The second book in New York Times bestselling author, Donna’s Grant’s thrilling Sons of Texas series!
When his aunt and uncle are murdered and his father has been kidnapped, bad boy Marine Force Recon captain, Cullen Loughman teams up with the one woman who turns his world upside down.
Everything’s hotter in Texas…
When Marine Force Recon captain Cullen Loughman learns that his father’s been kidnapped, he will do whatever it takes to find him. In order to achieve his mission, Cullen will need to team up with the best of the best, someone who just happens to be the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on…
This isn’t the first rodeo for ex-Air Force pilot Mia Carter. Still, Cullen’s bad-boy good looks and charm are distracting her from duty. . .and it appears that the feeling is mutual.
As Mia and Cullen make their descent into a dark, dangerous world, their attraction reaches the boiling point. But is their desire worth the risk when a ruthless enemy is waiting in the wings, or will their Lone Star love conquer all in The Protector?
The Protector “…combines danger and desire in an intoxicating mix.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Don’t miss these other books in the series:
Book #1: The Hero
Book #3: The Legend
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
"Dark, sexy, magical. When I want to indulge in a sizzling fantasy adventure, I read Donna Grant."
--Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author
Read an Excerpt
By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
"You double-crossed me," came the heavily accented Spanish voice.
Mia looked into black eyes and saw nothing but death reflected there. Thunder rumbled right before lightning flashed and sounded with a crack that reminded her too much of the pop of a gun.
She wanted to take a step back, but she was surrounded by Colombians with no way out. Her gun was on the plane. A show of faith between her and this unsavory party.
But she wasn't exactly weaponless — never would be again after. ... She stopped that train of thought. She needed to focus on the here and now.
She took a deep breath and lifted her hands. If she didn't get control of this situation, it could go from bad to worse. "You've got it all wrong, Camilo."
"Really?" He smirked and looked at the three men around him. Camilo ran his thumb and forefinger along his thin mustache as he regarded her.
He took a step closer, bringing him within reaching distance of her. His reputation as a lady's man was one he embodied in everything he did, from the Armani suit to his perfectly styled hair.
"Yes, really," she said. "You hired me to fly to Panama and retrieve your boxes. I've done that."
His eyes narrowed. "But you don't have my merchandise."
She kept her gaze on Camilo, but she was aware of every move his men made. They might not have guns, but, like her, they weren't weaponless. "I'm not to blame for the authorities checking my plane and confiscating what they found."
"I was told you were the best. That you could get anything into the States."
"This is the first time in hundreds of flights that I've been caught with anything. Perhaps if you'd told me I'd be transporting reptiles for the black market trade, I could've determined what airfield might have authorities searching planes for just such cargo and diverted to another."
"You didn't need to know," he said.
She shrugged. From the moment the reptiles had been taken from her plane and she was arrested, there had been no other outcome. She was in serious trouble with the law — not to mention the sanctions that would be placed on her by the military.
Her only hope had been leaving Florida before Camilo and his men found her. If they had only arrived five minutes later, she would've made it home.
"A shrug," Camilo said with a grin that held not an ounce of humor.
Shit. This was about to get very bad. If only she'd listened to Sergei, but the old Russian was always telling her to stay away from bad men. Never mind the fact that he was such a man.
Camilo walked around her. "You give me a shrug when I'm out two million dollars."
She turned her head to keep him in her sights. "These things happen."
"Not to me. I've promised those animals to someone, and he doesn't take a shrug for an answer."
"I'd be happy to make another run to Panama for free. However, my plane will be searched every time from now on."
"That's not my problem." He stopped before her, closing in on her. "You agreed to bring me my cargo. I want it. Tomorrow."
Mia hated when people got into her personal space. The creep did it because he thought he'd intimidate her — a common misconception with men.
"I can't be clearer if I spelled it out for you. I'll be lucky to retain my pilot's license after this. I can't help you."
"Then you'll pay me the two million."
She lowered her hands to her sides. Then she said, "No."
"You obviously have no idea who you're messing with," Camilo said before taking a step back.
Mia ducked and spun around as she felt one of the men come at her. When she straightened, she fought the desire to release her hidden knife into her palm.
She moved back to keep all four men in sight. They would come at her all at once. They had the numbers, but they would underestimate her.
"You'll die tonight," Camilo said with a laugh. "Or perhaps I'll take you with me and give you to my men. It'll be fun seeing what they will do to that nice body of yours. I doubt you'll last a week."
No one would ever keep her chained again.
She smiled at the men and motioned them to come at her. The first to reach her was the biggest of the group. She dodged his meaty fist by ducking.
This time when she straightened, the hilt of her knife slid into her grip. It felt good to have a hold of the weapon. She kept it hidden so that none of the men saw it.
