Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Protective One

The Protective One is the third book in Shelly Shepard Gray's Walnut Creek Series. If you haven't had a chance to read the others yet, don't worry you can start here and follow along just fine.

Elizabeth Anne, or EA as her friends call her, seems to have her life all figured out. She and David have been dating for quite a while and everyone assumes the next logical step is an engagement and marriage. Their families are neighbors and have been friends for as long as anyone can remember, it just feels like their relationship is meant to be. Somethings aren't always what they seem EA has a restless deep down that she can't contain. Maybe it's because her close group of friends, The Eight as they are more commonly known, are all pairing off but EA just feels the need for a change.

Will Kurtz was feeling at odds himself. Also a member of The Eight, he felt things changing and nothing would ever be the same. Sure he was proud of his friends for their marriages and promotions but he just felt stuck. Maybe he needed a job change or a change of heart, he isn't sure, he just knows he needs something. He's not ungrateful for what he has, he knows he's blessed more than most, he just wishes for something more. But what?

The Protective One is more than just a romance story, it tackles hard to talk about issues with courage and grace. I loved Elizabeth Anne! She reminds me so much of myself. She's kind and caring, has a heart of gold but she isn't afraid to speak up for herself when she feels the need to. She's definitely the kind of friend you want to have around. At times during the story I wondered how on Earth she ended up with someone like David! Where she is kind and thoughtful he is rude and belligerent. When things don't go his way, look out! There is a temper tantrum on the way. I found him to be childish, rude and down right manipulating. I was so glad when EA found her voice and told David to get off her porch, they were though! Of course, even when breaking off a long time relationship she still had tact and finesse, I wish we could say the same for David.

I think my favorite part though, was when EA befriended Marta, her sewing student. Although they were from different backgrounds, EA is Mennonite and Marta is English, EA felt a pull towards Marta. I was glad that EA listened to the Lord and befriended Marta because she sure did need it! Marta's husband was a lot like David only worse. He was controlling, manipulative and also abusing. Of course EA didn't know all this she just felt like she was supposed to be in Marta's life for a reason.

I found myself feeling bad for Will. He always offered encouragement to his friend and co workers but didn't feel right sharing his problems with others. He was so happy for his friends but he felt like his time would never come. He felt awful for feeling this way, mainly because he thought it made him feel petty and stupid. He doesn't want to seem ungrateful he just wants something more, some type of change. When Will finally unburdens himself to EA he finds a kindred spirit. She's not judgmental as he feared, she actually understands and offers him sound advice. Will finds himself looking at EA in a different way, sure they've been good friends for years but could they be more?

I absolutely LOVED The Protective One and I think you will too! It will have you laughing out loud one minute and gasping with surprise in another. If you've never read one of Shelly Shepard Gray's books, this is a great one to start with!

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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