Book Review: Protecting His Own by Cherise Sinclair

Protecting His Own

Title: Protecting His Own (Masters of the Shadowlands #11)
Author: @CheriseSinclair
Reviewer: Ivy @PoisonIvy70
Genre: Erotic, Contemporary Romance
Length: 226 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis

Landscape designer, Beth King survived an abusive husband and built a new life for herself with the help of Master Nolan, the strongest, most protective man she has ever known. She loves him with all her heart, but the one thing he wants, she can’t give him. To her grief, the damage from her abusive first marriage means she can’t bear him children.

As Beth and Nolan change their plans and pursue adoption, they’re already imagining a baby girl in the nursery. But when two boys from the local domestic violence shelter see their mother taken to the hospital, they call Beth in a panic. Agreeing to care for them temporarily, Beth soon falls in love with the two adorable boys.

Now Master Nolan has a new problem. How can he protect the children when their drug-addicted mother is released—and how the hell can he keep his sweet submissive’s heart from being broken when they leave?


Ivy's review

Beth and Nolan are living their HEA, though they haven’t had children yet and Beth is desperately trying to find a way, even going through fertility treatments. As they explore their options to build their little family, they grow closer to Connor and Grant, two little boys with a horrible living situation who need someone to love and take care of them. I could ask all the usual ?s, but you know the drill, so let’s get to it.

The Good

Ms. Sinclair does it again: I’ve enjoyed The Shadowlands series from the very beginning and Ms. Sinclair manages to mix all the elements I love about it in one lovely novella – the issues are real, these are characters that you’ve gotten to know over a long period of time, and Ms. Sinclair never forgets what brought her readers in the door – good old romance with some damned fine smutty sex.

Good BDSM: When I read the blurb for Protecting His Own, I was a bit concerned about the balance between Beth and Nolan’s BDSM needs and how it would play out while dealing with more serious issues like infertility, the foster care system, and adoption. I needn’t have worried. The story is engaging, but doesn’t forget the romance. There’s hot, kinky sex but it’s not gratuitous and helps to show Beth and Nolan’s bond. Overall, it’s good balanced storytelling that gave me another emotionally satisfying story, while planting the seeds for future entries.

Connor and Grant: These two boys rode right in and stole my heart. Their history is tragic, their lives painful, but once they get to blossom under Nolan and Beth’s care, you can’t help but root for them all to win.

Love after the HEA done right:. Beth and Nolan fell in love in book three, Breaking Free and they went through alot to earn their HEA. Ms. Sinclair doesn’t just introduce some random just to create tension (though there’s a moment where it’s certainly possible), but delved into their history and created an obstacle that was believable, emotional and way more interesting than just an old OW/OM plot. I was very grateful for it. That said…

Not a standalone: The series is up to book 10 (this book makes 11), so there’s alot going on in this ‘verse. It’s why I compare it to a soap opera – part of the fun of watching a soap is, when it works, it’s all about the characters that you come to love, overcoming obstacles (reality based, and sometimes not) and growing in a way that you just don’t get in a standalone book.

Now, I’ve read them all, but even I had to delve way back into the deepest, darkest corners of my addled memory to refresh myself on the details of Beth and Nolan’s romance. I don’t think it would be quite as enjoyable for a reader to dive in at this juncture.

My only quibbles: It’s a bit of a fairy tale. Now, sweet, sweet, kinky love is in my romantic wheelhouse, so I like this, but it’s fair to say…well, just don’t think too long and hard on the difficulties of adopting in the US, and how everything wraps up a neat, little bow. There’s no depth to the villains and the setup is very clear where the series is going next. I’m fine with it, but if you’re into the super nitty, gritty side of BDSM, this entry doesn’t give that kind of fix.

The Bottom Line

I enjoyed revisiting Beth and Nolan, as well as getting to see a mix of old and new characters from Ms. Sinclair. I would recommend starting from the beginning, if you’re inclined to take a stroll through the Shadowlands. As long as you’re into safe, sane and consensual BDSM, I think you’ll enjoy it.

– Ivy

*An ARC was received via NetGalley for an honest review.

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