Review: Embattled Home by JM Madden

embattled homeReviewed by Shelly

By far, this is my favorite couple in the series so far.  I might or might not be partial to Chad, but if this gives you any kind of a clue, he had me when he showed such compassion and kindness towards Shannon in Book 1. Then there’s a little Duncan side piece with a young (he might think too young) doctor and what seemed like a little bit of chemistry. But before I get carried away and start with my Duncan fetish, I’ll give you the skinny about Lora O’Neil and Chad Lowell.

There was a blip on the radar about Lora in the last book. It’s an outsider’s glimpse of her life through the eyes of Chad when Lost and Found was hired by Lora’s ex-husband to… well, spy on her. Chad’s job was to stake out Lora’s home and work and report back to the ex-husband everything that she did.

Somewhere along the line, Chad figures out that there’s something other than what he’s being told is going on, because Lora’s actions don’t match what the ex-husband is saying about her. It’s not until one night while he’s on a stake-out and there’s a break-in at Lora’s home that Chad truly understands not only the danger that Lora’s in, but her daughter as well. Chad is ready to protect them both, but Lora’s not following his advice so easily. There’s quite a bit of back and forth between Chad and Lora, because Lora’s very independent and trust is hard won with her. There’s not anything that she’s not willing to do to protect her child from her ex-husband. She knows the extent of his cruelty, and she’s not playing around.

Part of Chad’s rescue mission is to take Lora and her daughter to his family’s working ranch in Texas. Lora’s unwilling but left with no other choice, she accepts and says thank you. Even with his protection she rightly doesn’t fully trust Chad and it has nothing with Chad as a person, it has everything to do with him being a man. Lora’s ex-husband did a number on her she really can’t see herself trusting anyone but herself. After what she’s been through, I completely understood and agreed with her wariness.

I liked both of these characters separately, and I liked them as a couple. Chad’s leery about his scars and amputation, and Lora’s leery about Chad’s expectation if they take their relationship past friendship level. The relationship happened way too fast for me. The majority of the romance happened while they (including her daughter and three other bodyguards) were hiding out. It was way too quick, which is the same complaint I had in the first two stories. Chad’s feelings were slightly easier for me to believe because he was scoping her out for months before there was any physical interaction, but for Lora, she didn’t meet Chad until he offered his services. Bam, insta-love!

The good thing is that there are other stories developing while Chad and Lora are hiding out. Duncan’s trying to help a distressed veteran, and there might or might not be a potential love interest for him. Then we find out that Harper’s probably the person who shares the least amount of information EVER. His secret shocked me. And we meet a new member of Lost and Found Investigations – this time, a woman.

Would I recommend this? You betcha, because the story is good even though the insta-love is there. And of course, who doesn’t like a hero who really does look the part? Imperfectly perfect.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Embattled Home
by J.M. Madden
Release Date: April 27, 2014

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