#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Hers to Protect” (Book No.11 of the Shores of Indian Lake series) by Catherine Lanigan

Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “Hers to Protect” direct from the author Catherine Lanigan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read this story & continue with the series itself:

After reading the ninth and tenth story in the Shores of Indian Lake, I knew I wanted to back-read the rest of the series except of course, my path back inside the series has taken a few detours! I did manage to acquire a second-hand copy of Sophie’s Path – however, after multiple migraines this May coupled with the adversities within March and April – you could say, I decided to ‘push-off’ reading through the series as in effect I wouldn’t have time to borrow the books from my libraries. I believe most of the series is going to be available through inter-library loans vs being to borrow them locally (though I could be surprised!) which is why I need to begin this when I have a few months between the releases rather than the month a new one appears.

I truly love tucking back inside Indian Lake – I have come to love the Contemporary Romantic style Ms Lanigan infuses into her stories and each new visit I have within the series is a happy homecoming! It has become one of my favourite Harlequin Heartwarming series and I am truly blessed to be in a position to continue reading this series per each new book which goes on tour with PRISM.

If you read the previous reviews I’ve shared on behalf of Indian Lake you’ll find out what continues to draw my eye into the stories within the series itself but also, what I am appreciating about how Ms Lanigan chooses to write them. Contemporaries used to be a hard-won battle to find authors who are writing the stories I love to read – with Harlequin Heartwarming & #LoveINSPIRED Suspense – I am finding more novelists now who understand the readers like me who are seeking relationship-based romances whilst giving us a firm grounding of reality within a world which is a mirror composite of our own. It is a lovely discovery as previously I felt I could only find these kinds of stories within the INSPY side of the Romance market due to a lot of hit/miss results within the mainstream.

The beauty really are the authors Harlequin has within Heartwarming and Love Inspired – they know how to write the drama within the romance but also how to write compelling series with realistic characters & narratives which are a joy to be reading. I get quite giddy whenever there is a new author to read from Heartwarming or Love Inspired – whilst having the chance to participate on one of their blog tours is quite icing on the romantic cake! I love celebrating authors who are writing the STORIES which give me a heart full of blissitude to be #amreading – thus, for the past two years I’ve been hosting PRISM’s blog tours, I’ve been doubly blessed to become acquainted with the Heartwarming imprint and their series!

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Before I begin sharing my thoughts on this 11th installment,
let’s look back and re-visit what drew me into the style
and heart of Ms Lanigan’s writings:

Fire waits for no man. Neither does Ms Lanigan waste time settling us into the scene where a fire is slowly arching its way towards Beatrice and her youth camp. You feel as if you’ve travelled straight into the fire itself – seeing what Beatrice and her staff are seeing, dampening down your fears, swallowing your anxiety and acting on instinct to protect the children. In other words, Lanigan knits you so close to the reality of how fast a fire can erupt out of nowhere, you do not have time to pause to think about the implications because you feel as if she’s placed you squarely into Beatrice’s shoes and are living this nightmare in real-time.

The quickening pace to outwit a fire is quite real – you don’t have to rely on television series or films to know how dangerous a fire can become. Anyone who lives near a forest (which is let’s face it nearly most of us!) to any degree of acres knows how dire it is for rangers and keepers of the forest to maintain the vegetation and undergrowth during the dry seasons where moisture is absent and lightning is a devil’s wand of chaos which ignites within seconds of a strike. Though in truth, even controlled burns give my heart and chest a flutter of anxiety – if the wind were to shift or the burn itself were to outgrow its perimeter, whose to say what would become of the fire line?

Your heart goes out to Beatrice – she made a singular act of courage take on the higher proportions of risk associated with a fire when she made a desperate sprint into the forest where trees were exploding, pine cones were melting and two young boys were lost in the smoke and mayhem of the fire! I was drinking in the words at such a fast clip by that point, I had to slow down just to understand what was going to happen next! You really feel like your heart is in the fire, wondering how Beatrice and the boys can emerge alive and also, what the after effects of surviving the fire will have on her and them long term. Mostly though – your nerves are frayed and your emotionally connected to the story in such a way, you don’t dare pause longer than it takes to catch your breath!

By the time the fire is smoldering itself out of its fury, your still catching up to the fact Rand found Chris and Beatrice was in the ER nursing a badly broken foot! What you did notice though is Rand was able to get through to Chris in a way the camp counselors hadn’t and with that revelation, he knew Chris had a secret. The kind of secret I’d suspect no fireman wanted to keep for long and then, of course leads into a lovely foreshadow of what is yet to come – I liked how the layers were set early-on, how Lanigan gives you a glimpse of where she wants this story to go direction wise but holds back some of the key bits as well. She wants you to wait it out and see how it unfolds – taking it gently and allowing you to understand her characters without prejudgement.

As soon as you dig into Rescued by the Firefighter you almost think your reading a #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novel due to the wicked pacing, the high octane suspense (fire is never static nor predictable!) and the cleverness of how we’re inserted into the horrors of a raging wildfire! I literally felt at one point I would wheeze on the smoke!

I warmed to Rand quite quickly – he was frustrated by finding a child who hadn’t wanted his help nor his attention but there was something else in that moment of reckoning he spent with Chris. A murmur of a memory – a reflection of something he wasn’t quite explaining outright and it gave me the idea that Rand himself had either a past he didn’t want to talk about openly or he knew someone who had a past similar to Chris. It is interesting how those threads knit together – how two people are meant to meet and why their meant to be in each others lives; if only for a brief period of time.

-quoted from my review of Rescued by the Firefighter

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#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Hers to Protect” (Book No.11 of the Shores of Indian Lake series) by Catherine LaniganHers to Protect
Subtitle: Shores of Indian Lake
by Catherine Lanigan
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

She’s sworn to protect…

But does that include a speeding celebrity?

Violet Hawks is a by-the-books police officer—so when she catches a man speeding, she arrests him. Only, the man is famous race car driver Josh Stevens. To make amends, Josh launches a charm campaign, and it works on the small town…and on Violet. But when Josh is connected to an investigation, Violet begins to wonder—can she trust her instincts when her heart is involved?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510662

Also by this author: His Baby Dilemma, Rescued by the Firefighter, Home for Christmas

Also in this series: His Baby Dilemma, Rescued by the Firefighter, Home for Christmas


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Police Procedural, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 7th May, 2019

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 384

The Shores of Indian Lake series:

Shores of Indian Lake series collage provided by Prism Book Tours

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Previously I’ve read the following in the series:

His Baby Dilemma (book nine) | see also Review

Rescued by the Firefighter (book ten) | see also Review

(*) I’ve acquired a copy of “Sophie’s Path” to be read in conjunction with borrowing the rest of the series via inter-library loan

Note: Home for Christmas → forthcoming 12th novel this November!

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin Books

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions
which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #ShoresOfIndianLake and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Catherine Lanigan

Catherine Lanigan

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more.

Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.

Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort. Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.

Currently, she has published eight novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise, Fear of Falling, Sophie’s Path and Protecting the Single Mom. Family of His Own pubs July, 2016. She has recently contracted for one more in the series: His Baby Dilemma.

As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books.

She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.

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Author Notes to Readers:

I had intended to read the stories leading into His Baby Dilemma which would have included Family of His Own which ironically is connected to Hers to Protect! I wasn’t overly worried about not having read the former story – as although, my personal preference is reading serial fiction in sequence of order, Harlequin Heartwarming is one of the few imprints where I can trust the author to help me feel ‘current’ within their serials to where if I miss a book here or there, I’m able to compensate the distances in the latest release. This is one of the only series I’ve read out of sequence to the length I have as time has been a factor in limiting my abilities to get caught up with Indian Lake.

As an aside, having been able to complete the series Return of the Blackwell Brothers earlier this January and reading the Seasons of Alaska series this Spring – I was determined to read the Shores of Indian Lake series afterwards. Sadly, it was not meant to be – at least, not ahead of reading Hers to Protect – however, as Home for Christmas the 12th book in the series is due out this coming November, I am more confident I can read the series during the Summer & Autumn months!

my review of hers to protect:

You could feel the frustration Violet Hawks had within her – she was a rookie who wanted to make her mark on the force but in a way which would catapult her forward rather than keep her grounded in a small towne (such as Indian Lake); as she had goes to escape into a larger metropolis where her skills could be sharpened on more challenging cases. Except for the main concern hitting Midwestern small townes is the same as it is elsewhere (ironically or not) – the rise on drug runners and lines of distribution of said drugs is becoming a small towne issue rather than a big city trade. This is why local police and law enforcement have to think outside the box and rely on their detectives and officers to stay vigilant about enforcing the law in order to combat the complexities of erasing the drug trade from their region.

