Book Review: His to Protect by Stacey Lynn

The first book in the series lead almost directly into this one, and I’d read the synopsis and was really looking forward to this damsel-in-distress plotline.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
An abused woman is kept safe by a man who’s attracted to her but is wary of relationships after his wife walked out on him. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

On the Run
Trina is a woman who comes from money, so one wouldn’t think she’d be digging around in the trash to try to find food for her dog. But that’s how Declan finds her one night. He gives her a meal and offers to let her stay with him, seeing that she’s skittish and has no money but not knowing her full story. Declan feels protective, but after his ex-wife bailed on him, he’s determined not to get mixed up with any woman.

To the Border
Trina’s plan is to get to Canada, but her plans are derailed when someone breaks into her hotel room and steals her money and passport. Canada was her sanctuary since her abusive husband has political ties and power that she can’t fight if she stays in the U.S. The last thing she wants to do is drag Declan into her mess. He’s kind, and though she allows him to help her out, she knows that eventually she’ll have to leave if she doesn’t want him to face her husband’s wrath as well.

Even Strong Women Can Have a Protector
Modern day damsel-in-distress is one of favorites, and this story does it so well. Trina has been badly abused and in the hospital so many times that she finally had enough, but she knows her husband will be looking for her. While skittish and scared and full of misplaced heroism (thinking she has to leave to save Declan), she’s also strong. She left knowing how difficult it would be and did it anyway because staying would have been worse.


The Strong Silent Type
Declan is quiet and broody, but he’s also kind and wants to make sure Trina is taken care of. Though neither want to fall in love, being in close quarters, both at his home and his restaurant where he hires her on temporarily, you know it’s bound to happen.

Cameos and Girlfriends
We also get to see Blue and Tyson (from the first book). Tyson helps Declan look into Trina’s husband a little more in depth (CIA connections for the win) and Blue brings Trina into her circle of friends, an aspect of the first book and this book that I really enjoyed (supportive girlfriends for another win).


The Romance Factor
Declan’s protectiveness made me swoon a lttle bit, as did the two of them trying their best to not fall into bed/love right away. There’s also the whole thing about Declan being hurt that his ex left and feeling like he’s never going to be good enough for anyone, and yet it’s a high society woman who shows him that he’s worthy of being loved for who he is. 5/5

The Steam Factor
While not overly explicit, the sex scenes are sensual and hot and add to the romance and tenderness of the story. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I enjoyed this book even more than I did the first one and liked the hints we’re given about the third one in the series, which I now have to get my hands on. Good characters, great romance, and one of my favorite tropes made for a really good reading experience.

Book Review: Sutherland’s Secret by Sharon Cullen

Sometimes you get those books that are like an emotional roller coaster that completely exhaust your feels. Then sometimes you get a book that just plays quietly with your emotions and rocks you gently…not to sleep, because I’m not talking “boring,”…but just into a very pleasant state of entertaining reading. This was one of those books.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
An English lady is found passed out in the middle of the road by a Scottish earl who takes her home, despite bad relations with the English, only to find she’s running in fear from someone. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Let Me Be Your Hero
Brice is definitely the traditional heroic hero…alpha when it’s called for, savior of the damsel in distress, and loved by his people. When Brice finds Eleanor, he saves her against the wishes of his men, who don’t trust the English and think that keeping her with them is going to bring trouble. But Brice isn’t going to leave her there, especially when it’s clear that she’s near death. He revives her, only to find that she has no voice, so she remains a mystery, at least at the beginning.

Save Me
If Brice is the traditional hero, Eleanor is the typical damsel in distress. Her distress levels get even higher when the person she’s running from visits Brice’s castle. Of course, in her state of distress, she doesn’t listen when she’s told to lay low, going against Brice’s wishes to sneak down and see the man who’s looking for her. Which is one of the issues I took with her character: she was scared, but not scared enough to keep her butt planted firmly behind a locked door.

Romance Nostalgia
Even though I wanted to handcuff Eleanor to a radiator, I actually liked both characters, and I liked the very traditional feel of their romance. When I say traditional, I mean this novel reminded me of the ones I started reading when I was young, minus all the “pretend it’s not rape for the sake of romance” stuff. Because Brice treated Eleanor well, and I particularly enjoyed the theme that Brice and his men (and Scottish men in general) revered their women and treated them with the utmost respect. And even though Eleanor was questionable at the beginning, I thought it was great how living in Scotland among this type of mindset kind of made her fierce. And when she went fierce (and I won’t spoil anything), it was one of my favorite scenes in the book. Seriously, it needed a mic drop.


The Villain
A few of the scenes were told from the villain’s point of view, which I thought added a little flavor to the book but didn’t make the villain sympathetic. He was still a douche with no redeeming qualities…which is exactly how I like my romance villains.

The Romance Factor
There was a slight feel of insta-love to this story, but it wasn’t horrible, nor did it detract from the story. It was portrayed as Brice’s fascination of Eleanor and his need to keep her safe, and her looking to him as her savior and protector. There are several scenes where she’s having nightmares and of course he hears her and goes in to calm her nightmares with his hot body and strong arms (no sexy times though…all respect). And even though it’s a little cheesy, it’s that perfect cheese blend that’s still entertaining in this genre. 4/5
The Steam Factor
Though not numerous, the sex scenes were fairly steamy and descriptive enough to get a good visual of what was going on. 4/5


Final Thoughts
Overall, this was kind of a mellow read, but there was still enough intrigue to keep it interesting and enough angst to make it romance-worthy. A perfect chill read for a relaxing  afternoon.