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Lucky Strike Lovers #2

Protecting Anna

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A snowstorm brought them together, but her past might tear them apart…

Bartender Ryan Carlisle is ready to leave his playboy days behind. He used to believe commitment was something to be wary of but watching his best friend fall in love and get engaged has him starting to think differently. His path to finding love won’t be easy, since the first and only woman to stir his protective instincts and make him dream of forever, is running scared and looking for a place to start over.

When Anna Thorn comes into his pub, desperate for a safe harbor, the last thing either of them expects is the thrill of instant attraction. They’re both trying to move on from their past and find happiness in their future. Together, they must learn to trust, and ultimately, to love.

As Anna’s past catches up to her, their relationship – and her life – will be thrown into jeopardy.

Published August 13, 2020

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Julia Jarrett

29 books298 followers

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5 stars
19 (35%)
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26 (49%)
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6 (11%)
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Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Books Wine and Besties.
267 reviews62 followers
August 17, 2020
Protecting Anna is the second is the Lucky Strike Lovers series. I did not read the first book and never felt lost reading this one. Although it does have me wanting to go meet Jake in the first.
Anna ends up at Ryans pub the night she runs away from an abusive relationship. There is an instant connection between the two and Anna ends up working at the pub. The two quickly develop a friendship that develops in to a pretty hot and intense relationship. The two overcome their past together through their intense connection.
“Love is like bungee jumping. Scary, exhilarating, life changing. You’re about to jump off the ledge, and Anna is your rope. You just need to trust the ropes”
Thank you Julia and Enticing Journey Book Promotions for the arc.
Profile Image for Andrea.
Author 7 books105 followers
February 9, 2021
Holy. Swoon. Julia Jarrett has done it again with her second novel, Protecting Anna. She has given me butterflies galore. The book started out quite heavy but quickly eased into this heartwarming love story between a woman running from her troubled past and a man unsure if he can change his. I am a sucker for instant love and boy, did Julia deliver. I loved Ryan from book one, Loving Callie. Cocky alpha with a big heart? Um, yes, please. And he did not disappoint in this book. So sweet, protective, in-tune with Anna’s needs and feelings. He made me melt. The chemistry was FIRE! And Anna, oh my heart broke for her. But her growth throughout the book was beautiful to read. There was strength in her vulnerability. She was such a fighter. I adored her. Her friendship between Callie and then later with Melanie and Reagan gave me all the life. Julia knows how to write strong, compassionate, intelligent, and relatable women. Gah! I can’t recommend this series enough! I am so ready for Reagan and Chase!
Profile Image for Becky.
983 reviews88 followers
December 8, 2021
A chance encounter on a cold winter’s night lead to a deep all-encompassing love that will forever change the lives of Ryan and Anna.
Ryan known for his playboy ways and his avoidance of any kind of relationship is struck hard with the realization that there is one person who is meant for you.
Anna carries with her baggage and feels like she is damaged goods. She is afraid to move forward paralyzed by her choices of the past. Once in Ryan’s orbit she is drawn to the safety of his arms and the promise of hope. Anna’s demons of her past hunt her choices, but she quickly trusts her heart and allows herself to be pulled in by Ryan and his charm. My only complaint is that given Anna’s past she kind of moved fast on her feelings for Ryan. I just felt like given what she left behind she would have been more cautious; however, she is truly all alone in the world. I can’t imagine how scared she would be. The draw to be with someone who would be strong for her while dealing with all of her struggles is alluring.
This is a beautiful story of the care that comes with loving someone. That when you love you have the realization you are being trusted with a very precious gift. It is also about realizing when you are with the right person you can have your dreams and that love is truly a partnership. Ryan and Anna do not have an easy journey to their Happily Ever After. Both are consumed with self-doubt and fears of past mistakes, some they own, and some are not their mistakes.
The Lucky Strike Pub seems to be a magical place and I for one love the magic of the stories that are created there. This is book two of a quartet that takes place in the Pub but can be read as a standalone. I do encourage you to read book one, Loving Callie, as it does give a lot of insight to the character of Ryan. Characters from that story also make appearances in this story.
Protecting Anna is beautifully written love story for the heart. This was a 4/5 read for me. I really enjoyed the story and highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Marnie.
1,106 reviews19 followers
August 15, 2020
Oh-so Romantic

Congratulations to Julia Jarrett on her second book, that was every bit as romantic as her first one, Loving Callie was. They are books one and two in her Lucky Strike series, and while they are both stand-a-lones, there is much to be gained by reading Loving Callie first, and meeting the great group of characters that that you will fall in love with. I think that her writing leans towards insta-love and the romantic detail of the ‘feelings’ that our characters have, making this book everything that I love to read in a lighter contemporary romance. This time though, she added just a touch of suspense.

I loved Ryan and his introspective voice. For those of you who might be getting tired of those man-wh0res who sleep around in a series of one-nighters, worried that they’ll be like the cheating and heart-breaking spouses that their own father was, well, my voice until now had been, ‘be your own damn person’. Ms Jarrett wrote it in a way that I’ll admit, reminded me of my own aversion to mother-hood for fear of being the same kind of mother that mine was. It took me until my 30’s, like Ryan, to realise that I am my own damn person. Yeah, our author is heavy on the romantic feelings in her own writing style, and I enjoyed it very much. Ryan was a gorgeous, sexy and protective unicorn kind of book boyfriend. He showed Anna that love is kind and patient. That love builds a person up, and, that love is sexy and fulfilling.

Anna on the other hand was someone that I had a little difficulty warming to. She wasn’t weak, or a badly written character at all; I just found it difficult to connect with her. I could come up with all sorts of personal reasons as to why, but at the core I needed to remember that this is fiction, and an insta-love one at that, so I just enjoyed the break from reality and relaxed into the world that Ms Jarrett provided for me and enjoyed every hot minute that I spent in it!

I’m definitely looking forward to the third book in this series because my interest in reading Reagan and Chase’s book has definitely been piqued!!! Meanwhile, I recommend this 4 Star sweet ‘n’ spicy romance from the Lucky Strike quartet of books.
Profile Image for Ashley Jasper.
1,689 reviews21 followers
August 22, 2020
Sports romance with a little bit of suspense, yes please! That being said, I found the sports and suspense aspects of Protecting Anna to be lacking. However, that doesn't mean it was all bad. Heck, the opening alone had me rooting for Anna.

I liked both leading characters. Anna was strong and brave. Even with her vulnerability, she was a fighter and I commend her for getting herself out of a bad situation. Thank goodness she found herself in Ryan's bar. That stormy night changed everything for both of them. The connection was instantaneous. But more than that, there was a comfort level, a sense of safety and calm that came over them when they were together.

I liked that Ryan gave Anna a safe place to share her demons but also pushed her to move forward from that pain. In turn, she gave Ryan something he had never had before, hope for a lasting and meaningful relationship.

Overall, I found Protecting Anna ok. I wanted more of the 'showdown' between Anna and her ex. There was a lot of build up for it, I knew it was coming, and then just like that it was over with no real consequence. My favorite thing was seeing Anna blossom and grow, come out of her shell in the nurturing and loving environment she found at Lucky Strike. She followed her dreams and her heart and it brought her nothing but happiness and love.
Profile Image for Leah.
641 reviews24 followers
January 14, 2021
A chance meeting between two people creates a love match they never saw coming. Ryan and Anna meet one snowy night when she is seeking refuge in the Lucky Strike Bar. What follows is a story that builds up between two people destined to be together. Anna is running away from a bad situation, and Ryan finally sees that he wants long term. These two are wonderful together, they bring each other up with support and friendship while navigating the trials of falling in love and being scared of the outcome. This beautifully written book deals with a tough subject matter, but does it with a soft heart and hand which makes it work so well. I loved the way that Ryan really comes through for Anna even though there is that fear in him that he will become the one person he doesn’t. Anna shows so much strength after getting out of the situation she was in. We catch up with Jake and Callie, and see more or Reagan and Melanie. As well as Chase and Noah. This group of friends are amazing and when you find your tribe hold on tight. If you haven’t give this book or this author a read, you should and you will NOT be disappointed.
Profile Image for Christine F..
270 reviews9 followers
August 5, 2020
“Protecting Anna”—Julia Jarrett [4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️] This is book two in the Lucky Strike Lovers series and although this can be read as a stand-alone, I highly suggest reading the first book, “Loving Callie” as you’ll get introduced to other main characters and some background. Anna is trying desperately to escape her past in California, not even contemplating how she can ever have a normal relationship again. Back in her old hometown, she goes into the Lucky Strike Pub, desperate for a safe escape, when she comes across the very intriguing and attractive bartender, Ryan. There’s something about Anna that he’s completely drawn to, and Ryan is suddenly experiencing feelings he thought he could never have for a woman. This book was such a cute romance story of Anna and Ryan trying to move on from their past to find happiness together in their future. Make sure to check this out when the book is released on August 13th! 👍🏼*Thank you to Julia Jarrett for providing me a digital ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!*📚
Profile Image for CurlUpWithBooks.
254 reviews16 followers
August 17, 2020
A wonderful second book to the Lucky Strikes Lovers Series. I enjoyed this one even more than the first.