Being a woman who wants to advance in her field, you could almost feel the tension from Violet’s co-workers (all men) who did not wish to see her find traction on a case remotely of interest to their Chief. This is another keen example of Ruth Bader Ginsberg legacy case (showcasing “on the basis of sex”) wherein what is inherently wrong between the genders is a disillusion of equality and the fact most issues between men and women arise out of preferential treatment skewing inequality against the other.

One thing that irks my ire inasmuch as Violet’s are the people who think money and their own self-deducing sense of power can entitle them to just about anything they please. Thus, when you see how she arrests Josh for his outwardly poor choices in driving in excess of speeds past 200 mph – you can see why she made the choice to arrest his sorry butt than to debate the merits of his ironically self-inflated ego to compensate for said poor choices in driving speeds! You really want to rally behind Violet – not just for the flak she might be hedging to take once she’s back at HQ but for how she stood her ground, drove home her point in a decidedly calm manner of delivery and also didn’t let the county sheriff derail her effects to take-in a person who felt he was above the law.

You had to laugh really, how Josh didn’t check his conscience until after he spoke to his agent? If you flashback to the CARS sequence of films, even Lightning McQueen had to learn that life lesson! If all you do is coast through life on an ego trip and view everything as one entitled perk after another – then where do you draw the line? Josh Stevens is your typical celebrity racer who hasn’t learnt how to eat humble pie but something told me Violet Hawks was going to be part of the proverbial change in his inflated perspective of self.

In true Lanigan fashion, there is always something a bit extra bubbling beneath the surface of her characters – by the time you sort through the kind of childhood Josh Stevens had lived and the traumatic deaths he had endured from his family, you can see a margin of reason towards his recklessness now as an adult. It wasn’t an excuse for his choices but it was a reason of intention behind them which softened your ire against him. He wasn’t just a reckless driver for the benefit of the joy in the height of driving without limitations – there was more to it than that and this is what made him an interestingly flawed character to read about as the story evolved.

Ooh, my how the entanglements start to interweave themselves! Lanigan came up with a wicked clever and dearly complex back-story involving Josh and a former foster brother of his from his childhood – so much so, you are on pins awaiting to see how it will play out because unlike Josh, his foster brother had taken a different path in life which sought to cause more harm than good. It is this unique back-story of connection which anchours us into the present – how this interweaves directly into the case Violet Hawks is investigating is an ace of a presentation on Lanigan’s behalf because of how intricate the case has become to be seen from all the angles it affects.

There is a focus on how once you reach a certain status in your career as a professional driver (similar to a professional athlete) your status in the public eye is subjective to your personal life and the choices you make in your down-time. This is a good thing to include in a story of this nature as anyone who has a presence in the media or in the social spectrum of society has to think twice about how they present themselves or how their behaviour can have a negative impact on the field in which they are employed. For Josh Stevens this is only a glimpse of caution towards how his recklessness could cost him far more than the inconvenience of a court date – which I felt mirrored IRL events involving other cases by other celebrities who felt they were above and beyond the call of the law across a variety of infractions.

Mrs Beabots is the kind-hearted landlady you definitely wish you had in your life – not just for the random dinner parties and the kindnesses she gives to make you feel welcome as a neighbour but for how she proves that community begins with people reaching out to people. She is also the spearheaded visionary behind the new start-up non-profit to help the foster children in Indian Lake – which proves that sometimes a lot of change can begin with a singular act. She was the secondary character who stood out to me the most within the pages of Hers to Protect. I had a feeling the rest of the supporting cast were making re-appearances from previous stories – I eagerly await making their acquaintances as I journey back into the series lateron this year; however for now, it was Mrs Beabots who held my heart.

