For Tate Nilsson, joining the Marines after graduating high school was supposed to have been the culmination of his childhood ambitions. He hadn’t intended to meet a quiet, bespectacled boy the summer before shipping off. He certainly hadn’t intended to fall in love. But he did. Then he shipped off anyway.
Seven years later, when Tate’s mother becomes ill and ultimately passes away, Tate finds himself back home in Texas, at a loss for how things in his life have gone so sideways. A friend with a security company hires and trains him to be a bodyguard, and he soon lands his first contract…protecting the bisexual son of Ron Green, the minister of Dallas’ largest conservative church.
Except Green’s son isn’t just any preacher’s kid. He’s the boy Tate had once loved, seven summers ago. And Tate does not make a good second impression.
Noah Green is in danger, and Tate is determined to protect him, despite Noah believing he’s perfectly fine. By the time the two men manage to sort through Tate’s overbearing reintroduction, Noah’s life is actively being threatened, but saving Noah is just the first step. The second step? Tate has to find a way to save himself.
Trigger Warning: I know it’s been said that trigger warnings in fiction shouldn’t need to exist, that those who read fiction should expect to have their boundaries tested. But I’ve had my boundaries tested without my consent and prefer that sometimes my romance come with a warning. So, in that spirit: This book contains a scene of graphic violence, examples of homo/biphobia, instances of PTSD, and vivid recall of attempted suicide and suicidal ideation (suicidal situations are all past tense). It also contains mature sexual scenes. And Mom, yes, those sexual situations are the kind that contain two peens.
My Rating - 5 Stars!
For me, Son Of A Preacher Man, by Nichole Willowbrook, is a fantastic kind of story. I love the trope, I love the characters, and I adore them as a couple.
Tate and Noah are just so perfect together. Tate's depressed after the death of his mom, and takes a job as a bodyguard. Noah, meanwhile, is pissed off at having a bodyguard. Of course, finding out who Tate is guarding is just as jarring to him as it is to Noah. Ends up they were each other's first love.
What follows is a riveting story of the two men trying to come to terms with their past, Tate trying to not get involved with his charge, and Noah making that difficult for him. In addition to all of their personal issues, they also have to deal with the fact that someone is trying to kidnap Noah. They also face Noah's homophobic father.
Their story is one of forgiveness, understanding and second chances. It also includes the ramifications of shame, grief and guilt, bullying and hate. It is absolutely wonderful that Noah has finally found someone who cares for him, wanting to not only love him, but also protect him.
Overall, Son Of A Preacher Man is right up my alley. It's a great second chance story that had me fully invested from the beginning. I can't wait to see what Nichole Willowbrook comes up with next.