A Wall Street Journal bestseller.
Danger rises and love is threatened in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s fourth book of the Mountain Mercenaries series.
Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has watched his fellow Mountain Mercenaries settle down with the women of their dreams, but he’s convinced he doesn’t need love. Then he gets a call from Harlow Reese—a chef at a local women’s shelter—and begins to reconsider his decision.
After being continually harassed by a local band of punks, Harlow asks Lowell to give the women of the shelter lessons in self-defense. She doesn’t expect him to take such a special interest in her safety, but he insists on escorting her to and from work, never taking no for an answer. Not that Harlow minds the personal touch…especially when it’s coming from her former teenage crush.
Despite her long history of bad dating luck, seeing Black again makes Harlow rethink her self-imposed celibacy. Easy on the eyes and hard to forget, the man has morphed into an alpha stud. And Harlow may be exactly the type of woman Black is looking for. Making her feel safe isn’t only a duty; it’s a pleasure. But the threats are escalating. The motives are a mystery. And as the danger burns almost as hot as their passion, there’s much more at risk than their hearts.
About the Author
Susan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose series include Mountain Mercenaries, Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, and Delta Force Heroes. Married to a retired Army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website, www.stokeraces.com, or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorsusanstoker.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Now I always know I can never go wrong with a Susan Stoker book but something about his one just really made me remember why I love her so much in the first place. This is book 4 in the Mountain Mercenaries series and it can be read as a stand alone. I highly recommend reading the other books though because they are phenomenal! This one is about Lowell “Black” Lockard and Harlow Reese. Harlow and Black know each other from high school but only as acquaintances and never spoke after graduation. The mercenaries regularly help out at a local women's shelter and Harlow has been hired as a chef there. So when her and the residents start being harassed, she calls Black to hopefully help them figure out how to be safe. Of course Black goes to help, but he also thinks this is his chance to ask Harlow out. What he doesn't realize is that his whole life is about to change. I absolutely loved Harlow and Black!! Harlow cracked me up from the beginning with all her bad dates and Black cracked me up on how he got around it all LOL! I loved all the snippet's with Rex, and that definitely made me want his story even faster. Black is the epitome of how you want your man to take care of you and the people you care about. I love everything about him and Harlow was the same for me! I truly can't wait to see how the other members get their own HEA!
I loved that the setting was different for this book. The book still had the alphaness that I love by this author but it was a different setting and different setup. I loved (again!) how real the main characters are and loved the perfect mix of humor, sassiness, and seriousness. The closeness of the group and a bit of some surprise that I didn't see coming. Well written and a great read!
DEFENDING HARLOW is the fourth instalment in Susan Stoker’s contemporary,adult MOUNTAIN MERCENARIES romantic, military, suspense series focusing on a group of six former soldiers and Navy SEALS who call themselves Mountain Mercenaries, headed by the mysterious ‘Rex’. This is thirty-five year old, former Navy SEAL Lowell ‘Black’ Lockhard, and thirty-four year old, chef Harlow Reese’s story line. DEFENDING HARLOW can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Told from several third person perspectives including Harlow and Lowell, DEFENDING HARLOW follows the slow building relationship between former high school acquaintances, Navy SEAL Lowell Lockhard, and chef Harlow Reese. Having reconnected with Lowell a few weeks before, Harlow battled between head and heart as the threats against the women and children at the local woman’s shelter became increasingly threatening. Lowell had previously offered his services as well as the services of the Mountain Mercenaries to protect the people living at the shelter but our heroine was reluctant to abuse their friendship. Knowing is was necessary to protect the people she loved, Harlow made contact with Lowell Lockhard, contact that would bring her face to face with the man with whom she would fall in love. What ensues is the slow building relationship and romance between Lowell and Harlow, and the potential fall-out as the woman’s shelter is targeted by an unknown source. Harlow Reese’s success in the world of dating can be summed up as disastrous and dark therefore our heroine has decided to remove herself from all future relationships including the possibility of dating our story line hero. Lowell Lockhard struggles with his attraction to a woman who wants nothing to do with ‘dating’ or love, so he begins a slow seduction of Harlow by planning ‘outings’ just for the two. The relationship between Harlow and Lowell is an acquaintance to friends to lovers romance; an immediate, palpable sexual attraction is tempered by Harlow’s inability to move beyond the failed ‘dates’ and potential threats from the men with whom she had gone out. Lowell’s need to protect Harlow keeps our hero close, close enough to pull Harlow into something more. The $ex scenes are limited but passionate and intense. The colorful secondary and supporting characters include computer guru and Navy SEAL Hunter’Meat’ Snow, and former Coast Guard officer Ball; Grayson and Allye (Defending Allye #1), Ronan and Chloe (Defending Choe #2), Archer ‘Arrow’ and Morgan (Defending Morgan #3), as well as the mysterious ‘Rex’; woman’s shelter owner Loretta Royster, as well as several women and their children who live at the shelter. The requisite evil has many faces. DEFENDING HARLOW is a story of power and greed; of danger and suspense; of friendship, protection, and falling in love. The premise is entertaining and inviting; the romance is seductive; the characters are energetic and dynamic. DEFENDING HARLOW is a passionate and fated look at romance and love. My only complaint is the length of time the ‘mercenaries’ took to uncover the reason behind the threats against the women and the shelter. For me, the motive was fairly obvious, or at the very least should have been a logical path to follow.