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Book Review--> Mission: Rescue #1- Protective Instincts by Shirlee McCoy

Title and Author: Protective Instincts by Shirlee McCoy
Print Length: 224 Pages
Series: Mission: Rescue #1
Publication Date: July 2014
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Mystery

Book Review:

A still grieving widow, Raina is plunged into a nightmare with mysteriously appearing toys of her dead son, sudden appearances of a hooded man who is hell bent on killing her and a hardened protector who makes her heart skip a beat and who inspires a yearning so deep in her that it almost makes her frightened.
"The hard, quick beat {of her heart} reminded her of shy first glances and giddy first words, of nerve-racking first dates and tender first kisses. It reminded her of dreams and hopes and yearnings."

Who is this stalker and what does he want from Raina?
What is this feeling between Raina and her protector, Jackson?
Can she hope for a love filled future or is thinking of such things a betrayal of the memories of her lost family?
Will God show Raina the correct way?

"That's what had been missing in her life- hope in the future, belief that life still had wonderful things to offer, trust that God would take the bad and make good out of it."

This is my first book by Shirlee and I thoroughly loved her book. The first thing that attracted me to this book was the blurb and then the cover. I read the blurb and knew instantly that I had to read this book. The cover is also intriguing and will attract the reader.

The plot is well plotted and executed. Shirlee has a simple style of writing which is very down to earth and instantly connects the readers with the story. The story flows fluidly at a comfortable pace and I was kept fully engaged in the story right till the very end.

The characterization is very beautifully done. Raina instantly fills our hearts with sympathy, a sense of sadness and loss but also makes us admire her strength. She is a woman who has lost everything in her life and has also silently faced the accusations of those people who think that had she been a good wife she would have either died with her family or saved them. This type of thinking angers me but I also acknowledge that there are people like this all over the world. Humans are same everywhere only the upper polish of their style of living, the language they speak and the religion they follow is different.

Jackson is a strong character with protective instincts. He has faced loss in his life and so can empathize with Raina's loss. He fell for her while rescuing her in Africa where he was part of HEART, the rescue team specializing in getting people out from difficult situations; and his feelings have only strengthened over time. So when someone threatens her, Jackson is all set to have a one-on-one with that person.

The slow sensual romantic development between Jackson and Raina is fresh and very beautifully portrayed. It touched my heart and made me all fuzzy with the warm feeling of love. :)

"A day when past is only the past and the future is something to hope and dream about." He touched her cheek, his fingers gentle and warm. "A day when everything I've ever hoped for is standing right in front of me."

Samuel is another important character and he touched my heart and made me pray for children like him all over the world. Children who have lost their childhood, their family and their sense of security. With no one to look after them, these children crave love, a warmth of family and a place to call home.

There are other characters like Jackson's brother, Chance; Jackson's teammates, Stella and Boone, Raina's boss, Kent Moreland; her best friend, Destiny; Destiny's brother and the cop, Andrew and Rain's neighbor, Larry.

The author has introduced her characters in this first book in the Mission: Rescue series and I loved each and every one of them. I would definitely read the successive books in the series to know more about them.

The story kept me hooked and very interested till the end. I prayed fervently for a happily-ever-after for Samuel, Raina and Jackson. While I guessed the identity of the stalker early one, this didn't diminish my interest in the story even one bit. I loved the story, connected with the characters who felt like acquaintances and friends to me and enjoyed the suspense and mystery.

There was only one thing that I felt was not explained properly. No solid reason is given why the stalker was after Raina. How his wife died is also left a mystery. Some indications of foul play are given but no closure provided. I wont tell you the name of the stalker but you would know what I am talking about when you read the book.

All in all, a great story that will entertain and take you away in a world inside the book where there is lots of action, excitement, thrill of chase and the fear of a stalker. I give Protective Instincts 4.5 out of 5 and recommend everyone to read the book. I love Shirlee's writing style and look forward to reading more from her.

I received the book from NetGalley and the publishers, Harlequin and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

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