The next time the big guy came at her, she leaned to the side to evade his punch. Then she twisted as she reversed her grip on the hilt of the blade. Swinging her arm wide, she sliced the big guy's chest.
The next instant, she spun back the other way and stabbed him in the gut. When he attempted to grab her with both hands, she used his momentum against him, sticking him in quick succession.
He stood still, swaying. She took a step back before kicking him in the chest. By the time he hit the ground, he was dead.
"Get her!" Camilo yelled, spittle flying from his mouth as he rushed her.
She was good in hand-to-hand combat against one. Against two, she could hold her own. Against three? Well, she wasn't going down without doing some damage of her own.
Right before one of the men reached her, a knife embedded in the back of his throat. He fell at her feet, gurgling blood. She looked around, trying to figure out where the blade had been thrown from, but she couldn't see anyone.
Then she didn't have time to keep looking as she was fighting Camilo and his last man. She gritted her teeth as her upper right arm was sliced.
She took a step back and eyed Camilo and his man, each holding a long blade. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw movement. She caught a glimpse of a man in all black right before Camilo raised his weapon and came at her.
Mia held her stance as he charged. She saw her advantage and took it. Using the big guy's dead body as a vault, she launched herself, feet first, at Camilo in a double leg grapple.
Wrapping her legs around his neck, she used her momentum and swung to the side, bringing him to the ground. She felt his neck break as she twisted.
Rotating midair, she landed on one knee with her left hand on the ground. With her combat knife still in hand, she turned to the last of Camilo's men — only to find him lying on the ground with a knife in his chest.
A man in all black walked from the trees and retrieved his blades. Without a word, he made his way to her. As he closed the distance between them, she let her eyes run over this unknown man.
Tall, muscular, and ... hard. He walked with purpose, as if assured that he would get whatever he was after. He had the appearance of a military man with his dark hair cropped close on the sides and short on top.
The hint of whiskers graced a strong jaw and chin. His wide, thin lips tilted in a half-smile that made her stomach feel as if she'd just been on a roller coaster — and wished for another ride.
Thick brows slashed over hazel eyes that watched her with interest. He stopped a few feet from her and let her look over him. She slowly stood, taking in the black fatigues and black tee shirt.
"We've got company," he said and jerked his chin as he looked over her shoulder.
She turned her head and saw the six men rushing toward them. A second later, bullets began flying around them.
"Go!" the man said as he grabbed her arm and tugged her toward the plane.
She didn't need to be told twice. In moments, she was inside the plane and starting the engines. With every bullet that pierced the Valkyrie, she winced.
The sound of the engines roaring to life made her smile. She started forward, glancing back at the open door. Whoever the stranger was who'd helped her had little time to reach her before she left.
She closed her eyes briefly, because she knew she wouldn't leave him. It wasn't in her nature. Impatience filled her as the plane began to roll forward away from the gunfire.
There was a grunt. When she looked back, the stranger was in her plane, pulling the door closed. Without a word, she throttled the aircraft, speeding down the runway.
The flashing lights of police cars halted the chase of Camilo's men, but for how long? They didn't know where she lived. With Camilo dead, they might leave her alone. But it was a big "might."
When the stranger came to sit in the seat next to her, she glanced his way. He buckled the seat belt and leaned his head back, closing his eyes.
"Who are you?" she demanded.
"Not even a thank you?" he asked with a grin, his eyes still shut.
She held back a sigh. "Thank you. Now. Who are you?"
"I thought you'd know." His head turned, and his eyes opened to stare at her again.
There was something about him that looked familiar. It took her a moment, but she pieced it together. "Which Loughman brother are you?" "Cullen," he said with a smile.
Cullen. She stared at him with a bit of surprise. She knew from talks with Orrin, as well as from reports she'd read, that the Loughman boys were some of the best around — military or private sector.
She also knew the middle brother, Owen, was the peacekeeper, who was quiet as he listened to everyone and everything before reacting. The eldest, Wyatt, was the intense one with barely leashed violence beneath the surface.
But it was the youngest, Cullen, who set her back on her heels. Each time she thought of him, chills raced over her skin — and that was before she knew he was heart-stoppingly good-looking.
He made her ... ache ... in a way she hadn't experienced in a very long time.
Why did it have to be him that came to her? Why couldn't it have been Wyatt? She could've handled the eldest Loughman with ease.
Cullen held a combination of both his brothers. There was a heavy dose of lethal brutality just waiting to be released on those who stood against his country — or his family.
But he was also patient. To some, he might seem indifferent, but she'd seen the look he currently wore on Orrin's face before. There was no indifference. Only planning and preparation down to the very last detail.
She briefly closed her eyes. The attraction couldn't be denied. But it wasn't just that. She'd felt desire before. This was something ... more. It was deeper, fuller.
It left her with a yearning that rocked her, a hunger that consumed her. She might've heard stories about Cullen, but she didn't know him.
