Jennifer Harried’s Review
**Copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**
First off I would like to thank Jennifer Culbreth for providing me a copy to read and review. This book was such a gem. For being Jennifer’s debut novel she really knocked this one out of the park. This book was a great start to a series that I believe is going to be great. This book had a little bit of everything. It was a great love story between a rich hero and a sweet southern girl, but it also had a heck of a lot of suspense. As for the steam factor….this one was pretty steamy. The steam actually doesn’t come into play until later in the book but let me tell you, you won’t really miss it. Now you might be thinking…oh great….another Rich Hero with poor young innocent girl ( you know like 50 Shades or Bared to You ) but this book is nothing like those. Yes Ryan is rich man and Yes Abbi is the young innocent girl, but that is where the similarities end. This book sucked me in just by reading the synopsis. Once I opened the book I was hooked from the first page until the end. I know that I labeled this as a cliffhanger ending but I am not sure if you could call it that. Ryan and Abbi’s story definitely has a HEA but it also ends with you knowing that their story could continue. The cliffhanger comes into play when it comes to Jace and Judy’s ( Ryan and Abbi’s BFF’s ) story. I want to believe the next book will be about them or it will be about all four characters. The ending definitely isn’t one that will kill you and drive you crazy, it is an ending that you really don’t have to wait for all the books to come out. My only real reason that I didn’t give this a full 5 star rating was because I thought it was kind of predictable. But with that said it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this book/story. I don’t want to go to much into the story because I really can’t say anything that wouldn’t be a spoiler. So I would just say…pick up this book, you won’t be sorry.
As for Abbi, I thought she was a great character. Yes she was young and innocent but she was still strong in her own right. She really didn’t let people push her around. I would say that in the beginning she kind of lacked the ability to communicate with Ryan and that led to some misunderstandings, but that changed as the story went on. I really liked the pace that Ryan and Abbi’s relationship took. It wasn’t like they saw each other and BOOM!!!! instantly together, it took some time for these two to actually connect. Even though they each thought about each other constantly. Now Ryan….WOW….I LOVED him. He was so sweet and protective of Abbi. My heart melted with everything he did and said. I also liked that the author showed his vulnerable side. In the beginning the author showed that even though you are rich and good looking you can also be afraid of rejection. Now some of that shy side of Ryan came from that fact that he had some ghosts in his past that he couldn’t get over and he truly believed he wasn’t good enough for Abbi. He thought that he needed to protect her from him and his past. I loved that when his past is revealed to Abbi, she told him that it didn’t matter and she loved him anyway. She saw him for the real person he was and not stuff that happened in the past.
The secondary characters were great as well. I loved Gabe, Jace, Judy, and Ashley (even though Ashley lost her way for a short time) Judy and Ashley befriend Abbi right away and they formed an amazing friendship. I really liked the banter between the girls. Gabe and Jace were employees of Ryan’s but also great friends. Gabe actually ends up becoming one of Abbi’s BFF by the end of the story. Gabe and Jace were just really sweet and loyal characters. You need to read this book to really experience the true greatness of these characters. I can’t put it into words. As for Trent, Jeff, and Isabelle….well they are all skeazeballs and I won’t waste anytime talking about them. Just know I hated them all 🙂
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for steamy, suspenseful love story. This book will keep your attention all the way through and you will keep turning the pages because you want to know what happens. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
Buy it HERE!!!
Guest Blog Bio
Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer, I am a 26 year old wife to a panty dropping US Navy Sailor. I am an active advocate of a sarcasm font and snarky remarks. I was born and raised in North Florida where we are lucky enough to get the best of both worlds. We have island life where our beach is at and the great outdoors covered with towering hard pines. I like to consider myself a small town girl with big world dreams, and have used that motto throughout my writing.
Never being one for change (yes it is true that I picketed changing our yearly Christmas dinner from turkey and ham to steaks and lobster… I can admit that) after graduating college and being in the banking industry for several years, change seemed to become the only thing I could think of. I had graduated college with a very expensive piece of paper that I proudly hung in my $3.00 Wal-Mart frame, however crunching numbers just never seemed enough, I had to find something to satisfy the creative beast knocking around in my head. So I embraced reading more than I ever had before in an effort to escape the norm.
Little did I know that reading is a gateway drug to writing! Not only did I find that reading got my mind off of the 9-5, the endless deployments of my husband overseas, and the drama of my friend’s dating lives, writing took it to a whole new level. I began embracing my passion for journaling and even ventured into the world of creative writing. As I am sure many other authors can agree, there comes a time when the characters and story just starts coming together and before I knew it my 1000 word story began flowing uncontrollably into a 380+ page novel.
My love for my book goes deeper than an accomplishment, it is also a piece of myself. I used the experiences and encounters over the years to bring together a story that I wanted people to be able to relate to. A character who’s overly trusting, who feels trapped, and needs to find her way in the world. Once you let your imagination take hold you can truly find your inspiration, and by using your imagination you get to bring life to something that was once only words on a paper.
Within two months my story had been written and the real fun began. Bringing together models, photographers, and creative ideas across the board has been an amazing experience. It took a lot of brainstorming… and pinteresting… to come up with ideas behind the cover and I can only hope that what we brought to the table will help to inspire my readers and spark their imaginations. As the visual representation of the cover is truly your means of accessing my thoughts when writing Protect Me, I can only hope that you can see and feel the same things that I did along the journey.
Inspiration/work/designer behind the cover: The inspiration behind the cover came from a few different ideas. The first thing I knew I wanted was for it to have the pride and support of the military background. Coming from a long line of military members, as well as being married to an active duty Sailor, I wanted to portray that background of Ryan’s character; so in the cover you will see the American flag along with the dog tags. The second thing I knew I wanted was for it to be similar to an office setting. The desk, the chair, the books/credenza, those were all the pictures that flittered through my head. I wanted that feel to support Ryan’s character in the book. I wanted to bring forth his no nonsense business driven characteristics and his CEO/ Alpha male traits. I also wanted to show Abbi’s character, though coming from a small town, emerging into a woman who was confident and sexy. Most importantly through this journey was that I wanted to use the cover of my book as a way to give back to my community who have shown an outpouring of support along the way. I held a local model search, used a local building to shoot in, and local photographers. Even if we had placed a large budget onto the cover, it would still look exactly the same as it does. I didn’t want to worry with spending tons of money on a cover that looked high dollar. I wanted to worry about giving the opportunity to others to have the experience and credit along with the success of the book. My amazing models were Rex Peters and Tabetha Jade Ashley Lowe. Tabetha’s make-up services were provided by Hillary Warren. The space was provided by Chris Duffy and Jason Orr with A-1 American Bail Bonds, and the two photographers who took care of the photos and editing were Lizzie Holland with 917 Photography and Nita Laurendine of Lynn Lauren Photography. You can find all of their links below.
You can find me on most social media platforms