Book Review: Protection
by T Baggins / S.A. Reid
Blurb: When Gabriel MacKenna enters Wentworth Prison in 1931, he promises himself two things: never to be buggered and never to turn prison queer. Tough, smart, and ruthless in a fight, he quickly makes a name for himself inside. But Gabriel, saved from the noose by a social crusader, is serving two life sentences. And life is a very long time to endure Wentworth with no comforts but prison food, card games and cigarettes. To survive endless days without the touch of another human being…
Five years after Gabriel’s incarceration, Joey Cooper arrives at Wentworth. Every convict claims imprisonment through a miscarriage of justice, but Joey is truly blameless. Trained at Oxford as a physician, the young doctor is innocent of prison culture and too handsome for his own good. Facing eighteen years behind Wentworth’s towering gates, Joey cannot hope to survive without protection. And protection is just what Gabriel MacKenna offers. At a price… (End Blurb)
Review: People have many different ideas and thoughts about prison, especially if you are innocent of the crime that sent you there. “Everyone claims to be innocent” in prison, but few if any really are.
Dr. Joseph Cooper entered Wentworth Prison (in England) in 1931 sentenced for a mistake. Through no direct fault of his own, a woman and her newborn child were dead and he took the fall. Walking into prison, an innocent man, a man who was recently engaged, a doctor with a life of prestige and wealth stripped from him, he stood tall, though afraid.
Gabriel MacKenna, sentenced for a double murder was sure he wanted Joey to know who was in charge and he was going to prove it. Taking Joey in the shower supported Gabriel’s personal decision to never let anyone “Take” him. To further prove his powers, Gabriel had Joey assigned to his room. The man who raped him was now his room mate!
Fear and personal strength kept Joey alive. Joey new he would need protection for the 18 year sentence, but at what price? What was his life worth? Was it worth allowing himself to be raped by this beast of a man who slept in the bunk below him?
He told Gabriel about his innocence, his engagement, and his fears. Though everyone in prison says they are innocent, Gabriel believed Joey and decided to not only leave him alone, to be his protector as well. He wants Joey, but will not force the issue again.
Baggins drew me in. She built characters that I wanted to know better. Click To TweetBaggins drew me in. She built characters that I wanted to know better. Was Gabriel really a cold hearted double murderer or were there circumstances he didn’t reveal? Joey’s fears, his story, his love for medicine, his love for a woman who would never know him as her husband, his ability to understand Gabriel better than Gabriel did, kept me reading. I wanted more and was not disappointed.
As the story built, I was drawn further into the lives of Joey and Gabriel, others around them, their daily routines, visitation rights, and how they learned to live with and love each other. The romance that built was powerful, strong, and yet delicate. Love has many facets and Baggins showed as many as possible given the constraints of Wentworth prison.
I usually read in the evening after I’ve completed my own writing projects for the day. When I am presented with a good book, one that draws me in – in to the story, the characters, the environment, I am taken away from my daily routine. Protection did that for me.
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