This book was previously published in the Kindle Worlds program. The cover has changed, but the book itself has not changed in any significant way.
Julie Lytle is working hard to turn her life around. Being kidnapped by sex traffickers changed her drastically, but having grown up the spoiled daughter of a senator, Julie wishes she could’ve changed just a little sooner. Shamed by her behavior toward the woman rescued alongside her, and further embarrassed and guilt-racked over the way she treated the SEALs who risked their lives on her behalf, Julie is desperate to make amends.
With help from a D.C. acquaintance who’d endured her own harrowing experience, Julie connects with Patrick Hurt, Commander of the SEALs who’d saved her life. If she can prove she’s not the same person who mistreated his team, he’ll grant her request to meet them—but not before the protective, sexy man makes a surprising request of his own.
**Protecting Julie is a part of the SEAL of Protection Series. It’s book 6.5 in the 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.
We met Julie in Protecting Fiona, and quite frankly, I didn’t like her one bit. Seeing her in this new environment was enlightening.
Patrick Hurt isn’t going to let her meet Cooper without knowing if she’s sincere. He sets up a meeting at the beach to evaluate her story.
This is a favorite scene from the end of that meeting.
The more he thought about it, the more Patrick knew the team needed to hear from her. They needed to know everything she’d just told him, but it was her story to tell, not his.
He’d give her the chance she needed to thank the guys and he’d warn them ahead of time to give her a shot. But watching her fight to tell him her story, watching her work her way through it, made him respect her.
Patrick was a hard man. Over twenty years in the Navy, most of those as a SEAL, had made him that way. But he’d never been so moved by a story as he’d been by Julie’s. It would be up to Cookie if he wanted to let Fiona meet Julie as well, so he wasn’t going to let either woman know of the other’s existence until the guys had met with her.
“Yeah. You know…dinner…maybe another walk on a beach…a date.”
She looked at him in confusion for a beat. “So you can find out more about what happened down there? Why I was a bitch?”
Patrick stepped in front of her and put his hands on the rough bark of the tree at her hips, realizing he was probably overstepping his bounds after she’d just poured her heart out to him and knowing he was still practically a stranger to her. He leaned forward, trying to make sure she really heard him and saw he was serious. “No. Because despite the difference in our ages, I’m attracted to you.”
Patrick chuckled and looked her in the eyes. “You.”
He watched as she struggled to come to terms with what he said. When she did respond, it wasn’t what he thought she’d say. “You aren’t that much older than me.”
He pulled back. “How old do you think I am?” “Um…” She wrinkled her nose as she contemplated him. “Thirty-five?”
He burst out laughing. When he had himself under control, he told her, “I appreciate that, but no, I’m not thirty-five.”
When he didn’t say anything else, she asked, “Then how old are you?”
“I don’t think I’m going to tell you.”
“What? Why? I thought only women were sensitive about their ages.”
“I’m not sensitive about it, but I don’t want to give you any reason to say no.”
The laughter died on her face and she gazed at him for a beat. “If I say no, does that really mean that you won’t help me make it right with your SEALs?”
“No. I might be a dick, but I’d never force you to go out with me. I know I said I’d set up a meeting on one condition, but I lied. I’ll do it if you agree to see me again or not.”
“Okay to the fact that I lied about the condition, or okay to going out on a date with me?”
Patrick nodded and moved back a fraction, holding out his hand. “Come on, I’ll walk you back to your car.”
Stoker, Susan. Hot SEALs: Protecting Julie (Kindle Worlds) (SEAL of Protection Book 0) (Kindle Locations 459-489). Kindle Worlds. Kindle Edition.
Alas that date doesn’t happen, because of an unexpected visitor to the Julie’s shop.
Caroline and the other wives came back to see the new arrivals and Fiona is one of them.
While I wasn’t surprised by the reaction of the women, I found myself feeling a bit sorry for Julie. She had no way of knowing who they were and Fiona couldn’t have known Julie owned the shop either.
A decision not to meet with the SEAL team after seeing Fiona, could break the possible relationship with Patrick.
This book had as many sad moments as happy ones, and Julie gets first hand experience as to why SEALs don’t need the thanks.
Once again I couldn’t stop reading until the final page was done.
5 Contented Purrs for Susan!
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New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.
She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.