I loved the fact that the main characters in JUSTICE FOR MACKENZIE features real adults. Mackenzie is thirty seven and Daxton is forty six. Neither are struggling to find themselves in a world that they are just learning to navigate. They are both grown ups who just haven't found the right person to share their lives with yet.
Mackenzie is slightly overweight but is completely comfortable with her size. She doesn't make excuses or apologies for being who she is. Mackenzie's character isn't over done or outrageous when it comes to her body image and I found that to be a nice change from the idea of a woman with curves either having to be convinced that she's attractive or she is over the top embracing herself to the point of bashing anyone who is smaller. Stoker didn't go with either of those in this story and it worked really well. Mackenzie does have relationship issues though. Being in her late thirties and never married happened for a reason and it wasn't totally Mackenzie's choice. Her fear of rejection caused her to push men away before they had a chance to leave her. The only negative I had with Mackenzie is that she is a babbler but Daxton found it 'cute' so whatever floats your boat Dax!
Daxton is a hunky Texas Ranger and you just can't go wrong with that. His attraction to Mackenzie is instantaneous and totally wonderful. Daxton sees what he wants and isn't afraid to take a gamble to see if Mackenzie is what she appears to be. Daxton is on the case of a serial killer on the loose in San Antonio and as women continue to be found after having been buried alive time is running out and the suspense builds slowly.
Since this is book 1 in the BADGE OF HONOR series we do get a little set up for some of the other characters that will undoubtedly get their own books down the line. Stoker weaves them in nicely and the secondary characters do not take away from the main story of Daxton and Mackenzie. I do wish that the romantic suspense element with the serial killer had been explored a bit more in the beginning but when it does crank up things really barrel forward quickly to the end. JUSTICE FOR MACKENZIE is sexy, suspenseful, sometimes funny, and by the end was an emotional ride. This was my first book by Stoker but I will be looking forward to reading the next book in this series when it is available. A whole series dedicated to men who serve and protect? Sign me up!
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review**
Daxton Chambers loved being a part of the oldest and most distinguished law enforcement agency in the state of Texas…the Texas Rangers. But whoever was burying women alive in his city of San Antonio was always two steps ahead of him…and he hated it.
Mackenzie Morgan lived what she considered a normal life. She worked at a non-profit agency, hung out with her best friend, had an annoying, but loving, family, was clumsy, had a tendency to ramble when she was nervous…and was still searching for the man to spend the rest of her life with.
Meeting Mack, and finding out just how perfect she was for him, wasn’t a part of Dax’s plan…but he’d be damned if he was going to complain about it. Unfortunately, Dax’s job wasn’t always safe…Both Mack and Dax would find that out the hard way.
**Justice for Mackenzie is the 1st book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.