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Loving a Warrior #2

Keeping a Warrior

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Sometimes the only hope for the walking wounded is in each other’s arms.

Devon Lowe is a survivor.

A survivor of war. Of combat. And of a betrayal by men she considered her brothers-in-arms. But her trailblazing work as a Cultural Support Team member working alongside the navy SEALs is too important for her to back down now.

Fresh off a painful breakup, air force pararescueman Rhys Halloran recognizes Devon’s trauma for what it is—something that’s left her isolated but far from irreparably damaged.

With Devon’s trust still lying shattered back in Afghanistan, putting her faith in a man who’s nursing a broken heart isn’t easy. But she’s tired of people making her feel weak, and Rhys makes her feel anything but, sparking a heated attraction that was never part of the plan.

With all eyes on Devon to prove herself in a brutal man’s world, having it all will mean putting her heart on the line like never before. But when it comes to Rhys, it’s an uphill battle she’s ready to fight.

Publisher’s Note: Keeping a Warrior deals with topics some readers may find difficult, including past sexual assault.

This book is approximately 77,000 words



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Kindle Edition

First published April 29, 2019

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About the author

Melanie Hansen

10 books736 followers
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,830 reviews5,505 followers
May 30, 2019
I had a very difficult time putting down Keeping a Warrior by one of my current favorite authors, Melanie Hansen. It was emotional, powerful, and, most importantly, compulsively readable.

I find it very interesting that Melanie Hansen chose to switch her series from M/M to M/F in book two, considering that many readers stick to one kind of pairing. I read all romance with any pairing, so I was delighted to see where Melanie could take this series. And, truth be told, I enjoyed Keeping a Warrior much more than Loving a Warrior (though both pale in comparison to Point of Contact, which is on my all-time favorite list).

Keeping a Warrior was much more powerful than I was expecting, though I don't know why since Melanie Hansen is the master of powerful military romances. I really admired Devon's strength and resiliency, and my heart clenched and soared along with hers. I loved the main couple, and I liked the splashes of the couple from book one, on the whole, though I thought at times they had too much page-time in this story. I thought Devon and Rhys really had something special, and I liked the way they grew as individuals and as a couple.

An emotional read that really touched upon issues that women face in the military and in many areas of society, I think Melanie Hansen really delivered with this story.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Profile Image for Ele.
1,265 reviews41 followers
April 21, 2019
*3.5 stars*

I have so many mixed feelings about this. First of all, I haven’t read MF in ages but once in a while, and when it’s from a favorite author I’ll go for it. I like Melanie Hansen’s work because it’s not mainstream, and it addresses important issues and unique situations without lacking in the romance or steam department. On that front, Keeping a Warrior definitely delivered.

My favorite part of the book is Rhys, the male lead. Rhys is the exact opposite of an alpha-hole alpha male. He hasn't been with tons of women, he doesn't do casual, he is not afraid to admit he is so far gone for Devon, he blushes and gets awkward around her and....he is a ginger. Nuff said.

Devon is not the damsel in distress heroin that I loath in MF either. She had a very traumatic experience as a rape survivor (heed the warnings, there are triggers about rape throughout the book) and now she is ready to make a comeback. I can't even imagine how it is like for a female officer among men, but I loved the way Devon bonded with her team here.

I have to make a special mention to Matt and Shane from Loving a Warrior, the first book in the series (very highly recommended). This book sort of overlaps with the first so we get to see Matt and Shane through some very crucial points of their relationship. They totally stole the show. I absolutely LOVED those scenes. But that’s not necessarily a good thing about the MCs of this book. Matt and Shane totally outshone Devon and Rhys. There were whole scenes where it felt like the protagonists were Matt and Shane while Devon and Rhys were just standing awkwardly in the sidelines.

What I really missed here was an epilogue. Not only there isn't one, but the ending was so abrupt I couldn't believe it was over. It's the main reason I'm not rounding up.

All in all, this was a winner, it just missed a few important things that I look for as a reader. If you 're a fan of the author, don't let my rating stop you. It worths a shot.
Profile Image for Saimi Vasquez.
1,262 reviews57 followers
August 25, 2022
Dane sabe que la unica forma de que pueda volver a integrarse con un escuadron de SEAL, es si entrena con ellos, asi todos se daran cuenta que no por ser una mujer es una carga o es mas debil que los demas, asi que durante el mes de entrenamiento obtiene el respeto que se merece, pero todavia ocultando su secreto mas oscuro. Sin embargo, su secreto se descubre y espera que su escuadron la trate igual que el anterior, pero su sorpresa es grande cuando no solo no cambian su forma de tratarla, sino que la defienden, incluso el "medico", de quien se ha hecho amiga y por el que comienza a sentir mas de lo que deberia. Pero una relacion entre los dos en el frente esta prohibida, pero y si no?
Rhys acaba de terminar la unica relacion que ha conocido toda su vida, con su mejor amiga-novia, la unica persona que considera una familia. Ahora en una encrucijada, ya que su contrato esta a punto de terminar, debe decidir que hacer con su vida, tanto personal como profesional. Asi que cuando comienza a sentirse atraido por la nueva integrante del escuadron, se da cuenta que lo que sentia antes no era nada parecido a esto, y quiere intentar ver si una relacion con ella seria posible. Pero ella tiene sus demonios, y es dificil para ella aceptar lo que el es y lo que representa. Quizas su atraccion pueda ser mas fuerte, quizas es algo mas que atraccion, quizas una relacion entre ellos puede ser posible.

