Sunday, March 8, 2020

#BookReview – “Protecting Sam” by Abbie Zanders


Where there's "Smoke", there's definitely fire.

Former SEAL Steve "Smoke" Tannen is finding the transition back to civilian life more of a challenge than he'd expected. Not only is he dealing with the aftereffects of a horrific ordeal overseas, he doesn’t know what normal is anymore. When his former team leader enlists his help in a project to help other vets, Steve doesn't hesitate to sign on with a new team.

Samantha Appelhoff dreams of owning her own coffee and bake shop, but a persistent stalker and dark rumors about her past aren't making things easy. When the sexy, chivalrous guy moves in next door, she plans to keep her distance, but that’s hard to do when he keeps showing up when least expected but always just when she needs him.

Are they just nice neighbors or could they be something more than friends? The attraction is instant and their connection is real, but is that enough to convince Steve and Sam they can have their own happy ending?


In book one in the Sanctuary series, Steve “Smoke” Tannen is looking for something to do, to believe in, since retiring from the SEALs. After his buddy and former team leader Church asks for his help in remodeling a rundown resort, Steve jumps at the chance, but he doesn’t know if he’ll stay for the long-term. Then he meets his sexy next-door neighbor Sam. An air of strength and vulnerability surrounds her, and he soon realizes she might be in trouble.
Bakery chef Samantha Appelhoff knows someone is stalking her, but she doesn’t have proof. Now that she’s moved into a new apartment, she’s trying to focus on the future, but fear and paranoia still has a grip on her. Then she meets Steve. Though he’s gorgeous, she’s too busy and preoccupied for romance, and she’s not into flings. But when her stalker returns, she may not have a choice but to accept the help of the SEAL living down the hall.
Steve and Sam are amazing, well rounded, three-dimensional characters, and they fit well together. They’re both fighting personal demons, but they’re not letting those demons control them. There was only one sex scene, which is surprising due to the drool-worthy cover, but it made sense that the H/h waited so long to fall into bed.
Steve’s military buddies are awesome, and I would love to know more about them. I’m sure they’ll all be getting books, which I’ll search for.
The villain was a piece of work. I felt sorry for him and hated him at the same time.
There are two unanswered questions, neither of which affected the overall story—What did Sam tell the police in order to explain her apartment fire; and what did the police think when they found Mrs. Himmelwright’s apartment?
Anyway, I really enjoyed this story. I didn’t find any typos, and Ms. Zanders writing style was smooth and easy to follow. I would love to read more of her books.
5 Stars

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