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Monday, March 1, 2010

Protecting Phoebe by Shelli Stevens

Protecting Phoebe by Shelli Stevens
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Other: M/F
Length: Short Story (83 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Jasmine

With her life on the line, can she protect her heart?

A Chances Are story.

Phoebe’s work at Second Chances, a women’s shelter, has gone a long way toward her own healing after surviving an abusive relationship in college. She’s moved on in every sense—except when it comes to dating.

Everything changes when Craig visits the shelter. The hot, young cop sets her pulse racing in a way that makes her consider making a move—and moving him into her bed for a casual fling. The first step: ask him out. Subtly, of course.

Craig has been attracted to Phoebe for months, so he’s more than happy for the chance to get to know her better, in bed and out. His interest goes way beyond casual, but convincing her to think long term is going to take some time.

When it becomes clear her violent ex has come out of the woodwork, though, time is the one thing they don’t have…

Second chances…do they really exist? When you’ve been abused both mentally and physically by someone who was supposed to love you…are you willing to risk your heart, body and soul again on a stranger?

Phoebe Jeffries is confident, friendly, sexy, strong-willed, full of pride, and a force to be reckoned with when backed into a corner. This is surprising since her mind, body and soul are still recovering from an abusive relationship. Afraid of being hurt again and unable to trust because of her prior relationship, Phoebe has abstained from relationships (both physically and emotionally) for almost seven years. But, her vow of abstinence is tested when she meets Officer Craig Redmond. Will Phoebe give into her desires and learn to trust another man? More importantly can she trust Officer Redmond? When her ex returns on the scene, will her fears render her a victim once again, or will she fight for her survival and peace of mind with everything in her being?

Officer Craig Redmond is ruggedly handsome, sexy-as-sin, honest, passionate, young, and protective of Phoebe Jeffries, even though he barely knows the woman. She’s everything he’s ever wanted, but her fear and lack of trust toward the male of the species has put a hitch in his plans to establish a long-term relationship with the sexy vixen. She’s willing to give him one night of passionate, explosive, unimaginable sex, but he wants more. He wants it all. There’s only one problem, he has to convince her to let down her guard and trust him not only to protect her from her psycho ex, but also her heart, body and soul. Will Craig find his Happily Ever After with Phoebe or will the return of her ex threaten everything?

Protecting Phoebe is a heart-warming, compelling story that consumed me from beginning to end. Phoebe and Craig’s intense, sensual connection is vibrant and brings their characters to life, which only had me begging for more. The plot of the story is riveting, yet compassionate and makes you angry at men who abuse women. Phoebe’s ex-boyfriend, Rick, is the villain that you’ll definitely love to hate and pray that he gets what he deserves in the end. I love how Ms. Stevens builds each character’s role by slowly providing the reader insight to each of their lives.

In addition, I appreciated the fact that in spite of her fears, Ms. Stevens made Phoebe a strong woman with the ability to reflect on her actions as she learns to trust another man. Moreover, her ability to establish friendships and the way they rally to help when things turn for the worse is inspiring because most abused women are isolated from their family and friends by their abusers.

Protecting Phoebe is endearing, yet enlightening as it addresses the topic of abuse and how not all men are the same. I loved how there were times that Craig approached Phoebe with kid gloves and then there were times that he had no problem laying all of his cards on the table, which only helped him gain her trust.

If you’re looking for a dramatic story that not only involves facing one’s fears while learning to trust another human being with your life…literally, but is also compelling, heart-warming and entails sexual scenes that are guaranteed to set your soul on fire, then Protecting Phoebe is the book to read. Bravo to Ms. Stevens for providing us with a sensual, intense, heartfelt story that has the ability to make you laugh and cry. I would definitely recommend Protecting Phoebe to my friends.

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