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Protect and Serve #1

Love Or Justice

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Laurie Shelton is the only person alive who can identify Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss…After stumbling into a deadly kidnapping, Laurie’s life is in grave danger, and it falls to US Marshal Dante Stark to keep her safe until she testifies against Kaimi Quamboa—assuming he can be captured. Dante knows he’ll lose his job if he becomes romantically involved with a witness…But when he has to comfort her through constant nightmares, he finds it nearly impossible to fight his attraction to the beautiful, strong young woman he is sworn to protect. Laurie feels it too, but aware she’s in a high-stress situation and that when the danger is past she’ll never see Dante again, she tries to ignore his easygoing smile and the security he offers.Laurie and Dante are forced to flee again…When Kaimi’s men descend on their hideaway, they escape to a second safe house, only to be tracked down there as well. Dante now knows there’s a mole inside the US Marshal Service, and the only thing left to do is disappear.Kaimi will never stop looking for Laurie, and if he’s caught, showing up to testify could be the last thing she ever does. With each choice as dangerous as the next, Dante and Laurie must confront the boundaries of what they’re willing to sacrifice, and which is more important…Love or Justice.

408 pages, Paperback

First published November 3, 2015

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Rachel Mannino

2 books100 followers

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5 stars
41 (35%)
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41 (35%)
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26 (22%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 51 reviews
Profile Image for Aղցela W..
3,978 reviews269 followers
November 24, 2018
This was a really good read. Laurie Shelton is the only person alive who can identify Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss. Dante Stark is a hot sexy US Marshal who is assigned to keep her safe until she testifies against Kaimi Quamboa the mob boss. Laurie is a last year law student living in Hawaii and working at a resort cleaning rooms. She gets a call to clean the penthouse that the clients have checked out but when she arrives two men with guns are holding a badly beaten woman and child hostage. She manages to talk her way out if she promises not to tell anyone or call the police and when she leaves the room she hears they plan on killing her later that night. This was a really good read that I liked a lot. This book had a lot of action in it and it was hot. Dante and Laurie had a lot of chemistry between them. This was my first time reading this author. This book was well written with no errors in grammar or spelling. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
Profile Image for Philomena Callan Cheekypee.
3,907 reviews396 followers
November 16, 2015
This was a really great debut novel. I actually sat and read this late into the night in one sitting as I couldn't put it down.
I really liked the two main characters although I didn't click with Dante as much as I'd have liked to.
The storyline was brilliant. It was action packed and full of great twists and turns.
I will certainly be reading more from this author and look forward to more of this series.
Profile Image for Aline.
341 reviews34 followers
December 17, 2015
My Review:
Love or Justice by Rachel Mannino *3.75 Stars*


*I received the review copy from the author in exchange of honest review. This didn't affect my Review in any aspect. *

Laurie is courageous, determined and a very likable character. When she went to clean the penthouse of the hotel where she works, she finds a man holding a gun at a woman and a child.
At first I was a little disappointed with the beginning, I didn't buy the “gun silencer” situation (no spoilers here) or how a criminal like the one she was facing would just ket her go, but I decided to keep going. She goes to the cops and they find out that this man is Kaimi, one of the most wanted mob boss in Hawaii.
Right away the FBI puts Laurie on testimony protection, since she is the only person who can identify who kidnapped the wife and son of a prosecutor.

Dante is dauntless, smart and very good at his job and he loves what he does. He is the best Marshall assigned to take care of Laurie until the FBI finds Kaimi and the trial starts. He and his men does the best to protect their witness.

“It's a privilege, you know. To protect you. To protect a witness. You're making the world a better place, right? Keeping bad guys off the street.”

While they run between one safe house to another, consequences of being attacked twice, Laurie and Dante fall for each other. Both know they shouldn't get involved but they can't help themselves.

“She couldn't let herself down this road, emotionally or mentally. She just had to keep tight rein on her desire and not let it run rampant in her head.”

Not feeling safe on the safe houses anymore, Dante takes Laurie to a place that not even he knows where it is, all with the help of someone he knows. They spent a lot of time together and the relationship grown gradually.

But when things “go south”, Dante is obligated to leave the safe haven where he is, to try to catch Kaimi and clean his name, since false rumors regarding him are rising.

I spent a huge part of the book thinking how Kaimi was getting information on Laurie's location and the revelation, had left me screaming at my walls. It did not cross my mind even for a second.

Dante and Laurie find themselves now in a hard situation. Love or Justice? If they went back to Hawaii, the FBI would put her on witness protection and they had no idea when he would see her again. If she didn't go back, Kaimi would be free and keep kidnapping and killing people. The scene when Dante is on his way to the airport to take Lauren back to Hawaii is heartbreaking. I felt a knot in my throat.

“Dante? what is wrong?”
He didn’t answer. He sat in the driver's seat gasping for air. Dante forced open the door, almost falling out of the car.
“I can't.” Dante tries to breath deep but he stuttered and gasp.“I just can't do it.” He shook his head, tears flowing freely.”I can't take you back. I should but I can’t.”

The writing per se is good and easy to read. The characters development, including the secondary ones, are well developed. The connection between reader and character, and also between the characters themselves is also well developed. The story is good but I found the pace a little inconsistent. Sometimes it was slow, then suddenly steady, at the end it was fast paced. I found the book a little repetitive on the first 40 percent, while she was changing houses. The romance also sounded a little repetitive. I also think that the author should show a little bit more reaction from the prosecutor on a specific news he had at the end of the book. The very end let me down a little as I didn't agree with one of Dante's choice.

I am between 3.5 and 4 Stars. There are some events that could have been better managed or at least making a little more sense by fixing something here and there.

Profile Image for Books By Ces.
523 reviews43 followers
November 11, 2015
*Received complimentary copy through Double Decker Books for an honest review*

3.5 Over the counter romance stars!

Review to come.
Profile Image for Kat.
76 reviews56 followers
May 21, 2016
Originally posted on Books & Bottles.

Prepare for a critical, pessimistic, and unpopular stance on what is probably a very heart-warming romance.

The story starts out with a bang – Laurie, a cleaner for a local resort in Hawaii, finds herself at gunpoint after entering the penthouse suite for a routine checkout-cleaning. Bargaining for her life, she is allowed to flee the room but leaves a woman and child with the gunmen, already beaten and begging for help. Turning to the police after being explicitly told not to, she is put into witness protection until she is interviewed and approved for a long-term placement.


Dante, the best Witness Security agent in Hawaii, is the first pick for the high profile case – protecting the only witness in Hawaii history that has seen mob-boss Kaimi. The case could make or break his career but the forbidden attraction he feels towards his blonde witness wages war between his loyalties and his desires.

But then it goes downhill from here..

As the romance between Laurie and Dante bloom I couldn’t help but feel indifferent. This romance that stars the top Marshals Services agent and the star witness to the biggest case in Hawaii in decades. What should be steamy and suspenseful was predictable and flat. I didn’t care about the characters. I thought Dante to be more of a puff than protective and strong, and Laurie to be whiny and obnoxious in her ridiculous antics in the face of danger. I found myself skimming over the large paragraphs and flipping through pages until I came to more dialogue because the story read as more of a play-by-play than something that made the reader think and imagine. If the story doesn’t make you think or question what’s going on, then my mind automatically assumes the long verbose paragraphs can be skipped. Unfortunately, most of the time they can be.

Not to mention that Laurie almost never thinks of the woman and child she left behind (even if that isn’t what the author was intending). I would be distraught if going to the police lead to their death – especially if that is exactly what the gunman said not to do. The only time she brings it up is to throw it in Dante's face when he says something stupid about her being too calm, but whenever we're in her head everything is, "Dante Dante, Dante, Dante, Dante.." like a broken record. Puh-lease.

Spoiler infused rant:

There were just enough points to irritate me down to a two stars. Laurie’s perceived indifference to the woman and child she runs from, the overly-fluffy love between Laurie and Dante, and the ending, was flat and irritating and I was incredibly relieved to return Love and Justice to Kindle Unlimited.
Profile Image for Amy .
2,757 reviews
December 5, 2015
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Love or Justice is the debut novel by Rachel Mannino. When I first saw the cover for this book, I knew I had to check it out. And I have to tell you, I’m really glad that I did. This story pulled me in from the very first page. I had to know what would happen next. I really loved the plot and the idea behind the story. It was action packed, entertaining and definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.

