Willow Landry only plans to humor the adorable little girl playing matchmaker one door down. Everly wants a mommy, and she’s decided that Willow is perfect for her daddy, a handsome firefighter with the soul of an artist. But when an arsonist comes to Marsville, Willow will need all the help she can get…
Only four things matter to firefighter Parker Church: his five-year-old, pickle-loving daughter; his brothers; his art; and Ember, his accelerant detection dog. But when his beautiful new neighbor Willow is targeted by a dangerous outsider, Parker finds himself desperate to keep her safe.
As Parker and Ember work to sniff out the truth, Willow warms to the idea of being part of a family. And Ember proves she’s got what it takes to protect Parker’s one true love.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: To Hold and Protect
Series: K-9 Defenders #3
Author: Sandra Owens
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
My Rating: 4.5
To Hold and Protect, the third book in the K-9 Defenders series is a perfect example of why this author has become an auto-buy (or request) for me. I have been waiting for one particular “Pickle Princess’s” daddy’s romance and did this story ever deliver a story that fits Parker and Everly just perfectly with children’s books author, Willow. Now it’s up to Everly to prove to these two adults that they’d make the most wonderful daddy and mommy for her… and her matchmaking ways are precious and rather fiercely determined. I’ve adored Everly throughout this series, and she certainly shines and steals scenes constantly in this romance.
Willow has inherited the home beside Parker’s. She’s recently gone through another breakup and has declared her life man free for the foreseeable future. That intention is reinforced when the only welcome to the neighborhood she really gets is from the child next door, certainly, the adults living there are a bit standoffish. But that’s fine; she’s planning on fixing up this old Victorian, selling it, and finding her ideal beach property – she doesn’t need friends; she needs to get to work on her future. Everly, however, has other ideas.
Recently, there have been fires in the area, fires that have been deliberately set and the instances of arson are rapidly intensifying. Parker has deadlines for his other career, the secret one, and this arsonist and his attraction to Willow are getting in the way of those obligations. Parker and his dog Ember have their work cut out for them as the danger increases in this small quirky town.
I enjoyed myself so much back in this world. This time there is more attention paid to the romantic side of this couple while facing dangers that are part of a puzzle to be solved. I loved catching up with the couples from the previous books, getting to see Everly in action once again adorable as ever, and watching two people fall in love even if that was the furthest thing from their minds when they first met. I had fun here, and that’s the entire point. If you love a well-written romantic suspense with touches of laughter and danger, and a couple that is a perfect match then you’ll love this one.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
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