Navy SEAL Protector – ARC review of “Protecting His New Family” by Katie Knight and Leslie North

Navy SEAL Owen Foster has his world rocked when his brother Carter and his sister-in-law Lauren are both killed in an auto accident, leaving Myles, their 14 month old son, an orphan. In their wills they named Owen and Samantha Mayfield, Lauren’s sister, as co-parents to Myles. Owens’ head is spinning as he considers the monumental lifestyle changes he needs to make as he assumes his new role as a parent to Myles. First order of business is to resign his commission in the Navy and then ditch the fun-loving, carefree party boy/player reputation he has earned. What scares him most is the realization he hasn’t a clue about parenting. It looks like Owen is slated for some heavy and accelerated OJT (On the Job Training). Grieving the loss of his brother will have to wait.

Sam (Samantha) Mayfield has spent years working as a medical research scientist looking for a “cure” for a deadly childhood disease. Now her sister Lauren is dead and Sam is named in her will as a co-guardian to baby Myles. She loves her nephew but the thought of becoming a parent with no apparent training or experience has her stymied. Can she pull back from her research and let others take over? Or maybe with judicious scheduling she can adjust her hours in the lab and still be a mom to Myles. Now her biggest worry is if she’ll be able to make this co-op parent role work, especially considering she’s been interested in Owen Foster for years. But her lack of self confidence has her thinking her feelings aren’t reciprocated. And besides, she isn’t his type.

As Sam and Owen are settling into their new arrangement their world is turned upside down by an attempt on Sam’s life. She has received threats from an unknown source, demanding she abandon her research project “or else”. After the break in, Owen, Sam and Myles drive to another lab facility in Washington state. And the chase is on. Whoever is after them is determined to stop her. Can Owen protect his new family and keep them safe?

What ensues hurtles from scary car chases, to gunshots to an abduction. All this action is tempered by the growing relationship between Owen and Sam as they finally give in to their desire for each other. “Protecting His New Family” is part action/adventure, part romance, part thriller and way too many internal musings from both protagonists. The characters seem consumed by their own feelings of inadequacy and the angst is repetitious to the point that I began skimming over those passages. The action scenes are a good way to exhibit Owen’s prowess as a SEAL and lends the narrative a much needed boost. The plot premise is intriguing but doesn’t fully explore or explain the threats to Sam. Also the denouement is rushed and murky leaving the reader unsatisfied.

Co-authors Katie Knight and Leslie North are listed as best seller novelists. While the writing is grammatically correct, the emotional drama between Owen and Sam is lackluster. Even the bedroom scenes. Baby Myles steals the show although I question some of his deftness at such a tender age. Granted, he’s destined to be above average but still..... Three stars.

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A Military Romance

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