I did have a few issues with the story. My first issue was the pacing. I wish it had been a little more consistent. The story would start off strong, fall flat and then pick right back up again. My other issue was the male point of view. I am a big fan of dual points of view and I feel like this one let me down a little bit. I wish that it would have been a little stronger. It didn’t always feel as though it was the male point of view talking.

Other than those issues that I had, I did really enjoy this story. I was entertained and captivated. I wanted to know more about the characters. I loved the suspense and danger of the story. There was a ton of action and some really exciting twists. The romance was very enjoyable; but definitely fast paced.

Overall, I think this was a really good debut novel. I did have some issues with the story, but those issues did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. I think that this author has a ton of potential and I’m looking forward to checking out more books from her in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Sherri Hayes.
Author 35 books1,225 followers
January 12, 2016
I was given this book by the author for an honest review.

3.5 stars

This is the debut book for this Rachel Mannino. For the most part I was impressed. The majority of the issues I found in the book where typical of new authors and didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story.

I loved Dante and Laurie. He was equal parts strong alpha male and sweet lover. She was strong, independent, and personable. The story wasn't rushed and their relationship was allowed to develop naturally. I read another review that complained about the break in action towards the middle of the book, but I found it refreshing. It gave these two the chance to test the waters of their new love to make what happened later believable.

There were a few issues at the beginning with the set up like Laurie being sent home alone to pack after they knew she'd witnessed a crime perpetuated by a mob boss. A small detail, and once the story got going not something I paid much attention to. I was too invested in Dante and Laurie's evolving relationship.

Overall, I loved the story and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

I would recommend this book for those looking for a romantic suspense with a strong love story at its heart.
Profile Image for Will Decker.
Author 19 books9 followers
October 13, 2016
This book hooked me from page one. The characters quickly developed into real people and the action took off. Unfortunately, and it might just be me, but I felt like Dante was a bit short tempered and much too quick to react for a US Marshal with a background in military and law enforcement. Quick reactions are one thing, but losing your cool and flying off without thinking will get you or your partners killed. Laurie was loveable, no doubt about that. The author couldn't have made a sweeter heroine. The pace, while fast at times, also had some long-winded moments where I wanted to skip through. I enjoyed the part in the Midwest as I could relate to the area. For a debut novel it's a great piece of work. I look forward to more from Mannino. Almost forgot, I received a free copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review and I can honestly say the pleasure was all mine.
Profile Image for Kim.
700 reviews8 followers
February 25, 2018
I obtained this free e-book from Amazon and I am voluntarily writing a review. Laurie is a law student in her final year living in Hawaii and working at a resort cleaning rooms. She gets a call to clean the penthouse that the clients have checked out but when she arrives see sees two men holding a badly beaten woman and child at gun point. She manages to talk her way out with her life by promising not to tell anyone or call the police. As she is leaving she hears one of the men say he is going to have her killed later that night. She ends up in the protective custody of Dante a US Marshall because the man she identifies is a mob boss hunted by the FBI, CIA, US Marshalls for years and she is the only eye witness to tie him to his crime.
This is a really good read and I would have rated it higher if a better editing job had been done and had not been a distraction from the storyline.
167 reviews
September 22, 2018

This book had so much potential. I thought the plot was great, unfortunately it wasn't well written. The writing style, sentence structure and overuse of the characters names didn't do it for me. It was too long and drawn out. I didn't feel a connection between Dante and Laurie, at all. I liked both of the main characters, but I wasn't in love with them.
Profile Image for Catie.
1 review
September 19, 2018
Did not enjoy

I've never seen so many people laugh uproariously then cry in one page before. The absurdity of mood shifts turned me off the book.
Profile Image for Hannah.
35 reviews
July 30, 2023
I enjoyed it! Story flowed well, good characters that developed throughout the story.
Profile Image for Audrey Nelson.
264 reviews
March 10, 2021
Spoilers ahead....



