Protect and Serve: Don’t Need A Hero by Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (60 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
When cat shifter Petra (aka Pete) becomes the victim of "friendly fire" during the apprehension of a bank robber, panther shifter cop Apollo Jones feels obligated to make sure she's okay. Pete's positive she doesn't need another hero in her life, and Apollo's out to prove her wrong.
This story isn’t all games and bedroom romping, though what there was of it was thoroughly entertaining. There’s also a wonderful emotional hook towards the end that had me blubbering like a baby. It also inspired me to re-read the story, which didn’t take long because it’s so short. The second time around I read it with fresh enthusiasm because of the great reveal and ended up enjoying it all over again because of the different viewpoint.
Aunt Pete a/k/a Pete or Petra is a survivor. She beat the odds that were stacked against her when she was little with the help of some friends, and she never looked back. At least, not with her eyes open. Her dreams are another matter. Pete holds her heart close because she’s been hurt before but when she meets the police officer who assisted in the earlier action in the story, she only half-heartedly fought the attraction. I think in her heart she always yearned for that total love and acceptance she’d once known and something about Officer Apollo made her purr.
Apollo is written as a very delicious and capable man who knows his way around a woman’s body as well as he handles his weapon. Take that reference any way you wish because both would be true. The author made it clear that the hero knew how to please Pete until she was a pile of contented jelly. In fact, his courtship of Pete truly embraced this series’ title “serve and protect” – and he did both with determination, focus and success. I liked him as a hero.
As with all the books written in this series, each chapter takes a turn at being written in the first person point of view for each protagonist. This story continued with that style and I enjoyed it. However, this tale is special and different because even though the author let me get into Apollo’s head a bit, he still kept a secret that he didn’t reveal until he was ready. And that was the part that zinged my heart, made me tear up and garnered a higher rating for this story. I was all set to be entertained with some sizzling sheet action and witty dialogue between the characters and I certainly got all of that, but the last revelation truly made this book shine. It made me care, gave me the chills and I wanted to hug someone. As it was, Pete got all the hugging and more from Apollo, her hunky hero.
For readers who might pass on this story because of its shortness or hot sexy content, be assured that there is a wonderfully sentimental and sweet component that made the happy ever after truly exceptional. Of course when Apollo and Pete get together, the fur, claws and meows fly, and it’s a lot of fun, but this book also gives readers that extra something that not all books in this series delivers. It’s a well written and complete romance that I have no problem recommending and in fact, it’s one of the best ones that I’ve read. Don’t Need a Hero isn’t E=MC2 but it certainly entertained, passed the time and left a smile on my face. Don’t Need a Hero is a gem in the Protect and Serve series that futuristic paranormal romance fans shouldn’t want to miss. I’m glad I read it.