Title: Protecting Max
Author: Edward Kendrick
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 170 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Suspense
At a Glance: Protecting Max is not an insta-love story. The author gives readers a nice bond of friendship between these men along with a little suspense.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Twelve years ago, Max Harman survived a vicious attack by his ex-lover Tony. It severed their relationship and landed Tony in prison.
When Tony’s released from jail, Max’s nephew Jack fears the man may seek revenge on his uncle. Wanting to buy a gun for protection, he visits Deacon Young’s shop. Deacon convinces him to bring Max by to do the same. Despite his misgivings, Max gets a gun for security, too.
When Jack’s fears prove to be correct and Tony starts to stalk Max, Deacon steps in to try to protect him. Can Max’s growing interest in Deacon — and vice versa — survive Tony’s escalating reign of terror?
Review: At the age of six, Jack Willis was taken in by his Uncle Max, who became his legal guardian after Jack’s parents’ death. After close to a year of living together, Jack and Max find themselves in a bad situation with Max’s boyfriend, Tony Coburn. Tony’s alcohol abuse leads to a tragic situation with Max, and Tony goes to prison for it.
Max Harman has made a great home for Jack since becoming his guardian. Their life and relationship has been the best—until they get the bad news that Tony is being paroled, and now Tony is stalking Max. Jack is concerned about Max, so in addition to having his uncle upgrade their home security, Jack goes to a gun shop where he meets the owner, Deacon Young. Deacon asks a lot of questions of Jack and will sell him a gun only after giving gun safety lessons. When Jack explains to Deacon why he needs the weapon, Deacon offers him some good advice. Now Jack has the task of convincing Max to get a gun.
Max is willing to go with Jack to the Deacon’s shop to check it out. Deacon is a really nice guy, and they all hit it off. Deacon and Max start to spend time together at the gun range and working out together, and they find time to just hang out. When the stalking begins to escalate, Deacon rearranges his life and work schedules to be there for Max and Jack.
What I liked about this short novel by Edward Kendrick is that it’s not an insta-love story. It was somewhat suspenseful and upsetting that even with a restraining order, documentation and top-of-the-line security, it was still difficult to prove the abuser/stalker was guilty, to the point that extreme measures had to be taken. Even though Deacon moves in temporarily with Max and Jack, Max doesn’t want to start a relationship with Deacon during all the chaos with Tony. Even after Deacon moves back to his home and their situations get back to normal, they agree to date. The author gives readers a nice bond of friendship between these men. The relationship between Jack and Max is special as well; they have some heart-to-heart talks and share humorous moments too.
You can buy Protecting Max here:
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