Protecting Alabama by Susan Stoker
Book 2 in the Seal of Protection series
Alabama didn’t have a good start to life. Emotionally and physically abused by her mama, Alabama spent her high school years in foster care. People let her down, time after time, and she’d learned to rely on only herself.
Christopher “Abe” Powers earned his nickname because he tolerated nothing less than absolute honesty from the people around him. Finding the bar scene stale and having watched his friend and teammate, Wolf, find the woman of his dreams, Abe was determined to find someone to share his life with too.
Alabama and Abe had no idea their paths would cross and their prayers would be answered, but like most things in life, nothing is ever as easy as it seems at first. Two words would change both their lives and they’d have to fight hard for their happy ever after.
**Protecting Alabama is the 2nd book in the SEAL of Protection Series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s recommended you read the books in order to get maximum enjoyment out of the series.
Susan Stoker is officially on my Automatic Reads List (aka Hell Yes Gimme Gimme Reads List), but she is also on notice. Stop making me cry so much, woman!! Okay, let me see if I can form some coherent thoughts and throw together a somewhat sensible review. I can't make any promises, though. It seems I have leaked all of my intellect out of my tear ducts. This review will probably be riddled with tons of gifs.
Protecting Alabama takes you on an emotional roller coaster. I went into it expecting an action packed romance like Protecting Caroline, but instead I got a story full of sweet love, betrayal, heartache, and redemption. I was a complete mess for more than half of it.
I could already tell, just by the prologue, that I was going to be a hot mess for the entirety of this book. It starts off giving us various glimpses at the abuse that Alabama suffered at the hands of her mother. As a mom of 3, I just couldn't wrap my mind around doing something like that. By page 3 I was a goner. As a result of this abuse, Alabama grows up to be a timid but sweet, withdrawn woman. She lives in constant paranoia keeps to herself. She's come to accept that she can trust or rely on no one but herself. It's a tragic way to live.
Christopher "Abe" Powers is just plain amazing. He has some scars of his own thanks to his deadbeat father, but because of that he is extremely protective of his family. He goes above and beyond to take care of his mom and two sisters, and then later down the line, Alabama. Oh, and of course he is a ripped Navy SEAL.
Alabama and Abe meet at Abe's Flavor-of-the-Month's work party. Well, I can't say Flavor-of-the-Month is accurate, because he dated Adelaide for a couple of months, but she wasn't anything serious. Adelaide was pretty on the outside but downright nasty on the inside. She only wants to be with Abe because he is a SEAL.
Anywho, they're at the party, there's a fire, and Alabama ends up getting Abe, Adelaide, and a few others to safety. She's the company janitor and knew of an alternate exit. I'm starting to see a trend in Mizz Stoker's books that I LOVE. She writes these amazing, self-sacrificing, heroines who saves their male counterparts' lives. I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.
The love story build up between Abe and Alabama was so sweet. He courted her like a proper gentleman. A nice chunk of the story was just about them being together. Abe was so gentle and sweet with Alabama. He recognized that she was damaged and yeah...he's just amazing.
One thing that was different about this story than Protecting Caroline was the steeeeeeeeamy scenes. Oh yes my friends, we have sexy times in this book!
Of course, the happy times can't last forever and then we come to Chapter 15. I'm not going to give anything away but oh man. My heart...boom. Gone. I almost stopped reading, I was so upset. I just...I couldn't. How could that happen? And Abe...you colossal idiot. Why? JUST WHY?!
I pretty much cried the rest of the book. We're talking inconsolable ugly crying. I didn't even try to fight it. I just let the tears flow. Alabama's letter to Abe. The way the team took her in. Wolf's promise to Alabama. The scene between Abe and Caroline.
Seriously, everyone needs to read this book. Just read. Now. Okay? ;-)