Series: Badge of Honor
Also in this series: Justice for Corrie, Shelter for Elizabeth, Justice for Boone, Shelter for Adeline, Justice for Erin, Justice for Milena, Shelter for Blythe
Also by this author: Protecting Cheyenne (SEAL of Protection #5), Justice for Mackenzie (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes #1), Protecting the Future, Rescuing Rayne, Justice for Corrie, Shelter for Elizabeth, Rescuing Emily, Justice for Boone, Rescuing Harley, Shelter for Adeline, Marrying Emily, Claiming Grace, Rescuing Kassie, Protecting Kiera, Claiming Alexis, Rescuing Bryn, Justice for Erin, Claiming Bailey, Rescuing Casey, Claiming Felicity, Justice for Milena, Rescuing Sadie , Rescuing Wendy, Shelter for Blythe, Defending Allye, Defending Chloe, Securing Caite
She’s shy, he’s stoic…not the hardest personality traits to overcome, but Sophie Carson and Roman “Chief” Proudfit have their work cut out for them.
Sophie has a crush on the silent-but-studly firefighter next door. She’s been pining away silently while secretly helping the hardworking man by mowing his lawn—which he thinks is being done by her nonexistent husband and/or boyfriend. He’s definitely not big on neighborly chitchat, but with her stutter, that suits Sophie just fine. But now a misunderstanding at a bar has put him even further out of her reach.
Roman’s difficult upbringing on an Indian reservation is a sore spot, so when he thinks Sophie is taking advantage of poor people for medical trials at her workplace, he lets her know exactly what he thinks. But when he discovers he misunderstood, he’s man enough to admit it…and also that he should have opened his eyes to his beautiful, sensitive neighbor sooner.
As the couple gets closer, each helping the other overcome lifelong pains, for the first time in years, Roman has something to live for other than his job. And, as he discovers when Sophie puts herself in danger, something even bigger to lose…
** Shelter for Sophie is the 8th book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.
Susan Stoker is one of my automatic one click authors because of her characters. Stoker writes characters that are unique and she doesn’t shy away from that uniqueness in the story to start dialogue. In Protecting Kiera, the hero was hearing impaired. In Shelter for Sophie, both characters have a uncommon character trait and I adored both!
Sophie has a stutter. As one would expect, it has made her a bit shy and withdrawn. However, I thought that Stoker’s approach was great because the stutter didn’t define Sophie or her character. It was a plot device only in so much as it has shaped Sophie’s life to this point. Stoker didn’t make it a huge area of conflict and strife, which I appreciated. Her kindness had tears streaming down my face pretty much the entire story. She didn’t come off as showy in her kind deeds; she wasn’t doing it to get accolades. Her kind heart extended to all kinds of people she encountered and it was genuine. It really did make me so emotional because she is the type of person I wish I was more often.
Chief is Native American. I was fascinated by the cultural aspects Stoker included that helped the reader understand Chief as a person. It didn’t come off as stereotypical or cliched and I am always concerned that when an author makes a bold decision like this, it could be offensive. I thought it was great that Sophie didn’t tell Chief his believes were ridiculous. When he is explaining that he feels he has evil spirits in him and must go back to the reservation for a ceremony, Sophie doesn’t tell him that its crazy to believe that, or that it isn’t true. I found Sophie’s support to be appropriate and comforting without being condescending. It made me think about my own beliefs. Catholics believe some things that others don’t and that some people find disturbing or weird. However, being part of a major world religion, being mocked for my beliefs doesn’t happen frequently. However, I imagine what it would be like if someone told me that going to confession was like witchcraft and it doesn’t work. If someone mocked me for having faith in something, it would be hurtful, especially if it was a person I cared about. So, I thought this was a fascinating aspect of the characters.
However, Sophie’s stutter and Chief’s heritage weren’t the story. Like I said, Stoker doesn’t use these things as plot tropes. So, the story revolved around these two building their relationship, getting to know each other, understanding their past and how it has shaped them. There is some danger and conflict, but it isn’t manufactured simply to have conflict. It feels organic and real. Stoker has written a beautiful, character driven story that will keep you reading!
Stoker also begins to introduce us to some future characters that I am VERY excited about! Quinn, who works with Sophie, is fascinating and I can’t wait to hear more about her. And I am super intrigued by Blythe’s story and how she ended up homeless. To say I am glad Stoker writes books fast is a HUGE understatement because if I wasn’t getting a book a month from her, I would have serious withdrawals. She is THAT good of an author in my opinion.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: yes
- Trope: firefighter, opposites attract
- Triggers: View Spoiler »Sophie was abused as a child by her stepfather. « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone (part of an interconnected series, but can totally be read as a standalone)
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler