5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Audiobook Review: The Watcher by Melanie Moreland 🎧

To the world, I’m Damien DeSalvo, businessman.
I own a security company, ensuring the safety of my clients.
But behind the scenes, I’m known as the Watcher.
I stay hidden, overseeing the secrecy of Hidden Justice— those who rid the world of its scum, one bad guy at a time.

Until the day she stumbles into my path and one kiss changes everything.
Stalked and terrified, Raven Bailey needs my protection.

I need her.

Can I find the man threatening the woman I love before he finds her?
We’re playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse.
And I’m determined to win.

Title:The Watcher
Author:Melanie Moreland
Narrator(s):Maxine Mitchell
John Lane
Series:Men of Hidden Justice (Book 4)
Pages / Length:333 / 6hrs 55m
Trope(s):Insta-Love / Lust
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Narration Type:Dual
Location:Toronto, Canada
Release Date:19th September, 2022
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Everything your heart and ears desire

5 stars

Just when we thought the Men of Hidden Justice series was over, Melanie Moreland brings us another belter when Damien gets his own story. For those reading the series in order, we do get cameos from some of our former characters. But for those new to Hidden Justice, Melanie Moreland or both – this book stands alone so you’re free to dive on in.

While this book follows a similar pattern to the others in the series – woman in trouble and in need of protection and man perfectly positioned to give his protection and his love – it also has enough differences to make it a story all its own. Raven’s troubles stem from a stalker as opposed to the previous books where the trouble was from a more organised crime type of criminal. And while Damien is smitten just as quickly as his predecessors, for some reason I felt the relationship between him and Raven was more believable somehow.

I liked Raven a lot and immediately started to root for her. She was just a ‘normal’ girl who was starting over in a new town, a bit unlucky in love, and in a situation that both terrifies and overwhelms her. She was just as smitten with Damien as he was with her – but I understood her reticence at believing and trusting her feelings. She wasn’t kick-butt in an obvious kind of way – but her strength was apparent in the way she dealt with Damien and her situation in general. Raven is voiced by Maxine Mitchell – a Melanie Moreland audio-book stalwart, so it’s no surprise that she absolutely nails the character. She’s got a voice that’s very easy to listen to and she plays on the nuances of the story, making us believe what Raven is thinking, feeling and saying. She’s got a voice which is a unique blend of strength and vulnerability. There’s really no-one else who could have read Raven’s parts.

“…Maxine Mitchell and John Lane bring the characters and scenes to life with their fantastic narration.”

Damien was my favourite kind of hero and the type of man that Melanie Moreland writes so well. He’s also the type of man that John Lane was made to narrate. But then again, John Lane could read the phone book and I’d be all in! Damien’s big, gruff, over-protective, borderline obsessed (but in the best possible way) and would do absolutely anything for his woman. It’s that delicious blend between a business man in a sharp suit, who’s also a lethal protector, who’s also a big ol’ teddy bear. And John Lane does this type of hero to perfection. He’s got the gruff and gravelly – but equally has the softer, lighter teddy bear voice.

There’s electric chemistry between Damien and Raven from their very first meeting – and this only grows as the pair get to know each other and fall in love. There’s plenty of sex in the book – but it never grows wearisome – and boy-oh-boy is it hot. Not only hot, but it it really helps cement the relationship between our pair and helps you to really feel these characters and their emotions.

There’s definitely an element of menace / suspense running throughout the book although it’s not until right at the end that everything comes to a head. It’s not a whodunnit as we know the identity of the bad guy and while I suspected I knew what was going on earlier in the book, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the culmination of the sinister part of our plot. And while this suspenseful part of the plot is uncomfortable – especially, I’m assuming, if you’ve had dealings with a stalker or obsessive ex – I’m a huge scaredy cat and I coped just fine.

This book also teased what I’m hoping will be the next in this series – between the demolition expert Egan, and Hidden Justice doctor, Sofia. I’m already giddy with anticipation of that book which has only been amped up by hearing John Lane do a Romanian accent. Swoon. Once again, Melanie Moreland writes a book that is a sheer delight while Maxine Mitchell and John Lane bring the characters and scenes to life with their fantastic narration. This is everything your heart and ears need. 5 stars.

5 stars

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

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Men of Hidden Justice

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