Leave No One Behind – Review of “Protecting Fiona” by Susan Stoker from the SEAL of Protection series.

I swore to round up the titles that keep getting shoved to the end of the list on my iPad and get them read and reviewed and “Protecting Fiona” was on that list. Think I’d gotten a bit disillusioned with the SEAL of Protection series and just shoved it aside.

This is “Cookie’s” story (also known as Hunter) and he and his team are sent deep into the Mexican jungle to rescue a Senator’s daughter who’s been kidnapped. The team is split up and Cookie is on his own when he locates Julie, the senator’s daughter but he gets a twofer. In the same cell is another female prisoner. Fiona is covered in grime, filth, and even her own excrement. She’s obviously been held captive much longer than Julie and is so unnaturally quiet, Cookie almost misses seeing her. But there’s no way he’s leaving her behind.

When they get back to the states, Fiona has a long road to travel toward healing and Cookie has decided in his he-man fashion that she is “his.” Fiona has undergone months of unspeakable abuse, physical, psychological, sexual, so her issues are many and deep-seated. Author Stoker doesn’t ignore them but they aren’t given the front and center attention they deserve but then this is romantic fiction so I’ll leave it there.

I’m probably in the minority but Cookie’s ham-handed “me Tarzan, you Jane” attitude was a little over the top and even though it was somewhat downplayed, it didn’t seem appropriate to her history and subsequent issues. That said, Fiona’s character was much more authentic and appealing.

Susan Stoker has been on my favorite author list if was looking for a feel good romance or romantic adventure type but of the last of her titles I’ve read, my reaction has been more “meh”. Three stars.

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