Tuesday, 24 January 2017


Title: Protected
Series: Diablo Lake
Author: Lauren Dane
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Shifters
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 23rd January 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Tensions are building in Diablo Lake as the two main rival Packs vie for control, and the town is divided along lines of Pack loyalty. Aimee Benton and Mac Pembry are on opposite sides and he seems to find excuses to spar with her daily. He's infuriating—not to mention charming, gorgeous and oh-so-lickable.

Mac can't resist pushing Aimee's buttons. She's always been incredibly sexy, and the wolf in him craves a female with fire in her belly. When a heated argument ends with a sizzling kiss and Mac gets a taste of her, he craves more—and she can't seem to get enough of him, either. The forbidden nature of their attraction stokes their desires until they're secretly hooking up whenever they can.

But then Mac's clan goes too far, and Aimee shuts him out. She's hurt and angry—but that's nothing compared to the rage Mac is feeling toward his own Pack. A fight is brewing that will plunge the whole town into chaos, and someone will have to cross Pack lines to keep the town's fragile peace from breaking apart for good.


After reading Moonstruck and falling in love with Diablo Lake, its magic and secret supernatural population I was really eager to read more as soon as I could. I adored the characters, their interactions with their families and each other in Moonstruck. I read the blurb for this book and I was really raring to go with reading, to learn more about the Pembry wolves. I was also curious to see how a possible relationship between witch, Aimee Benton and dominant wolf Macrae Pembry would work out. My thoughts were along the lines of would the wolf men, Jace Dooley and Macrae Pembry and their differences come between the true deep friendship between Aimee Benton and Katie Faith Dooley?
I became totally immersed in the Diablo Lake magic before I'd finished reading the first page of Protected. The book picks up three weeks after the wedding of witch, Katie Faith Grady and prime wolf Jace Dooley. The alterations to the Dooley home of Jace and Katie are well underway and it seems both patrons, Jace & Katie have slipped into their new roles quite seamlessly and are coping with the added workload fairly easily too. The garden of the property has flourished since Katie moved in and it has abundant display of beautiful smelling roses.

Aimee is all worked up, she has discovered something about an ex-boyfriend and the only person she feels she can turn to with the revelation is best friend Katie Faith. Katie is naturally shocked but reassures her friend that she is not the person with the problem, it is her ex-boyfriend of three years Bob that has the issues and needs to deal with them. Katie advises Aimee to just forget about it all. 
The two girls soon turn their attention to the fit looking werewolves working on the house. Aimee can certainly understand her friends attraction to werewolves.

The cover of Moonstruck had a purple hue to it, this book has a blue hue. The scene on Protected's cover could be straight from a certain section of the book when a certain couple are kissing under the moonlight. I would say the couple is Aimee and Macrae the two most central characters within Protected. Katie actually teases Aimee, saying that Macrae is "eyeing her up", though Aimee laughs and brushes off the comment she has to admit to herself and then later to best friend Katie that she finds Macrae rather swoon worthy herself!

The genre of Protected is classified as Romance, Sci-Fi Fantasy by Netgalley and I totally agree with this. I will add that yes there are some steamy scenes with quite explicit language but to me it works well as it is part of a larger plot/storyline not just for the sake of a steamy scene.

