If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: Defender by Diana Palmer / @TLCBookTours @Dianaritr

Title: Defender
Series: Long, Tall Texans
Author: Diana Palmer
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: TLC Book Tours

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The man who shattered her trust is back to protect her…

New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer delivers a breathtaking story of second-chance love.

When Paul Fiore disappeared from Isabel Grayling's life, he told himself it was for all the right reasons. She was young and innocent, and he was her millionaire father's lowly employee. Three years on, Paul is the FBI agent assigned to Isabel's case. Too late, he realizes what life in her Texas mansion was really like back then—and how much damage he did when he left.

Once love-struck and sheltered, Isabel has become an assistant district attorney committed to serving the law, no matter how risky it gets. But right now, the man she can't forgive is the one thing standing between her and a deadly stalker. She knows Paul won't hesitate to protect her life with his own. But if she can't trust herself to resist him, how can she trust him not to break her heart all over again?

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Other books in this series

I've read a few Diana Palmer romances now and each one is similar yet different. The long, slow pace. The innocent, naive heroine. The worldly, older hero. What usually ensues is a flighty dance of yes or no, want and need, lust and love.

Paul and Isabel's dance is exactly that with an unusual dose of craziness. The horrors of Isabel's young life weren't known to Paul when he was employed by her father. It was a lovely game of Smile and Wave, you know? Isabel and her sister were pros at it. On the outside, they made the perfect picture of daughters happily devoted to their father. On the inside, they lived in terror and fear of him and his actions. Their scars were inside and out. For Isabel, the one man who was an escape from the darkness she lived in, the one man she loved more than anything, was the same man who seemingly abandoned her when she needed him the most.

From the outside, it certainly appeared that way. But Paul's reason for leaving wasn't because he discovered his employer's dark side. He left because Isabel's love wasn't a fleeting crush or superficial lust. Her love for him ran deep. It touched his heart and scared the crap out of him. Leaving made sense.

Coming back did too. It opened his eyes to the world Isabel and her sister lived in, one he was completely in the dark about because he needed to be. If he knew then what he knows now, he would have disappeared for good at her father's command.

Their relationship is three years coming. What started as young love has grown into adult love, respect, and admiration. But there's a host of issues they have to confront before they can fully commit to one another. Their pasts are still a part of who they are as individuals. Facing that as a single person can be petrifying but doing it together makes the task less daunting. Where trust was broken, it's slowly restored. Where love's growth was stunted, it now can flourish. It just took time.

Some of the parts of this book were a little confusing. The inclusion of things that didn't seem connected had me scratching my head and wondering, "Um..." but it didn't keep me from enjoying the story.

Diana Palmer isn't for everyone. Her style of writing is...different for a contemporary author. If you're used to fast paced, quick dialogue, and hot sex, you might want to bypass this story. If you've got time, want something a little slower with more internal dialogue than not, and sex scenes that won't dominate a good portion of the book, you might want to consider this one.

The prolific author of more than one hundred books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A New York Times bestselling author and voted one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.

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