I loved this book!! I loved the forbidden romance between Laurie and Dante and that it was frowned upon for him to get involved romantically since he was protecting Laurie. But not only does Dante prove that he can protect her and take care of her throughout the book, but he also is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her safe. If you like love stories, you'll like this book, and you'll like it too if you like suspenseful, military novels. The book starts off with Laurie cleaning hotel rooms, and she stumbles in upon a mobster who almost kills her, but releases her. Dante shows up with the US Marshals to protect her and take her into Witness Protection. Upon arriving at their first safe house, they get ambushed, and Dante has to rush Laurie to a second safe house. His protective instincts are on overdrive, but he also comforts her as she is terrified and suffers from nightmares too. They end up falling for each other, and during this, the second safe house is ambushed. Dante soon realizes that someone within the US Marshals is feeding the mobster after Laurie her location and he has to take her into hiding. Dante reaches out to his parents, and he takes Laurie into hiding deep into the Nebraska farmland to seek cover together. Months after being there, they continue their romance, and fall more in love. But, they can't return to Hawaii until the mobster is put behind bars, since he will always be hunting down Laurie. So Dante, his father and uncle decide to take matters into their own hands, and go back to Hawaii to put the mobster behind bars without telling Laurie, his mom or aunt they're going. Before they leave, Dante tells Laurie he loves her. While Dante is gone, Laurie is spending a lot of time with his mom and aunt, and soon realizes something isn't right when she isn't feeling well. She goes to the doctor to find out (surprise!) that she's pregnant, which comes as a shock to her since she has been on birth control for years. She tells Dante's mom and aunt and confides in them that she's scared to tell Dante since they haven't been together very long and is afraid he will be unhappy about the pregnancy, but the two ladies are excited and assure her, that he loves Laurie and will be happy about the baby. Once in Hawaii, they're there for a few weeks, but finally get the mobster, and also learn which of Dante's men was compromised. But, the mobster informs the men that he sent some bad men to Nebraska to hunt Laurie down, so as they're rushing back to the states, Dante is terribly worried. Upon arriving back to the farm in Nebraska, the men find that the house has been broken into, with a lot of blood, and they can't find any of the ladies and fear the worst. But not to worry, the women have killed the two intruders, and they're all reunited and safe again. Laurie finally tells Dante that she's pregnant, he's shocked, but so happy and said he doesn't want to have anyone else be the mother to his children. They leave to go back to Hawaii for Laurie to testify against the mobster, which they both don't want to do, because that means Dante can't protect her for four months leading up to the court date and will have to be away from her and their baby for four months. But, after he ensures her safety with another Marshal friend, the court date comes, Laurie testifies, and the gangster is put away forever. Dante and Laurie are finally reunited, he proposes to her, and he tells her he bought her a house to raise their baby, back in Nebraska next to his parent's home, and she couldn't be more happy about that. I loved this book, their romance, how protective Dante was of Laurie, and that she fit into their family so well. I'd love to see a second book telling their story after having their baby and moving back to Nebraska! Five stars!
Profile Image for Audrey.
28 reviews6 followers
April 7, 2016
Review posted on my blog, Audrey's Bookcase :

A huge thank you to Enchanted Book Promotions for providing me with a copy for reviewing.

Whenever I manage to finish a book in a day, it's usually a good thing. I couldn't put this book down. The story jumps off right at the very beginning and sets everything up so I perfectly understood the tone of what I was getting into.

In short, the story is about a young woman named Laurie, a law student who puts herself through school by working at a hotel. She witnesses a crime in one of the rooms one day and is immediately put into witness protection due to the notoriety of the people associated with what she saw. In charge of her case is US Marshal, Dante. Along with Dante's team, they protect Laurie by moving into a safe house. Throughout their time spent together in such close quarters, something blossoms between Laurie and Dante, even though it really shouldn't be happening. The consequences for getting involved with his charge are huge, and Dante is one of the best Marshals and has worked hard to get to where he is. But the heart wants what it wants, and throughout the story, the connection becomes undeniable. The story pushes forward as they realize they're in more danger than they thought. This causes Dante to take extra measures to protect Laurie, no matter what it takes.

