Protecting Home by Christina Kirby

Protecting Home by Christina Kirby
Warm Springs Trilogy Book 3
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (250 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

The town’s favorite troublemaker, Avery Hamilton, is all grown up and has returned to Warm Springs—this time to stay. She used to envision following in her grandfather’s footsteps and opening her own general practice. But, that dream was before. Before she made the mistake that derailed her life, a mistake she’s tried hard to put behind her. Returning to the one place she loves most in the world will help her heal, but not before the man she’d left waiting forces her to confront her past.

Everyone’s favorite cop, Nick Holloway, has his sights set on making detective, but when the one woman he thought could’ve been the one blows back into town, his world tilts on its axis. While focused on his future, his life starts to unravel, both professionally and personally. And, the one person Nick never saw coming is the one who hates him enough to stop at nothing in order to ruin his life. Even if that means hurting the people he loves.

Nick and Avery must find a way to let go of their pasts to secure a future, but if the man out for revenge has his way, they may not get the chance.

Home isn’t just where you hang your hat, it’s where you hang your heart.

Nick and Avery are good couple. She’s a little wishy-washy in the beginning about deciding if she wants to go after Nick or not. She decides “yes” and then talks herself out of it right up to the point where he reminds her why they are so good together. A truly combustible chemistry. It’s a good thing Nick is patient because her abundance of stubbornness and independence would be trying to any man, even Saint Nick.

I was curious about Avery’s time in Atlanta. Little hints along the way led me to believe she did more than attend medical school. It wasn’t just homesickness that sent her back to Warm Springs. I could tell that her personality was one that internalized problems. Interestingly enough, as much as she was determined to keep to herself, she was regularly annoyed when Nick withheld information. They had a lot to learn about communication and trust. It works out perfectly for an HEA but there were some rocky roads along the way.

I love a good “who done it?” so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the author didn’t give away the bad guy too quickly. And she gave me options. The blurb suggests that it’s someone Nick knows so I immediately started watching those closest to him. There were a couple of likely candidates. One would be disappointing, the other…devastating. It didn’t take long to eliminate the innocent one. The bad guy, though, wow! He truly had issues.

It was interesting to get to “meet” the bad guy first through his internal dialogue. I almost felt sorry for him, considering his circumstances and reasoning for his actions but in the end his anger and bitterness were just too destructive. He hurt people and intended to keep hurting people until someone would be forced to take him out. One tragedy that led to another.

This is a fast but smooth read. I haven’t read the others in the series but after meeting their respective heroes and heroines, I want to. I like the author’s voice and she has a good grasp on small southern towns and families.

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