Her gaze locked on him as if magnetized. His hazel eyes watched her like a predator, but she wasn't afraid. No, it was more exhilarating than anything.
Forcing her attention back to flying, she set a course for Dover. Back to the place that hadn't just altered her life, but the Loughman boys', as well.
"I've been expecting one of you," she finally said.
He looked out the windshield. "There are answers to questions about my father's kidnapping at Dover. And with you."
"Nothing is going to stop me from finding him. Orrin is one of the best men I know."
"Then start at the beginning. We've got a little time before we reach the base."
The beginning. No. Not so far back as that. There were things Cullen didn't need to know, things that were better left in the past.
She may be in an unsavory situation, and he might have just saved her, but that didn't give him the right to her secrets.
"It was Orrin who approached me," she said.CHAPTER 2
Cullen hadn't expected Mia Carter to be so ... amazing. He'd never seen a woman fight with such passion or with movements so beautiful that he'd found himself watching her instead of finishing off the Colombian.
For the first time in Cullen's life, he couldn't find words. He could only stare at the beautiful woman with one thought — Valkyrie.
She was the epitome of what he imagined the winged creatures of Norse mythology would look like. All she needed was armor and a sword to complete his vision.
Now, as he sat in the cockpit of the British WWII Bristol Buckingham C. MK 1 plane, also known as the Bristol Type 163 Buckingham, he couldn't keep his eyes off her.
Beautiful didn't begin to describe this incredible woman. Every time her steely black gaze fringed with impossibly thick lashes turned his way, he became entranced. Her eyes were large and slightly tilted up at the corners.
He forgot to breathe as he took in her unblemished, sun-kissed face. With high cheekbones and wide, full lips, he was smitten.
Wisps of inky black hair escaped from her ponytail to fall along the narrow column of her neck. An olive tee skimmed her torso to show mouthwatering curves, and black denim showcased her lithe legs to perfection.
"It was Orrin who approached me," she said.
That didn't surprise him. His father had always had a gift for finding talent and using it to his advantage. "When?"
"A few years ago."
It made Cullen wonder what else his father had been up to. While he and his brothers were off building their lives, Orrin Loughman had been setting up a team of Black Ops members to do some of the dirtiest jobs.
One of the missions, put together by the DOD, had sent Orrin and his team to Russia to steal a bioweapon.
Except something had gone terribly wrong. Someone betrayed Orrin Loughman. In the process, he'd been kidnapped, and his team was executed.
The last person to see his father was the woman sitting next to Cullen.
The years he'd spent as a Marine Force Recon captain had taught him many things. He knew how to fight his way out of various situations using his hands, body, and mind. He knew how to spot lairs and traitors. He also had dozens of rescues to his name.
He was damn good at his job. But he had to be more than good now. His father's very life depended on it.
"How did you find me?" Mia asked.
"I went to the Air Force Base. When you weren't there, I went to General Davis's office. It seems they keep a record of every flight you make."
Her lips compressed. "That they do."
"To my benefit. If I hadn't arrived, you would either be dead or in Camilo's care. Neither of which sounds appealing."
"I already thanked you."
"Yes, ma'am. You sure did." He linked his fingers over his stomach. There was something about Mia Carter he found compelling, and it had nothing to do with her beauty. She was very much like him, he suddenly realized.
Wary of the world with a look of cynicism she didn't bother to hide.
"Tell me how a pilot with your skills is able to have a hangar on a base, work for the military as a contractor, and still be able to take jobs with criminals. Because let's be honest ... Camilo was a criminal."
"It won't matter what I give you as an explanation. You've already formed an opinion," she replied coolly.
In fact, he had formed an opinion. He suspected that she liked danger. She also loved to fly. Combine the two, and she was in heaven.
"You were telling me about how you and my father began working together," he said, getting them back on topic.
She cut him a look with her black eyes. "What you really want to know is if I betrayed him. As I told Callie — and everyone listening on the phone that day — it wasn't me."
"I do remember that call. Though I've learned that people say a lot of things that aren't the truth."
"You want the truth?" she asked, turning her head to him. "I'll tell you the truth. I hated taking orders, so I left the Air Force as soon as I could. But I wasn't ready to give up flying. It's my life."
That much he could tell. It was in her blood.
"Lucky for me, the Air Force wasn't quite ready to see the last of me. My skills as a pilot come in handy. I came up with the idea of contract work in exchange for using a hangar and obtaining parts for my plane. It's a mutually beneficial situation."
He nodded, impressed. "Smart move."
"I was taking ... other jobs when Orrin approached me to fly one of his missions. I never flinched at the work, and I never let him down."
Cullen looked out the window at the cities below. "And the Russian job?"
"Orrin contacted me about flying the team. The money was good, and I didn't mind the trip. I explained to him that while my plane is sturdy, she couldn't make the entire trip without stopping in Ireland to refuel."