Laurie and Dante are both extremely likeable, and their individual personalities complimented each other so nicely. As expected of a US Marshal, Dante is tough, oozes masculinity, and is a leader. But at the same time, he has a soft side. Meanwhile Laurie never plays the role of damsel. She herself is strong and unafraid despite circumstances that keep her life in jeopardy. Their romance is inevitable, but I loved how the author didn't jump into it right away. The two got to know each other and went through some hard times in order for them to solidify their relationship. And when the calm before the storm came along in the middle of the book, we're treated to a refreshing approach to their growing emotional connection.

My only real issues were regarding the way some scenes were set up; there were a couple of moments that were just plain unrealistic and had me scratching my head, but I guess they were needed in order to propel the story forward. After that, those little details became unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

To sum it up, the story is ultimately a love story, backed up by some really great action and suspense sequences. It's definitely a strong debut from Mannino, and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series and any other works she has in the future.
Profile Image for Danielle Eisner.
249 reviews25 followers
December 28, 2015
I received this book in exchange or an honest review.

After stumbling into a deadly kidnapping, Laurie’s life is on the line. She is the only chance the state has to put away a crime boss like no other; unfortunately nobody lives to testify against Kaimi Quamboa. It falls to US Marshal Dante Stark to keep her safe until she testifies that is, assuming he can be captured.

Things turn from bad to worse when the safe house turns out not to be as safe as it was initially assumed and they are forced to flee. As they get closer things start to change between agent and witness, but Dante could be risking his job if he lets his feelings grow. When their safe house is attacked again they are forced to go into hiding Dante knows there must be a mole in the government. Unsure who to trust Dante takes Laurie away for her own safety, but as they spend more time together it gets harder to fight their attraction to one another.

Do they have a chance at happiness while running and hiding? Can they overcome their strained start and all the problems in their way? Can Dante protect her and keep her safe until she gets the chance to testify? Or are they doomed from the start?

I really enjoyed this book. Dante is an alpha male and he's tough and sexy. I love the type of relationship Dante and Laurie have. The type where they meet fall hard and can't keep their hands off each other. The type where they shouldn't be together and yet nothing can keep them apart; where things keep getting in their way but they try and overcome it anyway. Those types of epic love stories always pull me in.

The constant danger and running kept the story going and kept the pace up. I liked the danger, but I also liked when they finally got a bit of a break from it. There was a part at the end when that I wasn't expecting and was a little disappointed about but over all I really enjoyed this book. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but I’m trying to explain my feelings on that without spoilers. That isn’t always easy in reviews.

This was a sexy thrilling read and I couldn’t put it down. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a sexy, and tough alpha FBI male that’s broody and hot and a thrill ride with sexyness and a book that will leave you wanting more.
Profile Image for Linda Walters.
2,659 reviews18 followers
December 10, 2015
OK, I had to set aside a little bit of disbelief in the beginning of the book. It had to do with the way Laurie got away from the kidnapping site. This man was a professional killer? Sure he was pretty confident that he would make sure she was dead soon. * Sigh. Now with that said, let's move on. I did like the rest of the book. At the first safe house we got to know the men who were part of the Marshal's service. The author did a good job of showing the danger of the assignment and some of the personalities of the people. I kept thinking, "oh please, don't let any of them get killed". Yeah, naive I know. As you might have guessed by the book blurb, there is a mole somewhere giving Kaimi information. And yes, although I guessed several times, each guess was WRONG! Good twist to who it actually was. The relationship between Laurie and Dante intensified, I kept wondering how this was going to end in a HEA. Well, it does but also with several twists and turns too. Laurie and Dante were good together and worked well together at times too. Laurie was much stronger than some people might have thought. She was tough when she had to be.
Just as a side note, Laurie was quite the protected witness. Number one, Dane often complained that she didn't follow instructions when it comes to staying protected. And Number Two- she really came up with some unexpected ideas when it came to helping those who were protecting her. She helped save someone else's life more than once. Each in an ingenious ways.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alicia.
824 reviews13 followers
October 1, 2016
"Love Or Justice" (Protect and Serve book 1) by Rachel Mannino

Going to clean an empty room at the resort she works, Laurie is suddenly thrust into a situation she is lucky to get out of.

Crime Lord Maiki has kidnapped a woman and her son. Despite taking a gun to Laurie, he lets her go with a promise to hunt her down if she talks.

