Review: Defender by Gina Azzi

Rating 5/5
Steam 3/5
Trope: Nanny romance, single dad, Hockey Romance, Love through healing, close proximity, widower
Series: Boston Hawks Book #5
TW/CW: Grief, Loss of spouse, Loss of Pregnancy, past domestic abuse, anxiety/depression, divorce.

“I came to bring you home.”

I loved this latest addition to the Boston Hawks Hockey series. The Defender is James Ryan and Bella Matthews’s story. The emotions of this book are so big.  The love in this story is overwhelming and all encompassing.  The author has been teasing James’s story to us in the last few books and I could not wait to see who was going to bring love and light into his world. Single dad to twins Milly and Mason James lost his wife and first love to cancer 2 years previous.  

The Defender is a romance that shows the power of love and how loving the right person can truly heal your soul. 

The sparks were flying from the pages from the first chapters.  The author sucks you in with the moment that James meets Bella.  There are enough sexy scenes and chemistry to keep you engaged in their connection and help not get you to weighed down in the other emotions of the story.

Being nanny to James’s children is bittersweet for Bella. When she learns that her recent one-night stand is in fact her new boss she knows that life is about to become complicated. Bella is an amazingly strong character.   She trying to come terms with her own grief and loss.  She also realizes she can not do it alone. She needs help along the way.  The author does an phenomenal job at showing the importance of mental health and seeking help from others.

Both characters have emotional baggage, loss and grief to contend with.  James is part of a family with hockey and his late wife’s family, but all Bella has ever wanted was to be a part of something bigger than her.  The experience that James and Bella go through to get to their HEA is thick with emotions and chemistry. It has been a long time that a book has left such a huge mark on my heart.  This is book that shows us that your soul mate is who guards and protects your heart but is also the person who can hurt it the most.