The Protector’s Promise by Tom Bourguillon is the second novel focusing on DeAndre Johnson – formerly a hitman, now a bodyguard – who’s tasked with protecting Kate Voltaire, the object of fan obsession. When Kate and DeAndre’s bond becomes more than professional, DeAndre may have to go back to his old ways as a cold-blooded hired gun in order to protect the woman he loves.
A fun and quick read, there are obvious parallels with the movie “The Bodyguard” with Whitney Houston, but DeAndre is really a more interesting character than the Kevin Costner’s bodyguard, who’s the strong, silent type. DeAndre is anything but silent – he’s gruff and opinionated, but with a good family-oriented heart. There’s romance in the novel, but this is more like romance for men than anything that touches the traditional romance genre. If there can be such a thing as “hard-boiled romance,” this is it.
Though this sequel to Bourguillon’s Family Business definitely works as a standalone, it would have been helpful for new readers to dig a bit deeper into where DeAndre Johnson’s evolution from killing people to protecting people. This dynamic comes in later in the book, but his character arc needed to be established earlier. Bourguillon also has the tendency to fill in too much superfluous information, which doesn’t necessarily enhance character or story, and could do with some trimming down.
Overall, The Protector’s Promise is an entertaining hard-boiled read with a dynamic lead character who you’ll definitely want to stick with for future books, or dive into Family Business, if you haven’t already.