She tells the police and others what happened and is put into protective custody. While she is easy going, she also has a need for self-preservation so doesn't always abide by the "stay here until I come get you" order.

She develops a close relationship with one of the US Marshals and the race is on to find Kaimi and to ensure Laurie's safety. Except she never is fully safe as there is a mole in the Marshals office and every safe house ends up in a fire fight. So she and Dante, the man charged with her safety, go off the grid.

A romantic suspense novel (more suspense than romance and romance adds to the novel and characters) that will keep you guessing and falling more in love with all the main characters.

A family that once seemed divided no longer is. A newly formed love that just continues to blossom. CIA, FBI and other agencies play a large role but are also very hush. The choice of what you do for love or justice and at what risk to ones self and those around you.

A truly great read. Addicting from the beginning to the end. (I read it in one sitting.) would love to see another novel with these characters. Looking forward to the next book in this series. Definitely a read more than once novel.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2dijMoI
Profile Image for Boundless Book Reviews.
2,242 reviews65 followers
February 11, 2016
Love or Justice by Rachel Mannino came up on a blog tour. It is currently available on Kindle Unlimited, so I grabbed a copy. This story was your typical “girl falls in love with the US Marshall” story. There were a few twist and turns with surprises thrown in. The mole, was an example, I would have never guessed that. There was a lot of action; Laurie and Dante are in constant danger.

There were a few points that bother me with the story; I’m not sure if the author was trying to make it funny, but it wasn’t. It was more awkward at the times, especially when she had everybody laughing. Also, let’s not get me started on the love scenes! Oh good God! Give me a fade to black before you do this!

“They dissolved into each other like melted chocolate”

Seriously? WTF is that!

I sound like I hated it, I didn’t. There were some enjoyable moments. The character development was spot on. I loved both Laurie and Dante equally. I especially LOVED Date’s mother, oh man I would not want that woman mad at me!

“I’m so glad you came. Otherwise, I might have killed your father.”

I think what I liked the most is, Love or Justice shared what the start of a relationship looks like, and what one looks like 30 years down the line; still just as loving, just in a different way. I loved that! I’m not sure if that is what Rachel Mannino was going for, but I really enjoyed it.

Overall I give for Love or Justice 3 stars it was good....Sara


Profile Image for DebbieReadsBooks.
2,441 reviews41 followers
April 24, 2016
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.

Laurie stumbles across a kidnapping and finds herself on the run form Hawaii's biggest crime boss. Dante is the US Marshall sent to protect her. But one look at Laurie and Dante knows this job could well be his last, because he would lay down his life for this woman, and that is against the rules.

Solid four star read for a first time author! Really fabulous read. Doesn't seem like the 312 pages billed on Amazon, it read it in 3 hours straight. Could not put it down!

Laurie's reaction to her situation did make me chuckle, though. Instead of cowering in the cupboard like she was told to, she comes out, all lamps blazing and bashes the bad guy over the head. Can't say I'd react that way, but it did make me chuckle. There are some lighter points in this book, and I think they are just enough to lift the mood. Because, its quite a somber book, with mobsters, murder and attempts of Laurie's life. Betrayal from the people Dante trusted most.

Really great read, I would highly recommend this, especially if you like the crime/thriller aspect, I couldn't see who the mole was til the book told me; if you like the romance, really sweet, in a difficult situation; if you love the hot US Marshals who come in to save the day and Dante's mum and dad! Loved that pair's bickering!

If you wanna give an author a chance, one to go for.

4 solid stars

**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble**

November 19, 2015
Laurie, who works as hotel staff, unexpectedly stumbles into a room where the most wanted criminal, Kaimi, holds hostage of a mom and a kid. As soon as she escapes him, she informs the police about it. Only then she knows that she is the only one ever to have seen Kaimi and is alive to report it. For her own safety and to have her as witness for Kaimi’s kidnapping, Laurie is placed under Witness Protection Program. And she is allocated to US Marshall Dante Stark. This is only the start of a long and thrilling journey of Dante and Laurie’s life. In their run for their life, there is also a sweet romance starting between the couple.