So after being "rescued" by Macrae from being skittled over by two fighting werewolves (Dooley vs Pembry) and then "bumping" into Macrae a few other times they end up organising a date. Naturally gossips that they are Aimee and Katie come up with the idea of meeting up making it, Aimee, Macrae, Katie and Jace going out for the meal! These girls are as close as sisters really, and throughout the book Katie Faith proves to be a real support and defender of Aimee. Jace also views Aimee as family and is always on hand to "sort out" anyone bothering her, but Aimee is a strong witch, who both can and prefers to defend herself. There's rumours, malicious gossip, rival pack tensions as well as internal Pembry wolf pack tensions galore in this book. If you thought Moonstruck was packed full of action . . ..well Protected has all that and even more.
Katie Faith & Jace Dooley still feature quite highly in my list of favourite characters in this series. We also learn just how stern Miz Rose can be when a couple of werewolves that should know better break the code, one of the simplest but most important rules for all those that live in Diablo Lake. I'm trying to hint and skirt around revealing anything as I of course do not want to spoil your own reading experience of this brilliant book. 
I cannot say I like Scarlett Pembry but at one or two points in Protected you do feel empathy towards her, as Aimee does too. The way Scarlett keeps on going at Katie Faith and her reputation is weird. . . and is becoming stranger and more mystifying as the Diablo Lake Series progresses. Scarlett really seems to have a vendetta against Katie . . . .and she continually rakes over old Diablo Lake history bringing up Josiah Dooley . . . and hinting at "bad things" as well as snarking and being nasty towards Jace Dooley too. Hopefully we will learn exactly what Scarlett's problem is somewhere in the future of the Diablo Lake series.
The odd thing about Scarlett is that when she finds out about a possible union between Katie Faith's best friend Aimee and her son Macrae she is all for it. The immediate reason for her favourable attitude towards Aimee seems to be that it would mean the "Pembry pack" would then have their own witch like she see's Katie Faith being to the Dooley pack. 
I'm looking forward to learning what her actual problem is and why she is so anxious to do as much damage to Jace and Katie Dooley as possible.
Macrae is the opposite of his parents, in fact he ends up having to make some difficult choices in how to deal with certain members of his family. I personally think Macrae is similar in character, personality and ways to Jace Dooley. I reckon if Jace and Macrae were in charge of their respective packs there would be much less drama and upset in Diablo Lake. The "cats" in Diablo Lake have a brief part to play in a "clean up" operation that has Miz Rose taking charge. I'm hoping we get to discover more about the cat shifters later in this series. Though what we do know is that they aren't as close, and in and out of each others homes like the werewolf packs are.
The "shining star" of Protected has to be Aimee Benton, who is a nurturing green witch. Aimee is the person who goes around Diablo Lake calling in on the older generation offering herbal and magic infused tinctures and balms to soothe their ailments. Aimee does this without anything in return really, she does it because she can and wishes too. I thought the way she wormed her way into Jeph Pembry's home and heart was particularly amusing, she kind of managed to turn around her good deeds, giving the impression Jeph was doing her a favour eating the extra bun, or the extra broth or pie she left for him. Even the matriarchal Rebecca Pembry is won over by the caring Aimee. Rebecca gives both the permission and strength to Macrae to pursue Aimee no matter what as well as being the wise voice he needs to hear when the time comes he has to become patron. Rebecca informs her grandson Macrae that Aimee Benton will make a worthy patron and be a great asset to the Pembry pack.

Protected is more centred on the Pembry wolves, though we have already met Macrae's immediate family of parents Dwayne and Scarlett, and obnoxious spolit brother Darrell. We also read about Mac Pembry's true family support network from grandmother Rebecca, to his Uncle Bern and his wife and the cousins that always have his back Huston and Everett. We also learn a little more about Mac's other brothers Billy and youngest Samuel. It was an important moment in the book when Samuel chose to speak up and warn Macrae and Aimee about a plan that current Mayor Dwayne has to discredit opponent Aimee in the run up to the Mayoral elections. I'm looking forward to seeing and reading about the aftermath of the incidents at the end of Protected. How will Scarlett react now she is no longer the patron? Will the Pembry pack finally settle under the watchful eye and fair hand of Mac Pembry.

I have to add just a few more things....Firstly, I truly adored the part in the book where it is revealed Macrae got his name from. Secondly, I could seriously visualise the incident in the supermarket where Nadine Grady hears Pembry Wolves slandering her daughters name ans she picks up a can of peaches and hits the wolf. . . . well you'll find out when you read the book yourselves. Finally, I was also immensely entertained by what I call the Katie/Aimee "isms" such as "Softy Softerson", "maggot eating shit lord"and "Cheaty McCheaterson". The other nick names I found really appropriate during Protected, were for the opposing packs in town were the "Droolworthy Dooleys" and the "Poison Pembrys". Though after the ending of Protected maybe it should be "Droolworthy Dooleys" and "Pulseracing Pembry's". 

I could really go on and on about this book, in fact this series so far! The books fit together well, especially as there is only a three week time frame gap between the end of Moonstruck and the beginning of Protected. 

The initial words floating around my head as I finished reading Protected but also fit well for Moonstruck were, Enthralling, Captivating, Emotional, and Heart Warming. The Diablo Lake series has family and community at the very heart of the plots and has some relate-able situations even though it is classified as fantasy. All I can really sum up with is Wow! another fantastic book n the Diablo Lake Series! and that I am so eagerly awaiting the next book in the series I hope it's not long until its available to read.

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