El libro es un romance muy muy muy sencillo, sin mayores dramas, el autor hace mucho incapie en lo dificil que es la vida de las mujeres dentro del ejercito, y como sus acciones son vistas cuando ocurren situaciones como la de la prota, pero con todo y la cantidad de veces que es mencionado, no senti mucha fuerza en el argumento, y eso me decepciono un poco. La relacion de la pareja principal no fue nada fuera de lo normal, solo que dentro del ambito de un escuadron de SEAL, asi que vemos mucho a la mujer poniendose al mismo nivel, o incluso superando a algunos de los hombres, cosa que fue muy divertida.
Sin embargo, lo que realmente me mantuvo leyendo el libro fue la relacion entre Matt y Shane, la pareja del libro anterior, esa pareja me gusto mucho, y me gusto verlos desde el punto de vista de un tercero (Dane o Rhys) y como lograron superar sus problemas de comunicacion y como Dane entablo amistad con Matt y lo buena que resulto esa relacion para ambos.
Asi que si, la serie esta interesante, y mas por la pareja del libro anterior que por la de este, pero espero a ver que nos presenta el autor en el ultimo libro, veamos si leemos mas de las dos parejas anteriores, o por lo menos de los protas de esta, y como van evolucionando las relaciones despues de anos.
Profile Image for Denise.
697 reviews135 followers
November 5, 2020
4 Stars

First and foremost, while this works just fine as a standalone, I highly recommend reading Loving a Warrior first. The MCs of that book (Matt & Shane) are heavily featured in this book and have their own storyline going on. A lot happens with Matt and Shane and it would not only be helpful for the background knowledge but so that you have an emotional attachment to the characters and care more about what they're going through. With that being said, I think this was a great continuation of this world.

We first met Rhys in Loving a Warrior as a secondary character that was newly engaged. Devon is new to us, however, and also new to the SEAL team she was just placed with. Rhys and Devon do have a very brief history (nothing romantic) and are surprised to learn they're placed in the same platoon again. This story starts approximately 3 years after Matt and Shane first met for the timeline freaks like me out there. I won't delve too much into what's going on with them but will say that I was shocked by what had happened to them. When I finally realized it, I was angry and needed to know what in the world had happened, which we don't learn for quite a while. As mentioned, they definitely get their own storyline here and I found myself more interested in them at times than Rhys and Devon, who sometimes felt like secondary characters. Perhaps this is due to my emotional attachment to M&S, which didn't exist yet for Rhys/Devon, but I found myself at times caring more about that.

However, I will say that my connection to Rhys and Devon did definitely come - it was just a bit slower. This is a sloooooow burn that focuses on developing the characters and their individual stories first. Rhys is recovering from a broken heart and Devon is learning how to trust again after being sexually assaulted. It was beautiful to watch them find comfort and healing within one another as they worked through their struggles. The storyline with Rhys' ex did drag a tiny bit for me and annoyed me slightly, but it wasn't overbearing and didn't veer into "OW" territory for me. I appreciated that Devon and Rhys worked through things like realistic, rational adults (why is this so rare??) and didn't resort to miscommunication and unnecessary drama. I loved how patient they were with each other - Rhys earning Devon's trust and Devon's understanding that Rhys had just ended a childhood love relationship and didn't know how to be single. It was refreshing that Rhys didn't do casual flings, try to bone anything that moved, and that he was nervous and sometimes awkward. It was cute and I found it adorably sweet.

Devon's sexual assault played a very important role not only for her but for the overall message of the story. Hansen discussed and brought to light the difficulties women face in the military and the judgment/disbelief women receive if they report being sexually assaulted. I thought it was tastefully done but also hit home with some hard thought-provoking truths. I appreciated that this was given a proper focus in the story and not simply glazed over. Her assault was discussed and there were some explicit flashbacks of dialogue from her rapists, but not explicit content from the assault. This could trigger some but overall, I didn't think it was too graphic.

There was a plot "twist" that I sniffed out and was right about. . It was nice to get an update on side characters such as Lex, . I thought the ending was beautiful and it even made me tear up a little, but it was pretty abrupt and didn't have much closure. HFN endings seem to be common for Hansen and I assume we will get an update on all the characters in the upcoming book in the series, Trusting a Warrior (featuring Lani, Rhys' ex), releasing November 2019. I definitely can't wait to have a more concrete answer for not only Rhys and Devon's future but also that little cliffhanger we got with Matt and Shane. BIG SPOILER - .

