Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: Serve and Protect (Heroes of Evers, Texas #3) by Lori Ryan

Book Blurb:

Ashley Walker was one of the lucky ones. Adopted when she was fourteen years old by a family willing to love her as their own, they stuck beside her through all the hell she put them through.

A kind of hell that would haunt her forever. But now she’s put her past behind her—or so she thought. Garret Hensley never imagined he'd be chasing the killer of the woman who'd set him on the path of law enforcement.

She'd given him reason to believe in himself, to believe he could make a difference. And he suspected her giving heart was the reason her life had been cut so short. When the evidence leads him to Ashley Walker, he knows he has to ignore the feelings she stirs in him, because getting her to reveal the truth of her past is the key to finding a killer.

Serve and Protect is book three of the Heroes of Evers, Texas Series but it can be read as a stand alone novel!

My Review:

In Serve and Protect by Lori Ryan, when a loved social worker is murdered, police detective Garrett is assigned to her case.  Unknown to his supervisor, Alice the social worker played a vital role in his life, and he is now determined to get justice for her.  Ashley is a woman who has buried her past and tried her hardest to keep it in the darkest corner of her mind.  Her life was changed thanks to Alice, and Alice's death rocks the walls she's built.  Garrett and Ashley cross paths frequently, in part because Garrett is sure Ashley knows more than she's telling...and in part because he is so drawn to her as a woman he can't stay away.  Has the past come back to haunt them?  Can Garrett hunt down a killer and maintain the blurry line between personal and professional with Ashley?

The farther into Serve and Protect I read, the more I felt part of the story.  Garrett and Ashley really came to life as I got to know them.  I felt for both of them, for what they had each been through, where they are today, and the struggles and conflicts Ashley in particular is facing.  Ashley's story is heart breaking, and the guilt she harbors weights heavily on her.  Garrett seems to be perfect for her.  I liked the connection between them.  They both feel it.  Trust is slow to build, and I liked how Garrett didn't rush Ashley about anything, whether regarding the case, their blossoming relationship, or her past.  He just seemed to get her.  Lori develops these main characters and their stories very well and sensitively.   I never would have guessed what had happened!  It works well with the story, it's believable, and it's sad.  I was glad that Ashely had such strong support from her family and from Garrett.  

The mystery of Serve and Protect also took unexpected turns, and this kept things edgy and mysterious.  The romance and suspense in Serve and Protect is a good mix and balances each other out very well.  I couldn't wait to see what happened with each part of the plot, and was intrigued through out!

Not only are the main characters strong, but the supporting secondary characters are just as strong.  They felt like people I'd want to have around me in good times and bad.

Serve and Protect is part of Lori Ryan's Heroes of Evers, Texas series, but is a powerful stand alone book.  With evil vs good,  along with love, hope and relationship building, the pace of this book flows well and was easy to lose myself in.  I'd recommend Serve and Protect to any romance reader who likes some mystery/suspense and hard, real life issues thrown in.

5/5 Serve and Protect stars 

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