The story starts with a bombing that is described in such detail that I could feel myself being with Kelsey, trapped and in the dark. The fear she feels comes across loud and clear. I loved how attentive Hunter was. Being former Army Ranger he was able to keep his cool and help Kelsey keep calm so that they could come out alive and well.
All the way through the story you could feel how well Kelsey and Hunter balanced each other. Hunter was aware of the dangers surrounding Kelsey but was able to help her process them and find ways to keep her safe. Kelsey allowed Hunter to open his life to a woman, something he had sworn off doing. Together they kept each other grounded, safe, and willing to find happiness they both deserved.
I loved the mystery part of the story. Elisabeth Naughton does a great job with her clues in leading the reader through many twists and turns. She kept me reading page after page, guessing at who was behind all the threats, and not giving away too much to give it all away too early. This is the first book in the Deadly Secret Series that I have read and it is easily a standalone book within a series. Maybe there was history I didn’t know of but it took nothing away from the story itself.
Protected is a great mystery with twists of romance. I loved the characters and the storyline kept me reading long past I should have gone to bed. I recommend picking up your own copy and losing yourself in this great read.