"He agreed to that?"
"There was no other way," she said with a slight shrug. "But we got to Russia without incident."
"Did Orrin mention anything about having any doubts about the mission?" he asked.
She thought for a moment before she shook her head. "He acted as he normally did before a job. Quiet, thinking over everything. An hour before we arrived in Moscow, he and the team went over the plans."
Excerpted from The Protector by Donna Grant. Copyright © 2017 Donna Grant. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Book two of the Sons of Texas picks up where book 1, The Hero, ends and this time it is with Cullen, the youngest, and Mia, the freelance pilot who was the last to see Orrin. They follow the breadcrumbs to try and find his father and to stop the Saints from getting their hands on the bioweapon. This one is just as good as The Hero. Definitely a spy/Jack Ryan type story line but with romance thrown in. It is delicious, adventurous, exciting, and intense. Mia and Cullen are great together and the plot line is getting better and better. The bad guys from book one, aren’t actually bad guys, Orrin might have a new love interest after 20 years of mourning his murdered wife, allies are murdered and the layers that are slowly being pealed back against the Saints are just showing even more layers and the deeper and more complex the true villains become. It was so good.
Follows the youngest brother, Cullen, from the time the three brothers split up, early in the first book, until Cullen and Mia complete their task. If you read the first book, you already know what Owen and Natalie were doing. This story is mostly concurrent with book 1, then leads into book 3. The whole story line is very well done. I can't wait for book three.
I won this book from Goodreads giveaways and I am writing this review of my own choice. Thi book was a wonderful continuation of the storyline about a family that has or is serving our country in the military. The father of the family has been kidnapped and his crew have been killed except for one the pilot of the plane Mia. All 3 of Orrin's son come together to help find and rescue him. Cullen is in DE where Mia is and where his dad was taken. They had to find him and go against a group of people that include Russian and American people. This story has a lot of twist and turns but a wonderful read.
Cullen Loughman finds himself in Delaware, meeting Mia, the last person to see his father before he was taken. When he meets her, he can’t seem to take his eyes off her. Working together, they must find out what happened to his father. This was a great book. It takes place parallel to The Hero. Cullen is the youngest of the Loughman brothers, so he’s not quite as scarred as them. This gives him a chance to not be so scarred and open to what he feels towards Mia. Mia, on the other hand, has her own issues to deal with. I felt that the author did a great job with both of these characters. I can’t wait until the third book is out. I look forward to seeing how everything gets wrapped up for all of these characters. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Mia Carter is determined to rescue Orrin Loughman, her friend and savior. She flew him and his men on his last mission to Russia. When they returned she knew something was wrong. Right after they landed she found the bodies of his men. They were executed and Orrin was gone. He had been kidnapped for the bioweapon that he stole. When Cullen comes looking for his father, he and Mia team up. Can they save Orrin? Mia is a strong woman. She knows what she wants and won't take no for an answer. She loves the freedom and excitement of flying. She's more than a match for Cullen. Their chemistry is immediate and fierce. Cullen is estranged from his father. He blames his father's job for his mother's murder, but he won't let that stop him from helping his brothers save his father. Cullen is a good man who is dedicated to serving his country even though he has other dreams. He won't stop until justice is served. Now they are all targets of a secret group that wants to dominate the world by using the stolen bioweapon, Ragnarok. This second book of the Sons of Texas series kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn't know who to trust. The danger was always there and the tension kept building. Donna Grant created a story that could have been pulled from today's headlines. The characters are powerful and compelling. I cared for them and wanted them to outsmart their pursuers. Only one more book and then I'll know the whole truth. I can't wait for The Legend. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
The Protector Donna Grant Grant’s second in her Sons of Texas series ramps up the intensity big time mixing a smokin hot romance and suspenseful military mystery. While beautifully connecting the backstory plot dots her super suspenseful storyline thickens giving readers a better picture of her fateful catastrophic bioweapon and all her players good bad and evil. The settings are picture plot-line perfect, her stars rock the read, snippets from past and future installments are amazing and her rocket-fired fevered romance is the perfect remedy for a cold winter night. When highly trained and respected black ops agent Orrin Loughman is kidnapped and his team is executed after a mission goes bad, good old Uncle Sam calls his three well trained special forces sons to the rescue. Cullen the youngest only joined the military out of a sense of loyalty to his dad and brothers, he always dreamed of running the family’s Texas ranch. But before he can fulfill his own dreams he’s got a missing father to find and the murder of his father’s team to solve. He decides starting with his dad’s beautiful pilot is a good starting point. Ex USAF and current civilian contract pilot Mia Carter loves Orrin Loughman like a father, and feels partially responsible for his abduction since she took him and his team into and out of their last messed up mission. One thing for sure is she’s bound and determined to bring him home whatever it takes, even if it means teaming up with Orrin’s exceedingly handsome youngest son.
