Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
To Hold and Protect by Sandra Owens
Series: K-9 Defenders #3
Published by Carina Press on April 25, 2023
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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.
Most of the K-9 Defenders series aren’t about a trained K-9, rather smart dogs. But the final Church brother does have a trained K9 in scent detection, Ember. The men have law enforcement connections and do use their dogs to help them. The series is about three brothers.
The first book In His Protection features police chief, Tristan who has a loved dog, Fuzz. He has two brothers. Her Delta Force Protector is about Kade, a special ops military guy with a goofy dog, Duke. To Hold and Protect is about Parker, who is the fire chief. Parker is also a successful artist. The three brothers each have a space in the family home. Tristan and Kade each have significant others who live with them and Parker has his daughter, Everly.
At last, we learn about Parker and how he went to France on his own after high school and why he ended up coming home with a weeks old baby girl. Parker falls in love easily but that doesn’t mean the love is requited. So he no longer wants to fall in love. Plus he can’t have his 5 year old getting attached and then have a break up.
The man next door dies and his niece, Willow, moves in to renovate the house to sell. She just went through a breakup and so it’s a good time for her to have a change of scenery. She writes children’s books which she can do in any location. Everly sneaks over to meet her and they strike up a friendship. Parker is immediately attracted and annoyed by his attraction.
There is also an arsonist in town, setting fires increasingly more often. When the fires seem to turn more personal with the attention on Parker, the brothers all work to find the fire bug. At the same time, Parker is busy painting for a New York show. Willow finishes the renovation and her plan is to sell and buy a beach house. Parker and Willow have to believe they can find love and make a life together.
I love this family and the found family they are creating. The brothers are wonderful people but there are issues from their childhood abandonment which they have to sort when they are looking at a relationship. The characters are well developed, including the dogs who are very much part of the family with some amazing skills. We get both Parker and Willow’s point of view. I love how creative both of them are with painting and writing, and how much they both love Everly. I really enjoyed this whole series and recommend it!
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