Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Entangled Publishing has graciously provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

A birthday celebration turns deadly when Emily Foster stumbles upon a mob hit.  Being the first witness who managed to stay alive, Emily is suddenly invaluable to the FBI.  She finds herself in the care of none other than Special Agent Jake Ward, the hot guy she was shamelessly flirting with at the club before the murder happened.  Furious at Jake when she realises he had only used flirting with her as a cover, Emily is hardly a cooperative witness, but when bullets start flying as she attempts to leave the police station she can no longer deny that her life is in danger.  Swooped into witness protection before she can bat an eye, Emily is given a new name and is headed for a new life in a new town.  Within mere hours Emily’s safe house is compromised and Jake realises the mob has inside help.  For reasons of his own Jake can’t afford to let anything happen to Emily - She is the key to finally putting away the man who had his parents murdered.  Knowing someone in the FBI is feeding the mob information, Jake goes rogue and whisks Emily away to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Texas.  Suddenly the city girl finds herself on a farm with Jake’s aunt and uncle, and Emily can’t decide what her biggest challenge will be; country living or Jake Ward?

Rules of Protection, the debut novel of Alison Bliss and the first book in the Tangled in Texas series is a fun, fast read featuring a cast of colourful characters.  I really like Emily.  She’s a pretty tough city girl (foster care will do that to you), but has an undeniably vulnerability to her.  She has absolutely no filter and whatever she’s thinking comes out of her mouth, getting her in trouble with Jake quite often.  I love, love, love her attitude.  Her words and actions amused me to no end and I was definitely invested in her story.  I was a little annoyed at first by her aggressive promiscuity (I hadn’t seen anyone try so hard to get a guy in bed since Bella Swan), but it later became apparent that it’s all part of a defence mechanism and Emily is by no means a slut.  

Jake is a very rigid man, extremely stubborn and I found him to be awfully hard on Emily.  Even so he was easy to like.  It’s clear that keeping Emily safe is his number one priority, and she's not making it easy for him.  He’s out of his depth with Emily and doesn’t quite know how to handle her.  Being used to ladylike Southern belles, Jake definitely meets his match in the opinionated, streetwise Emily.  The sparks coming off Emily and Jake together are explosive.  Two strong personalities are bound to clash, and clash they do.  Jake is a strict rule follower and Emily is a rule breaker.  That alone causes enough friction to fan the flames even hotter.  The chemistry between Emily and Jake is really great and it was fun watching these two navigate their way towards a relationship.  

I like that Emily is by no means a damsel in distress.  While Jake never hesitates to protect her, she doesn’t need it.  She’s resourceful and brave, and does what she needs to do to get herself out of trouble.  Jake's past also comes into play and he must ultimately choose which is more important; his revenge or Emily's safety.  The identity of the FBI mole is also a constant mystery that demands to be solved. 

The country setting was very realistic and the secondary characters add a rich layer to the story.  The action is spread out quite nicely and is just the right ratio to romance.  *Mild spoiler alert* Jake was a massive jerk to Emily right before the final showdown, and while she did punish him for his actions in a way neither he nor I saw coming, I do think she let him off the hook way too easily.  I would have liked to see some grovelling and an apology for his past actions.  But hey, I guess love makes you soft :)

Product Information:
Title: Rules of Protection:
Author: Alison Bliss
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Year: 2014
Pages: 314

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