Release Blitz · Review

Protagonized by Shannon Myers

 

Title: Protagonized
Author: Shannon Myers
Genre: Literary Fiction/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: January 24, 2019

 

Blurb

 

Describe Jake Hopkins in two words? 

 

Boozing womanizer. 
 
So, maybe he solved cases with a precision not seen since Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. It didn’t matter. The guy was a grade A prick. 
 
And killing him was the best decision I ever made—until it wasn’t.
 
It was supposed to be a good move for me—a way of showing that I wasn’t one to back down.
I never imagined it would cause such a visceral reaction…among my readers. 
 
I didn’t get it. He was barely tolerable most of the time and his death opened the door for a new detective—maybe one who had her act together.
 
I never would’ve guessed that he’d show up on my doorstep, begging for a second chance, or that he’d look even better than I ever imagined. Characters die and everyone moves on—that’s the way it works. Sometimes it’s even necessary for the story to progress.
 
When the hate mail gives way to something more sinister, Jake insists that he’s just the man to handle the case. He vows to keep me safe in exchange for his life. 
 
The problem isn’t resurrecting him. 
 
No, my problem is much worse.
 
How do I stop myself from falling in love with a fictional character?
Purchase Links
99c for a limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Review by Susan:

I was totally drawn to this book by the blurb, it’s a unique story line that I couldn’t resist.

The story follows Hayden, a writer who decides to kill off one of her more popular characters womaniser, detective Jake Hopkins. No one is happy with this turn of events, her fans are angry but  Jake is livid but happens when he turns up on Hayden’s doorstep with handcuffs demanding she bring him back to life? When strange things start to happen to Hayden, Jake becomes her protector and vows to solve the mystery. Soon Hayden realised there’s more to the detective than she first thought and what happens when she catches feelings for him? You will have to read to find out!

The story was totally unique and kept my attention, Hayden was a bit quirky and at first hard to like but over the course of the book she grew on me. Jake, well he was a surprise, I wanted to hate him but he was actually quite growly and captivating! I did wonder how the author would bring the story together, but she did a wonderful job.  4 Stars

