Ethan Stone and Ben Cronin are two of the body guards that we met in 'Shipped' the first book in this series and we met this pair when the security company that they worked for assigned them to protect Lucas and Ryan.
'Sentinel' for all intents and purposes picks up where 'Shipped' left off with the focus shifting from but not totally leaving Lucas and Ryan. Even though the imminent danger of a stalker to Ethan and Ryan has been resolve they're still in the limelight and while Ethan has resigned his position with the security company...for personal reasons, Lucas and Ryan have taken him on as their personal security guard. Meanwhile Ben's recovering from injuries received in 'Shipping' and this does not bode well for his next meeting with Ethan...a meeting that's coming sooner than either of them are expecting or ready for.
It's a desperate call from Ethan's estranged sister that brings everyone back together. Frantic to get her daughter's back Maggie calls the one person she'd always looked up to and relied on until their parents drove him out of their life and her's...her big brother, Ethan. It's without hesitation that Ethan goes to his sister's side only to be confronted by so many truths that he'd never known but more important than anything else is the fact that he has twin nieces...barely 2 years old and desperately in need of their Uncle Ethan to bring them home where they'll be loved and protected. With so much going on the last thing Ethan expects is to be confronted with Ben Cronin the man he'd walked away from and left lying in a hospital bed and even less than seeing him, Ethan has no expectation of that same man stepping up determined to help him and to Ethan's surprise proving to be a far more valuable ally than he could have hoped for as Ben reveals his past to Ethan confirming what Ethan had long suspected...Ben's got a past that not only makes him a valuable ally but a very dangerous enemy to those who would try and keep Ethan from bringing his nieces home where they belong.
I really liked Ethan and Ben in the first book and while we didn't see a lot of them there was enough interaction to hint at the possibility that there could be so much more between them than a working relationship if they'd just give it a chance. But when the chance arises Ethan walked away leaving Ben both hurt and confused.
When Ethan arrives in Casper, Wyoming the last person he expects to see is Cameron...Ben's twin brother so needless to say when the man is face to face with Ben...he's pretty much left speechless. While Ben may be the smaller of the two there's not a timid or reserved bone in his body and he's not afraid to let Ethan know where things stand, but he's also not one to hold a grudge.
For as much as I liked Lucas and Ryan, I would have to say that Ethan and Ben are my favorites. Overall I enjoyed the story more but I just generally liked the interaction between this pair more and while there were a couple of things at the end that might have made me roll my eyes...it was just a tiny bit...really, just an isty, bitsy eye roll and certainly not something that was enough to detract from the story and there might have been a tug or two on my heartstrings now that I think about it. It was sweet...not sugary sweet more like the kind of sweet that makes you sigh a little as you're reading.
Just like the first book there was a solid plot here for both the romance and the mystery/thriller part of the story that very nicely straddled the line and while providing an interesting and engaging story stayed out of the realm of too much...as in to complex, too busy, to convoluted...simply too much to enjoy. I got to read this one and enjoy the story while staying engaged without being overwhelmed by everything that was going on.
Although the ending of this story felt complete and I could stop here if I wanted to, I'm ready and waiting for the next part of this journey to see who's next and what we can expect from them. Honestly, I'm hoping for a story about Ben's twin brother Cameron... the end of this story left him with a rather interesting predicament that I'd love to be fly on the wall for as it unfolds.
A copy of 'Sentinel' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.