SWORN TO PROTECT – Jo Davis
A Sugarland Blue Novel , Book 1
Sugarland, Tennessee - Present Day
Shane Ford is a detective for Sugarland's police department when he and his partner get called to a murder by the side of the road; a man who looks homeless was found in a gulley, shot. That night, Shane gets the worst news of his life: his best friend, the Tennessee Titan's star running back, Brad Cooper, was found by his son dead in his house, perhaps an overdose. Shane has been chosen as guardian for Brad's son Drew, and he must immediately get to Brad's house and find out what happened and take Drew home with him. Daisy Callahan, the Juvenile Officer, and Shane had a short and hot relationship several months ago, and he immediately ended it in fear of it getting permanent. Daisy is the one who first heard about Brad, and goes along with him to his house and helps him cope with the death of his best friend and the instant fatherhood of a scared and devastated teenager. Shane quickly realizes Daisy is compassionate and caring, and despite what he did to her, still feels something for him. But as a bachelor, Shane must learn that love and concern for Drew can only go so far; it's the setting of rules and discipline that leave him feeling helpless.
When Daisy hears about Brad on the news, she rushes to Shane's house. She offers to go with him and he can't believe how much help she is in the coming days. Daisy has loved Shane for a long time, and their short affair was intense and hot, and she was devastated when he broke it off. Daisy is determined not to let him do that to her again, and anything that happens between them she needs to remember to keep it light and fun, with no seriousness. Shane soon surprises her by acting and telling her he is serious about her, but troubles with Drew soon draw their attention from each other.
When Drew starts his new high school, only one student, Ty, doesn't even know who his father was. Soon Ty is encouraging Drew to skip class, tag someone's barn whom he doesn't like, and generally get Drew into the kind of trouble Shane has no idea what to do about. Daisy tries to make friends with Drew and talk to him during lunch at school, but he remains sullen and keeps something secret he refuses to share. But as teenagers do, Drew and Ty soon get in over their heads, with consequences that could spell danger for everyone.
Drew is one scared and troubled seventeen year-old boy. He found his dead father, is liked mainly for his father's reputation, and can't imagine life will ever be worth living again. Does Shane really want him in his life, or is he just a burden? He is sure he had something to do with his father's death; nobody in his new school likes him for who he is, and when he does make a friend they manage to get into trouble. He knows he is breaking Shane's rules, but as a typical teenager he figures out it's not that bad, until suddenly something happens that he will never be able to forget.
Jo Davis has started her new series off with a bang, presenting us with two unique and remarkable characters. Told from Daisy's and Shane's points of view, Shane is almost the only man I've ever read about who regrets a brief hook-up with a woman months ago, and now realizes she wants her again…permanently, no games this time. Of course, an instant son is also a top priority, and leading Drew into becoming the type of man Shane wants him to be is, as with all teenagers, a difficult and trying time. Daisy has been in love with Shane for a long time, and after he ended their red-hot relationship after a short time months ago, she is definitely scared to trust his pretty words again; another hurt like that again could leave her with permanent damage. Shane's new son Drew is not an obstacle for Daisy, rather he is someone needing her tremendous love, guidance, friendship, and caring.
Secondary characters are all the other policemen of Sugarland, and Shane's twin sister Shea and her husband Tommy, who also have started to care for Drew. Drew's new friend is Ty, a young man surely on his way down that slippery slope of trouble. Ty's father Carl and his friend Frank are behind most of the troubles that have happened in the past month, and one can only hope they each get their just desserts.
SWORN TO PROTECT is a suspenseful and fast-moving story with emotion, action, and tentative love growing from the roots of a passion rooted up the first time. Next in the Sugarland Blue series is Shane's partner, Taylor Kane's story in HOT PURSUIT (December 2013). As you get to know the people and police officers of Sugarland you will quickly come to admire them and look forward to each of their stories. SWORN TO PROTECT is a dynamic start to this great series!