The Defender by Gina Azzi

Please check the trigger warnings before reading this book as there are some sensitive topics and subject matter.  

This latest book in the Boston Hawks series is the story of James Ryan and Bella Andrews.  We have gotten snippets of James’ situation and state of mind in previous books, and I was anxious for his story to be told. James lost his wife after a battle with cancer leaving him the single father to twins, Milly and Mason. To say he has been consumed by grief after his loss is an understatement.  His grief was not only palpable in this book but in the previous books, and my heart broke for James.  With the season starting again, James is in desperate need of a nanny for his twins.  Bella Andrews comes highly recommended by a friend. Bella has experienced her own loss that has emotionally gutted her. Bella is hoping she is able to help the James family move through their grief all while healing herself and protecting her heart.

It has been a long time since a book has stuck with me in the way that this one has.  It was raw, emotional, and so beautiful.  Love after loss is hard, but Gina had a beautiful way of telling James and Bella’s story. This pair comes to each other with their own set of loss, hurts, and ways of protecting themselves against further loss and hurt.  This is a story of finding your person, creating trust and building the life that you’ve longed for.  Their love was beautiful, hard fought, and so well deserved. 

This was an emotional read that was 100% worth it….just make sure that you have kleenex handy because you will need them! I will be honest and say that I have really struggled to write a review that gave this book the credit it deserves, without giving away the best parts of this book. This is definitely a book that will sit on your heart for a long time because you will fall in the love with Bella, James, Milly and Mason.