Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Close Protection, Cordelia Kingsbridge (Online Fiction)


Luca

"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?" - Book blurb from Goodreads

*** This review has spoilers ***

- Review by Cindi


I don't think I have ever done a review for this blog for online fiction.  I could be wrong of course, as I review practically everything I read and I've read a few really good stories that were considered serial fiction, fanfiction or just online fiction.  Close Protection is a completed online fiction story otherwise I would have never read it.  It's a safe bet that unless the author is Zathyn Priest, I will not be starting anything that is still ongoing.  It has over 250,000 words, the equivalent of 750 book pages (I could be wrong on that last one but I'm going by what is posted on the book page on Goodreads).  I can't let this one go without posting a review on here.  I gave up two full days and two late nights to read it so I feel that a review on here is warranted.  

Luca is a self-described, eighteen-year-old slut.  He has been kicked out of boarding schools all over Europe because of sexual misconduct and is being forced to go to America to complete his last year of high school.  He hasn't been back to the family home in America since his father was killed when he was twelve.  Luca is also the son of a billionaire and public businesswoman.  This puts him in danger so he is forced to be surrounded at all times by bodyguards.  Bodyguards hate Luca so there aren't many who hang around for long, regardless of the astronomical amounts of money paid to them by Luca's mother.  

Jacob (Jake) Ryder has been promoted to the head bodyguard position for Luca D'Amato.  He is 100% responsible for keeping the young man safe.  Luca will have around the clock protection, with Ryder and other bodyguards taking shifts.  The minute Ryder meets Luca for the first time, Luca hits on him.  Ryder has been warned of Luca's sexual behavior so he's not surprised at being propositioned so quickly.  What does surprise Ryder is his instant lust for the young man who is ten years his junior and still in high school.

It doesn't take long for the two men to develop a routine of sorts, with Luca making sexual comments constantly.  As time goes on, it gets harder and harder for Ryder to ignore his body's reactions.  

A lot happens in this story.  Seriously, a lot.  There are kidnapping attempts, murder, a former (much older) lover of Luca's who can't take "no" for an answer, high school bullies, blackmail, extortion, very mild BDSM, sex with random strangers, a heartbroken boyfriend, as well as a million other things that I could never cover in this review.  I mentioned the length.  A lot happens in all those pages.

Someone is out to get Luca and is using his past to hurt him.  Luca has had sex with dozens of men since he turned sixteen.  Older men mostly.  Gay men.  Straight men.  Married men.  A priest.  A coach.  A mobster.  An international figure.  The list goes on and on.  Each of these men, who had a lot to lose if they were found out, are exposed publicly by Luca long before Luca is forced back to America.  This adds more danger to his life on top of his wealth and his mother's position.  This kid will have sex with anyone with a penis.  He's not picky.  No one turns him down.  For Ryder to do so only adds to the challenge and Luca is determined to have him in his bed just as he has had dozens of others.  It's a game.. a challenge.  It's also a way for Luca to deal with anxiety issues where he feels the loss of control.  When he's in bed with a man, Luca is in charge, not his partner.  That is the one thing that he can control and he does... often.  As the threats increase, it becomes obvious that one or more former lovers (who has been disgraced publicly) is behind the threats and attempted kidnappings.  It takes Ryder and his team to figure out the who and the why.  This is not done easily as there is quite a bit of violence that must happen before the resolution of the story.

There is A LOT of sex in this book and not necessarily between the two main characters.  There's pretty much no man that Luca won't have sex with and this is described graphically.  This ends up hurting him, along with the escapades of his past.  Ryder is slowly falling in love with Luca and is forced to watch as Luca keeps taking men into his bedroom.  He is forced to listen if he is the guard outside his door or if he is in his own bedroom as the walls are thin and the rooms share a wall.  This hurts Ryder but he is the one holding back... even when Luca starts to grow up and mature some.  Ryder is ten years older than Luca and having sex with his charge would no doubt ruin his career and it will strain the relationship that he has with his family.  Even when the two men take their relationship to the next level, it is kept quiet outside the large D'Amato estate.  What they see as a good relationship, the rest of the world will see an older man who was given the responsibility of protecting Luca taking advantage of an eighteen-year-old high school student.  

The sex, regardless of who is Luca's partner at the time, is written very well.  I normally shy away from books where one of the main characters does what Luca did.  I will admit to being frustrated at times when Luca was having sex with yet another man knowing Ryder was outside the door, but I got over it.  He's an eighteen-year-old kid who is known for having a lot of sex with different men.  Ryder knows this going in.

I didn't think Ryder and Luca would ever get together.  The back and forth between the two men chapter after chapter got frustrating at times.  Luca must grow up a lot before it could happen and when it did it was pretty hot.  

Unlike most online fiction that I've read, this story has very few editing issues.  The author obviously took a lot of time to make sure the punctuation and spelling were correct.  

As long as this story is and with all the miscellaneous details thrown it, I still felt that a lot was left undone at the end.  There are a few shorts written that help a little in that regard.  I admit to only reading two (out of several) but I saw what I needed to see in order to be somewhat satisfied with the ending.

Overall, a very good read.  There are a couple of things that happen that are automatic DNF's for me.  These are in this book.  I let them go because I had already gotten invested in the story.  I was able to get over them for the most part.


Reviewer note:  Luca is on the swim team at his high school, hence the above picture.


The book can be found as a free read at the following link:




5 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting book. I think if it were edited down and the ending perhaps more well rounded I woud like this. Good review of a pretty big wordcount :)

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    1. The weird thing is that even considering how long it is, it never came across as too wordy if that makes sense. It pretty much kept me interested the whole time.

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  2. Ooh, I like th picture too, mmm

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    1. With it being fanfic, there was no cover so I had to find a photo. Zack came up as I was Googling "Italian men in speedos"... his reaction was priceless... lol

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