Long Lonely Nights by Marla Monroe was a long book filled with angst. The main characters both struggle with their own insecurities and take a long time to recognize the opportunity in one another. Character development was multi-faceted and allowed the reader to understand their motives but didn’t dissuade my frustration with how slowly the story moved.
Tina Antonelli spends most of her time indoors because of fear over an attack she endured a year ago. Tina is brave and determined to live as regular a life as possible but still doesn’t go out often. Her entertainment at home includes spying on her sexy neighbor, Logan Henderson, at night. As the man who attacked her a year ago returns to stalk her, Tina hesitantly accepts her neighbor’s help while refusing to admit to the attraction she feels towards him.
Logan is retired from the army after twenty years of service. He has been looking at Tina since he moved in next door and is as attracted to her as she is to him. When he learns that she is hiding from a stalker, he can’t keep his distance anymore and is compelled to protect her (thus the series name of The Protectors). Then he finds that the more time he spends with her, the more he begins to develop feelings for her. Still he denies himself because he believes he is not good enough for her, and too rough of a lover for a gentle woman like Tina. Why he makes this assumption is still unclear to me, not to mention how it frustrated me to no end.
Much of the storyline revolves around the two characters sexual hang-ups. Tina seems to be sexually hungry but repressing her need to explore a darker side of sex. She enjoys a few stolen moments of voyeurism as she passes sleepless nights out on her balcony watching her sexy neighbor in compromising positions. Her sexual repression brings about self-doubt, no doubt compounded by the attack she suffered. But I would’ve liked to see her evolve more sexually as she learned to a trust someone – there were so many lost opportunities for her with Logan.
This suspense of the story drew me in because I couldn’t figure out who it was stalking Tina. I liked her best friend who added dimension to the story, along with the other men we are introduced to (whom I suspect will be other protectors in future books in this series). Overall, the book was good and provided a pleasing, if not as intense as a reader might hope from a romantic suspense, ending. After a long wait, it was a relief when Logan and Tina were able to overcome their fears and find their happily ever after.
RATING: 3 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found at: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=1849.