Guest Review: Sworn to Protect by Jo Davis

Posted March 25, 2014 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

Sworn to ProtectWhitley’s review of Sworn to Protect by Jo Davis

Sugarland loves their men in blue, especially Detective Shane Ford. But Shane’s mission to protect and to serve has just gotten personal…

Detective Shane Ford, Sugarland’s favorite cop, has been blindsided by the sudden death of his best friend, NFL star Brad Cooper, and becoming the legal guardian of Brad’s son, Drew—a bitter, angry sixteen-year-old with a dangerous secret. Shane is determined to pry the truth from Drew, but only manages to alienate him—and winds up going head to head with Juvenile Detective Daisy Callahan, whose job is to protect the teen’s best interests.

Shane has always been drawn to Daisy’s beauty and strength, but he’s determined not to allow their intense attraction to interfere with his duty ever again. It’s a vow that will prove difficult to keep, as the realities of Shane and Daisy’s blossoming love and their growing bond with the grieving teen propel Shane headlong into danger for the new family he’s sworn to protect.

Booooooooooored.  That’s it.  That’s the reason I gave this one such a low rating.  Not because it was doing something bad (mostly), but because it was just so damn boring.

Don’t get me wrong; I love cops.  I love stories about cops.  I love romances about cops.  All three of those things are different, and I love them all.  This book had me at hello, and throw in a plot line about an adopted teen and I thought “that’s it; I’m sold.”  This book’s premise had me hook, line, and sinker.  All it had to do was anything interesting at all and I’d be in hog heaven.  It couldn’t manage that.

There were three things in this novel that could have been interesting: Drew, recently orphaned son of an NFL star, going to live with his godfather; a murder investigation involving Drew’s dad and some drug runners; and the “steamy” romance between cop-Shane and cop-Daisy.  Well, Drew was the most well-adjusted kid to ever find his own father’s corpse, the murder investigation took a holiday or something in the middle of the book, and Shane and Daisy started out the book already in love and just pussy-footing around each other.  For valid reasons, ones that can only be worked out by time, but my drama quota is not filled by watching two people wait a lot.  The whole of this book basically went: “Find a dead guy, forget all about him and cry a lot over this other dead guy, socialize, take copious amounts of time off work because everyone is doing fuck-all about that first dead guy (he barely gets a mention!), spend bonding time with Drew and talk about how much of a loving family you all are, and then finally some action at the end.”  I have never seen a group of cops so hesitant to investigate anything!

The dialogue seriously annoyed me in this book as well.  Everyone (and I do mean everyone, even the stock school bully) had a tendency to lay out all their issues at once in a conversation.  It was like they were reading scripts written by their therapists.  No one talks like this, and it took a lot of dramatic potential away from the character interactions when one party would continually go “Yup, here’s all my issues, plus all the relevant backstory and psychological insights, plus what needs to be done about it if that applies.  So how was your day?”

I will give this book props on the dead-daddy grief, though.  Drew’s and Shane’s reactions to Brad’s death were well handled and pretty heartbreaking.  Those bits stood out from the rest of the novel with how delicately they were handled, actually, and I rather enjoyed them.  (Well, as much as you can enjoy something that’s sad.)

Rating: 2 out of 5

This book is available from Signet.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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