As always, Hansen delivered with a fantastic story, captivating writing, and a romance with depth. I didn't love it quite as much as Loving a Warrior for the reasons listed above, but it comes highly recommended!

Standalone - Other books within series:
Book 1: Loving a Warrior → 4.5 Stars
Book 2: Keeping a Warrior → 4 Stars
Book 3: Trusting a Warrior
Profile Image for Dísir.
1,661 reviews168 followers
February 16, 2019
Melanie Hansen is a new author to me and I hadn’t really known what to expect with ‘Keeping a Warrior’ when I got into it, only that it was heavily woman-focused, so to speak, despite it being touted as a military romance.

Much of this ended up being a story about Devon Lowe as a solitary woman in a testosterone-driven man’s world and in this role-reversal—her love ‘em, leave ‘em ways, her sometime-recklessness, her prickly behaviour, calling the shots and all—, Hansen eagerly showcases her capability in the military and how she can excel in every training exercise that all the men can do. There’s plenty of action, a close look at how the platoon trains, the SEAL brotherhood and the assumed places of men and women in the military, which can be quite engaging.

And it’s all written—uniquely, you might say—through the eyes of a woman and how she copes with all of it.

If it isn’t a nod to girl-power or the #metoo movement, I don’t know what it is. Cheering for the constant insistence on female equality aside however, I wasn’t used to, or frankly, wasn’t sure if I liked what I thought of as the role reversal, of an alpha heroine in the driving seat all the time and an admiring and smitten beta hero who mostly defers to her.

I’ve nothing but admiration for Hansen’s attempt to focus on sexual assault in the military and its impact on women in particular but the constant dick-waving and posturing got me tired, including—yes, shoot me for it—Devon’s every attempt to one-up the men in trying to prove herself worthy with a very slow-burn romance on the side as Rhys Halloran struggles with his own failed relationship and takes his own form of baby steps around Devon.

In fact, I liked the volatile, cutting sexual tension between Matt/Shane more than I liked the Devon/Rhys pairing. Even as a secondary, estranged pairing (I hadn’t read their story in the first book, which is making me want to check them out now), they were the show-stealers and every fraught moment between them made me want more. As a result, ‘Keeping a Warrior’ left me with very mixed feelings, especially since I was more invested in the secondary characters more than the protagonists.

*ARC by the author
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,292 reviews412 followers
April 23, 2019
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.75 stars


Keeping a Warrior follows up Loving a Warrior and revolves heavily around life in the armed forces. The first book in the Loving a Warrior series featured two men and while this book is M/F, it keeps the continuity of the series. Where Matt and Shane were in training to become Navy SEALS in that first book, Rhys and Devon have different roles. This book overlaps Matt and Shane’s story during the time the two were separated and I appreciated having had already read their story to understand the dynamics here. Devon’s story also ties in to Matt and Shane’s as well.

Devon is a strong woman across many areas. She is consistently the only woman on her teams and has to work even harder to keep up and fit in. Devon provides cultural support during missions in Afghanistan where the local women would not be able to talk to a man and she is able bridge some gaps, if only for a moment. This is also the story of sexual assault against women in the military and while Devon’s story doesn’t play out in graphic detail on page, it is a theme throughout the entire book as Devon is now a survivor of rape by men she trusted.

Devon and Rhys’s story is set against their missions and training and you would want to be interested in reading about this as it is the main focus of the book. I did find it interesting, but not quite as interesting as Matt and Shane’s story, and I did find myself at times having to puzzle out exactly what the missions were and exactly what was expected of both Devon and Rhys. They both gravitate toward each other from the start, but Devon is understandably hesitant and Rhys is coming off of a breakup, doesn’t want to overstep with Devon, and doesn’t do casual.

Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.


Profile Image for Susan65.
1,512 reviews51 followers
April 22, 2019
The Blogger Girls

I loved the first book, Loving a Warrior, so much so that I could not wait for this book, the sequel to one of the best MM stories that I’ve read in a long while. And then to find out it was MF, I was devastated, so very bummed. I didn’t believe Matt’s (Soup) or Shane’s (Clown) story was completed and so I shoved this book away, highly disappointed. Fast forward a few weeks and nothing I picked up was resonating with me and this one was just sitting on my Nook, staring me down. I figured, why not. I might even get a Matt or Shane sighting.

Oh man, this book was soooo good. And the Matt and Shane sightings were front and center and throughout the entire book. This may be billed as a MF, but the MM counterpart was right there with them. And, I didn’t hate the MF parts; I actually really liked both Devon and Rhys.

This book starts a few years after Shane and Matt earn their tridents and move onto their respective SEAL teams. I thought life was grand for the boys, only to find Big Shocker. But never fear, it was just Matt, being, well, Matt. And I would like to say the book ends with them riding off into the sunset, but nope. Yes, they are together and sickeningly in love (sick is good, folks), but big changes are coming for our boys and I so hope the next book features them both prominently, if not completely them. There is no way their story can end LIKE THAT!!!!

Now, Devon and Rhys are the other couple. Rhys is the medic that follows SEAL teams, and Devon is the female CST, or cultural support team member who basically is the liaison between the village women of Afghanistan and the military. Since women are not allowed to speak to men outside their family, this made a ton of sense. Unfortunately, Devon is suffering from a past sexual assault, and though she is a tough woman, and I mean GI Jane tough, she is still traumatized from that episode. For those who trigger easy, no worries, it is not too graphic and is spoken of in the past tense. Rhys is probably the only man on the planet who knew exactly how to treat Devon and slowly earn her trust.

What I liked best about Devon and Rhys is that they were friends, tight friends, who slowly allowed that to turn into love. It was slow burn, but simmering all along. Pair that with the volatile and enigmatic Matt and Shane, and we end up with a winner. I was expecting to hate this book and I ended up loving it. Go Figure.

There is slight, and unexpected, twist at the end. I am so gonna keep reading.
Highly recommended, even for those who hate girlie bits. It is really good. We get lots more Matt and Shane. And the MF aspects of the story was pretty great, too.

Overall Impression: I Loved It
Profile Image for Antisocial Recluse.
2,704 reviews
March 29, 2019
I absolutely loved book one and grabbed this without even reading the blurb, since I thought it was still all about Matt and Shane. Oops, wrong and I almost decided not to read it, because after reading only MM books for so long, my brain didn’t want to make that mood shift to MF easily. However knowing how incredibly well the author writes, the military setting and seeing that Devon is facing down issues still impacting women in the military, I had to read it. Her memories could be a trigger for some but the details aren’t revealed in a graphic way. There are a couple of sex scenes later in the book but can be skimmed past if you prefer, without impacting the plot. Devon is a strong female figure, overcoming trauma, mastering the physical demands of combat service and elevating the role of women in the military. Rhys is everything you’d want a book boyfriend to be and the couple generates lots of feels with future careers not on the same trajectory and their romance seemingly destined to be short-lived. Devon and Rhys were excellent characters and I was thrilled when their paths intersected with Matt and Shane but I was not prepared for Matt and Shane being broken up! My only real issue with the book was not getting to see their POV during their interactions but hopefully will be detailed in another book. #KeepingAWarrior #NetGalley

*An ARC was provided by the author, publisher or a promotional service and I have chosen to publish a fair and honest review*



1,193 reviews28 followers
June 26, 2019
Keeping a Warrior is the second book in Melanie Hansen's Loving a Warrior series, but it's the first book in the series that I've read, and also the first book I've read by this author, and if this novel is an example of her writing, I'll be reading a lot more of her in the future. It gets 4.5 stars from this reader.

I love books about Navy SEALs, and didn't fully read the Netgalley blurb when I requested an advance reader copy of this novel, but I'm so glad I did request it. I've wondered for years, and suggested to some of my favorite authors in this sub-genre that I felt it was time someone addressed the rapidly growing issue of women in the military being raped, either by the men in their units, or the officers who had power over them, their careers and their future. Thank you, Ms. Hansen for being brave enough to tackle this issue, among others in this novel, and in a way that was both tasteful, emotionally moving, and spot on.

Devon Lowe, is a CST, a cultural support attache among a combined unit of Marines, Special Ops, and mostly Navy SEALs. She's just been sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan and is desperately trying to fit in and prove her abilities and fitness for the job to the men in her unit. Sadly, her previous deployment with a team of Marines ended badly when she was gang-raped by some of the men in her unit, men she trusted, and when she reported it, as I've learned that most women in her situation seldom do, she wasn't believed by anyone, including her superior who was the man she was sleeping with at the time, but that man, Jon, watched her being raped, and said and did nothing when she was called a slut, and "a walking mattress" who was "asking for it" when she went out drinking one night with her teammates, men she trusted, who took advantage of her when she was too drunk to consent.

As usually happens, instead of punishing the men who raped her, she was transferred out of that unit, and is now wary of every man in her new assignment, always carries a concealed knife, but senses kindness and decency from one man, Rhys Halloran, an air force corpsman and medic, a decent guy who's trying to end his stateside, relationship with his lifelong friend and former fiance, Lani, back home. They met briefly on a previous deployment but never had the chance to get close, since Rhys was faithful to Lani. What he offers Devon now is his friendship and support as she encounters new challenges in her role as a CST, new physical challenges, as she must keep up with her Navy SEAL teammates, all while fearing that what happened to her once might very well happen again, and all while dealing with the horrors of war and the desperate lives of the women and children in poor Afghan villages. In Devon, Ms. Hansen created a fully-rounded, complex and tough as nails heroine, with grit, determination, and depth. And in Rhys, Ms. Hansen created a handsome, kind, thoughtful and caring hero who was impossible not to fall a little in love with as the novel and their relationship progressed. I loved that Ms. Hansen gave us a slow-moving, slowly-developing friendship between Devon and Rhys, and took the time to let them get to know one another and for that relationship to grow into more.

