Review by: Alexander
SERIES: The Protectors book 3
AUTHOR: Sloane Kennedy
NARRATOR: Joel Leslie
PUBLISHER: Sloane Kennedy
LENGTH: 8 hours, 3 minutes
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2017
“You’re a hero every f–king day, Tate,” I said softly. “Don’t ever forget that.” (Hawke)
Ex-Special Forces soldier Michael “Hawke” Hawkins has spent every day of the last 10 years waiting for the moment he would get to watch the life fade from the eyes of the men who brutally murdered his wife, but when he finally gets the break he’s been waiting for, the trail leads him to someone he wasn’t expecting.
After nearly two years of running, 24-year-old Tate Travers has become an expert at hiding…until the day a dangerous stranger shows up looking for vengeance and threatens to destroy the fragile life Tate has managed to build for himself and his five-year-old son. Except the life Tate has been struggling to hold on to started unraveling long before Hawke showed up looking for the same men Tate has been running from…his own father and older brother.
Retribution – it’s all Hawke has wanted since the day he held his wife’s hand as she took her last breath. And he won’t give that up for anything or anyone…not even the tormented young man trying to give his little boy a better life. Because Tate is the only one who can lead Hawke to the men he’s been searching for. And if it means forcing the young man to confront the past that nearly destroyed him, then so be it.
Only the last thing Hawke expects to feel is something besides the hatred that has driven him. And he definitely never expected to feel it for a man.
But when it comes down to choosing between the unwanted feelings Tate stirs in him and the revenge he’s finally close enough to taste, will Hawke be able to give up the one thing that has kept him going for a second chance at a future he gave up on ever having?
Of the books in the series, this is undoubtedly my favorite when it come to the characters. I felt a connection with Tate almost from the beginning and liked Hawke soon after his introduction. They worked, in an “opposites attract” way, especially since there were so many obstacles in their way, or rather ghosts from their past. Perhaps that’s what made them so suitable for each other, the trauma they have both endured have brought them to this point in their lives. I found that both Tate and Hawke exhibited genuine growth, both as individuals, and as friends to lovers.
Now realize that Hawke was married to a woman who was brutally murdered, and considered her the one and only, and yet I am not tagging Retribution as GFY, the reason is because it just didn’t feel right to do so. Hawke loved one woman…one. Hawke falls in love with one man…just one, and perhaps I am totally whacked, but to me it feels different. The fact that I felt the need to explain my feelings on the subject demonstrates the quality and depth of the characters.
Question: Can I take back a half star from my review of Salvation: Protectors book 2? I only ask because although it was a flawless performance, Leslie’s narration of Retribution…seriously blew me away. Now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, let me tell you why this was one of the best narrations I have listened to in a good long while.
The characters – perfectly performed in every possible way, from Hawke and Tate, to the most minor secondary character, Leslie gave them all their own voice, and maintained consistency throughout the performance. The technical – as with the other books, flawless in terms of pronunciation, intonation, tone, pace and emotion. The production was also without a flaw which makes writing this part of my review dead easy.
The final word: Loved it. Best book in the series (so far) for both story and narration.