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Navy SEAL Protector (SOS Agency) Kindle Edition
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The ranch is the only home Shelby has really known, and Nick's father more caring than her own parents. Shelby worked hard to overcome her parents' reputations and is the bookkeeper for the ranch. Even she doesn't know the extent of the trouble the ranch is in until after the funeral. Nick's arrival reminds her of her girlhood crush on him and how it broke her heart when he left.
I enjoyed the rekindling of the feelings between Nick and Shelby. Nick felt a bit guilty for the way he had left years ago but believed it had been the right thing to do. He is still just as attracted to her, and is determined to pursue that attraction. But he also believes that he is too broken for anything permanent. Shelby is just as determined to resist the attraction. Nick broke her heart once, and she refuses to take a chance on it happening again. I liked her strength of will as she let him know that she wants more than he seems willing to give. As they work together to solve the mystery of who is behind the ranch's troubles they slowly begin to share their fears. I really liked how Shelby saw the insecurity beneath Nick's cocky attitude and was determined to show him the man she sees. The scene at the pond was just the kind of reminder he needed. I also liked how Nick saw that Shelby put everyone else's needs before her own and tried to make her see that it was okay to think of herself sometimes. I ached for them both as they fought their feelings, allowing their fears to keep them apart. Even once they give in to the attraction, the strength of the connection increases their fears of being hurt. It isn't until he nearly loses Shelby that Nick realizes how much he needs her. I liked his big moment at the end, which had an interesting twist for him as well as a surprise for Shelby.
The suspense of the story was good. Besides the vandalism going on at the ranch, Shelby also experiences personal attacks that seem intent on driving her away from Belle Creek. Nick's arrival and the information revealed at the reading of the will show that things are even worse than expected. The vandalism seems to be intended to motivate the sale of the ranch, and Nick's refusal to do so causes an escalation in the threats. There are several possible suspects, all of whom have reasons to push for the sale. The danger intensifies when a fire nearly becomes deadly. I ached for Nick and Shelby as every time they seemed to be on the path to saving the ranch, something else would happen to stop it. The final confrontation was intense as an unexpected twist put Shelby's life in danger. I loved the ending as the bad guys got what was coming to them and Nick found a way to save the ranch.
After her father becomes an employee on the Belle Creek ranch in Tennessee, Shelby Stillwater felt like she finally had an actual home. Now that the man who owns the property has died, she worries that the place may be sold, which would mean losing her apartment plus the job as its bookkeeper. She then starts getting notes stating she needs to leave the ranch, yet Shelby does not tell anyone because of feared repercussions.
When Nick Anderson returns for his father’s funeral, he is once again back in Shelby’s life. A broken heart back in high school taught her it would be best to avoid him now, but the former SEAL is staying on the same property as her while he decides what to do with the ranch which was part of his inheritance. The thought of seeing Nick every day does not make Shelby happy, though the capable soldier might be able to fix the many troubles Belle Creek is facing.
There is one hardship after another for Nick and Shelby to triumph over in the story, and I repeatedly did not see a way to them to come out the winner on several occasions. Since the danger in the threats also keeps escalating, I feared for their safety and worried great harm might happen to them. Neither Nick nor Shelby are individuals who give up without doing all they can to reach a goal. I really liked how she pushed him to be a better man, even when childhood doubts had him questioning his actions. She frequently has to overlook the town gossips because of her parents, and I could envision such situations taking place in a small town. Bonnie Vanak brings realism into NAVY SEAL PROTECTOR, where hopeful dreams might actually occur if only chances are taken. Since Nick and Shelby often interacted when younger, they know much about each other. I enjoyed their reminiscing about the past, and watching them explore buried feelings as adults.
With the list of suspects who want Nick to sell the ranch growing, I never knew for certain who was actually responsible until the frightening conclusion. The author definitely made a couple scenes exciting because possible scenarios are very perilous. I really like stories where a couple get the opportunity to be in a relationship after previously missing out on the chance, and when some suspense is added into the mix, then I am even happier.
I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion