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Sons of Texas #2

The Protector

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When Marine Force Recon captain Cullen Loughman learns that his father’s been kidnapped, he will do whatever it takes to find him. In order to achieve his mission, Cullen will need to team up with the best of the best—someone who just happens to be the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on…

This isn’t the first rodeo for ex—Air Force pilot Mia Carter. Still, Cullen’s bad-boy good looks and charm are distracting her from duty. . .and it appears that the feeling is mutual. As Mia and Cullen make their descent into a dark, dangerous world, their attraction reaches the boiling point. But is their desire worth the risk when a ruthless enemy is waiting in the wings—or will their Lone Star love conquer all?

304 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 3, 2017

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About the author

Donna Grant

245 books4,300 followers
Donna is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a hundred novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

In addition to her novels, Donna has written short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.

She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.

Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.

Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80 pound dog, Sisko, or her three cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore with her children. Or buying makeup. And shoes.

You an find her at www.DonnaGrant.com
as well as her website devoted entirely to the Dragon Kings and all series that encompass the Dark World at www.MotherOfDragonsBooks.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 164 reviews
Profile Image for Claire.
2,304 reviews704 followers
February 4, 2017
4 - Things weren't looking good for the Loughmans... Stars!

Book two of Donna Grant’s Sons of Texas Series, proceeds with the theme of the story in general in that the Loughman brothers are searching for their kidnapped father, whilst trying to deal with the Russians their father stole the bio-weapon from and a group called The Saints, who also want it.

"Are all you Texas boys so chivalrous?"
"Afraid so, darlin’. It’s in the water."

But The Protector specifically gives us Cullen Loughman’s story, as everything in the bigger picture plays out and develops further. Cullen the youngest of the Loughman brothers, has always felt himself separate from his brothers Wyatt and Owen, because of the fact they were the ones who found their mother murdered, but kept him away from it, the rift that murder caused in the Loughman family went deep and has been growing for years. The brothers coming together to search for their father opens a lot of old wounds and I found it really poignant when Cullen went through everything with Mia in relation to that time. Because although he knows deep down that his brothers were doing what was best for him, it also made him feel terribly isolated and alone at the same time.

He wasn’t nearly finished with her. And he was beginning to suspect that he never would be...

The story as before is told from several points of view, I like that Donna included Orrin in this because you get to see how everything is playing out from that perspective of the story as well, the only thing I found a little odd was the fact that most of Cullen’s book runs concurrently with Owens, but Orrins seems to pick up from where it finished in book one... Wyatt and Callie are up next so hopefully everything will run together again from that point on.

"We get just enough information to tease us, but never more... Every layer we pull back exposes dozens more."

This is by no means a filler book, but I did find it a little slower to get moving than the first book, in saying that though I enjoyed it a little more than book one, as we are given more information on Ragnarok, and what it can do, as well as more of an in depth look at some of the villains in the story.

"I want to know all your secrets..."
"We all have secrets."

Mia and Cullens relationship goes from eye-fucking to actual fucking pretty quickly once they admit they are attracted to each other, but I think seeing the vulnerable side of Cullen and the trust the grew between them as they each gave up bits of their pasts and the secrets they were keeping, stopped it from feeling too ‘insta’.

"You’re the type of woman a man looks for to spend his life with."

Wyatt’s up next in The Legend, due for release in late June, seeing as I have no idea how the author intends to finish this series, and everything still being very much up in the air, I am looking forwards to reading it. There is also a potential love interest for Orrin introduced in this book, so I wonder if that will have more development to it as well going forwards, either way I am still very much interested and intrigued.

ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Profile Image for Cami.
1,293 reviews68 followers
September 27, 2019
4.25 Stars!!

This second book picks up right were the first one ended. This book is about Cullen Loughman who is the youngest of the brothers an Mia Carter who is a former Air Force pilot. It follows their journey in seeking out the kidnappers and trying to find out what they are after and who they are exactly.

I don’t really want to say much but if you like a military/black op type book with a bit of romance in it this is the series for you. It is full of action, suspense and a mystery of trying to figure out who is behind it and why everything is happening.
Profile Image for 1-Click Addict Support Group.
3,749 reviews441 followers
August 29, 2017
Top notch adrenaline-fueled romance…

More Sons of Texas! The plot thickens as the Loughman family’s story continues with even more danger, suspense and heated romance. The character development is perfect as we learn much more about Cullen and find out what is, and drives, Mia’s life and actions. These were characters with depth and heart that were going to get into a heap of trouble, together…

“She was a strong, capable woman, blazing her trail in a male-dominated world. And she was doing a hell of a job.”

And Mia was just THAT! She loved to fly and needed to do some fancy flying to save herself as well as a good friend. She and Cullen made a great pair as they fed off each other’s strengths even as they didn’t quite see eye to eye on everything. She was tough but warm and compassionate, meeting every challenge head on, causing Cullen to double-take not only at her beauty but her. Mia had a way about her that drew him, as well as others, to her quiet confidence and steadfast loyalty. There were surprises around every dangerous corner and curve making this an adrenalin-fueled, “no cookie cutter romance here” read.

“He’d saved her life. And now she was going to save his.”

I loved this story which had a fast pace filled with all the goodies! Ex-military, current military, tough guys, bad guys that were kind of good and good guys that had the right kind of bad – in other words, oh my! Throw in women who can hold their own, wrap that around a heart-fluttering romance and this read had it all! The family drama continues, and so does the suspense as the series plot is far from over. I. CANNOT. WAIT! ~Diane, 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,760 reviews793 followers
February 9, 2023
The Protector is the 2nd installment in the "Sons of Texas" series. I was first drawn to this series by the covers, I just love how patriotic they feel. But I have to say that this book completely blew me away, I loved it so much more than the first book. I think part of it is that this one wasn't in audiobook format. I think reading this series physically is just best for me currently.

So The Protector is part of a series that NEEDS to be read in order. You aren't going to want to read this out of order, as this is intense world building that will make more sense to read these books in order.I absolutely adored The Protector, it just clicked off all the boxes for me especially for a romantic suspense. I won't reveal too much about the story itself though, however, lets speak on the impressions this story left to me first.

What I enjoyed most was the actual team playing between our main protagonists. the way that they connect together and just click with each other is just magic. I just felt that tight bond between them instantly. The chemistry between them is instant but I like the way their romance was developed. It was pretty well balanced with the actual plot building of the story itself. If you are suspense fans, then this story is really going to work for you.

Overall, I found The Protector to be a kick ass romance that just had me in my feels and the intensity was dramatic, wonderfully portrayed and delivered on a sexy edge which packs a punch!
Profile Image for Ezi Chinny.
2,518 reviews414 followers
January 11, 2017
3.5 stars.

In book 2, the action picks right up from where book 1 ended and should definite be read AFTER book 1. The Loughman sons are still trying to find their dad Orrin, but the author is revealing more of Orrin’s character. Again, I am baffled as to how everyone loves Orrin, except for the people who should hold him closest to heart. But his three sons are working together to locate him and protect the biological weapon Orrin secreted away.

This installment focus on the youngest brother, Cullen, who is a marine force recon captain. It was revealed in book one that Cullen wasn’t close to Wyatt and Owen because they kept him out of the loop during the tragic event that changed their lives. So as the brothers formulated their plan to find their dad, Cullen was tasked with talking to the pilot who was one of the last people to see Orrin before he was taken. When Cullen met Mia, the ex-Air Force pilot, he felt an instant pull to her. But his gut also told him that she was hiding something. Cullen set out to figure out what Mia was hiding and if it was connected to his father abduction.

I liked this story as much as I liked book one. The pace was similar and plot was just as intriguing. The readers finally learned what the biological weapon is and the devastation it can possible wreck on the general population. IT IS BAD!!! Thus, the Loughman brothers resolved to make sure the secret organization, the Saints, do not regain possession of the formulated bio-agent by splitting up. I also like the idea that each brother is taking their own journey towards their father and hopefully towards reconciliation.

Cullen appeared to be the less angry brother and Mia was a great match for him. She was smart, brave and resourceful. She could hold her own so Cullen respected her contributions to the mission. He also seemed to settle somethings that have been weighing on his mind regarding his family’s fragmented relationship and his future as a military officer. Cullen and Mia had chemistry and work well together, so the romance was pleasurable. The action continued and the author fleshed out the enemy a little more. I am still looking forward to getting more illumination on the Saint and in extension, the people who betrayed Orrin.

We learned more about Orrin and I enjoyed the action regarding his captivity more than Cullen and Mia’s road to romance. The author also set up a subplot romance between Orrin and the doctor Donna who was treating him while he was held prisoner. This second book also ended in a cliffhanger and I look forward to the next book in the series.

*Special Thanks to St. Martin Press via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,061 reviews141 followers
June 14, 2017
The Sons of Texas Series by Donna Grant has grand aspirations. With the names "The Hero", "The Protector" and "The Legend" you think you are in for some really special reading. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out that way, at least for me. This is a serial and each book is tightly connected, so reading in order is mandatory or don't even bother.

The plot arc for the three books starts with dad, Orrin, a Black Ops type, who was kidnapped after stealing a bioweapon from Russia by a clandestine shadow organization, The Saints. His three estranged sons are each Spec Ops types and are ordered to get the weapon and turn it over. Daddy dear did a slight of hand and secured the weapon before his team is murdered and he is kidnapped. Orrin is a warrior and a great guy who inspires everyone around him, except his sons. The think he is the reason their mom was murdered. The sons need to find him anyway.

This time we have Cullen, the Marine Force Recon youngest son, on a mission to the last place dad was known to be, Dover AFB. Cullen has mixed feelings about his family. After his mom died, life was never the same and his oldest brother changed dramatically. He is the king of one night stands and really believes that all women are expendable. He has finally met his match in Mia.

Mia Carter, the pilot who flew Orrin and his team to Russia to steal their bioweapon, is quite a character. Not at all what you would expect as a heroine, especially when her history and actions are not heroic at all. She loses a shipment for the Columbians to a customs inspection, this time it was exotic animals. She took the job because the pay was good and she was trying to obtain information that would help he find Orrin. She and Cullen, Orrin's son, ended up killing them. She is not one for a fling, but is all but undressing Cullen by page 7. Later we learn that she has had past, very profitable, dealings with Yuri, a Russian Major General and a shady character. She is independent and walked away from her family and it's fortune, yet has no trouble making money the illegal, immoral, unethical and treasonous way. Makes you wonder about things. I know that she is going to be redeemed by the end of the book, but by page 100, I just don't care.

I did finish the book and after a awful beginning, it turned into a fairly good romantic-suspense story. The romance heated up, the characters developed, somewhat, and the action was fantastic.
Profile Image for Ayekah.
1,107 reviews
November 25, 2016
This book picks up where Book One, Hero left us. Lots of questions. Here we meet Cullen, Orrin's youngest son who is a Captain in the Marine Corp, Recon. Cullen left for Virginia in book one and the we pick up here where he meets Mia Carter, ex Air Force and a fierce pilot and one tough nut. She's got an arsenal of weapons and can handle herself well. They meet on a mission gone wrong where Cullen bails her out and the two of them head back to Dover. Cullen knows Mia knows his father, she flew the mission he went missing on.
This book takes us through all the suspense and deceit. The twists and turns. Yuri and Orrin, who are old friends. We see Sergei up close and personal and how he helps Mia. He also warns Cullen to take care of her, which he has every intention of. They're being hunted for most of the book, by a group called the Saints. The end game is to recover the bio weapon that is safe and secure thanks to Orrin.
These two steam up the bed, shower and floor a few times and wow is it hot! Nice going Donna. That's some serious steam and Cullen is incredible. Mia talks and asks questions, Cullen actually listens and responds. Such a rare man!!! I loved this book and actually loved it more than book one.
It does end on a cliffy, some things are partially resolved, we still don't know the good guys and the bad guys and how widespread this group is. One thing for sure, we know where Mia and Cullen are.
Next up is Wyatt, the oldest and coldest of the sons and Callie. That one should be an interesting book! I can't wait to read it.
This is really a great series, it's got it all. I definitely recommend it.

**advanced reader copy from Net Galley and St Martins Press Publisher***
Profile Image for Mindy Lou's Book Review.
2,645 reviews613 followers
January 1, 2017
3.5 Stars

The Protector is book two in a continued story. I have not read book one but was not lost, however a lot happened in this book to further the overall story so I do not think you could read book 3 as a standalone. Each book is focused on one of the Loughman brothers but there is an overall big picture going on involving the government and a shadow organization. This is heavy on the suspense and so full of action that you will not be bored. I do wish the romance part of the story was more. I cared more about the conspiracy than I did about Mia and Cullen. I do prefer a stronger connection with the MC's but I can't fault the suspense. There is violence but no rape in book 2. The next book will focus on Wyatt, the oldest brother. ARC provided by NetGalley.
Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
6,924 reviews820 followers
February 1, 2017
Amanda's Review:

The Protector by Donna Grant picks where book 1 leaves us and continues with the youngest son, Cullen Loughman searching for his kidnapped father. He wants to speak with the last person who saw him and that means finding Mia Carter, the ex-Air Force pilot who flew Orrin on his mission to Russia, to steal a bioweapon. Mia can’t figure out who to trust these days ever since Orrin’s team was killed execution style in her hangar. She wants to find Orrin as much as Cullen. Joining forces they figure they have a fighting chance together and hopefully beat the odds against them.

Donna Grant has done it again and written a good suspense thriller that captured my attention from beginning to end. She slowly revealed more to the overarching plot of the series, as well as to write an action-filled story for main characters Mia and Cullen. The moment they meet each other, they are attracted to the other and feel a strong chemistry between them. Between the danger and the bad people searching for them, they manage to find time to act on that attraction and shock each other how right it feels when they are together, and wonder how this could be happening now. The story is heavy on the suspense but there is a definite heat level to the romance side of the story. Both Mia and Cullen want more but can’t figure if the other wants it as much as they do themselves.

Mia and Cullen are developed characters and you want them to come out on top when all this is said and done. For so long each of them has put their job and career ahead of all else and put their personal life on the back burner. This second story gives you a better idea on who the bad guys are and who the Loughman’s are fighting against in order to find and free their father. The story definitely had a few twist and turns and it whets my appetite for book 3, Wyatt’s story. June can’t come soon enough.

Review copy given for a voluntary review.
Profile Image for Adria's Musings.
844 reviews40 followers
February 15, 2017
Originally posted on Adria's Romance Reviews
* A copy of this book was and provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. All conclusions are my own responsibility and I was not compensated for this review.

What’s it About? The action and suspense continues with Cullen Loughman. His father has been kidnapped and in order to find him, Cullen has to team up with ex-Air Force pilot Mia Carter. With the situation getting more and more dangerous each minute, their attraction to one another is inconvenient and could put them in even more danger.

Describe the hero in five words: Stubborn. Charming. Skilled. Cocky. Intelligent.

Did you like him? Yes.

Why? Cullen wasn’t as bitter as his two brothers but he had his own share of resentment towards his father. What I loved about him (and even his brothers) was that no matter what problems he had with his father it wasn’t going to stop him from doing whatever he had to in order to rescue him. I felt like Cullen was easier to get to know than his brother Owen. Cullen was definitely more humorous and had a fun side to him that gave him that extra dose of likability. His selling point to me though was his ability to not only acknowledge Mia as a fully capable partner but to depend on her when it was clear she had the better information. So far Cullen’s less intense personality paired with his undeniable charm makes him the favorite Loughman.

Describe the heroine in five words: Skilled. Snarky. Stubborn. Capable. Kind.

Did you like her? Yes.

Why? Mia quickly proved her ability to look after herself in a dangerous situation but she also knew when she needed help. I loved that about her but it was also her vulnerable side that got me. Here is this rough and tough woman who has seen and done a lot but she’s also this kind hearted woman who doesn’t want to get her heart stomped on. Mia had a good balance between her Air Force training and her empathy as a person. She was kind of impossible not to like.

How convincing were the main characters as a couple? Cullen and Mia had the chemistry between them to build a believable connection and while they did work their way towards that enviable romance, I felt like they didn’t quite make it. To me it felt like some parts of the evolution of the romance were either missing or happened “off page.”

Is there a “Scooby Gang” worth mentioning? The Protector along with the previous book and I’m assuming the last book all take place at the same time and the brothers have split up to throw off the enemy so the scenes with them together are few and far between.

How “Lost” did you get in the story? The Protector had a great pace to it but was a little slow to get to the heart of the plot. The suspense and mystery was there the whole time though which is what kept me going during those times where there was a bit of a lull in anything happening. Donna Grant did such a good job keeping me interested in the bigger picture spanning all three books and while some questions were answered, I feel that the biggest ones are yet to come to light in Wyatt’s book. As with the first book though, I felt that the romance suffered in favor of the action and suspense elements, but there was an insight into the Loughman family dynamics and a general explanation as to why Cullen seems to be the more happy go lucky of the three brothers. I have to mention that while Cullen and Mia do get a HEA, the bigger plot is still unresolved, probably so that Wyatt’s book can be the closer on the Orrin/The Saints conflict.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. The mystery of Orrin’s disappearance, the brothers’ rocky relationship with him, and of course the battle between the Loughmans and the bad guys is more than enough to keep readers interested.

Profile Image for E-Reader Addict.
1,014 reviews38 followers
March 16, 2017
So, it took me two weeks to finish this book. And it's not that I didn't do any reading these past two weeks - I did. I just did a lot of re-reading...because I just couldn't get into this book.

The Protector is a continuation of Donna Grant's Sons of Texas series. In The Hero, we are introduced to the three Loughmann brothers, Owen, Cullen and Wyatt, who all serve in different special ops programs for the military. They are called home when the aunt and uncle who helped raise them are murdered and their father Orrin, who runs a black ops team, goes missing after a highly classified mission. The brothers decide to split up (taking a woman along with them, of course!) so they can cover more ground in their investigation, and also to make them a more difficult target for their enemies. The Hero was about Owen, and The Protector is about Cullen.

I didn't have very high expectations for this book. The first story was slow and didn't hold my interest. It took me 12 days to read the first 15 chapters of The Protector, because this book also started off extremely slow. I will say the dialogue was much better in this book, though. However, somewhere around the middle of the book the action started to pick up and I was finally able to get interested in the story!

As I said in my review for The Hero, I'm not sure why some books work for me and others don't, especially when the book has plot elements I usually like. The Protector almost didn't work for me. But I went from "there's no way I'm reading the third and final book in this series - I don't care if Orrin gets rescued and they save the world from the bioweapon" to "okay, maybe I do want to find out how the story ends."

There are still some issues I had with this book, most notably the editing errors. I'm getting used to seeing editing errors in ebooks - but I was reading an actual paperback copy this time! There were several missing words, and missing quotation marks at the beginning of what should be in quotes. But overall, I think The Protector is a much better written story than The Hero, and I find myself mildly curious about how The Sons of Texas series will end. And I didn't think I'd be feeling that way at all!
Profile Image for Alisa.
1,768 reviews174 followers
February 12, 2017
3.5 stars

I had only read this author's paranormal books so I wasn't sure how this was going to be. I'm glad to say that I thought this was a good romantic suspense series. I didn't read book one but I feel like I should have (& I'm going to do so before book 3). The overall plot was continued from book one and it's a bit complicated (not in a bad way and not too hard to understand....just layered). Cullen is one the Loughman brothers who are looking for their missing father. While trying to find his father, Cullen meets Mia, a pilot who appears to be hiding something.

The two are attracted to each and a romance builds while the events of the story unfold. I liked Mia a lot and she was a well done heroine. She was smart and calm and resourceful. Cullen was respectful of her opinion and abilities and while being a strong male character he was not the dreaded (at least for me) alpha-hole.

I enjoyed this book a lot and found the plot and characters engaging and entertaining. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley**
Profile Image for Laura.
2,241 reviews106 followers
December 27, 2016
***ARC Provided by the Publisher and NetGalley***

Reviewing this book without spoilers is, well, impossible. I have no idea how to do this. None.

So, what I can say...it picks up where the first left off, while also paralleling the events in the first, so you know what was happening concurrently to the first one.

I enjoyed Mia and Cullen. Their story was interesting and their relationship was compelling. I believed the heat and the tension between them and was drawn into their story, into their attraction, to one another.

The characters were interesting and reacted as you think they should (with no personal experience in a mess like they are in, I can only say it seemed real to me) and they were authentic.

The writing was strong. Some of the Orrin parts of the story dragged a little bit and while they advanced the story, I thought they could have been, possibly, a little shorter. But at the same time, the book worked overall.

It is a cliffhanger. Sort of. Mia and Cullen's story is finished, mostly, when it comes to their relationship...but the story is definitely a to be continued for the resolution of the major story that drew them all together.

I will definitely be reading the next in the series. I recommend this book.

***This and other reviews also featured on “I’m A Sweet and Sassy Book Whore” http://www.imasweetandsassybookwhore.com***
Profile Image for Ann.
1,754 reviews26 followers
January 12, 2017
Fast paced bk but I was wrong to think I could read the 2nd bk in the series rather than starting with bk 1. Sinc bk 2 got a better rating than the 1st bk I thought why not? Just assumed that with a new couple it wouldn't matter that it was bk 2. Wrong! Although the couples change in each bk the story is a continuing one and to know what the heck is really going on with the suspense part of the story you really need to start with bk 1. I got caught up in the action and eventually got the gist but lots of loose ends. I'll need to go back and read the first bk to understand it all. The romance was enjoyable but not the biggest part of the story and not nearly enough of the couple before the story ends suddenly. Intriguing enough to have me go back to bk 1 to see how this whole thing started. Kind of reminds me of a Cindy Gerard romantic suspense.
Profile Image for Jenny Jo Weir.
1,545 reviews77 followers
December 31, 2019
Again, I thought this would be a little better than it actually was, but I’m a sucker for military romance so I’m going to keep on with the series and stick it out. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s a good book! I was just expecting a little more. Good book overall.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Neal.
1,642 reviews129 followers
June 29, 2017
**4.5 Stars**

**Disclaimer: I strongly recommend reading book one, The Hero, first. But, just in case, in a nutshell, three brothers, all in different branches of the military, Wyatt, Owen, and Cullen, have mysteriously been sent home. That is when they learn their dad, Orrin, has been kidnapped, his entire team killed, and their uncle and aunt murdered. Orrin, former military himself, had started his own team of Black Ops members. This series contains an overall plotline encompassing each book as the three men, along with the women they fall for, work together to rescue their dad, hopefully make amends once they do, and find justice for their lost loved ones.**

We, of course, met Cullen in book one, The Hero. He's the youngest, and a Marine?. We were also introduced to Mia, a former Air Force pilot, who has previously flown Orrin and his team, becoming a trusted friend of Orrin's in the process, to numerous missions, including the one resulting in Orrin's kidnapping and the death of all of his men. The three Loughman sons decided the best course of action was to separate. Not only for safety reasons, but also as a divide and conquer method to accomplish all they need to. Cullen's assignment is to meet with Mia, the last person to see his dad.

When Cullen first encounters Mia, he's mesmerized by her skills, fighting that is, as she's doing a good job of defending herself against the men surrounding her. However, she is outnumbered and Cullen steps in to help.

Mia probably should've listened to Sergei's, a Russian mob leader she's done business with over the years who's come to think of her like a daughter, advice when he warned her not to get involved with the Colombians. But, she needed the possible connection to help locate Orrin. Even if he hadn't once saved her from a dangerous situation, a fate worse than death to be honest, she still would do everything she could for him. That's what friends do. She's heard a lot about Orrin's sons from him over the years, and there's something about Cullen that's always intrigued her.

As Cullen and Mia begin working together, the trust between them begins building slowly. The chemistry between them is anything but though. It's intense and both try to fight it, albeit for different reasons. Also, and this surprises Cullen the most, she helps him see his dad, and oldest brother, Wyatt's, actions  over the years in a different light. The family hasn't, and understandably so, been the same since the murder of their wife and mother when the boys were young. Unfortunately, they haven't gotten her justice yet, but they will.

Cullen and Mia discover this whole situation goes a lot deeper, and higher, than anyone expected. Those they thought could be trusted are now cause for suspicion. Mia is in danger, as is Cullen. Every lead seems to be a dead end, sometimes literally. Throughout it all, the connection between Cullen and Mia is growing stronger, making it even harder to resist...so they don't. Both know they've discovered something special, even if they haven't actually acknowledged it yet, even to themselves.

Will Cullen and Mia get any closer to finding Orrin? Is Orrin as alone as believed? Or does he have an unexpected ally? Will Cullen continue fighting his feelings for Mia? Or will he accept that she's the only one for him? Will Mia trust in Cullen's love for her? Has Orrin, at a dangerous point in his life, possibly found a second chance at happiness? Will Orrin, Wyatt, Owen, and Cullen have the opportunity to reconcile their differences and become a true family again?

One-click now and follow along as the story continues to save a man and possibly reunite a family, all while love is being renewed and/or discovered for all four of the Loughmans. I'm looking forward to Wyatt and Callie's story next. I'm anxious to discover what happened between them and if they can find their way to one another again.

On a purely personal note, though we aren't given the impression that Cullen is a manwhore, I did get a little tired of the references to him only being with a woman once, having no trouble walking away from previous lovers, etc. Yes, I get that it was setting the stage for making his feelings and time with Mia special because of that difference, and showing us how he backed away from any commitment in the past because of losing his mom, but the number of times it was mentioned weren't needed. No, approximately five isn't a lot, but you really only need one and the second could reinforce this, but any after that are unnecessary and beginning to veer toward disrespectful toward Mia. Stop "thinking" about your sexual history, even in general, while with and falling for this woman that's going to be your one true love.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.**
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,315 reviews157 followers
January 4, 2017
4 stars

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 3, 3017


When Marine Force Recon captain Cullen Loughman learns that his father’s been kidnapped, he will do whatever it takes to find him. In order to achieve his mission, Cullen will need to team up with the best of the best—someone who just happens to be the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on…

This isn’t the first rodeo for ex—Air Force pilot Mia Carter. Still, Cullen’s bad-boy good looks and charm are distracting her from duty. . .and it appears that the feeling is mutual. As Mia and Cullen make their descent into a dark, dangerous world, their attraction reaches the boiling point. But is their desire worth the risk when a ruthless enemy is waiting in the wings—or will their Lone Star love conquer all?


REVIEW: THE PROTECTOR is the second installment in Donna Grant’s contemporary, adult THE SONS OF TEXAS romantic suspense series focusing on the Loughman brothers-Navy SEAL Owen; eldest brother Delta Force Colonel Wyatt, and youngest brother/Marine Force Recon Captain Cullen- and their Navy SEAL / Black Ops father Orrin Loughman. This is Cullen Loughman, and former Air Force pilot Mia Carter’s story line. THE PROTECTOR can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as each installment continues upon the events of the previous story line as the brothers search for their missing father.

SOME BACKGROUND: While on assignment overseas, all three Loughman brothers are called home to Texas to discover that their beloved Aunt and Uncle have been murdered, and their Navy SEAL father Orrin is missing. The US government has tasked the brothers in locating their Black Ops agent; and the retrieval of a biological weapon known as Ragnarok.

Told from three third person perspectives (Cullen, Mia and Orrin) THE PROTECTOR picks up immediately and runs parallel to some of the events of book one continuing the search for Orrin Loughman, and the people involved in the patriarch’s torture and abduction. Cullen Loughman is the youngest sibling and as such was protected from much of their father’s earlier life, and their mother’s brutal murder; but Cullen is determined to uncover the whereabouts of the man he hasn’t spoken to in a very long time. Enter Mia Carter, Orrin’s special mission pilot, and the woman with whom Cullen will fall in love. What ensues is the search for Orrin Loughman, and Cullen and Mia’s attempts to stay one step ahead of the Columbian Cartel, the Russian special forces army, and the US government.

The relationship between Cullen and Mia is one of immediate attraction but Cullen is all about locating and rescuing his missing father. Not one to easily trust, Cullen suspects Mia knows more than she is willing to admit perhaps to the point of being involved in Orrin’s capture. The sexual attraction and tension is palpable; the push and pull of sexual energy is heightened on the run with the search for Orrin Loughman. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive.

The world building continues to focus on a biological weapon now in the possession of the Loughman family; and the hunt for Orrin Loughman before it is too late. Throughout the series the reader is taken behind the scenes to Orrin’s location as a he suffers to protect his family and country.

All of the previous story line characters (Owen and Natalie, Wyatt, Callie, and Orrin) continue to play secondary and supporting roles. Major General Yuri Markovic returns as Orrin’s captor; General Davis knows his time is limited: and Dr. Kate Donnelly takes a special interest in Orrin Loughman. I am hoping for a story line or novella between Orrin and Kate. There are a large number of Russian military and covert agents, as well as the many faces of the requisite evil including a multi-national organization known as The Saints.

THE PROTECTOR is a complex story of romance, action, suspense and adventure involving secret agencies, espionage, biological warfare, and government lies. The premise is engaging and intelligent; the characters are colorful, passionate and animated; the romance is provocative and encouraging. THE PROTECTOR is an exciting and imaginative installment in Donna Grant’s SONS OF TEXAS romantic, suspense series.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Profile Image for Deanna from Deanna's World.
780 reviews47 followers
July 25, 2017
The Protector continues where The Hero leaves off, with the youngest Loughman brother taking centre stage and he continues the hunt for their missing father, Orrin. The story is filled with action, mystery and sexual tension and Cullen and Mia battle enemies, not knowing who they can trust while simultaneously fighting their growing attraction.

What I enjoy most about this story is the overall story arc of Orrin missing and the brothers reconnecting. The brothers have been torn apart my tragedy early in their lives and while they love and care for each other, they have gone their separate ways, carving their own lives and careers, while being estranged from their father.

I loved Orrin's part of the story in the few chapters that featured him. They were probably the most interesting because I felt heavily invested in what was happening to him.

I also loved Cullen's heartache and regret in this story as he examines his feelings for his brothers and his father. The more I learn about the Loughman brothers, the more invested I am in their happiness. I feel like the story is building into a huge family reconciliation particularly with Cullen learning aspects of his father he didn't know from Mia and discovering he's regretted missing it.

I loved both Mia and Cullen together too. Cullen is your typical skilled, tough, military guy and Mia is every inch his match in daring, skill and attitude.

The opening scene when Cullen first encounters Mia when she is facing a tough situation shows off how capable Mia is of taking care of herself and holding her own in a fight with the bad guys.

Of course, Cullen is no slouch either. There's a particular scene after they have been pursued by the bad guys where Cullen's toughness shines through. He's also incredibly protective of Mia while accepting and knowing Mia is strong and able to look after herself.

Mia doesn't need protecting but she's not a ball buster either. She allows Cullen to take the lead when is makes sense to do so, but she's an equal contributor and she holds her own. At the same time, Mia has a soft caring core to her and it's wonderful the way she encourages Cullen to open up and voice his feelings while sharing her own.

In every way, Mia and Cullen are well matched. I was very happy when they finally confessed their feelings to each other even though I wondered about the timing. Perhaps it was the danger they were in and the excess of adrenalin running through them that spurred the confession on.

My only gripe with this story is the fact that Ms Grant didn't have the "safe sex talk" between Mia and Cullen when they first made love. It surprised me they had what seemed to be unprotected sex without any mention of condoms, being on the pill or either party being clean. Not that I go looking for it, but this sort of thing tends to jump out at me and it seemed like a glaring omission. (I can't remember if this occurred with the first book in the series, The Hero.)

Overall, I'm enjoying this series and I look forward to it's conclusion with Wyatt's book.

Deanna's World

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Profile Image for Siobhan Davis.
Author 109 books7,911 followers
December 27, 2016
This is the second book in the Sons of Texas series and it follows the youngest Loughman son, Cullen. This is part of a series and can't be read as a standalone.

Cullen was only seven when his mother was murdered and he's still carrying a weight of baggage. While he understands his brothers shielded him out of love, he's never felt like he has closure. He hasn't had a relationship with a woman, favoring one night stands instead. He is pursuing a military career because he feels it's always been expected of him instead of staying on the ranch and following his heart.

Meeting Mia changes his life. He starts believing that he can follow his heart and have the life he desires with the one woman who has claimed his soul.

Cullen was perfect leading man material and it wasn't difficult to fall for him. Mia is a great female lead and a perfect compliment to Cullen. She has grown up an only child, fallen foul of her father because of the path she chose in life and she's now found herself in a difficult predicament. Having crossed paths with the secretive, ruthless organization known as The Saints, she is now on their hunted list and running for her life.

Cullen is out looking for his dad and after he finds Mia they quickly team up. While the first part of the book dragged for me, the second part was action-packed as The Saints chased after our couple and they dodged Russians, The Saints, fraudulent military men, and struggled to find who to trust.