Of course, there's other drama in this novel involving two gay team members, Shane and Matt, one man out of the closet and one still in the closet, and the stress that put on their relationship as well. I've learned that their relationship was introduced in the first novel in this series, and because Ms, Hansen treated their M/M relationship with so much emotion, depth, and understanding, I'm looking forward to backtracking to read their story too, and plan to follow this series in the future.

Be advised that this is a story that takes place in large part in a war zone, and there are triggers aplenty in this novel, war-related violence, sex-related steamy scenes, as well as rape flashbacks, betrayals, fear, sexism, bullying and the brutality and senselessness of war--but all are handled so well, so honestly, and so believably, that I couldn't find fault with any of it. My only issue with this novel, and the reason I gave it 4.5 rather than 5 stars is that a glossary of military acronyms would have made understanding some of those acronyms and military techno-speak easier to follow and understand.

Aside from the one minor flaw I mentioned, this novel was an excellent read, worked just fine as a standalone for this reader, and handled the touchy subject matter with such delicacy, honesty, and a depth of understanding that I think it's one of the best military romance novels I've read in years, and if the aforementioned triggers don't prevent it, I highly recommend that you get a copy and read it--it's that good.

I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions stated are my own.
Profile Image for Mary.
1,043 reviews18 followers
April 15, 2019
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Triggers sexual assault

This book is one of the best books I've read all year. It explores all elements of the trauma that both men and women face daily, including those that serve our country.

Devon's strength in continuing her military career in spite of the trauma she's been through is a huge testament to her character. Rhys' patience and understanding makes this friends to lovers story that much more remarkable.

~~Wicked Reads Review Team~~
Profile Image for Avid Reader.
1,696 reviews
March 31, 2019
Keeping a Warrior (Loving a Warrior #2) by Melanie Hansen
4.5 stars
M/F Military Romance
Triggers: Rape, Murder
I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.

This is the second book in the series, but I don't believe that it's necessary to read book 1 in order to understand what's going on in book 2.

Devon is one tough lady. I absolutely loved her character. She's complex and tough, but also has a tender side and wants to feel confident in showing it. But, in the military, she knows that she's odd man out. I love that she can keep up with the SEALs and really enjoyed watching her put other men in their place. When she comes up against a trauma that she knows she has to work through, she puts on her brave face and does what she can to overcome the tragedy.

Rhys is a great soldier, but he is also one who needed a break from it. When he first meets Devon, not only is he impressed, he never forgets her. When they meet again, Rhys can tell that she's been through something bad, but doesn't want to pry. Instead, he does everything he can think of to earn her trust. What ends up happening is that they form an unbreakable friendship.

These two burn up the sheets, but both aren't sure if they will ever want a full on relationship. Since they both understand their jobs, both know that to live in the moment is the best for them. But, when the future is fast approaching, can they both leave their romance on the battle field?

I really enjoyed this book and loved Devon's character. I do wish more had been done with her trauma, as it felt unresolved. However, I understand that sometimes, that's what happens - things remain unresolved. I can't wait to see who gets their story next.
Profile Image for Maria.
1,638 reviews29 followers
April 29, 2019
- Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review -

4.5 stars.

A quote:
“Not all war stories are heroic, you know.” [Devon Lowe, the female protagonist in “Keeping a Warrior”]

I really liked this book and its author, Melanie Hansen; it was my first time reading Melanie Hansen and I enjoyed her voice and was pleased and often surprised with the original outlook the author lends on military life and operations and war.
I found the hero, Rhys, and the heroine, Devon, the most refreshing military people I’ve read in ages. Their romance is also refreshingly different, with a slow burn where we get to see them going from friends to lovers, and to feel – to smell – the sheer sensuality of attraction and desire.
Rhys is strong, earnest and protective; his frankness and steadiness are so alluring. Devon is strong and tough, too – she has to be, she’s a female in a traditionally male environment. I loved her work as an Army Cultural Support Team member. I was not totally convinced with the way she overcame some of the extreme difficulties she faced, but I felt overall satisfied with the result.
We get to see the best - the camaraderie – and the worst of military life.
I loved Shane and Matt and how they tried to fight the affection and love and eventually surrendered. I love to see this kind of intensity and tenderness between two male characters.
Once Rhys and Devon settled as a couple, the pace of the story slowed a bit which in itself wasn’t that bad.
Profile Image for DebbieReadsBooks.
2,346 reviews38 followers
June 18, 2019
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.

This is book 2 in the Loving a Warrior series, but you don’t NEED to have read book one, Loving a Warrior, for this to make sense. But personally, I would recommend you do. Cos I loved that book, and Matt and Shane play a huge part here.

Devon is trailing a path through a man’s world, a path she will not be veered from. But meeting Rhys, and how she connects with him on a very primal level, scares her a bit. When Devon’s full history comes clear, and Rhys’ too, their relationship takes the next step. Temporary, but NOT casual, right?

I loved this book, but equally I struggled with it. I shall attempt to voice why!

At times, I wanted to slap Rhys, I really did! He KNEW he was stringing his ex along, deep down he knew it, but he did nothing to stop it. He answered her calls, her messages, her crying down the phone, and pulled the string along a bit more. He KNEW he had to let her go. But then Devon comes into his life again. They met some 4 years before during an op. And here they are, working together again. And he doesn’t shut Lani down IMMEDIATELY! And I wanted to slap him some more.

He DOES care for Devon, right from the start though, and that makes him really question what he had been doing.

Devon’s trauma doesn’t come clear immediately, it kinda creeps out along the way. And it’s shocking, the level of betrayal she suffered, and it appears MANY women in the armed forces suffer. And I think this is what I found most difficult to deal with. How high up the food chain the covering up goes.

Oh, no, this bit, THIS is what I struggled with the most! Matt and Shane play a HUGE part here. Granted, they spend most of the book either fighting or ignoring each other, trying to find what they really feel for each other but failing miserably. Matt, apparently, said something to Shane. WHAT was said was never explained, and I’ve been trying to recall if this happened in their book, but short of going back to reread (I don’t, nor do I have the time!) I will never know, and I wanted to!

I loved the way Hanssen melds Loving a Warrior into Keeping a Warrior, not just because of Shane and Matt’s part here, but because of that other thing, the thing that I did NOT see coming! Had I read the two books back to back, I might have picked it up way WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY right back at the beginning of the book, but I didn’t, and I was blown away by that little revelation!

Both Devon and Rhys have a say, in the third person. I did not see any spelling or editing to spoil my reading, and I read this book in one sitting, not an easy or short read, but I could NOT put it down!

Who is next? I dunno. Are there more in this series? I hope so! Oh please tell me there will be! It would be great if Matt, Shane, Devon and Rhys all take part too!

Ms Hansen has 9 books (according to Goodreads) and now I’ve read 3. 3 very different, but still amazing books. I want to read the rest of them. I want to start at the beginning and work my way through. I want to follow the path of this author, cos she is on my hit list now!!

5 stars

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,086 reviews65 followers
August 11, 2019
Ok... I’m not going to lie. I was kinda upset the next book in this series was going to be M/F. Since the first book was M/M I didn’t understand why the author would do that.
Especially to her readers that read strictly only M/M.

I read both. But when I go into a book/ series. I’m kinda picky about that. I hate when characters stories get mixed together. Or at least warn the reader that this series won’t be a straight M/M series.
I requested this book thinking that I would get a little continuation of Shane and Matt. Since the ending was kinda open. I wanted to read about how their new relationship was coming along.

I REALLY think Matt & Shane needed their own book!! Because getting little bits and pieces of them was horrible.
I absolutely hate that Matt and Shane only got a little part in this book. I mean... I devoured those little parts. It just made me all the more upset that this series went this way.

At the end of Loving A warrior Shane and Matt are together and live together. They are in different Seal teams. But happy!

As I was reading... Shane and Matt are broken up. And Shane is basically playing games dancing with a blond woman to get Matt jealous. Bringing a platinum blonde guy to a party to get Matt jealous!
I mean what!!!! Why!!!!

I absolutely hate that Matt and Shane relationship went this way!!! Just totally ruins it for me. More needed to be said about everything with them. How their whole situation came about. We literally jump right into them always fighting.

I’m extremely disappointed that this series is probably going to be just M/F. The next book in this series is Trusting A Warrior book 3
And it’s about Lani and George. Lani’s Fiancé falls in love with another woman (this book. Rhys & Devon)... she’s heartbroken. And a surprise pregnancy.
George has issues of his own being a SEAL and a K-9 handler.

I’m not a fan of Lani. What she did at the end of this book was mean. And the reason why she did it was horrible! So no... I won’t be reading the next book in this series.

When I saw those pictures Aaron took of you and Devon, I—” Lani swallowed hard, her voice going flat as she said, “I guess I just wanted to see how much power I still had over you, that’s all.

The twist at the end between Devon and her attacker was just unbelievable. I mean... why even do that.

Unfortunately this book didn’t work for me. What Matt and Shane went through in this book needed more then what we got in this book. I wasn’t feeling Rhys or Devon. Especially when Rhys for a minute had a second thought about going back to Lani his Ex because he knew Devon was going back out on another tour. I mean what!!! They both had said I love you’s already! And they were just together!

For the briefest of instants, temptation reared its ugly head. Why not try again? Devon’s leaving and there’s a good chance you’ll never see her again. Lani’s here...

I’m just really shocked by this book. And overall how this story played out.

