Protecting Braden (  Custos Securities 2) by Luna David

Title: Protecting Braden        Word Count:328pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Zavier “Cade” McCade, former Army Special Forces and creator of Custos Securities, finds himself in a situation he never thought he’d be in—he’s fallen in love with Braden Cross, the gorgeous pastry chef he’s guarding. Cade has lived his life as a protector: of his country, his family and friends, his clients, and now, the man he’s in love with. He thrives in dangerous and stressful situations. But nothing could prepare him for Braden’s decision to put himself in danger.

After a vicious attack from his stalker leaves Braden fighting for his life, Cade will stop at nothing to see the man responsible punished. Time passes, but Braden’s attacker hasn’t given up and Cade’s afraid he never will. As Cade and the most trusted members of Custos Securities track Braden’s assailant, Braden struggles to rebuild his life and re-establish the fragile trust he and Cade had worked so hard to build. Braden knows if he’s going to survive the chaos surrounding him, he’s going to have to give Cade everything he has—mind, body, and soul.

More determined than ever to hunt down the man that nearly killed the love of his life, Cade will do everything in his power to ensure that he and Braden will be able to live the life of their dreams with nothing and no one standing in their way. Meanwhile, hidden just out of their reach, an increasingly deranged stalker watches…and waits.

Author’s Note: Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, it is highly recommended that you read book 1, Trusting Cade, first. For those of you that prefer warnings—trigger or otherwise—use the “Look Inside” feature to find them within the first several pages. For those of you that prefer to be surprised, avoid the front matter of the book. . . Happy reading!

My Review:  The second book in the Custos series is just as exhilarating as the first one. It picks up where the first one left off. Braden is laid up in the hospital in a coma after being held captive and beaten by his stalker ex Eric. Eric is in the wind and Cade his lover is in warrior protective mode. Cade is overjoyed when Bray finally comes out of the coma. Bray is a bit overwhelmed and jumping at shadows after the traumatic event that he had to endure. Bray stays in the hospital for awhile and Cade is the there by his side throughout it all. The juxtaposition of seeing how dominant and caring Cade is makes for a super hot read.

It is slow going for Bray’s recovery and it soon becomes apparent that he is suffering from PTSD when the nightmares and panic attacks starts. It is hard for Braden at first,  he feels like a burden to Cade because of how clingy and dependent he has become. It takes awhile for him to adjust and be peaceful in his own skin. It takes Cade’s brand of passion to soothe his soul. Bray knows that he needs his lover’s big hands all over his body to take away some of the lingering fear and stain that he feels. Cade and his men are on constant protective detail to Braden, his nana and  his best friend Maya.

Cade and Braden’s relationship is solidified even further when he meets Cade’s family. Bray is nervous at first, but  he falls in line seemlessly when he realize how warm and down to earth they are. Cade starts making permanent plans for their life and partnership. He decides to open up a branch of Custos securities and to get a bigger home for him and Bray to live in. Braden is ecstatic to be making these plans with his overprotective man . Their bliss is short-lived however, when Eric makes a reappearance in their lives.

Braden is kidnapped again and Cade is hurt this time. Through his pain , Cade still manages to be a super hero and find Bray through tracers. By the time Cade gets there with his men , Bray has been shot in the stomach. Cade loses control and  pounds Eric to dust and ends up killing the madman after Eric made another attempt to hurt Bray. Finally, it is over but the recovery is not as easy this time around.

There is an instant where Braden actually flat-lines and it is a heart-rending  moment to see how devastated Cade becomes. It takes too strong men Cooper and his brother Gideon to bring him around. It is testament to the strength of their love that it takes hearing Braden’s heartbeat to get Cade focused again. They have a long road of recovery for both of them mentally, physically and psychologically ahead of them. Their love has definitely withstood many trials, but through it all they have remained strong and protective of each other.

Braden and Cade both decide to delve deeper in the dominance and submission realm of their relationship. Cade offers him a contract, but Bray refuses something so formal. He trusts Cade implicitly to know how far to push his boundaries sexually while keeping his every need in mind . This works out perfectly for them and definitely adds a super hot element to the sexual chemistry that’s already a living entity between them. Braden relishes the power he feels when he fully submits to Cade. 

When they move into their dream home, Cade finally proposes to Bray who willingly accepts to become Braden McCade. Flash forward two years, Cade and Braden are still totally in love with each other and their circle is now completed with twins Harper and Hunter McCade had by surrogate Maya. This was the best ending possible. I really enjoyed Cade and Braden’s epic love story and I look forward to reading the third in the series. I give this my ratings of 5- bring out the vibrators, because this has every little nuance that I could ever need in a great romance.

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