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FREEFIC WEEK – GUEST READER REVIEW: “Close Protection” by Cornelia Kingsbridge

Boys in our Books welcomes ttg with a Guest Reader Review


A bodyguard’s life is turned upside down by his intriguing new charge. After three consecutive expulsions for sexual misconduct, Luca D’Amato has no choice but to return to America. Jacob Ryder is the man charged with protecting him from his family’s many enemies – but who will protect Ryder from Luca?

Author’s Note: This story will contain a fair bit of kink and potentially squicky content, including multiple sexual relationships with considerable age differences. The main characters are themselves ten years apart in age. In addition, there will be references to sexual activity that took place when one of the characters was 16/17. As sixteen is the age of consent where I live, I do not consider this to be underage, but your mileage may vary.


Close Protection is an excellent m/m action-suspense-romance that tells the story of Luca, the 18-year old son of a billionaire defense contractor, and Ryder, his new bodyguard, and how they fight together against a dangerous stalker who seems to know everything about Luca, and is willing to use that knowledge to try to control and entrap him.

At over 250,000 words/650 pages, this is a long, involved read, and even though it could have used some editing down, it was still a very engaging story about very complicated characters that were imperfect but still sympathetic. The author did a great job of fleshing out Luca and Ryder as well as building up their development and evolution over the story. Nothing is “insta” here–no one gets quick fixed, no one falls for each other right off the bat. Everything was a process, which made the characters more realistic (even as the story got crazy).

The author also successfully spaced out the action, suspense, and sexy times so there was never a too-big a space in between for the reader to feel bored or complacent. (I was also impressed with how the author spaced out the romance so well here since I came in thinking that I was going to have to survive 30+ chapters of UST before anything happened.)

I was surprised how much I cared for Luca, even as you found out more of the things he did in the past to control and manipulate people. The author did a fantastic job of showing how flawed her characters are, but also how very human, and it was easy to feel every small step that Luca took to move himself forward and be a better man, a man he wanted to be for Ryder. And Ryder’s slow progression as he strived to keep Luca safe from the myriad of threats while also battling his feelings for his principle was riveting to read. The eventual sexual dynamics that develop between them is also very interesting (and sexy) while also staying true to the characters. I liked how the author didn’t stick to common m/m tropes, but spun things around in new directions that always felt *right* for the characters and the story.

Another thing I dug was how the author created a large cast of distinct characters, each with their own voice. The dialogue was great; very realistic, and sometimes very funny. Also, she did a wonderful job of creating fleshed-out female characters, something always nice to see in an m/m romance.

In the end, Close Protection was a very satisfying read, especially reading it completed. (It was published as a weekly serial. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I read it in installments over a year, but I have little patience for WIPs.) But as a complete story, it reads very well; it’s long and at times it felt like a TV serial telling one long story broken up into mini-arcs, but still it is fantastic story about characters who you really grow to care about and who you really want to have an HEA. (And yes, the ending is satisfying.)

Lastly, this whole 650 page novel is free to read online at fictionpress here, and I have to give props to the author for sticking through and finishing the story (and doing it so well.) I would be more than happy to buy this novel. It’s definitely worth it. Highly recommended.

And if you’re looking for more, the author has some free side stories with the Close Protection characters, has finished another free original novel on fictionpress called Blood Red, and just started a new sci-fi serial story called Control.

And if you don’t like reading online, you can use tools like Flagfic or Story Master to make an ebook version of anything on fictionpress.



cpTitle:  “Close Protection”
Author:  Cornelia Kingsbridge
Pages:  801
Release Date:  November 18, 2012
URL:  http://www.fictionpress.com/s/2968339/1/Close-Protection

8 comments on “FREEFIC WEEK – GUEST READER REVIEW: “Close Protection” by Cornelia Kingsbridge

  1. shelley
    November 5, 2013

    This sounds like it was made for me Ttg. I’m all loaded up and ready to go, and now I’m thinking, next year I’m resolved to discover more free fiction. And thank you for another great review! xx


    • TTG
      November 6, 2013

      Thanks, Shelley! It’s a long book, but I enjoyed it. I hope it works for you! :-)


  2. syleegurl
    November 5, 2013

    I’d never heard of this before, but this review intrigues me. Like Shelley, I want to discover more freefic too. I think I may have to give this a go! Thanks, ttg!


    • syleegurl
      November 5, 2013

      …added it to my TBR…just noticed how LONG it is! ha! Ok…looks like I’m hibernating for the winter! :)


      • TTG
        November 6, 2013

        Yeah, it’s super long. It sometimes feels like a 12-episode TV series, broken up into mini-arcs. (If you read it, I hope it works for you!) :-D


  3. ilhem3606
    November 6, 2013

    Intriguing….Added, thanks!:)


    • TTG
      November 6, 2013

      Thanks for reading. :-) I hope you like it.


  4. shelley
    March 31, 2014

    I finished this Tracy and I got to tell you. I really, really liked it …warts and all I even think I loved it. I loved Luca, I loved ALL the sex, the relationship dynamic and the UST. It kept me awake till the early hours and I was always excited to pick it up again :) Another great rec from you, thank you!


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This entry was posted on November 5, 2013 by in BDSM, FanFic / FreeFic, Mystery / Suspense, Reviewer: Guest and tagged , , .

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