I was two chapters in to Protective Love, when I found myself wanting to slash the throat of one of the characters! It’s okay, I was supposed to hate him! This was a raw, emotional read. The author put me through the wringer, I felt hatred, sadness and shock, but it was balanced by plenty of romance and some hot scenes.
Kayla was violently, sexually abused from the age of twelve. Her attacker, Alex, was an acquaintance of her brother Carson. When he initially raped Kayla, he claimed it was to pay off a debt her brother owed him, but this was not a one time thing. He raped and brutalized Kayla for years. Even when she moved to escape him, he always managed to find her. The author does describe the rapes but it's not too graphic. I hated Alex with a passion.
Kayla never told her family about the attacks, she didn't know how to raise the subject but inside she was crying out for help and wanted them to notice. They didn't, and over the years she distanced herself from her family and never had a relationship with a man.
When Jason sees Kayla for the first time, he's instantly attracted to her. He can't get her out of his mind. Jason has issues from his past and cannot normally commit to a relationship, but he falls hard and fast for Kayla. Over time he is able to make her laugh and bring her out of her shell. His love for her pours off the page. He comforts her during her nightmares; he's protective and always puts Kayla first. He never pushes her. Slowly, Kayla accepts the feelings she has for him, even though she feels unworthy of his love.