I had been looking forward to this book being released so I could read it as it has become a series that I have come to enjoy. However, I’m a bit disappointed with it. The previous two, Defending Morgan and Defending Harlow, lacked a bit as well. It started out well when I read the epilogue in Defending Harlow and tension was high when Kannon “Ball” Black started running off at the mouth about not wanting to work with a woman in their newest mission, finding Everly’s sister. When it picked up in the new book, Defending Everly, the tension was close to non-existent between the two and that was one thing I was really looking forward to with the book. The lack of tension within a romance book makes for a not-so-entertaining book, at least for me.

Everly’s sister, Elise, went missing and it felt like the situation was just an “oh well” issue. It was a bunch of searching and not much else, a complete lack of thrill and action. They searched Elise’s computer, searched her room, spoke with those at her school…and that was about it. There wasn’t anything that really got the heart racing or the blood boiling. I think there could have been more to it, more action, more tension between the characters, more something that would make the disappearance of Elise so much more exciting. Then, on top of it, they found her way too easily. She practically fell right into their lap a week after starting to look for her. Come on!

Then there’s the entire middle of the book, after they get Elise back from her captor. I enjoy getting to know the characters more and the middle of is usually meant for this information, but there needs to be some action, some tension build-up, something to make the reader want to continue to the end of the book as quickly as possible to find out happens, but in a good way, not an “I want to get it over and done with.” The filler of the book became choppy and that’s one thing that I absolutely hate in books. Choppy sentences are painful to read and makes me want to scream. It seems to be the usual lately with the last few books in this series and I hope that it doesn’t happen in the next as I really do like this series. I want more of the men (and women) of the Mountain Mercenaries.

There was also an extreme lack of action until the final few chapters of the story, too, which made me struggle a bit to get through the biggest chunk of the book. Where were the hints about the kidnapper being there in Colorado Springs, following Elise, biding his time to take her for his own, again. I think this would have helped build up the tension within the story, at more thrill to it, and make me want to rush through to see what happens.

Do I recommend reading the series? The Mountain Mercenaries are an entertaining pile of hunky men, so of course I want to read about them. Do I think the books could be better, definitely, but I’m going to continue to read the entire series as I can’t seem to stop myself.

About Defending Everly

As tough as Everly Adams may be, the Colorado Springs SWAT officer is near a breaking point. Her fifteen-year-old half-sister, Elise, has disappeared from Los Angeles without a trace, and the window to find her is closing fast. Committed to the search is Mountain Mercenary Kannon “Ball” Black. He and Everly already have a history—of rubbing each other the wrong way.

Still, Everly has to admit the man is heart-stopping. His brash alpha swagger takes her breath away. And most importantly, as a former Coast Guard first responder, Ball has what it takes to bring Elise home.

Nobody’s buying the LAPD’s “runaway” theory. And the fear that Elise is the victim of a human trafficking ring is a gut-punch that Everly and Ball can’t ignore. If only the trail were that clear cut. Because the one they’re following is more insidious and intimately dark than they could have imagined.

Now as the bond between Everly and Ball grows stronger, so does the heat. And as the stakes rise, so does the danger.


A list of books of Susan Stoker’s can be found on her site here – Book List


Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

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