One of the reasons I love reading (or watching) police procedurals is how the cases are worked from the inside out. You can have a seemingly one layered case to solve but the more you dig into the particulars of what is involved the more complicated the whole thing becomes and this is what I was loving about the direction Hers to Protect was taking as it gave way to seeing how small townes are policing their communities with an edge of insight generally resolved for larger departments in larger cities.

Lanigan excells in giving you a feel for the track as Josh retakes his position as a driver in the high stakes racing renown for an Indianapolis race. Repleat with the dangers that go with racing in general – you can’t peel your eyes off the race even though your concern for Violet’s heart is on the line as well. There is a tempering of emotions between Violet and Josh which make sense since their both in new territory – her for bracing herself against a potentially attractive bloke who may or may not be involved in her current case whilst for Josh, the temptations for feeling smitten by anyone is new for a bloke whose tried to remain emotionally neutral for most of his life.

By the time this story concludes, you feel as hugged inside Indian Lake as your first visit – Lanigan has created a close-knit community where neighbours become extensions of your family and where friendships thrive against the backdrop of the love and warmth only a small towne can provide. I enjoyed watching how Josh grew out of the desperation he was facing as a racer – as a lot of what plagued him on the track was internal and emotionally dimensional to his past. He found a new lease on life in a place he would hardly have considered if life hadn’t intervened and that is what makes this such a sweet second chance romance – as it wasn’t a second chance relationship but rather of carving out your own niche of living in a place which took you by surprise.

On the Contemporary Heart-centred story styling of Catherine Lanigan:

Lanigan couldn’t have picked a better topic to explore – as it isn’t just the opioid crisis affecting small towne America but also the meth trade which starts to corrode the safety of small townes. Of course, on the flipside are the people who think the traffic laws are just ‘guidelines’ and don’t need to be followed – honestly, she couldn’t have picked a better novel to write than this one as it highlights how people are forgetting the beauty of a community is much more than the outside scenery but the heart of how people treat others within it. Even if your a visitor to a towne, check your ego and be respectful of the laws there as you would back home.

I personally am attracted to ‘found families’ and the concept of how families can become stitched together in unconventional ways. This is why I liked how Lanigan highlighted that just because you either a) lost your biological family early-on or throughout your life or b) never had the chance to build your own family as an adult doesn’t necessary negate the fact everyone needs family in their lives. This can be from friends who are closer than your blood connected relations or the eclectic people who have become more important to your life than those who are generally included in your biological past. For Josh Stevens, Lanigan showed how a former foster youth could develop close connections to those persons he choose to trust and come to love having involved in his life.

Notation about the Equality In Lit focus on foster care:

One of the key components of the story is the presence of wanting to begin a non-profit charity for foster care youth and their families. As a way of giving a leg up to the foster’s parents who are struggling to right the sails in their lives from a period of time where things began to unravel for them as a family. It is a blueprint for how a community centre could not just affect the lives of the youth but also directly impact (positively) their families who are in need of help from an outside source (or charity) who could inspire and proactively cause the change their lives need most.

As Josh Stevens has a direct connection to foster care and the social services therein there is a larger component of focus on foster care outside the scope of the charity one of the characters wants to undertake in her community of Indian Lake. Being a Prospective Adoptive Mum who wants to adopt youth and children out of domestic foster care in the future, I am constantly championing the authors like Catherine Lanigan who are writing stories which highlight the good, the bad and the benefits of foster care and adoption. There are places where foster care needs to be improved both for the fosters in the system and the families who want to adopt them (as it isn’t always a married couple who wants to give the children a home but also single parents and/or non-conventional families who are are also seeking adoption); stories like these help show the wide spectrum of issues but also the good tidings that also are present in both the system and/or the communities who strive to give back to those who need it most.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Hers to Protect blog tour via Prism Book Tours

End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book ToursBy clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

This review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com{SOURCES: Cover art of “Hers to Protect”, the synopsis for “Hers to Protect”, the author’s photo and biography, the Shores of Indian Lake collage banner as well as the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Foster Care, Indie Author, Modern Day, Orphans & Guardians, Police Procedural, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Services




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