Excerpt
“Okay, now when we get there, act normal. Order whatever you
usually get. Sit where you normally do. That kind of thing. Don’t get too
focused on looking for a suspect. That’s my job.” Jake hit his turn signal and
switched lanes. I was riding shotgun in the shiny black Raptor I’d written for
him and, any moment now, I was going to wake up back in bed, having dreamt this
entire thing. I rubbed my damp palms against my jeans and focused on my
breathing.
After getting dressed in record time, Jake had wanted to
know my schedule for a typical day. When I mentioned that I wrote at a local
coffee shop a couple of times a week, his eyes lit up. I was relieved that I’d
left out the fact that I worked at a salon in the afternoons and evenings
because there was not a chance in hell of me letting him tag along there.
We pulled into the parking lot and Jake turned to me. He
studied me for a second, giving a slight head shake at my you’ve got to
be kitten me right meow
, t-shirt. “This is the place?” He looked through
the windshield at the Cold Brews Co. sign and then back at me.
“It looks like a bar.”
“No, their specialty is cold brew coffees—look, is this a
good idea?”
Translation: Is this safe?
He nodded. “I’m not going to let anything happen to
you.” 
The thought that someone, besides Bootsy and Aaris, wanted
to keep me safe did weird things to my heart, even if it was coming from Jake.
I fought the urge to pump my fist in the air while laughing like a lunatic.
“After all, you’re my meal ticket. If you get dead, I can’t
get back home,” he finished with a pouty smirk.
Oh good, the limbic rage was back. I’d been worried it was
gone forever once the handcuffs were off.
“Why do you do that with your mouth?” I snapped, as I
unbuckled and climbed down to the pavement.
“Do what? He pursed his lips again.
“That! You’re doing it again.”
At his blank expression, I forced my own lips into a duck
pose as he held the coffee shop door open for me. “Like this.”
“Why are you doing that to your face? Stop. People are
staring.” He hissed, glancing around.
“You look like that all the time.”
“Good Morning, Hayden,” my favorite barista, Damien, called
over the espresso machine as the door jingled above our heads, announcing our
arrival. “The usual?”
I immediately softened my expression, trying to channel the
joy and tranquility that tried to flee when Jake entered a room. “Yeah, that’ll
be perfect. Thanks, Damien. How’d Paul do on his test?”
He poured steamed milk into a paper cup for a to-go order
with a dramatic eye roll. “Nailed it. Like he does everything else. I just have
to talk him off the ledge every time though. How’d I end up the motivator in
this relationship? I swear.”
“Because you’re a positive person and deserving of all the
good things life has to offer,” I reminded him as I selected a bottled water
from the refrigerated case
“I just come here a couple of times a week, but know
everyone’s life story,” Jake quietly taunted at my back, his body inches from
mine. A shudder worked its way down to my toes as the scent of campfire and
pine flooded my nostrils. 
Were there notes of citrus layered in there? No, I was
definitely detecting hints of clean laundry that had been dried on a
clothesline mixed with something.
Gah, what was it?
I wanted to lean back and rest my head against his chest
while looking up at him adoringly. Just like I’d witnessed the younger couples
that frequented this place do on more than one occasion. But this time, it’d be
me experiencing something other than abject disappointment.
Me and my very own tree.
And I’d climb that redwood every day.
Just doing my part to save the earth, kids.
I was struck with the image of massive hands on my hips,
pinning me in place. I’d just bet that his fingers would curl in possessively,
marking me as his to anyone who dared to look. The cold air blasted around
bottles of juice and water, yet inside, I was sweltering.
His proximity was messing with my brain waves. I
straightened with a shaky exhale and carried my water over to the register,
doing my best to ignore my flushed cheeks and the giant I came in with.
Damien added a heart to the foam and handed me my caffè
mocha before noticing Jake. “Hey, you brought a friend,” he exclaimed in his
typical sing-song.
I shook my head. “We just came in at the same time. I don’t
know this man.”
I wasn’t just imagining all the ways I’d like him to
defile me in front of the poor beverage case, either, in case you were
wondering.
“Are you sure you don’t want to get to know him?” He
stage-whispered, raising his eyebrows up and down suggestively as he snagged me
a cinnamon roll from the case.
“Oh, no. I’ve got quite enough excitement in my life.”
Damien gave Jake another once over. “If you say so. I
personally think when excitement comes packaged like that, you thank the
universe and don’t ask questions. But, that’s just me. How’s Bootsy doing? Is
she still loving her holistic food?”
“Yes. It has made such a difference with her…” 
Shit, what was it supposed to do?
“Poops?” I offered hesitantly just as Damien suggested, “Her
coat?”
He frowned. “It shouldn’t have changed her bowel habits. My
girls didn’t seem to be any different. Maybe check with the company—”
I waved my hand. “Oh, no I meant that she was much more
‘regular,’ if you know what I mean. Poor thing, uh, couldn’t get the job done
before. This food has really taken in her interconnectedness with her, um,
environment. She’s living her best holistic life now.”
I made the mistake of looking over at Jake. He stood at the
counter with wide eyes and a what the fuck are you talking about expression
on his face.
• Confession: I never actually bought the cat food that
Damien recommended. I went to the pet store with every intention of purchasing
the all-natural, chock full of vitamins and omegas, and completely
grain-free
 canned cat food until I saw the price. At six bucks a tin,
I decided that I would just let Bootsy continue her unwholesome lifestyle.
Unfortunately, Damien asked about it the very next time I was in, and instead
of coming clean, I told a little white lie. He’d just made it seem like letting
your fur baby eat anything else was bad pet parenting. And, it wasn’t like he
would ever know. He wasn’t going to show up to my apartment, demanding to see
the contents of Bootsy’s litter box.
Damien nodded. “Well, let me know if you need anything else
for her. Oh, have you noticed how much more connected she is spiritually to you
now? I swear, I recommend it to everyone.”
I avoided Jake’s penetrating stare as I paid before patting
the front pocket of my backpack. “Definitely. So… Zen. Well, I better get to
it.”
“Same. I’ll come by and check on you in a bit.”
I stuck the bottle of water in the side pocket of my bag,
juggling the cinnamon roll and mocha as I made my way to the wooden table near
the back. It was the only table with an outlet that was out of direct
sunlight. 
Next to it was an old wooden hutch that held cream and
sugar. I found that it was the best seat in the house for eavesdropping, which
was a win-win for an author in need of a story. 
I loved everything about coming here. From the exposed brick
walls and ceiling beams to the vintage signs and old produce case turned
bookshelf, it was the perfect place to let my creativity flow.
Jake solved his first case here. Incidentally, he also fell
off a balcony at this very table. It held a special place in my heart.

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