His to Protect is my first read by Stacey Lynn and I found it to be an engaging, sweet and relatively fast paced character driven read that had me rooting for the MC’s as they worked through their own trust issues and what true love really is.
Trina has been living under the thumb of an abusive husband and has finally decided to leave him and everything she’s ever known behind her. My heart hurt for Trina at the abuse she endured and I got a little snarly at the reason why she stayed with him for so long, not snarly at her, but at the person who forced her to stay in that hell hole. I admired the strength it took her to finally up and leave and I enjoyed watching her become the woman she should have always been.
Declan was burned by his ex-wife and has been weighed down with the task of keeping the Fireside up and running. I really liked Declan. He appears like he’s a big, bad wolf and could be gruff, but the need to protect those in need showed his sweet and compassionate side. Thankfully his ex didn’t turn him bitter, just a little cynical when it came to believing that true love exists and seeing him get past that and realize that his ex actually did him a favor by leaving was fun.
I’ll be the first to admit that they went from strangers to more pretty damn quickly, but within the context of the story it didn’t bother me because while Trina felt safe with Declan almost instantly, all other feelings took a little longer to grow and they did spend quite a bit of time together where they got to know each other before the ‘I love you’s’ came into play. Also for those that have issues with cheating, Trina and Declan do get physical and she is still married but considering the reason they met to begin with, it didn’t bother me. I liked the pace of how their relationship evolved because it ran parallel to them working on letting the past go and becoming the people they should have always been.
As this was my first book by the author I had no expectations going in and I found the writing to be engaging and the dual 1st person POV done well. As far as the abusive husband storyline, some of it was predictable but it didn’t take away from the story for me. My one hiccup came when Trina when to help in the restaurant because she’d been so skittish up to that point and still was with Declan that I expected her to be a little more hesitant about it, but that’s a me thing. I really liked the supporting cast of characters and that epilogue definitely has me wondering just what will happen in the next book.
~ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review ~
Declan James lost his last ounce of trust the day his wife walked out the door, leaving him to save the restaurant they built together. Throwing himself into his work, Declan swears off women—or at least, women who expect him to stick around in the morning. But when he discovers a skittish beauty scrounging through the Fireside’s trash to feed her dog, Declan offers her a job and a place to rest her head. There’s just something about her that awakens his protective side. And soon, not even that mangy mutt can stop Declan from caring for her.
After one too many trips to the ER, Trina Wilson finally gathered the courage to leave her husband, taking only her car and hyperactive boxer. Unfortunately, life on the run proves harder than she anticipated—until Declan takes a leap of faith on her. But even as Trina starts to see beyond his gruff exterior, she can’t relax, even for a moment. Not with her husband still tracking her down. What Trina doesn’t know is that in Declan, she has a powerful ally—and, if she would only follow her heart, a devoted lover.