Short Novella: 103pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When Gabriel MacKenna enters Wentworth Prison in 1931, he promises himself two things: never to be buggered and never to turn prison queer. Tough, smart, and ruthless in a fight, he quickly makes a name for himself inside. But Gabriel, saved from the noose by a social crusader, is serving two life sentences. And life is a very long time to endure Wentworth with no comforts but prison food, card games and cigarettes. To survive endless days without the touch of another human being...
Five years after Gabriel’s incarceration, Joey Cooper arrives at Wentworth. Every convict claims imprisonment through a miscarriage of justice, but Joey is truly blameless. Trained at Oxford as a physician, the young doctor is innocent of prison culture and too handsome for his own good. Facing eighteen years behind Wentworth’s towering gates, Joey cannot hope to survive without protection. And protection is just what Gabriel MacKenna offers. At a price...
S.A Reid is definitely a fave author of mine, and this heartbreaking tale makes her an author to watch out for. Something Different was the first book I read by this author and I loved it so much. Protection is another winner, though both books are as different as night and day.
Gabriel Mackenna is serving two life sentences, with no chance of parole. He knows he will live and die in prison. He decides he's going to rule his permanent home, because he refuses to become bitch to any man. He is both respected and liked by guards and inmates, and they know you don't mess with anything that Mackenna owns.
When new inmates arrive, Joseph Cooper is a part of the new arrivals. He is completely unaware of the effect he's having on the men, especially that of Gabe Mackenna. He is completely unaware of the things about to befall him.
When the men meet for the first time, it's no sunshine and rainbows. Gabe is violent and evil and Joseph suffers in a way no man should. He becomes victim to a man, who protects victims. All this happens because of Gabe’s anger towards himself for feeling something for Joseph, something he said he would never feel for another man.
The story progresses by showing the relationship between Gabe and Joey. Though not an easy start, it does become a genuine relationship. I am just all sorts of impressed by the realism in this story. Everything is believable, and nothing ever becomes too over the top. Though it depicts the harsh times of prison life, there is an undertone of lightness in the writing, and found myself smiling and wanting the best possible outcome for the lovers.
I loved Gabe, which is unbelievable because he isn’t the most likable person in the beginning. I fell in love with him, and I am just so happy he had Joey and they had each other (cries). It was beautiful and let me just throw this out there *some kind of seriously hot*.
Overall, I loved this book! The story will not be for everyone because it doesn't have a HEA, but why avoid a great book to avoid disappointment and sadness (it would be your loss). The writing is excellent, and the story beautiful and it's what I think jail life would have been in the 1930s. I wrote this review without giving away spoilers, and now it's up to you to experience Protection, you will cry the saddest/happiest tears (though that just might be all me).