Keeping others safe is what Caleb Montgomery does. He’s never had a problem taking on an assignment, whether it was during his dangerous SEAL days or his most recent job of training war mercenaries. But being assigned to keep Brynna Vincent and her adorable daughters, Maddie and Josie, safe from an unknown threat has thrown Caleb off his axis. Hot for the tall brunette since she came back to town more than a year ago, being close to her day in and day out is cracking Caleb’s resolve to keep his hands off her gorgeous body and his head in the mission.
Brynna is sick and tired of being afraid. All she wants is a normal, quiet life for her and her precious girls. Just as she’s settling into her new home in Seattle and feeling safe again, Caleb shows up on her doorstep insisting the danger is as high as ever. But whether she needs to be sheltered from the threat in her past, or from the intense emotions she feels for the sexy, protective man sleeping in her home, remains to be seen. What will happen if Brynna and her girls fall in love with a man so broken he may not be able to protect them from the danger that threatens, much less himself?
“Let’s get this straight, Brynna. I want you so f*cking bad my teeth ache. I’ve wanted you for months. But you’re part of my family, and I’m supposed to be protecting you. Dropping my guard and f*cking you into the mattress is not the way to keep any of you whole.”
Brynna is a single mum to two beautiful twin daughters, who accidentally witnesses something that puts her and her children’s lives in imminent danger. Forced to flee across the country to avoid becoming a target, she returns to her home town of Seattle where she is immediately embraced into the ever-expanding Montgomery clan and made to feel safe and loved. But Brynna only has eyes for one member of the Montgomery family, a man whose every look makes her weak at the knees and whose mere presence re-awakens the hot-blooded woman inside her who had stayed dormant ever since her ex-husband walked out on her and their newborn babies.
Caleb is an ex-Navy SEAL whose last mission marked him so deeply that he gave up his military career as a result of that trauma. He came back home as a broken man, uncomfortable in crowds, tormented by night terrors, and convinced of not only being too damaged for a good woman like Brynna, but also undeserving of such happiness when so many members of his SEAL team never even made it home alive. He cannot help his body’s reaction when he’s around her, though, Brynna being the embodiment of the perfect woman in his eyes, but he works hard to keep her at an arm’s length, unwilling to admit to her or himself that there is nothing in the world he wants more than to have a woman like her in his bed and by his side.
“I’ll never be the best thing for her.”
When the danger that Brynna escaped from finds her in Seattle, Caleb steps in to protect her 24/7, moving into her home and getting a taste of what it would be like to have a family like that of his own. With his innate protectiveness and loving predisposition, he slowly gains the trust and affection of Brynna’s young daughters as well who’ve never had a dependable father figure in their lives, and whose bright personalities very soon claim a piece of Caleb’s guarded heart. But every time he lets himself feel something for them, he makes himself take a step back, knowing he would eventually disappoint them and unwilling to become one more man who would end up walking out on them.
“I’m falling in love with two amazing girls and their mother. And I’m exactly what they don’t need. Broken. Hurt.”
This is a story about wanting something so desperately, but not seeing yourself as being good enough to claim it. The chemistry between Caleb and Brynna is off the charts, they are neither good at hiding their emotions from one another nor at keeping their hands off each other. But while Brynna puts all her cards on the table and goes all in, knowing in her heart that she has never loved a man like she loves Caleb, and trusting them to create a beautiful future together, Caleb, on the other hand, never stops seeing what they have as finite, something that has to eventually end for the sake of the ones he now loves more than himself.
“You are the best part of my life, Bryn. Don’t you forget that.”
This is also a story about a damaged war hero who came home physically in one piece but mentally in a million more. The burden of the horrors and losses that he has lived through and survived affect everything in his life, making him grateful for the life he still lives but also guilty for living it in the first place. Losing Brynna and her daughters’ love is a wake-up call for Caleb, the trigger he needs to make him take control of his future and of himself. Caleb and Brynna’s tale fits perfectly in the With Me in Seattle ‘sexy, exciting but light-hearted’ storyline formula, but there’s an added element of deeper emotion in this book, which hints at this story being very personal to the author who is a soldier’s wife herself. I loved that element, I connected with that element and I hope Ms Proby digs even deeper into that ‘pot of emotions’ for future instalments of the series as she managed to truly wreck me with a couple of scenes in this one.
“That American Dream that y’all fight so hard for over there? The freedoms that you would die to protect? They’re yours too, you know.”
As always, we get to re-visit some ‘old friends’ in this book, all the Montgomeries and their loved ones making an appearance at one time or another. We see their stories progress and we get to witness some pretty special moments from their happily-ever-afters.
Fight With Me, Jules and Nate’s story, might still be my favourite in the series because of that darn apa and all, but this is the book I emotionally connected with the most. There are some aspects of the common storyline which I personally feel should be refreshed, spiced up, taken to the next level for the series to stay as unpredictable as possible given the ‘formula’. Now that I have seen Ms Proby do a scene of unrequited love and hit me with it like a ton of bricks, I want to see more. I need to see more.
“I want to be someone’s f*cking first choice, goddamn it! … I want someone to want to stay with me. To choose me!”
If you love steamy reads with a pinch of comedy and smuttilicious romance in spades, then this series is exactly what you’re looking for.
“What is it about the three of us that’s so f*cking scary to a Navy SEAL, Caleb?”
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With Me in Seattle – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Kristen is the author of the Amazon and USA Today bestselling With Me In Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.
Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.