Review: Protecting His (Rough Edges Book 2) by Matthew Dante

Protecting His (Photo Credit: Reginaldo G Martins)

PROTECTING HIS is the second installment in Matthew Dante’s Rough Edges series. Once again, the author provides a sleek and sexy m/m thriller centred around the O’Brien Crime Family. This time, the fated lovers are Scott, a lithe, young, boisterous musical theatre performer, and Dominic, the hunky yet quiet Italian “money man” of the Irish O’Brien team, though they truly are more like a family regardless of birth. Their love and acceptance of Dom from a young age speak to this.

Scott and Dom are a great “enemies to lovers” couple. Things start off sexy and then move to comically adversarial. One of the themes I’ve come to associate with the Rough Edges series is that sometimes to truly understand and accept yourself wholly, especially your sexuality and romantic needs, the Universe has to get involved. Call it Fate or Destiny, but sometimes people can’t get out of their own way because of stubbornness or fear, and this inexplicable higher power has to set these fated souls on the right path to meeting each other. It’s never a smooth journey, making it all the more worthwhile. I love this take on the metaphysics of human relationships. Through his thoughtful and evocative writing, Dante has captured the essence of the “opposites attract” motif and elevated it. Here, with Dominic and Scott, he has presented the best of this–so far. With all his novels, these m/m relationships keep getting more complex, sensual, and thrilling, and this is a testament to Dante’s continued growth as a writer.

Protecting His (Photo Credit: Amar Preciado)

While his thrillers are always a sexy, hair-raising romp, Dante dials up both the action and the sex in this novel to a level, not extreme, but definitely adventurous. The brutality of criminal life and the violent consequences of dealing with unsavoury people without a moral code is brought to life viscerally and skillfully without feeling gratuitous. Nothing is for cheap shock value. It all feels purposely planned for maximum enjoyment and believability. Also, the use of unexpected voyeurism and riotous sexual activity in the book is titillating without coming across as salacious. I remember reading one scene and thinking, “Yes, this is happening.” You’re still surprising me, Mr. Dante!

Protecting His is a successful second installment of the Rough Edges series. It is supremely entertaining as a queer erotic thriller (with romance!) because Dante takes his readers to exciting, dangerous, and even uncomfortable places they might not have expected to go but will ultimately be glad they did.

Protecting His (Rough Edges Book 2) is available for purchase at and For more information about this author, follow Matthew Dante on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and TikTok.


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