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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review: Claim & Protect by Rhenna Morgan

So this was my first time reading a Haven Brotherhood book, I’ve read Rhenna Morgan before and enjoyed it so I thought I’d give this one a try. Wasn’t a total winner but that doesn’t mean I won’t read the previous books in the series or even the books that come after. And take a look at that cover, I mean... Wow.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalleyfor the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 12, 2017

Trevor Raines lives on the edge of legal. A good guy doing bad things to save lives, the only rules he follows are the Brotherhood's, and there's nothing in the world that will change that. Until Natalie Jordan walks into his life…

Natalie's only interest is in making a fresh start. She's a woman with a plan, and the plan doesn't include a man with secrets, no matter how kind—or intoxicating—he is. But this cowboy is determined to break down her walls, keep her safe and make her his.

Trevor had no interest in settling down, but there's something entirely too appealing about the woman he can't stay away from. There's only one thing to do—change his plans…and hers. When Natalie's ex resurfaces to threaten her new life, Trevor will move heaven and earth to make sure the bastard can't hurt her again. Except saving Natalie means outing his own secrets—and it could mean losing her forever…

What’s it About? Natalie Jordan just wants to start her life again even if it means having to work twice as hard for her, her mother, and her son to survive. What she doesn’t need is her boss Trevor Raines getting involved in her plans but when her ex starts bullying her, she has no choice but to rely on him for help. Trevor keeps a lot of secrets, including the fact that he spends some of his time walking a fine line between legal and illegal but he’s willing to do anything to make sure Natalie is safe.

Overall reaction to the story? So I liked this book but I didn’t love it. Trevor wasn’t a bad hero, but I had some issues with the heroine and her kid. Yes, her kid. I’m not a big fan of kids in romances and the blurb didn’t exactly let on that the heroine was a mom. I’m not saying I won’t read a book with kids in it but I’m sorry, Levi got on my nerves sometimes. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that had kids in it where they annoyed me like this. I did enjoy the story as a whole though, and the conflict with Natalie’s ex definitely made it that much more interesting and gave a perfect excuse for Trevor and Natalie to constantly be together. Claim & Protect is the third book in a series but can be read as a standalone with no problems.

Describe the hero in five words: Possessive. Determined. Stubborn. Loyal. Smart.
Did you like him? Most of the time.
Why? Trevor is a possessive man and that’s not really an admirable or sexy trait if you think about it but while he had his moments of cave man mentality, he wasn’t a crazy overwhelming, stalker type possessive guy. He was a born leader with a natural inclination to protect someone he saw as “one of his.” I liked that he was the kind of guy who would put himself in harm’s way not just because some chick is hot but because he saw someone being bullied and he flat out did not like bullies. Now that is an admirable trait and darn sexy one too. He isn’t some kind of modern day goody two shoes that wants to save the world; he just wanted to make sure that the people he came across were safe. I loved that Trevor didn’t have any boundaries when it came to helping people, he did what he thought was necessary to help especially when he felt the system wasn’t doing a darn thing. He wasn’t a perfect guy, but he was a charmer in a rough sort of way. His gentleness with kids and animals definitely balanced out the hard core bad boy he was otherwise known as and I loved that he was a good guy with bad guy potential.

Describe the heroine in five words: Stubborn. Intelligent. Survivor. Dedicated. Loving.
Did you like her? Sometimes.
Why? Natalie is a woman that has survived being in an abusive relationship and is trying to thrive on her own. I admired that about her because she mirrored so many real life stories except in many of them, there is not Trevor to step in and give them the help they need. I loved her determination to succeed no matter how hard she had to keep working and how much she loved her son. What I had a problem with is that her traits should have made her into a very interesting character and yet she wasn’t. She was kind of bland in a way, and not as spirited as you would think a woman with those traits would be. The first half of the book I thought Natalie was headed in the direction of a feisty woman who would give Trevor a run for his money but she didn’t. She was just… There. I felt in the last half of the book that she became a character that needed to be told what to do instead of thinking on her own. She also made a few stupid choices that involved her son Levi that could have cost her everything. At one point it didn’t make sense to me why Natalie would continue to do or say certain things in front of Levi when she knew he was at that age where he couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. Then she acts totally shocked when it backfires on her. Really? I saw that one coming a mile away lady.

Let’s talk about the romance: There was no lack of heat between Trevor and Natalie but I did feel towards the end that it was a bit unbalanced with Trevor doing most of the wanting. The romance rolled along at a somewhat sedate pace which was understandable given that Natalie’s ex was a big problem and also there was a young kid to consider.

How about that supporting cast? Okay so here’s another problem I had with Claim & Protect: Natalie’s son Levi. I know that the author meant for him to be charming in a realistically cute kid way but he didn’t come off that way. He was annoying to say the least, and didn’t really serve a purpose in the way he should have. Yeah I mentioned I’m not a fan of kids in romance but that’s not to say I’ve never enjoyed romances with kids in them because I have, a lot of them in fact but that was because those kids were so well written and didn’t take over a big part of the book like Levi did. I don’t know maybe other people won’t find him as annoying as I did.

Now not all the supporting cast was bad, I found I really enjoyed Trevor’s friends and the camaraderie between them. There’s a loyalty and love that was born out of trust and pain and that definitely comes across. I definitely want to check out the previous books and will keep an eye open for the next book in the series.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Claim & Protect has a good story line and some great moments. The heroine wasn’t very remarkable and I didn’t care for her kid but maybe others will like what I didn’t. The series seems to be a solid one though so I’ll have to look into it.

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