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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,895 ratings  ·  398 reviews
When Gabriel MacKenna enters Wentworth Prison in 1931, he promises himself two things: never to be buggered and never to turn prison queer. Tough, smart, and ruthless in a fight, he quickly makes a name for himself inside. But Gabriel, saved from the noose by a social crusader, is serving two life sentences. And life is a very long time to endure Wentworth with no comforts ...more
ebook, ACE, 122 pages
Published December 8th 2011 by S.A. Reid, via Smashwords (first published December 3rd 2011)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,895 ratings  ·  398 reviews

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Julio Genao
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Compelling, more than a little beautiful, and sad as fuck.

A little clumsy in the beginning; musically measured in the middle; and nearly perfect at the end, which I found almost literally stunning.

I didn't see it coming, and I'm glad, because it felt real—as real as the best of what came before.

I'd have preferred not to have been in Gabriel's head at all; for it to have been purely Joey's perspective all the way through. It would have heightened the violence of the opening scenes, and rendered t
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review completed December 13, 2012

"The price of protection is simple. You have to let me touch you. Kiss you. Not every time the lights go out. Not every night of the week. But -- enough."


It's kinda strange but after finishing this novella that ended at 77 % (!) I was so stunned that I felt nothing at all. I didn't shed a single tear. I guess it happens now and then that you feel the full impact of a story a day or two after you've closed the book. Anyway, I'm sitting in front of my lapt
May 2018

This still tew much!! 😭😭😭😭

Love it till the end of time!!


S.A Reid is definitely a fave author of mine, and this heartbreaking tale makes her an author to watch out for. Something Different was the first book I read by this author and I loved it so much. Protection is another winner, though both books are as different as night and day.

Gabriel Mackenna is serving two life sentences, with no chance of parole. He knows he will live and di
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**** 4.5 Stars ****

I am feeling completely




My favourite review ----> Annery's review
God, this novella! On my favorites shelf this little gem goes.

I buddy-read Protection and it’s actually pretty rare for my partners in crime and I to be unanimously impressed. But the author with the misleading penname pulled it off once again! If it’s up to me, I’d say T. Baggins is probably one of the better writers in the M/M genre, and she really deserves to be on your radar. You don’t want to know how many times I’ve heard people mention that they’re surprised or blown-away by this author’s
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it

I so, so, so liked this book.

Shock the heck out of me, but I did. I typically can’t handle this kind of violence…prison non-con borders right along my hard limit. But, something about the way the author writes Gabriel makes him sympathetic despite his horrendous actions. Conflicted, lonely, uncertain, brutal - but proving that LOVE can bring out the best in anyone.

Reading the relationship between Gabriel and Joey grow from force and hatred to something beautiful was painfully exquisite. And as G
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
How to review?
Firstly I have to say this is not my normal choice of story. I much prefer my nice safe comfort reads. But saying that, this certainly kept my interest.

In the begining I was unsure of this story and almost reluctant to read, but without realizing it I was half way through and totally conected to Joey and Gabe.

The begining was hard to get through for me, and I disliked even hated Gabe at that time. He was a conundrum at times. One moment a champion of the underdog the next a mea
Jason Bradley
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
oh my god! This is beautiful! A work of art. Why isn't everyone reading this? NOW!!! ...more
T.A. Webb
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gabriel MacKenna is a hard man. Sentenced to life in prison for a double murder, he is determined to be nobody's boy. He will do whatever is necessary to protect himself; no man will force him into a homosexual act, and he will yield to no one. In 1931 England, prison is a hard reality. And Gabriel will be the hardest man there.

Dr. Joseph Cooper enters Wentworth Prison sentenced for a mistake. A God awful mistake. Killing a woman and her unborn baby. He walks into prison with his head held high,
Yay!!! Once again, not reading the blurbs pays off.

I did know this was a prison book, not always my favorite setting given the real possibility of hardship and sorrow, and this book certainly had that but it also had more. Much more. I love that inter-wars period, which is so rich for mining stories of society changing at galloping speed, and that's certainly reflected in the plot and theme of this story.

Gabriel MacKenna and Joseph Cooper meet in the only place they could've, given their socia
Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers
This was very well-written. Well researched. Realistic but terribly romantic. AND IT DOES NOT HAVE A HEA.