4.5 Stars! THE PROTECTOR is absolutely captivating and thrilling suspense, period. THE HERO set the stage for a great story and THE PROTECTOR builds on and expands on it. The Loughmans are not just up against the Russians as previously thought. The Russians are part of a shadow organization made of people from many countries, with a very nefarious agenda and the biological weapon is the tool they need to achieve it, unless they are stopped. But with the identities of the members of the organization shrouded in complete secrecy and the fact that they have infiltrated every level of society, no-one can be trusted which is sure to make their task even harder. The Loughmans need all the information they can get to find their father and Mia Carter was the last person to see him and a good place to start. Cullen Loughman is determined to get all he can out of her but he does not expect the impact she would have on him. I really liked that Ms. Grant kept up the secondary story on Orrin and his activities. It was heartbreaking to see how devoted he was to his late wife, how much he loved his sons and how he kept up with their lives even when they had not looked back since they left home. The potential love interest is a welcome piece and much needed for a man who has been alone for so long. It's interesting to see the kind of relationship both Mia and Cullen have with his dad. While the boys turned their backs on their only living parent, Mia and the other ladies built a solid relationship with him. Cullen's history gives sheds more light on the reasons behind his estrangement from his dad. Mia and Cullen were great for each other, once they got over the distrust they had for each other as well as the half-truths and omissions. The idea that the current events are part of a long-term conspiracy and the thought that Cullen's mom's murder may have been tied to his father's work and this secret organization is mind-blowing. Coupled with the details of the bio-weapon and it's purpose as well as the shadowy organization searching for it that spans multiple continents, Ms. Grant has given readers free reign to wildly speculate as to the direction of the story, and believe me, I'm doing exactly that right now. I can't wait for the next book but I'm also dreading the end of the series already. Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
The Protector by Donna Grant Sons of Texas #2 Book two of the Sons of Texas series begins where book one ends. It is told from the perspectives of both the hero and heroine. Orrin Loughman is still missing and his sons, with their female partners, have separated to find out what they can about a stolen bioweapon while locating and freeing Orrin. In this book the youngest son, Cullen, is drawn to pilot Mia Carter and she finds him rather irresistible, too. There is plenty of action, bad guys aplenty, a bit of romance, catching up with the status of Orrin and a phone conversation or two with the rest of the team. More of the mystery about a nefarious take-over-the –world group named The Saints is shared but the end will no doubt not be provided until at least book three when Wyatt and Callie will have their story told. This was well a well written and enjoyable book that can stand alone but would benefit from reading the first book before reading this one. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the copy to read. This is my honest review. Did I mention that I am EAGER to read how this will be tied up and can’t wait for book three? 4 Stars
This is the second book in the Sons of Texas series and it follows the youngest Loughman son, Cullen. This is part of a series and can't be read as a standalone. Cullen was only seven when his mother was murdered and he's still carrying a weight of baggage. While he understands his brothers shielded him out of love, he's never felt like he has closure. He hasn't had a relationship with a woman, favoring one night stands instead. He is pursuing a military career because he feels it's always been expected of him instead of staying on the ranch and following his heart. Meeting Mia changes his life. He starts believing that he can follow his heart and have the life he desires with the one woman who has claimed his soul. Cullen was perfect leading man material and it wasn't difficult to fall for him. Mia is a great female lead and a perfect compliment to Cullen. She has grown up an only child, fallen foul of her father because of the path she chose in life and she's now found herself in a difficult predicament. Having crossed paths with the secretive, ruthless organization known as The Saints, she is now on their hunted list and running for her life. Cullen is out looking for his dad and after he finds Mia they quickly team up. While the first part of the book dragged for me, the second part was action-packed as The Saints chased after our couple and they dodged Russians, The Saints, fraudulent military men, and struggled to find who to trust. The romance didn't kick off until the middle part of the story which was one of the reasons why I struggled to connect with the book in the first half. It felt like more of a long drawn-out political thriller rather than romantic suspense and it wasn't what I was expecting, however, the second half made up for the rather lackluster start. The romance was well written and I shipped them even though the professions of love at the end felt forced and rushed. Nonetheless, I liked this couple. I am enjoying the plot around The Saints and Ragnarok and the planned purpose of the bioweapon is heinously brilliant. However, in the last battle scene of the book, the suggestion is put out there that they've taken down The Saints which had me rolling my eyes. We have been told over and over that The Saints are everywhere and my interpretation is that this is a widespread global organization so some of the expressed sentiments at the end didn't fit. I enjoy Donna's writing style and in the main the editing is decent. In summary, The Protector was an enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to reading Wyatt and Callie's story and seeing how things pan out for Orrin. Actual 3.5 stars ( 3 stars for first half and 4 for second half.) Thanks to St. Martin's Press for providing a review copy of this book via Netgalley.
