The Dangerous Protector
The Dangerous Protector the second book in a series, and for a time I was totally lost among a crowd of strangers. Evidently the characters had all been introduced in Seductive Imposter and I felt like a Hatfield at a McCoy reunion. While I enjoyed the book, I never quite got over wanting to ask, “And you are?” every so often while I read it.
Willow Foster is an assistant attorney general in Maine. Evidently, in the earlier book, she had had a one-night affair with Duncan Ross, who owns a bar in her home town, Puffin Harbor. Willow had a bad incident in her past and because of it, she flees from commitment. Duncan is not a commitment-phobic man at all. He wants marriage, while Willow does not. But she is powerfully attracted to him, and Duncan can be very persistent. The people of Puffin Harbor have gotten into the act by running a betting pool on whether they will or won’t get engaged.
When a local lobsterman comes to Willow and tells her about finding sick and dying lobsters in his traps, she does some snooping and traces the dead and dying lobsters to an old quarry where she and her buddies used to swim. Duncan and his friends dive in the quarry and find traces of containers. Later they find that the contagion is a pesticide that has been dumped into the quarry illegally. One night, someone forces Willow’s SUV off the road and pours liquor down her throat. Clearly, someone doesn’t want her snooping.
The Dangerous Protector moved quickly, and once I got all the characters mostly straightened out, I was happily engrossed in the book. I liked Willow and Duncan both, and I liked the secondary characters as well. Janet Chapman can write books that really give you a feeling of community. The town of Puffin Harbor came alive for me, and Willow and Duncan made a very nice couple.
However – I do have a couple of major bones to pick. Duncan’s background is way, way over the top. I’ll leave you to discover it on your own, but when his mother came into the picture and we got the details on who she is and who Duncan, is I rolled my eyes big time. And I never really got comfortable figuring out who was who. This is a book that could have used a cast of characters chart (or maybe I just needed to read Seductive Imposter). But wait…shouldn’t a single title release stand alone?
Oh well, weigh all that against a good story and likable characters. Even though my TBR pile threatens to overrun the house, I plan to add Seductive Imposter to it. I think this book will prove more enjoyable once I figure out the cast.