Even so, I feel like Joey and Gabriel's love story played out to its fullest. What would have happened if they stayed in prison together indefinitely? Can they really live a life that way? The dangers would have been there regardless, it was a matter of time.

What if Joey got out as planned and Gabriel stayed? He simply wouldn't have a reduced sentence, they'd be apart never to touch each oth
Kaje Harper
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book does not have a happy ending in any sense, but it is an enthralling read. The historical setting of a prison in England on the brink of WWII feels wholly authentic. The two MC's are unusual, complex and captured my interest from the first moment. Gabriel managed to be a sympathetic character even through events that should have made me as a reader turn against him. The ability to engage the reader to this extent with this man is an amazing achievement for author S. A. Reid.

Joey is sym
Well, this was sad. But also engrossing.


I was hesitant going in to this, because prison romance doesn't sound like fun. The violence, the rape, and the inevitable angst are just a bit much for me. But I decided to give 'Protection' a shot, and it was pretty good.

The thing that makes this book stand out is that the progression from hate to love went a direction that I haven't read before. In most of the MM non-con books I've read in which the victim falls for the aggressor, the relationship is al
Dec 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
DNF at 65%

My oh my.
I'm in the minority here. But I was not even able to finish this very popular on GR novel.
In the future I consider to avoid a prison theme in MM books. And if I'll pick something about a prison, then only PWP. In this case I don't need to question a plot.

A melodramatic, full of cliches unrealistic prison overly drama without any historical atmosphere, with stereotypical characters, a very predictable plot, and unappealing sex.

Not for me.
Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog
~ ~ ~

This book is completely worthy of an exceptional review. It touched me so deeply and poignantly though, that I'm having trouble with getting my feelings on the page. Bear with me. Maybe a reread will help me see more clearly.


~ ~ ~

Take a look at my Male/Male Romance Book Blog:


Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Bloody fucking brilliant.


I'm bawling.


And damn it, the Coda is a bloody tearjerker times 2!
 ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Solid 4.5 Stars

I knew when I bought this book that I was going to wind up bat sh*t bonkers, after reading it. Why? Cos this story has what I call "The Human Condition" written all over it.

I mean this whole book had my emotions everywhere.
I was like...
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A few other scenes had me like...
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And the ending? OMGAWD! The ending had me like...
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We've all heard, read, seen movies, even watched the news with the gory tales of what prison life is like for some. Maybe even from loved ones who
Wow. This book was kind of amazing. I don’t really know what I expected but I certainly didn’t expect THAT. I wasn’t expecting such a heartfelt romance that brought me to tears.

What a wonderful story these two men had, given their situation and where they started. They had a shaky start, to say the least. But the way their relationship progressed? *sigh* Even though Gabriel did unspeakable things to Joey in the beginning he really turned out to be a true partner for him. He was loving and gener
Hauntingly lovely!

A very well written novella which ran through a litany of emotions for me: shock, pain, sympathy, horror, disgust, happiness, relief, love, and reality.

Recording a period of 4 years before WWII, Protection depicts the relationship between two men in a British prison. What begins as a brutal assault, turns into friendship, and then into something more.

This story doesn't have and HEA nor HFN, but for those of you who believe that true love transcends the earthly realm--is an HEA
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was dunked in this excellently written short story and ended up feeling a great many emotions, pity, anger, dismay, despair, warmth, happiness, sad, quite a punch in such a short time. Reid writes with no frills but lots of depth and weaves in humanity, brutality, retribution, justice, morality all in one bite.

Left me feeling sad but good. The ending tugs at my heart, beautiful, the ultimate.

(view spoiler)
Gabriel is a brutal killer, locked up for life with no hope of parole but you can't help but have sympathy for him. I really enjoyed the prison setting, especially during the 1930/40's, it made a refreshing change. Loved Gabriel and loved this book. 5 solid stars! ...more
Very sad and moving, at times uncomfortable and violent, Protection by S.A. Reid is a drama set in a British prison towards the end of the 1930s.

The two MCs, Gabriel MacKenna - condemned to a double life sentence - and Joseph Cooper, a doctor unjustly accused of a double murder, meet, clash and fall in love within the stifling Victorian walls of the old Wentworth Prison.

This was my first 'jail fiction' and I was at first a bit sceptical about its GFY narrative. I must say, however, that I deeply
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by fellow readers on the Goodreads M/M romance group, when I asked for a book that does not have a happy ending.