4 - Things weren't looking good for the Loughmans... Stars! Book two of Donna Grant’s Sons of Texas Series, proceeds with the theme of the story in general in that the Loughman brothers are searching for their kidnapped father, whilst trying to deal with the Russians their father stole the bio-weapon from and a group called The Saints, who also want it. "Are all you Texas boys so chivalrous?" "Afraid so, darlin’. It’s in the water." But The Protector specifically gives us Cullen Loughman’s story, as everything in the bigger picture plays out and develops further. Cullen the youngest of the Loughman brothers, has always felt himself separate from his brothers Wyatt and Owen, because of the fact they were the ones who found their mother murdered, but kept him away from it, the rift that murder caused in the Loughman family went deep and has been growing for years. The brothers coming together to search for their father opens a lot of old wounds and I found it really poignant when Cullen went through everything with Mia in relation to that time. Because although he knows deep down that his brothers were doing what was best for him, it also made him feel terribly isolated and alone at the same time. He wasn’t nearly finished with her. And he was beginning to suspect that he never would be... The story as before is told from several points of view, I like that Donna included Orrin in this because you get to see how everything is playing out from that perspective of the story as well, the only thing I found a little odd was the fact that most of Cullen’s book runs concurrently with Owens, but Orrins seems to pick up from where it finished in book one... Wyatt and Callie are up next so hopefully everything will run together again from that point on. "We get just enough information to tease us, but never more... Every layer we pull back exposes dozens more." This is by no means a filler book, but I did find it a little slower to get moving than the first book, in saying that though I enjoyed it a little more than book one, as we are given more information on Ragnarok, and what it can do, as well as more of an in depth look at some of the villains in the story. "I want to know all your secrets..." "We all have secrets." Mia and Cullens relationship goes from eye-ducking to actual ducking pretty quickly once they admit they are attracted to each other, but I think seeing the vulnerable side of Cullen and the trust the grew between them as they each gave up bits of their pasts and the secrets they were keeping, stopped it from feeling too ‘insta’. "You’re the type of woman a man looks for to spend his life with." Wyatt’s up next in The Legend, due for release in late June, seeing as I have no idea how the author intends to finish this series, and everything still being very much up in the air, I am looking forwards to reading it. There is also a potential love interest for Orrin introduced in this book, so I wonder if that will have more development to it as well going forwards, either way I am still very much interested and intrigued. This is a voluntary review of a complimentary copy of the book.
The second book to the Sons of Texas series starts out with a wow factor that quickly draws the reader into the continuing story of the Loughman brothers who are trying to find and rescue their father if he is still alive. Much like the first book the story was superbly detailed in all the action scenes and interaction between the characters. This story continually expands adding more detail to the existing story in The Hero book 1. All the primary and secondary characters are fully developed and the intertwining of them in various parts of the book will keep the readers up to the wee hours of the night reading this book so they can finish it in one sitting. This book opens more of the plot but also shows that sometimes it is hard to tell who is an enemy or friend so the reader will need to take their time while reading to catch all the little hidden details that will help them decide. Mia is the heroine I want to be like. She is strong, independent, smart, sexy and a kickass pilot. Though her character comes across as being all knowing there is a sweetness about her that I find attractive in a heroine. Cullen of the three brothers did not interest me as much in the first book but in this book, his character expands and he takes on the role of Hero in a spectacular manner. As he continues to open himself to Mia I grew fonder of him and by the end of the book I was in love with his character. I am so excited about this series that I give The Protector 5 STARS and look forward to the next book in this series. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
In The Hero, the first book in this series, we met the Loughman family, or what was left of it. Orrin is father to three sons, Wyatt, Owen, and Cullen. Twenty years ago his wife was muedered. Orrin, being a Navy SEAL, suspected Melanie's death stemmed from his work in secret missions, but her killer was never found. Orrin's sons didn't recover well, their family splintered, but each boy followed their father's footsteps into military service, even if neither of them had oaken to him in years. These days Orrin runs a private Black Ops team for classified missions. Without warning Wyatt, Owen and Cullen were pulled from their missions and dropped at their Texas reach, only to discover their aunt and uncle murdered, and their father kidnapped. He'd recently been tasked with recovering Ragnarok, a bioweapon developed by a Russian scientist. Only the pilot, Mia, and Orrin had survived. Mia got the weapon transferred to Orrin's right hand gal, Callie, and his three sons are on the hunt for their father. Cullen tracked Mia to a job-going-wrong situation in Florida. He knows Mia is his best bet on getting Intel to find his dad. Over the course of several days Mia and Cullen learn that the Saints, a shadow organization responsible for Ragnarok's development, have eyes, ears, and guns everywhere. Including the Air Force base Mia flies from. The place where Orrin's team of men had been slaughtered. It's not safe for them to remain, and their escape is none-too-easy. Good thing that Mia's made some incredible allies. Cullen is most impressed. And, injured. Cullen is gravely injured. Meanwhile, Orrin is receiving help from two unlikely sources, help that's keeping him alive. He's been beaten, starved and battered nearly to death, but he's determined to see his sons in person once more--and take down the Saints, if he can. The bulk of the book is the search for Orrin, and that's not resolved. Mia and Cullen do find a fierce attraction for the other, however, and that grows into affection under all the near-death pressure. We learn tons about the espionage, the Saints and the purpose for Ragnarok, but the story isn't finished. For one, Wyatt and Callie have to fall in love. And, the mighty mighty Loughmans need to save the day. I liked his book better than the first one, though I often felt the romance angle was pushed too strongly. I had trouble accepting all the internal dialogue, which often boiled down to lust, or mooning, when the situations were so dire. I love romantic suspense, and this book is getting closer to the mark, for me, though I think romance fans will be satisfied. Orrin's a great character and I was glad to see him somewhat restored and on the trail of vengeance. His allies are unconventional, but just as fierce as he needs them to be. Looking forward to the resolution in the next book! I received a review copy via NetGalley.
