I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter
Review completed December 13, 2012
"The price of protection is simple. You have to let me touch you. Kiss you. Not every time the lights go out. Not every night of the week. But -- enough."
It's kinda strange but after finishing this novella that ended at 77 % (!) I was so stunned that I felt nothing at all. I didn't shed a single tear. I guess it happens now and then that you feel the full impact of a story a day or two after you've closed the book. Anyway, I'm sitting in front of my laptop, trying to gather my wits to write a decent review and everything is crashing down on me. Protection is difficult to review, so bear with me when I'm not able to knock it out of the park.
"I've gone with you as far as I can. I'll be waiting for you."
1936, Wentworth Men's Prison
What does a man do who has no chance at a life outside of prison? As a matter of fact when there are no women around to satisfy a man's needs he turns to other male inmates. And Joseph (Joey) Cooper comes in pretty handy. He is a doctor convicted of malpractice and gross negligence. The rules are simple: appease one man, remain alive and uninjured.
Cooper was beautiful, yet not feminine. As a free man, Gabriel's appetite for sex had been prodigious. Now that he knew he couldn't last another thirty, forty, or fifty years on the occasional hand job or suck off, perhaps it was time to accept masculine beauty?
There is a (view spoiler) at 11 %. Fortunately it's only a short "interlude". If you think you cannot handle it then I suggest that you skip it because what follows suit is remarkable and really worth reading. Only shortly thereafter these two men become cellmates. They are starting a halting and strenuous "relationship".
"But just now I offered you a cigarette and you took it. Let me light it and you're mine. Meaning you're protected from all the bull-necked, ham-fisted motherf@@@ers who'd kill you trying to love you. No man in Wentworth will touch what's mine."
"I don't want you to touch me." (view spoiler)
Despite his wrongdoing I really liked Gabriel. His background is intense and painful. With that said, I believe he deserved some compassion. Even though Gabriel thinks that some wrongs can't be undone he'll (view spoiler)
Protection is an engrossing and heart-breaking little read and it goes without saying that you shouldn't read it if you are looking for a comfort read. The characters are complex, intelligent, likable and believable. I enjoyed the (smart) interaction between Gabe and Joey, and fortunately there is no turn into Sapsville to be found here. Some parts are painful and gritty, others are beautiful. In conclusion, the author delivered a well-written story that ends without a HEA, and yet there's a grain of salt that I'd call hope.
Putting two fingers to his lips, (view spoiler)
"My own love." Gabriel traced a finger along Joey's hairline, pushing an errant strand back in place. "My only love."
One can find love even under severely adverse conditions.