An ugly childhood and devastating betrayal have left 25-year-old Cain Jensen scarred inside and out. Protecting himself means keeping everyone at arm's length and protecting others means never getting emotionally involved. In the three years since he's joined an underground vigilante group, every life he saves helps ease the guilt of the ones that were lost to him so long ago. So when he's sent to a remote cabin in the Cascade Mountains just north of Seattle to follow up on the disappearance of his boss's co-worker, his only thought is to see that justice is served, no matter what the circumstances.
But nothing he's ever experienced has prepared the cold-hearted and very straight Cain for who he finds on that mountain...or the intense need to suddenly offer more than just protection.
"I've finally managed to break free, but I've never felt more trapped in my entire life..."
Ethan Rhodes has been running for six months, but it's never fast enough, it's never far enough. At 30 years old, the talented ER Doctor should be spending his days saving other people's lives, not worrying about his own. But he knows that the four years of physical and emotional abuse he's suffered at the hands of his volatile ex are nothing compared to what will happen when Ethan runs out of places to hide, especially after taking something from the man he once was sure would be the love of his life.
A violent episode that has Ethan narrowly escaping death leads to a quiet cabin in the mountains where his battered body will have time to heal before he and the young girl relying on him need to run again. But everything changes with the arrival of a mysterious stranger who threatens to give Ethan something he'd finally accepted was gone forever...hope.
"I didn't see this coming. I don't think he did either..."
To get to the truth, Cain must first get through Ethan's defenses, but watching the other man's walls start to come down forces Cain to face his own past. And as the tremulous connection between the two men grows and gives way to something more, both will need to decide if they're willing to risk giving each other the one thing that has cost them so much in the past...trust.
Will two men who've vowed never to let someone close again let down their guard long enough to find each other, or will they let their pasts determine their future?
Trigger Warning: Triggers for this book can be seen ahead of purchase by utilizing the "Look Inside" feature or downloading the sample and scrolling to the specified page.
Can be read as a stand-alone story - no cliffhangers.
The Protectors series crosses over with some of my other series, so for the most enjoyment, they should be read in order, but it is not required. You can find the correct reading order at the beginning of each book. I've also bundled all my series in the correct reading order under the title of A Family Chosen: The Protectors and Barrettis.