Sunday, December 9, 2012

To Protect & Serve by Staci Stallings ~ review

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Spirit Light Publishing (June 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615654304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615654300

This book is also available as an e-book.

June 22, 2012

Houston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman's fireman. He's not afraid of anything, and no situation is too dangerous to keep him on the sideline if lives are at stake. Lisa Matheson runs a semi-successful ad agency that's on the brink of falling apart. Her employees are incompetent and her schedule has become exhausting. When she takes on a client with a brilliant idea for a big conference, she thinks that maybe, finally this is her lucky break. However, the fire station wasn't what she had in mind for finding conference speakers. When she falls for a handsome but shy firefighter, it's possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can't control Jeff and the death wish he seems to have...

My take on this book:
Jeff Taylor is a fireman who seems to have a knack of knowing what to do and say during stressful situations. Thing is he is actually pretty shy when it comes to his personal life, and finds it difficult to find the words whenever he is interested in someone, so he often takes a ribbing from his firefighter friends. While out with his friends celebrating his graduation from school a chance encounter has him meeting Lisa Matheson, someone he feels is totally out of his league. 

Lisa Matheson's life is work. She is trying to build a successful ad agency, and has totally immersed herself in her career. When she meets Jeff she feels drawn to him, but has long ago decided that men aren't to be trusted, and keeps her heart on guard. The last thing she wants is a relationship, but when their paths continue to cross will she give Jeff a chance, and will he find the courage to accept it?

If I had to describe this story in one word it would be anticipation! From the beginning, Staci Stallings knew how to build the anticipation and longing that both Jeff and Lisa felt. Jeff was shy, Lisa didn't want a relationship, but their hearts had a different idea. I enjoyed the slow build of how the two finally connected, and the wholesome feeling that I felt as I read the story. Both characters were carrying issues from their past that had shaped them into who they had become. It was those issues that they had to learn to let go of if they wanted to stop running from life and learn to live it. "To Protect & Serve" is much more than just an inspirational romance, there is also the aspect of the First Responders, from the fire fighters to the EMT's  that really added another layer to the story. The life and death  situations that Jeff and his colleagues faced daily were emotionally charged and very intense,with scenes that literally jump off the pages.I felt like I got an accurate look at the drama that the firefighters and their spouses faced daily. "To Protect & Serve" took this reader on a journey of the heart. I laughed and cried and found myself needing to know Jeff and Lisa's story.  Fans of contemporary inspirational fiction need to read this story. 

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