*ARC provided by HARLEQUIN - Carina Press via Netgalley.*
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Shirley .
1,877 reviews56 followers
May 12, 2019
I know that some readers are going to be thrown by the fact that Keeping a Warrior is not a M/M romance, especially since the first book in the series was. I really hope that even so, readers give this one a chance. There was a lot to love about Keeping a Warrior and for the record, both Shane and Matt from Loving a Warrior, play a big role in this one – along with their drama. The support they receive from both Rhys and Devon is amazing to see. I personally love it when an author branches out and doesn’t stick to one genre for everything they write.

Devon and Rhys were both broken and neither one of them were looking for romance. It was actually the furtherest thing from either of their minds. Devon had been hurt, both physically and mentally, by people she should have been able to trust. She loved her job and she had learned from previous experience how to be vigilant to protect herself. She knew in her heart though that Rhys was different. She felt close to him… safe… from the beginning. Rhys had baggage though and getting attached would be a mistake, especially since he was on the rebound.

Rhys had his own fears about getting attached, but the pull was too strong to ignore. He was happy being Devon’s friend, but that wasn’t going to make their inevitable parting any easier to take. Pieces of his heart were going to go with her and the closer they got the more dangerous that became.

I loved these two together, but I also loved the friendships that developed between them and the rest of the characters. They were a tight knit group and they ALL had each others’ backs. It was the way it was supposed to be and that did as much for Devon as the support she was getting from Rhys.

I’m loving the Loving a Warrior series and I’m kind of hoping that there’s more to come. Regardless, I need to go back and read Loving a Warrior. Seeing them in Keeping a Warrior made me want to go back and see if there’s anything I missed. Any excuse for a re-read, right? 😉

I received Keeping a Warrior in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Agalactiae.
1,158 reviews14 followers
April 24, 2019
3,5/5

Dans cette suite, nous suivons Devon et Rhys. Devon est membre du Cultural Support Team et travaille dans l'équipe de la SEAL. C'est une jeune femme qui a vécu un certain traumatisme et qui a du mal à faire confiance aux hommes. Sa rencontre avec Rhys, parachutiste, lui fait ressentir des choses qu'elle ne veut plus ignorer, sauf que Rhys sort d'une séparation assez compliquée...

M'immerger dans ce genre de livre n'est jamais de tout repos avec Melanie Hansen car elle nous immisce dans ce monde militaire, comprenant déjà des termes avec lesquels je ne suis pas du tout familiarisée, mais aussi tout ce monde de camaraderie, de choses dures et moins dures...
J'ai beaucoup apprécié les personnages. Devon est une battante et en tant que femme, elle se doit d'aller jusqu'au bout, de montrer son ambition, sa motivation et surmonter ses craintes.
Rhys est un homme hyper attachant aussi. Sa rupture avec son ex le perturbe, mais d'un autre côté, il veut aller de l'avant... Il va être touché par Devon et sa fragilité.
Par contre, si j'ai vraiment aimé les deux personnages séparément, leur romance ne m'a pas vraiment emportée, même si je percevais l'intensité de leurs sentiments.

Quel plaisir de revoir aussi Matt et Shane du tome précédent ! J'ai adoré les passages les concernant, cette scène de jalousie de Matt et puis la suivante ! Ahlala... pour le coup, ils ont carrément volé la vedette au couple principal de ce tome-ci !

Il m'a manqué un petit quelque chose pour que je sois complètement emportée par l'histoire du couple formé par Devon et Rhys, même si, comme je le disais, j'ai vraiment aimé les personnages. Mais je poursuivrai la suite de cette saga avec grand plaisir !
Profile Image for Natalie.
282 reviews
August 5, 2020
I liked this book because I loved the female empowerment and male camaraderie with Devon. Also I loved how she was unquestionably beloved by the men in life. Also I related to this story because I’ll be going into the military and this is one of my chief concerns. I hope that I will be able to find that friendship and trust.
2,535 reviews3 followers
May 13, 2022
So far, the Hansen books that I have read deal far more with military and past trauma than romance. The romance is still there amongst the worldbuilding and angst but it's kind of faint. Trigger warnings for sexual assault in the past (described somewhat) as well as mentions of past suicide.
5,275 reviews
May 10, 2019
Keeping a Warrior is the second installment from Melanie Hansen’s series, Loving a Warrior. It is, also, the first book I have read by this author. I thought it was a good read. I enjoyed the perfect chemistry between the two main characters, Rhys and Devon. I, especially, felt a connection to Devon. I could not imagine what she had endured in her past life.
I am giving Keeping a Warrior three and a half stars.
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Profile Image for Annie.
1,664 reviews24 followers
April 26, 2019
Not going to lie, I signed up to review this title without reading the blurb for two reasons- I grab everything the author releases and I assumed it was the continuing story of Matt and Shane from the first book of the series. When I realized Keeping a Warrior featured a new couple, I’ll admit I wasn’t initially as enticed...but then it’s this author and I had no doubt she’d deliver a great story. In the end, I got the best of both- new characters and a story that addressed an important topic in today’s military while delivering a good romance, as well as significant updates about Matt and Shane over the course of the book.