This book kept me completely on the edge of my seat throughout. Dante was good and strong with admirable attitude and personality. Laurie was someone I can totally relate. Her fears, confusion and insecurities felt so real, but her strength in the tougher situations made me love her more. The romance and suspense in the story is done well.

I loved Dante’s men – I would have loved to know more about their lives. Maybe a series is waiting for them separately??

Even though this is a debut, it sure has great potential to be continued as a series.

Completely fresh and entertaining!
January 18, 2016
This was a book that really kept the pages turning with surprise after surprise. Dante and Laurie had an immediate connection, but so very different than the traditional read. Laurie finds herself in the wrong place at the absolute worst time and is forced into protection under the Marshall's service. Dante is the lead and in charge of her overall protection. There's a lot of action, MANY twists and a whole lot of adrenaline pumping - even for the reader. It takes a while for either to act on it as his job could be on the line and she knows once the trial is over she probably will never see him again. After a couple attacks on her life and him whisking her away under the radar this heat up and die down at the same time...all in a good way.
I did get upset with the author on this one. There were things done that devastated me - but needed to be done for the sake of the story. The reveals left me stunned, and I was so impressed with the writing, the story and the characters. This book pulls you in and leaves you acing for more despite the HEA. I never wanted it to end. I HIGHLY recommend this read - especially if you like suspense as well as a thrill ride.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Linda Romer.
784 reviews46 followers
October 28, 2016
Love or justice (Protect and Serve, #1) by Rachel Mannino

This story has it all, love, excitement and intrigue. I loved the way the characters took hold if me from the very beginning and grew on me until the end.
This story is about a woman named Laurie who mistakenly saw something she shouldn't have. Laurie was almost killed by men working for kaimi Quamboa an organized crime boss. Dante Stark US Marshall is sent to protect her.

The Author writes the story with passion that I can feel. The ever present danger always lurking. The characters feel real and they are full of strong emotions. You will be blown away by the true bravery in which Dante Stark and his team show to protect Laurie. Laurie's character is fierce, brave and determined. I admired her strength and resilience.
I enjoyed the backdrop of the story which takes place on the Islands of Hawaii and the open fields of Nebraska. The ending is dramatic, complete with all the feels! I thoroughly enjoyed Love or Justice and can't wait to read more from this Author.

I give Love and Justice 5 stars for it's captivating story and heartfelt characters.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime, romance or just a fantastic read.

Profile Image for Sue Brooks.
463 reviews6 followers
December 3, 2015
OMG - never read anything by Rachel Mannino before and was totally amazed at the awesome job that she did with this book!!!!

When I was asked to read this book and review it, I didn't realize that it was 400 pages long - but, OMG, it was really a quick read even with that in mind.

The main character - Laurie, who works at a resort as a maid - walks into a penthouse suite where the most wanted criminal, Kaimi, is holding hostage a mom and her child. She has to talk fast to get him to let her leave the room - but overhears that he still wants him men to kill her after they leave the resort. When she returns to her room, she informs the police about it. Laurie is then placed in the Witness Protection Program and she is under the protection of US Marshall Dante Stark. I don't write spoilers - but OMG, the rest of the story that follows will keep you on the edge of your seat!!! The romance and suspense is awesome!!!

This book appears to be the first of the PROTECT AND SERVE series and I can hardly wait for the next book to be released!!!

I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for JadeShea.
3,158 reviews61 followers
November 30, 2018

Laurie Shelton just ended up at the very wrong place at the worse moment possible. Now, she's the only witness left alive to identify a horrible mob boss, and she must be put into protective custody until they can get the criminal behind bars.

It's all much easier said than done. And when her protector Dante turns into more, she must decide if she's willing to risk her heart for him before it all ends up going south in a very bad way. Dante on the other hand has no idea what to do with these new feelings, but when he realizes their is a traitor in the agency, he will do anything to keep Laurie safe, even if it comes back to haunt him.

This was a new author for me. I've never tried her books before and I was really curious about this one after reading the "blurb." But little did I realize how good it was actually going to be! This author did a great job of bringing in the suspense, along with a very heartwarming love story all into one great book! I adored this book!

