Erryn reviews Made Mine: A Protectors/Made Marian Crossover by Sloane Kennedy & Lucy Lennox. The ebook was published August 31, 2018, 288 pages.The audiobook was narrated by Michael Pauley. It was released on September 17, 2018 and is 9hrs and 3mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book:
Erryn: I have listened to every Made Marian book. I’ve listened to every Protector audio. In fact, I’ve listened to every Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy book, so this was a no-brainer.
What happens when a group of tough vigilantes meets up with a big-hearted family with boundary issues?
It’s supposed to be an easy job. You know, the kind you get after you’ve been gone a while and the boss is unsure of how capable you still are? But then there’s a mugging, an abduction, two thugs, and a blackmail scheme.
And smack-dab in the middle of it is a beautiful lost soul who needs me. The scared, young gamer-geek pushes all my protective buttons and awakens something inside me that’s ready to dive right in and inhale the man.
But how could I have anything to offer someone like Ben? I’m a mess. Injured, scarred, practically closeted, the recognizable son of a famous man… There’s no way I can ask him to give me a shot at forever. Right?
It seems like I’ve been looking out for myself my entire life. Heck, I was even given away the day I was born. And, yeah, maybe if my adoptive parents had survived, I would have had a nice life. But they didn’t. And I don’t. Instead, I’m forced to put up with a hateful, scheming foster parent for the sake of sticking around to care for my little sister.
Only, when a blackmail plan lands little Georgie in the hands of thugs, it’s clear I’m her only hope. At least… until I meet the big, strong bodyguard someone sends to watch over me.
Reese is everything I’ve ever daydreamed about: protective, attentive, affectionate, and dedicated. But he’s hiding something, and I don’t have the time or energy to figure out what. Because time is running out, and Georgie is the only family I have left.
Until the biological brother who never wanted me shows up and turns everything on its head.
After having finally accepted it’s just Georgie and me, suddenly falling for my protector and being surrounded by Griff and the Marian clan makes me question everything I’ve ever known about myself and what defines a family.
Can a guy with a broken past ever build a family with someone who seems too good to be true?
***Reading Order Note***
CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE.
While the authors recommend reading both the Made Marian series by Lucy Lennox and the Protectors series by Sloane Kennedy, it isn’t required in order to understand the story. At the least, you may want to consider Grounding Griffin (Book 4, Made Marian series by Lucy Lennox) and Unexpected (Book 10, The from the Protectors series by Sloane Kennedy) to get a little bit of background. However, this novel, despite being a crossover, has been written in a way that it can be read on its own.
***Check out the giveaway at the bottom of this review for a chance to win one of several prizes***
This book can be read as a stand-alone but it definitely helps to have some knowledge of the other books. I’ve listened to all the Marian books as well as the first three Protector books, so I had some idea but, truthfully, there were many many many characters packed into this book. If you focus on Reese, Ben, and their immediate dilemmas, you can make it through without too much confusion.
The effort is well worth it, I promise.
Ben is alone in the world except for his sister Georgie whom he protects with all his strength and energy. He survives as a gamer, but he’s focused on keeping his sister safe and when he fails at that, he’s devastated.
Reese has failed at something recently as well and Ben is his second chance. A chance for redemption. But he’s got a lot of baggage to deal with if he’s going to succeed in protecting Ben and getting Georgie back. Plus, there’s the undeniable attraction between the two men each of whom are in different stages of their acknowledgement of their homosexuality.
Ben: Who are you?
Reese: No one.
Ben: Tell me one thing about you that no one else knows.
Reese: The thing you were doing to me a little while ago…stopping you was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
A little while later Ben says, “I’d be on you like Mario on a mushroom” and I actually laughed out loud. These are two men without a lot of experience trying to find their way around both a sexual and an emotional relationship.
Unexpectedly, despite the seriousness of the situation, there are moments of great humor when I really enjoyed the bi-play including Irene, Granny, and Aunt Tilly from the Marian series. I hope I’m as feisty when I’m in my eighties and every time I come across these women, I’m guaranteed a broad smile.
There is a lot of family drama in the book, as expected. Ben has felt abandoned his entire life and facing a welcoming Marian clan and his long-lost brother is overwhelming. I tried to follow why his parents kept Griffin and gave up Ben, but it didn’t make sense to me. Then there was Reese and his family drama. Talk about having a painful legacy burdening him. No wonder he felt the need to stay so far in the closet.
Near the end of the book there was a crisis and I thought it was a tad predictable, but it did lead to the following exchange:
Reese – Babe, do you even know how to drive?
Ben – Does Grand Theft Auto count?
Reese – No.
Ben – Then no. Not so much.
It was great Ben wanted to help, but his naiveté and young age sometimes hampered him. If Reese hadn’t been so green in some respects, I would have wondered about the balance of the relationship.
Finally, I have to say how much I loved all the children in the book but especially Georgie. Precocious is only one adjective I would use to describe the little girl. Her ability to charm every tough man around her, as well as the older women, was adorable. She was a good foil and tension breaker during some of the dark times. Also, Reese’s nickname for her was perfect.
This leads me to Michael Pauley’s narration. He performed all of the Made Marian series and I adore him. His voice for Georgie was just precious and, as always, he handled each character with a unique voice. Oh, and his Aunt Tilly is always right on point.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
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Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She enjoys naps, pizza, and procrastinating. She has some snarky kids and is married to someone who is better at math than romance but who makes her laugh every single day and is the best dancer in the history of ever.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because that stuff is hot.