Narrated by Sophie Eastlake
Protecting His Witness is a novella-length romantic suspense, book seven in Katie Reus’s Red Stone Security series. It runs for just over four hours on audio. Generally, I think novella-length stories work best when the main characters already know each other, as is the case here – it makes it easier for me to believe in the HEA.
Jordan Alvarado met Vincent Hanson outside a coffee shop where she was working part time to support herself through college. The prologue of the story tells the listener that Jordan and ex-SEAL Vincent had been dating for only four months but because he was on medical leave (he broke his leg badly) they had spent a lot of time together. Vincent had accepted a medical discharge from the Navy and was about to take up a security job for Red Stone, in Miami where his mother and sisters live. Jordan had just graduated and was hoping he would ask her to go with him.
Just when Jordan was about to get her wish, she witnesses a crime and because reasons, ends up in the Witness Protection Program. For all Vincent knows, Jordan just disappeared. He is, of course, heartbroken.
The main story picks up seven years later when Jordan (because other reasons) is now out of WitSec. She has tracked down Vincent to apologise and seek his forgiveness. And yeah, okay, she also kind of hopes they can pick up where they left off – but she realises that’s likely to be wishful thinking.
Vincent has never stopped loving Jordan but was very hurt by her defection. Even when he finds out why she left, he is hurt that she didn’t ask him to go with her. Their chemistry is still strong though, so it’s just a matter of time until they work things out and are finally getting their HEA. The problem with the plan is that someone from Jordan’s past is out to kill her and before Vincent can put a ring on it, he has to save his girl.
The story is short and there’s necessarily not a lot of courtship in it. However, it is clear that Jordan and Vincent love each other and their connection is more than just sexual. The suspense is fairly clever – it doesn’t try to fit too much in and it is, for the most part, believable enough.
Vincent is biracial. It’s not a big part of the story but it is part of his character and I liked the way his and Jordan’s ethnicity was weaved into the story.
Sophie Eastlake is a favourite narrator. I enjoy how she delivers character and emotion and dialogue. She seems to get the tone just right so often. That said, most of her heroes sound pretty much the same – it is especially noticeable when male members of Red Stone Security are talking to each other late in the book – it is very difficult to tell them apart. For that reason, I’d always recommend that listeners take a short break between Eastlake listens. Otherwise, the similarities can be too much.
Ms. Eastlake has the opportunity here to display various accents for the female characters – Vincent’s mother is Jamaican and Jordan’s WitSec handler sounded like she was from New York or New Jersey .
Protecting His Witness is a fun, sexy romantic suspense with a good mix of action and romance. I enjoyed the narration very much and I’m looking forward to listening to more Reus/Eastlake collaborations.
Book Content: B
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence: Fighting, explosions
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Katie Reus
Protecting His Witness was provided to AudioGals by the author for review.