I loved the pairing of Rhys and Devon, and liked how many of the “typical” relationship norms didn’t apply for these two. I also loved how much quiet strength they lent each other. Keeping a Warrior was definitely a love story vs a lust story and I appreciated the slow build of friendship and trust between Devon and Rhys. Though this wasn’t a romance that left me swooning, it was impossible to miss the deep connection the couple shared, not to mention their chemistry in the bedroom.

Per usual with Miss Hansen, it was the characters’ stories in Keeping a Warrior that won me over. One thing I love about this author is her accurate portrayal of life and life’s hardships- especially within the military. That honesty meant Devon’s story was as heartbreaking to read as it was uplifting when she battled back and wrote herself a new story. Though not quite as in depth as the BUD/S training chronicled in Loving a Warrior, there are a lot of military specific scenarios depicted in Keeping a Warrior which lend insight and authenticity. In other words, if you want a fantastical, sugar-coated military romance, this may not fit the bill. However, if you like seeing strong, tenacious heroines who rise above adversity and are their own champions, then I’d definitely recommend Keeping a Warrior.

*eARC received via Netgalley. Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*

Reviewed by Annie from Alpha Book Club
description description

278 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2019
KEEPING A WARRIOR by Melanie Hansen is an incredibly
emotional journey of MST in today's military forces. A very real issue in all branches of the services. Prevalent in both enlisted and officers ranks. It is a fast paced story with lots of action and drama. Definitely a five 🌟read!
Profile Image for Kat.
472 reviews2 followers
March 28, 2019
I was very excited to read this new book by Ms. Hansen. I devoured her Resilient Series and know the caliber of her writing skills. I have not read any books by her that weren't strictly mm so I was unsure what to expect at first. I was so drawn into these characters.and yes there was a gay couple that had a prominent part of this book. I have not read her first Warrior novel story that featured Matt and Shane but it did not keep me from understanding the story line. I must confess after reading about Shane and Matt I purchased her Loving a Warrior book featuring the two headstrong Navy Seals. I mention Shane and Matt as being important because the two couples featured in this riveting story develop a strong and meaningful friendship and become a crucial part of each others lives.

The story Keeping a Warrior revolves around Rhys an air force medic that deploys with the Seals. Devon is a cultural support team member which is crucial when dealing with the cultural imbalance in Afghanistan. Women are treated horribly there and with Devon being a liaison, the military can work easier with the locals. Don't let her title fool you. Devon is one strong lady that trains as hard as the Seals, Rhys met Devon several years ago and had nothing but admiration for her grit and strength. They are now back together in Afghanistan dealing with the people and the horrific conditions they live in.

Devon is battling her own personal demons and once again I tip my hat to Ms.Hansen. She writes about such devastating topics and appears to have a vast knowledge on trauma and the lasting affects that can cause people to live in agony. Somehow even with these serious topics she allows her characters to find hope and grow past their fears. The authors writing is believable and if you are looking for a fluff story full of made up angst these realistic love stories (remember Matt and Shane) will definitely shock you system, but trust me in a good way.

I am so looking forward to the next book in her Warrior series. Thank you Ms. Hansen for a memorable read.
Profile Image for WycEd Reader.
2,064 reviews30 followers
May 4, 2019


Check out our Keeping a Warrior post on Wicked Reads.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader – ☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Military Romance
Triggers: Rape, Murder

This is the second book in the series, but I don't believe that it's necessary to read book one in order to understand what's going on in book two.

Devon is one tough lady. I absolutely loved her character. She's complex and tough, but also has a tender side and wants to feel confident in showing it. But in the military, she knows that she's odd man out. I love that she can keep up with the SEALs and really enjoyed watching her put other men in their place. When she comes up against a trauma that she knows she has to work through, she puts on her brave face and does what she can to overcome the tragedy.

Rhys is a great soldier, but he is also one who needed a break from it. When he first meets Devon, not only is he impressed, he never forgets her. When they meet again, Rhys can tell that she's been through something bad, but doesn't want to pry. Instead, he does everything he can think of to earn her trust. What ends up happening is that they form an unbreakable friendship.

These two burn up the sheets, but both aren't sure if they will ever want a full-on relationship. Since they both understand their jobs, both know that to live in the moment is the best for them. But when the future is fast approaching, can they both leave their romance on the battlefield?

I really enjoyed this book and loved Devon's character. I do wish more had been done with her trauma, as it felt unresolved. However, I understand that sometimes, that's what happens – things remain unresolved. I can't wait to see who gets their story next.


Mary Jo – ☆☆☆☆
Triggers: sexual assault

This book is one of the best books I've read all year. It explores all elements of the trauma that both men and women face daily, including those that serve our country.

Devon's strength in continuing her military career in spite of the trauma she's been through is a huge testament to her character. Rhys' patience and understanding makes this friends-to-lovers story that much more remarkable.

Reviewers received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Wicked Reads Review Team
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