forcing her to acknowledge that his interest went beyond sexual attraction, he’d effectively blasted a hole in the side of her already-sinking ship. She didn’t know her own identity without the illusion of sex. Had always used her looks to her advantage. But he wanted more. He wanted her.
“I’m looking at you sitting there all puffy-eyed from crying over me. If I kiss you right now, I’ll never stop.”
“When we touch each other, it’s honest and real. I crave it.”
Derek hoped for her sake she didn’t try to change her mind, because he didn’t intend to let her go. He would fight every single insecurity swimming around in that head to keep her.
Willa flipped Ginger the bird without looking away from the full-length mirror. “This touching family sitcom moment brought to you by the letters F and U.”
“But I would come after you every time. Every. Time.”
“Look at me. You own me. I’m owned.”