I can not wait to read more in this series now. This is a must read for all of those suspsense lovers out there.
Profile Image for Cassie Brooker.
251 reviews1 follower
January 4, 2016

Love or Justice by Rachel Mannino

5 Star Read!!!!

This book came to me at a time when I read some really bad erotic stories that didn't appeal to me. I am thankful that I was asked to review this book and here is my review.

This was action packed with love, murder and survival.

You meet Laurie who is stubborn like me and who will do anything to help out. She goes into witness protection for seeing two people in a hotel room with a murderer. Then you get to meet Dante who is super gorgeous! He comes in to get Laurie but things go wrong.

They fight for their lives and now are on the run because there is a mole. I hate the mole in the US marshal service. Someone is feeding intel on Laurie's whereabouts to the murderer!

You think you know who it is but you will be shocked when you find out!

I don't want to spoil the rest for you but I can tell you, you will not be disappointed when you read this book. I recommend you get this and read it, is action packed and you will fall in love with Laurie and Dante!

Profile Image for Inishowen Cailín.
727 reviews39 followers
December 23, 2015
A suspense filled debut novel from Rachel Mannino.
There is plenty of action and twists and turns in this romantic thriller to keep you reading into the wee hours. The romance between Laurie and Dante was sweet and didn't take away too much from the main plot.

I liked the supporting characters especially Dante's parents. I enjoyed Laurie's character as she isn't a total damsel in distress. She is a strong, independent person and proved herself to be an asset during dangerous situations.

I didn't quite believe the events surrounding her witnessing a kidnapping. I found it strange that such a high profile and dangerous criminal would just let her walk away and then spend months hunting her down to kill her. I also lost interest in the story about half way through as nothing was happening except Laurie and Dante hiding out with his parents. The pace and suspense picked up again towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed Love or Justice and I will be looking out for the rest of the series as it gets published.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Beth.
500 reviews20 followers
January 6, 2016
I was into this book from page one. I am very impressed with the way Dante and Laurie overcame the littlest of things and the biggest of all things within this book. I really enjoyed how the "banter" between characters was realistic and yet at time light-hearted. I at times thought I had where the plot was going and then it was not what I thought at all. I did like how Rachel put the little twists in there and how Dante would say things out loud or who and what he was thinking and then (without giving out any spoilers) it was not at all who he or I anticipated it to be. This is a page turner and a "I hate to put this down even though I have to go to work" kind of a book. I truly am looking forward to reading much more from Rachel.

I was given this book to read and give an honest review on, and my review is this is a must read book. Nothing over the top, everything done to keep you interested from the very beginning to the very last page, and being sad that you were on the last page!
Profile Image for Cassie Brooker.
251 reviews1 follower
January 4, 2016
This is a 5 star read!

I loved reading this book from beginning to end and it had a lot of action in it! I needed a break from the erotica that I was reading and this book landed in my lap. I am thankful that this book came my way.

Dante is a strong male character who protects any witness at any cost even his life. Laurie is in witness protection because she saw a murderous man who kidnapped 2 people.
This book leaves no room for anything but love, action and the drama that goes along with finding a hardened criminal.

You will want to read Dante and Lauries story, you will be happy you did and you will love the family dynamic and family love that comes from this story. You will be surprised at who the informant is for Kaimi and you will get some shcks through this story.

I recommend you get this book and read it if you are stuck in a rut! You will love the book and will fall in love with Dante and Laurie.
2,659 reviews7 followers
March 17, 2016
Loved, loved, loved! I picked this up on a whim through Kindle Unlimited, and I couldn't put it down! The perfect mix of suspense, mystery, action, and romance!

I just adored Dante and Laurie! They were both strong characters and easy to relate to. Their dynamic was fun and real, and it drew me in right from the beginning. Their dialogue flowed well, and I really just felt like I knew them.

The mystery kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was SO surprised by the traitor. There was lots of action, but it wasn't overpowering. There was also a point in the middle of the book where they weren't constantly looking over the shoulders, which really allowed their relationship to go to the next level.

I was a little afraid that this book was going to end on a cliffhanger, but the epilogue tied everything up nicely. However, I still want more! It looks like this is part of a series, so hopefully book 2 comes out soon!
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