September 7, 2015

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: His Lover to Protect (Out of Uniform #3)

His Lover to Protect (Out of Uniform #2), by Katee Robert
Publish Date: September 7, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) He's never met a challenge he couldn't take...

Alexis Yeung did everything right....only to watch everything go horribly, horribly wrong. Broken and angry, Alexis high-tails it to Europe, determined to face the world on her own terms and without consequence. Which includes a mind-blowing night with a sexy, scarred stranger.

Except, embittered former pararescuer Luke Jackson isn't exactly a stranger. He's supposed to keep an eye on Alexis without her knowing. Ending up in bed together was definitely not the plan. Now he's chasing her (admittedly hot) ass across Europe, a game of cat and mouse that always ends with the two of them tangled up in the sheets.

Something in their scarred, damaged souls calls to each other. And God help them, the sex in unbelievably hot. But if Alexis discovers who Luke really is, he'll lose the one thing that makes him feel whole...

We first met both Alexis and Luke in Katee Robert's second Out of Uniform book, Falling For His Best Friend. They were in the periphery as Alexis' sister Avery and Luke's friend Drew fell in love. And, it was impossible not to want the same happy ending for Alexis since she and her sister had gone through so much loss and heartache. The best part about His Lover to Protect is Alexis' ongoing search for that HEA. Oh, and an epic road trip.

After losing her ability to have children and watching her sister fall in love and get pregnant, Alexis just needed to get away from it all. I honestly can't blame her. Her fiance dumped her, her grandfather loathes her, and now she can't escape the fact that her sister has the one thing she never will. How can Alexis come to grips with all of it when it's all staring her in the face day after day? 

But, when Alexis takes off for parts unknown, Avery enlists Luke's help in tracking her down and keeping her safe. Despite Alexis' plea to just leave her be for awhile, Avery isn't comfortable not knowing where her sister is and when she's coming home. 

As it turns out, Alexis has set out on a worldwide retracing of some of her parents' steps. At her first stop in Ireland, she runs into Luke, and it's immediately very much a love/hate relationship. I loved this about them. They fight and argue and insult each other mercilessly. And, yet, there's this out of control chemistry there too. PASSION - they have it in all forms and in spades. And, that's never more evident than after they spend one hot night together. 

They don't know each others' stories, but it becomes clear after that first night together that they've both been hurt, physically and emotionally. The details of their stories are slow to come out - Luke because he's ashamed of his injury that sidelined his military career, and Alexis because she's ashamed of her inability to have children. They throw themselves into this affair with wild abandon, and then both of them freak out when they realize it has become more than that. 

I like the thought of like being drawn to like. These two tortured, hurt souls are, alone, just lost and floundering after having their lives changed due to physical limitations. But, together, they seem to heal all the broken pieces, and suddenly their injuries are not the life-ending things they once thought they were. 

But, as is always the case, secrets come back to bite you in the ass. Every. Single. Time. Luke knows it's only a matter of time before Alexis finds out that he's known who she was the whole time, and initially, was only there to babysit her. Once I hit the 50% mark, I was holding my breath, waiting for that moment, because I knew it would suck. 

His Lover to Protect was a really quick read for me. I read this within the span of one day. Although I wouldn't say this was a light book, it definitely wasn't so heavy that I had to take breaks from all the feels. There was drama, but not too much angst. It was a really nice balance. And, it was a dual POV, which is always my favorite. My only issue was that some of it was a bit unbelievable. If I had a hot fling with a stranger in one country, and then the same stranger showed up in the exact same city in a completely different country a day later, alarm bells would be going crazy in my head. That is absolutely not a coincidence, and I don't know anyone who would think it was - except Alexis. 

Despite that, I did enjoy Alexis' and Luke's story. I also liked the catch up with Avery and Drew. This was a great romance set among the backdrop of some awesome countries. I can't wait to see what Katee Robert has for us next.

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