WHY I READ IT
I love the Belonging Duet, where I first met Twilight, and couldn’t wait to read his story.
WHAT I RATED IT
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
My life is a secret.
His life is dangerous.
We’re both stubborn, calculating, and controlling.
Mark Dixon doesn’t know what he’s getting into. He doesn’t know his games could cost us our lives. I have to do what is necessary to keep us alive, and that means guarding my heart.
But I know I’m defenseless against him, and in the end, he’ll force me to surrender.
Before I start my review, I want to apologize to Corinne Michaels for taking so long to read Defenseless. It was awesome and I was an idiot to wait.
When I found out that Defenseless was Mark Dixon’s story, I was totally pumped. In the Belonging Duet, Mark provides the comedic relief and I couldn’t wait to find out more about “Twilight.” This book is very different from the Belonging Duet mainly because of the tone set by Mark and Charlie. While there is an element of seriousness to this story, there is also tons of witty and playful banter back and forth. Not to mention, there’s a bit of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith element too.
Let’s get my one criticism and the reason for 4.5 stars out of the way: the resolution of plot. Defenseless is kind of like a spy/CIA suspense story. I always worry about this kind of theme because they can be hokey if poorly written. Michaels does a great job with this but I felt like the resolution was a bit rushed. Because it felt rushed, I didn’t feel like everything was perfectly resolved. I was looking for that perfect balance between relationship and plot. If a story is too plot heavy, the relationship doesn’t fully develop. If there’s too much relationship, then the plot seems secondary. Michaels does a decent job of developing both the plot and the relationship between Charlie and Mark. Towards the end of the book, the development of their relationship takes away from the central conflict and affects the resolution of the story and ruins that perfect balance.
I was a little disappointed Defenseless wasn’t about Mark and Ashton, Catherine’s BFF. However, as soon as I started reading, and I met Charlie and saw how she and Mark interacted, I got over my initial disappointment. Corinne Michaels creates the perfect partner for Mark. Charlie gives Mark exactly what he needs: someone who won’t put up with his crap. Charlie challenges Mark on every level, which makes the alpha in him work harder to win her love. Mark is also there to push Charlie. So much of Charlie’s life is about secrets and lies and Mark forces her to be honest with him and with herself. While Mark is still Mark, Charlie makes him tender, sweet, and protective. He begins to understand what Jackson and Catherine have and sees the value in that relationship, which makes him fight for what he has with Charlie. They truly bring out the best in each other.
If you’re a fan of Corinne Michaels and the characters that she creates, then you won’t be disappointed with Defenseless or with Mark and Charlie. Defenseless is the perfect compliment to all of her other books and I’m excited for future releases with these characters.