This book picks up where Book One, Hero left us. Lots of questions. Here we meet Cullen, Orrin's youngest son who is a Captain in the Marine Corp, Recon. Cullen left for Virginia in book one and the we pick up here where he meets Mia Carter, ex Air Force and a fierce pilot and one tough nut. She's got an arsenal of weapons and can handle herself well. They meet on a mission gone wrong where Cullen bails her out and the two of them head back to Dover. Cullen knows Mia knows his father, she flew the mission he went missing on. This book takes us through all the suspense and deceit. The twists and turns. Yuri and Orrin, who are old friends. We see Sergei up close and personal and how he helps Mia. He also warns Cullen to take care of her, which he has every intention of. They're being hunted for most of the book, by a group called the Saints. The end game is to recover the bio weapon that is safe and secure thanks to Orrin. These two steam up the bed, shower and floor a few times and wow is it hot! Nice going Donna. That's some serious steam and Cullen is incredible. Mia talks and asks questions, Cullen actually listens and responds. Such a rare man!!! I loved this book and actually loved it more than book one. It does end on a cliffy, some things are partially resolved, we still don't know the good guys and the bad guys and how widespread this group is. One thing for sure, we know where Mia and Cullen are. Next up is Wyatt, the oldest and coldest of the sons and Callie. That one should be an interesting book! I can't wait to read it. This is really a great series, it's got it all. I definitely recommend it. **advanced reader copy from Net Galley and St Martins Press Publisher***
This is the second book in the series and I was hooked from beginning to end. Lots of suspense and drama as Cullen is on the search to find his father. Mia and Cullen team up and the chemistry is steamy. Looking forward to finding out what happens in book 3.
I received an ARC for my voluntary review for netgalley. I enjoyed book, kept you on interested. Loved the chemistry of Cullen and Mia, it was sexy. I appreciated reading about the dynamics of the brothers, and the background of how they became the men they are now. I am assuming there was a previous book, I will look into it. Also, liked that they were trying to work it out in there own way. Can't wait to find out what happens next!
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 1/2 Another good installment in the Sons of Texas series. In The Protector we pick up where we left off in the The Hero with the Loughman boys, but this time we follow the youngest of the Loughman boys Cullen. I really enjoyed Cullen and Mia’s story. They both are determine to find Orrin no matter what. But they never planned on having to run for their lives or for the answers that they uncovered. I enjoyed this second installment and am looking forward to Wyatt’s story. I am hoping that in Wyatt’s book we get all the answers to all the questions that have come up in the last two books. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Donna Grant continues her romantic suspense series - Sons of Texas - with the second installment, The Protector. The books are stand-alone reads, but the plot is a mystery continued from The Hero, and I believe you will enjoy this story more if you stick to the series order. Marine Force Recon Cullen Loughman is searching for his father who was kidnapped during a covert operation for the U.S. government recovering a bioweapon from the Russians. Cullen seeks out one of the last people to see his dad - pilot Mia Carter - to get answers on his father’s brutal abduction. Mia has worked with the senior Loughman and has a fierce loyalty to him, and she wants to work with Cullen to find him and bring him home before it is too late. Cullen and Mia immediately have a strong - and slightly unbelievable - case of instant-lust. They meet and are ready to get it on within the first hour, and neither says they’ve ever felt this way before. Amid the danger and the chaos of their search, they find time to indulge in their attraction and feelings soon follow. Ms. Grant ups the suspense factor in The Protector; therefore, if you are looking for a romance that is also an action-packed, you’ll definitely want to read this one. Cullen’s oldest brother gets his story next in The Legend. ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley, but this review is voluntarily an honestly written.
