“You didn’t want me three years ago,” I bit out. “I get that. But not one word – not one fucking word to let me know that you were okay…to ask if I was okay?”
I snatched Ronan’s plate off the island and dropped it into the sink, uncaring that it broke. “Watching me from the woods like some stalker-”
I didn’t get any further because Ronan grabbed me and spun me around and pushed me back against the counter. “You’re a smart guy, Seth,” he muttered even as his hands pinned mine next to my body. “You saw me in your bathroom,” he said as he dropped his mouth close to mine. “You felt me,” he nearly whispered against my lips. “Did it feel like I didn’t want you?”
I cursed my body for responding to his nearness but I cursed the fact that I was so desperate to believe him even more.
“You wouldn’t let me touch you-”
“That’s about me, not you,” he interrupted. His lips actually grazed the skin next to my lips as he spoke.
I wanted to ask what he meant but I was too stunned to realize what he was admitting to. But my fledgling hope died a quick death as what it was that he wasn’t saying hit me. He wanted me but he didn’t want to want me.
“I…I think you should go, Ronan,” I managed to say despite the sudden tightness in my throat.
Ronan hung there for a moment and I wished like hell he’d ignore my request and seal his mouth over mine. But then his hands fell from mine and he stepped back.
“Not until I get some answers,” he finally said.
I nodded because at that point, I was willing to do just about anything to get away from him for good.
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…
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Sloane Kennedy has become one of my favourite MM writers"
After reading Absolution, the first book in The Protectors Series, I thought I had to read another book by Sloane. Thankfully I didn't have to wait long as I was the lucky recipient of an ARC for an honest review.
From the Prologue my heart was soaring. I had to keep on reading to find out more about Ronan's and Seth's story. As much as I loved Absolution, for me Salvation was a more cathartic and emotional journey.
Ronan first met Seth whilst going out with his older brother Trace. Although several years his older, they always had a special bond. Ronan used to see Seth only as a friend and someone who was like a younger brother to him, however for Seth the feelings for Ronan even from a young age were always strong. He used to admire Ronan, and what he felt for him instead of scared him and disappear with time, it only grew stronger.
Ronan didn't have a happy upbringing. Having Trace as a boyfriend allow him not only to have a sense of normalcy but also the affection of a family he always craved. He thrived to make someone of himself who would be good and kind and would always fight to save the lives of others. But in a tragic twist of events the life he had envisioned suddenly is ripped from his grasp and leaves him a completely changed man.
Seeking revenge for what he lost, transforms Ronan into the man he is today. Cold, calmed and collected. Someone who can now as easily take a life in the quest to eradicate the scum from the earth.
Having had the perfect family, Seth goes through a deeply disturbing ordeal losing those who he loved the most in a blink of an eye. Not only did the experience left him with an emotional trauma, he will always bare the physical scars as a reminder of that crucial day.
Tragedy and pain reunite Seth and Ronan, and Seth, who is tired of fighting his emotions, does something that only sends Ronan away from his side and at the time when he needed him the most.
Many years and regrets later bring Ronan back into Seth's life. This time he is there to repair the damage he caused all those years back and offer the protection he so desperately needs. He tries to still see him as the young and innocent boy he left behind, only to find him grown into a beautiful yet insecure man. Memories of their last encounter has both men on edge, for Seth is a realisation that no matter time or distance nothing will ever be enough to forget the profound love, hurt and betrayal for the person in front of him. For Ronan is the excruciating fear of giving way to his emotions. Emotions that could forever destroy his only chance to do good by Seth. Oh if only that was as easy as it sounds. Seth scars are on display. He bares the pain and embraces his ordeal. Ronan has mastered to concealed them from the world by not allowing anyone to touch him, both physically and emotionally.
I completely fell in love with every aspect of this story. There are so many elements and so many emotions that both characters evoked in me.
The road ahead of them is a rough and painful one. They will each have to face not only their deepest and darkest demons but also open up to one another to completely immerse in what I can only describe as one the most passionate and erotic journeys of self discovery, of redemption of love and ultimately forgiveness, and I was blessed to have taken this quest with them.
Thank You Sloane for giving me the opportunity to read this beautiful story. It will forever remain as one of my ultimate favourites!
5 EMOTIONAL STARS!
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