I was really surprised to find out that - taking into consideration the coda that was obviously added after the story was finished - this story has one of the best happy endings I have ever read!!

(view spoiler)
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this well over a year ago and thinking about it now still punches me in the gut. I never rated it because at the time I just read, never reviewed and so having just seen it on GR decided to add my 5 stars ... A little late but there you go!

There are any wonderful reviews out there that give this the kudos it deserves so I'm not rehashing but I will say it was a real emotional wringer and to be honest I don't think I could put myself through it a second time - but I'll never regret readin
Enjoyable well-written novella from T Baggins aka SA Reid. Set in an English prison in the 1930s, this is a the story of Irish murderer Gabriel McKenna who becomes obsessed with new inmate Dr Joey Cooper..
Don't neglect to read the Coda, it will destroy you.
'I'm losing my mind, Joey thought, not for the first time. Maybe I'm dead. Maybe the train crashed on the journey to Findley. The person I took for Dr Pfiser was really Satan, and Wentworth is really hell.'
I have a new crush. Surprising because he is a convicted murderer, a rapist, and I'm completely in awe of him. Gabriel MaKenna is one of those men that win you over no matter the bad they do.

If you enjoy dark erotica, you will enjoy this book. If you like to read unusual love stories, here it is.

I highly recommend this book to those of you that can get past rape in your fiction.
Reread August 2020


I enjoyed my second read of Protection just as much as I did the first time. And I cried nearly as much also. This story is so well written and captivating.

The story spans 4 years in Wentworth prison and I loved that it was set in the 1930s/40s in Britain, which made for a great escape. Wentworth is described as a primitive, cut throat prison, and I love how gritty and realistic the portrayal of the day to day activities in Wentworth was. There is violence, corp
Nile Princess
5 stars, right up to just before the ending and then....pfft....but I can't give it less than 5 stars because the rest of the book is simply stellar. Could have easily been one of my fave books ever. I guess the ending is realistic, but that didn't mean I liked it.

Be aware, there is no hea here. If you're like me, it may help to know that before you start.

There is an epilogue here which may help you, but which didn't help me in the slightest lol.

Still I cannot stress enough how awesome this boo
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy by: Rissa (an M/M kinda Girl!!)
Wow! That was not at all what I was expecting. For a story that started out so brutal, I did not expect to be rooting so hard for Gabriel and Joey. Heartbreaking, but such a good read!!
Initially, I didn't give this book a rating, because I couldn't decide whether to give it one star or five. Now that I've had a day to mull this over, I'm giving it a five. Just be forewarned that it's a difficult read, thematically, and might not be to everyone's taste.

This is a fascinating story. The author has clearly done some research, and the historical details are very interesting. This is a gritty environment, and there's no glossing over the realities of prison life. It's well written a
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Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Author dashboard 4 172 Jan 12, 2016 05:28AM  
Brandon Shire Fan...: GROUP READ (Dec 16): Protection by S.A. Reid 19 47 Dec 17, 2012 11:14AM  

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I'm a writer of fantasy adventures. My first book, a reincarnation romance called Past Lives #1: Rachel is now available.

I also write cozy mysteries like Ice Blue and Blue Murder (coming Spring 2012) as Emma Jameson. And as S.A. Reid, I write adult romances like Something Different, Protection, and Soulless (coming Spring 2012).

Pseudonym of T. Baggins

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“Unscrewing the cap, Gabriel squeezed a bit of clear jelly onto his fingers and understood. Covering Joey’s body with his own, Gabriel kissed his lips. “But you said – something we haven’t tried …” “We haven’t.” Reaching up, Joey cupped Gabriel’s cheek. “What happened before was one stranger attacking another. What happens now is between you and me.” “Joey.” Gabriel kissed the other man’s earlobe, his jawline, the hollow of his throat. “I can’t hurt you again. I’ll kill myself first.” 9 likes
“Gabriel shuddered with obvious pleasure; Joey, half out of his body with the sensation, pumped in and out with terrible urgency. Forever wouldn’t have been long enough. When Gabriel seized, Joey left himself entirely, flesh overloaded with pleasure, spirit suspended between life and death. “Joey? Are you all right?” Drawing a deep breath, Joey opened his eyes. “Never better. You?” “’Twas sweet.” Gabriel smiled. “And I was thinking. Now that we’ve both had each other – that’s as good as taking vows, isn’t it?” 5 likes
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