I really enjoyed reading this book as much as her previous book hero.It kept me on the edge of my seat.I will be recommending it to my friends.
The Story continues for the Loughman Men. This book is focused more on the baby brother, Cullen. I would really recommend reading the first book in this series first, The Hero. This book is not a stand alone book. The beginning of the book starts a little before the last book ends then you get caught up to the same time as the first book ends and continue on from there. This is the story of Cullen and Mia who are trying to fin Orrin but from the DC area instead of Texas. There is a lot of action going on but at the same time the characters of Mia and Cullen get developed and you learn a lot about them. Of course like any other Donna Grant book there is a love store intertwined in the book. I am finding I really enjoying this different type of story from Donna, then just the fantasy. I look forward to where this story ended and the next book begins. *Thank you NetGalley and her publisher for letting me read this early for my honest review.*
I loved this story. These O'Malley's are a great family and watching them lose their hearts is so much fun. Emma is a bit of a wild girl but she's determined to change her ways. Starting a new job as a kindergarten teacher is her first step. Her second - swearing off bad boys. Then the motorcycle riding Sean O'Malley swaggers into her life like a white knight and she decides one last sip of a bad boy wouldn't be so bad. One last fling before the school year starts but will walking away be easy for either of them??? Lots of good relaxing fun with this one. I highly recommend it.
3.5 Stars The Protector is book two in a continued story. I have not read book one but was not lost, however a lot happened in this book to further the overall story so I do not think you could read book 3 as a standalone. Each book is focused on one of the Loughman brothers but there is an overall big picture going on involving the government and a shadow organization. This is heavy on the suspense and so full of action that you will not be bored. I do wish the romance part of the story was more. I cared more about the conspiracy than I did about Mia and Cullen. I do prefer a stronger connection with the MC's but I can't fault the suspense. There is violence but no rape in book 2. The next book will focus on Wyatt, the oldest brother. ARC provided by NetGalley.
THE PROTECTOR is the second installment in Donna Grant’s contemporary, adult THE SONS OF TEXAS romantic suspense series focusing on the Loughman brothers-Navy SEAL Owen; eldest brother Delta Force Colonel Wyatt, and youngest brother/Marine Force Recon Captain Cullen- and their Navy SEAL / Black Ops father Orrin Loughman. This is Cullen Loughman, and former Air Force pilot Mia Carter’s story line. THE PROTECTOR can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as each installment continues upon the events of the previous story line as the brothers search for their missing father. SOME BACKGROUND: While on assignment overseas, all three Loughman brothers are called home to Texas to discover that their beloved Aunt and Uncle have been murdered, and their Navy SEAL father Orrin is missing. The US government has tasked the brothers in locating their Black Ops agent; and the retrieval of a biological weapon known as Ragnarok. Told from three third person perspectives (Cullen, Mia and Orrin) THE PROTECTOR picks up immediately and runs parallel to some of the events of book one continuing the search for Orrin Loughman, and the people involved in the patriarch’s torture and abduction. Cullen Loughman is the youngest sibling and as such was protected from much of their father’s earlier life, and their mother’s brutal murder; but Cullen is determined to uncover the whereabouts of the man he hasn’t spoken to in a very long time. Enter Mia Carter, Orrin’s special mission pilot, and the woman with whom Cullen will fall in love. What ensues is the search for Orrin Loughman, and Cullen and Mia’s attempts to stay one step ahead of the Columbian Cartel, the Russian special forces army, and the US government. The relationship between Cullen and Mia is one of immediate attraction but Cullen is all about locating and rescuing his missing father. Not one to easily trust, Cullen suspects Mia knows more than she is willing to admit perhaps to the point of being involved in Orrin’s capture. The sexual attraction and tension is palpable; the push and pull of sexual energy is heightened on the run with the search for Orrin Loughman. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive. The world building continues to focus on a biological weapon now in the possession of the Loughman family; and the hunt for Orrin Loughman before it is too late. Throughout the series the reader is taken behind the scenes to Orrin’s location as a he suffers to protect his family and country. All of the previous story line characters (Owen and Natalie, Wyatt, Callie, and Orrin) continue to play secondary and supporting roles. Major General Yuri Markovic returns as Orrin’s captor; General Davis knows his time is limited: and Dr. Kate Donnelly takes a special interest in Orrin Loughman. I am hoping for a story line or novella between Orrin and Kate. There are a large number of Russian military and covert agents, as well as the many faces of the requisite evil including a multi-national organization known as The Saints. THE PROTECTOR is a complex story of romance, action, suspense and adventure involving secret agencies, espionage, biological warfare, and government lies. The premise is engaging and intelligent; the characters are colorful, passionate and animated; the romance is provocative and encouraging. THE PROTECTOR is an exciting and imaginative installment in Donna Grant’s SONS OF TEXAS romantic, suspense series.