The romance didn't kick off until the middle part of the story which was one of the reasons why I struggled to connect with the book in the first half. It felt like more of a long drawn-out political thriller rather than romantic suspense and it wasn't what I was expecting, however, the second half made up for the rather lackluster start.

The romance was well written and I shipped them even though the professions of love at the end felt forced and rushed. Nonetheless, I liked this couple.

I am enjoying the plot around The Saints and Ragnarok and the planned purpose of the bioweapon is heinously brilliant. However, in the last battle scene of the book, the suggestion is put out there that they've taken down The Saints which had me rolling my eyes. We have been told over and over that The Saints are everywhere and my interpretation is that this is a widespread global organization so some of the expressed sentiments at the end didn't fit.

I enjoy Donna's writing style and in the main the editing is decent.

In summary, The Protector was an enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to reading Wyatt and Callie's story and seeing how things pan out for Orrin.

Actual 3.5 stars ( 3 stars for first half and 4 for second half.) Thanks to St. Martin's Press for providing a review copy of this book via Netgalley.
Profile Image for Aimie .
347 reviews77 followers
February 22, 2017
The Protector is the second book in the Sons of Texas series. It begins where book one, The Hero, ends.

In this book, Cullen Loughman learns about his father's kidnapping and is willing to do whatever it takes in order to save him. In order to achieve this mission, he will need the help of ex-Air Force pilot Mia Carter. Cullen's looks and charm are distracting Mia and it seems like the feeling is mutual. As Mia and Cullen descend into a dangerous world, their attraction begins to get hotter. But is their desire worth the risk when a enemy is waiting in the wings?

The Protector is filled with action, suspense, mystery, romance, and an abundance of bad guys. The moment Mia and Cullen meet, they are instantly attracted to each other and feel some chemistry between them. They manage to find time between the danger lurking, to act on their mutual attraction and are surprised by how right it feels for them to be together.

In the end, this book was well written and highly entertaining to read. I am definitely excited to read book three and see how all of this will tie up in the end.

This book can be read as a standalone but I highly suggest reading the first book before diving into this one.

eARC was kindly provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Press, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

For this review and more, check out:
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Profile Image for Bobbie.
998 reviews10 followers
December 30, 2016
This series by Donna Grant has been really good so far. I don't believe that I have read any of her works before but am truly loving these books. I read The Hero and this is the second book in this series, which is more romantic suspense that outright romance. The plot is of 3 brothers all in different branches of the military who are all summoned back to their ranch by the government because their father is missing and their Aunt and Uncle were brutally murdered at that ranch. The father runs a black ops group but after going on a covert mission has disappeared. This story revolves around the youngest son, Cullen, and the female pilot, Mia, who flew him on that covert mission. Although technically these are all standalone books, I believe this book will make so much more sense if you have read the first book in this series. The development of the relationship between Cullen and Mia was well developed, and although during the first book it seems like it will all be a simple mission, this plot became more and more complex. Now I am not sure who is good and who is bad in this story. It has been a fun read so far and I can't wait to read the next book in this series. Thanks as always to Netgalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read this ARC.
Profile Image for patrick Lorelli.
3,037 reviews26 followers
December 20, 2016
This is the second story and it involves the youngest brother Cullen. He travels to the base where Mia Carter the pilot for their father’s team has her plane. Once there he must help her out of a jam with Colombians. Once the two of them met and dance around each other they begin the search for Orrin, his father. Cullen also recognizes that Mia has a relationship with his father that he and his brothers don’t have. All of the women have the relationship. The story begins to take shape and you find out about the drug that they are looking for that Orrin sent away. You find out the name of a group called the Saints and that they have power and connections, in the U.S. and Russia. You as the reader are starting to wonder who are the good guys, and the bad guys. While Cullen and Mia are fighting for their lives they also connect as a couple, and this makes sense really because Mia’s character is strong, as is all of the female characters in the first two books. Plenty of action, more in this book than in the first, and still some bedroom scenes. Overall another good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com
Profile Image for Cathy Geha.
3,598 reviews66 followers
January 5, 2017
The Protector by Donna Grant
Sons of Texas #2

Book two of the Sons of Texas series begins where book one ends. It is told from the perspectives of both the hero and heroine. Orrin Loughman is still missing and his sons, with their female partners, have separated to find out what they can about a stolen bioweapon while locating and freeing Orrin. In this book the youngest son, Cullen, is drawn to pilot Mia Carter and she finds him rather irresistible, too. There is plenty of action, bad guys aplenty, a bit of romance, catching up with the status of Orrin and a phone conversation or two with the rest of the team. More of the mystery about a nefarious take-over-the –world group named The Saints is shared but the end will no doubt not be provided until at least book three when Wyatt and Callie will have their story told.

This was well a well written and enjoyable book that can stand alone but would benefit from reading the first book before reading this one. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the copy to read. This is my honest review.

Did I mention that I am EAGER to read how this will be tied up and can’t wait for book three?

4 Stars
Profile Image for Dawn.
946 reviews39 followers
January 5, 2017
This story is about a secret organization "The Saints" who have killed Orrin's team and abducted him for a biological weapon that our government sent him to Russia to retrieve. In this particular episode, the best way for me to describe it, Mia the pilot, who happened to escape the execution of Orrin's men and being kidnapped, meets Cullen, Orrin's youngest son when he saves her from some Colombian's who are going to kill her for having their cargo confiscated.

It's from there that the two of them start to working together to discuss two things. One, find Orrin and rescue him and two, take down The Saints. The further they get into this the more they realize that she has been in their sights before this and two it is going to take more than the two of them to accomplish this.

