Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Keeping a Warrior
Author: Melanie Hanson
Series: Loving a Warrior #2
Heroes: Devon Lowe & Rhys Halloran/Shane Hovland and Matt Knytych
Genre: MF & MM Contemporary
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: April 29, 2019
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Sometimes the only hope for the walking wounded is in each other’s arms.
Devon Lowe is a survivor.
A survivor of war. Of combat. And of a betrayal by men she considered her brothers-in-arms. But her trailblazing work as a Cultural Support Team member working alongside the navy SEALs is too important for her to back down now.
Fresh off a painful breakup, air force pararescueman Rhys Halloran recognizes Devon’s trauma for what it is—something that’s left her isolated but far from irreparably damaged.
With Devon’s trust still lying shattered back in Afghanistan, putting her faith in a man who’s nursing a broken heart isn’t easy. But she’s tired of people making her feel weak, and Rhys makes her feel anything but, sparking a heated attraction that was never part of the plan.
With all eyes on Devon to prove herself in a brutal man’s world, having it all will mean putting her heart on the line like never before. But when it comes to Rhys, it’s an uphill battle she’s ready to fight.
I loved the first book, Loving a Warrior, so much so that I could not wait for this book, the sequel to one of the best MM stories that I’ve read in a long while. And then to find out it was MF, I was devastated, so very bummed. I didn’t believe Matt’s (Soup) or Shane’s (Clown) story was completed and so I shoved this book away, highly disappointed. Fast forward a few weeks and nothing I picked up was resonating with me and this one was just sitting on my Nook, staring me down. I figured, why not. I might even get a Matt or Shane sighting.
Oh man, this book was soooo good. And the Matt and Shane sightings were front and center and throughout the entire book. This may be billed as a MF, but the MM counterpart was right there with them. And, I didn’t hate the MF parts; I actually really liked both Devon and Rhys.
This book starts a few years after Shane and Matt earn their tridents and move onto their respective SEAL teams. I thought life was grand for the boys, only to find out they are NOT together when this book starts. Big Shocker. But never fear, it was just Matt, being, well, Matt. And I would like to say the book ends with them riding off into the sunset, but nope. Yes, they are together and sickeningly in love (sick is good, folks), but big changes are coming for our boys and I so hope the next book features them both prominently, if not completely them. There is no way their story can end LIKE THAT!!!!
Now, Devon and Rhys are the other couple. Rhys is the medic that follows SEAL teams, and Devon is the female CST, or cultural support team member who basically is the liaison between the village women of Afghanistan and the military. Since women are not allowed to speak to men outside their family, this made a ton of sense. Unfortunately, Devon is suffering from a past sexual assault, and though she is a tough woman, and I mean GI Jane tough, she is still traumatized from that episode. For those who trigger easy, no worries, it is not too graphic and is spoken of in the past tense. Rhys is probably the only man on the planet who knew exactly how to treat Devon and slowly earn her trust.
What I liked best about Devon and Rhys is that they were friends, tight friends, who slowly allowed that to turn into love. It was slow burn, but simmering all along. Pair that with the volatile and enigmatic Matt and Shane, and we end up with a winner. I was expecting to hate this book and I ended up loving it. Go Figure.
There is slight, and unexpected, twist at the end. I am so gonna keep reading.
Highly recommended, even for those who hate girlie bits. It is really good. We get lots more Matt and Shane. And the MF aspects of the story was pretty great, too.
Overall Impression: I Loved It
*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*