The story starts off great, then there is a fairly large lull before picking up again and then it ends like someone slammed on the breaks and you didn't see it coming. It will be picked up in the next book though

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Patrick .
68 reviews
January 8, 2018
This book was even better than the first and I enjoyed the first one very much. Despite its a romance, there is plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat, Cullen is definitely a likeable character and I'm stuck between who I like more Owen or Cullen, guess I'll have to wait until I read Wyatt's entry to determine which of the brothers I think is awesome. Will definitely be adding these books to my collection.
Profile Image for Bette Hansen.
5,051 reviews37 followers
December 28, 2016
I loved this story. These O'Malley's are a great family and watching them lose their hearts is so much fun. Emma is a bit of a wild girl but she's determined to change her ways. Starting a new job as a kindergarten teacher is her first step. Her second - swearing off bad boys. Then the motorcycle riding Sean O'Malley swaggers into her life like a white knight and she decides one last sip of a bad boy wouldn't be so bad. One last fling before the school year starts but will walking away be easy for either of them???

Lots of good relaxing fun with this one. I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for C.J. Butcher.
Author 2 books3 followers
February 4, 2017

When Marine Force Recon captain Cullen Loughman learns that his father’s been kidnapped, he will do whatever it takes to find him. In order to achieve his mission, Cullen will need to team up with the best of the best—someone who just happens to be the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on…

This isn’t the first rodeo for ex--Air Force pilot Mia Carter. Still, Cullen’s bad-boy good looks and charm are distracting her from duty. . .and it appears that the feeling is mutual. As Mia and Cullen make their descent into a dark, dangerous world, their attraction reaches the boiling point. But is their desire worth the risk when a ruthless enemy is waiting in the wings—or will their Lone Star love conquer all, in The Protector, the next Sons of Texas novel by New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.

Can you say lots of action? I loved this book from page 1! It has characters from the first book and I had to go back and read it first before I picked this one up to start it and I wasn't disappointed I did that. I loved all the characters that were revisited in this book. I enjoyed the pace and the plot. At no point did it get boring, which is a big draw for me when reading a book. I'd say that Donna Grant is a definite buy for me in the future. I had her first book and didn't know it and hadn't read it but I'm sure glad I did because it helped when reading this book. However, you don't have to read book 1 but it helps because book 2 picks up where book 1 leaves off. If you're like me, then you like to read your series in order and I'm orderly like that..

There was a whole lot of information in this book and a lot of action. The romance was really kind of forced and secondary to me. I kind of thought that it could have been a longer book to be honest. It's one of those books where you really don't have to have a romance at all and it's still a really good book. Nothing is really resolved in this book, so it's going to continue into the third book - which I will buy!! It's that good. I love a good suspense, espionage book that leaves you hanging.

If you're looking for a book that is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish with non-stop action, then this is your book!!

I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.
Profile Image for Lisa.
913 reviews25 followers
February 7, 2017
The 2nd book in the Sons of Texas series the thread of the story that started in book one continues. The Loughman brothers are looking for their former military father whose been kidnapped. They are in possession of a biological weapon that they are not sure what it does. They just know it will be devastating. Owen and Natalie took up the first part of the hunt in book one and now Cullen the youngest brothers gets hooked up with Mia Carter another good friend of Orrin the dad of the brothers. This series has a lot of military and former military characters which of course kicks up the action expected with a suspense novel. Mia is a former military pilot still working as a contractor. She's the pilot that flew Orrin on his clandestine missions. On the last one his whole team was murdered and he was kidnapped.  The book moves at a fast pace. Cullen and Mia have to get to know each other and learn to trust each other while they try to stay alive and find Orrin. While doing that they have to try and figure out what the secret organization called "The Saints" is up to.  Once they learn to trust each other they have to decide who else they can trust. Some enemies are not enemies at all and some they thought were friends are not. This is a very twisty book. I'm not sure how the whole thing is going to end with book 3 but I am totally enjoying the couples as they come together. I loved Cullen and Mia. They clicked right away on the page and only got better and their story moved on. Up next is Wyatt and Callie.  He might be the most unlikable of the three brothers up til now. We'll see if the author can make me like him. I already love Callie. Looking forward to book three.

Profile Image for Eva Millien.
3,146 reviews42 followers
April 21, 2017
Get ready for a thrilling ride full of danger and romance when sexy Marine Force Recon captain Cullen Loughman learns that his father has been kidnapped and he joins up with daring ex – Air Force pilot Mia Carter to find him in Donna Grant’s The Protector, the second book in the Sons of Texas series.

First, let me say that this is the only book that I have read in the Sons of Texas series, although I will definitely be reading The Hero soon, and I had no problem following the story line but this is definitely a series where all the books will have to be read to get the full story. The Loughman Brothers each have a book which tells of his part in the overall story and each book has an ending but doesn’t give away the main story’s conclusion as I have discovered by reading The Protector.

I have read most of Donna Grant’s books and I while I most enjoy the paranormal ones especially the Dragon Kings, she has continued her expertise of sucking me into the story and refusing to let go in the Sons of Texas series. The action is phenomenal and the suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Even the romance between the couple in this story keeps you wondering since the danger and the situation keeps them on the run and they are not your average good guys since they definitely have their own way of getting to the heart of things and have you agreeing every step of the way.

All the characters that take part in the overall plot add to the twists and turns and grabs your attention ensuring that you want to know every last detail but of course the main characters, Cullen and Mia take the front seat and steer you through the plot with thrilling abandon.

The Protector is a book that has me hankering for more of the Loughman Brothers, of course after I read The Hero, I will have to wait until The Legend releases in June to get another fix.
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