Anna is escaping an abusive relationship and finds sanctuary in the home she inherits from her Aunt. When first arriving in Portland she enters the Lucky Strikes bar where she meets Ryan. Ryan is a notorious playboy and bartender/part-owner at Lucky Strikes. The two have an immediate connection.

Ryan goes into protective mode, which surprises himself. Throughout the book, he struggles with the intense feelings and the need to keep Anna safe, as he's never had these types of feelings and does not want to repeat his father’s mistakes. I appreciated how his family and friends would call him out when he would pull away from Anna.

I loved the honest and deep conversations that Anna and Ryan shared with each other. The one thing that did bother me I thought Anna would have been more cautious when starting a romantic relationship based on her history. That being said, I enjoyed the romantic journey of these two soulmates.

Jarrett was also able to develop a stronger female bond between Callie, Reagan, and Melanie who all welcomed Anna into their group with open arms. I am always in favor of authors who write supportive and strong women.

Bonus, this story includes a dog (Samson) which gets positive points from me. Although I am always in favor of more scenes that would include Samson.

Trigger Warning: This story alludes to abusive and toxic relationships.

*ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11.4k reviews150 followers
August 14, 2020
Ryan is a part owner of the Luck Strikes bar, and actually is a bartender as well. It's served him well with the ladies, as he's a playboy who never plans to have a relationship and makes it known to the women he hooks up with.  One night, a snowstorm brings a woman into the bar, and new feelings of protectiveness overtakes him.  Anna is that woman who is running from her past which was a nightmare after she picked the wrong man, however, she reached deep down to find the courage to run, so as fate would have it, she comes face to face with Ryan.  I had one big issue with this story, and that's how Anna trusted so quickly because I still don't trust a man 10 years later so yeah, it was an issue to me. Anyway, we get to see why Ryan is like he is, while worrying about Anna's past finding her which kept me on the edge of my seat cover to cover making this story a page turner at the end of the day.  So, hit those one click buttons to experience it for yourselves.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Profile Image for Wendy Livingstone.
15.1k reviews150 followers
August 14, 2020
This is the 2nd book in this series and is Ryan and Anna’s story. Ryan is a bartender come owner of a pub and is a self-proclaimed playboy. Anna is escaping an abusive relationship, where the man of her dreams became the man of her nightmares and goes into the pub for safety. There is an instant connection between Ryan and Anna, and he struggles with himself for the intense feeling and the need to keep her safe. This is a well written story which is a good 2nd chance love story which I recommend.
Profile Image for MyDogAteMyBookReview.
212 reviews42 followers
January 12, 2021
I loved this one even more than the first one (sorry Jake 😂) but I’m just such a sucker for a couple that get stuck together for the night! I love it when people are forced to share a space, especially because of a snowstorm 😍

Anna is trying to run from her past and she’s not looking for another man but Ryan is her safe place. I adore Ryan, I love a man who’s protective and will do anything to keep the woman he loves safe.

While Julia writes an instant attraction/lust and insta love isn’t my thing, I never feel like it’s rushed because she shows us the love, not just tells us it’s there.
Profile Image for Eden Rayna.
Author 10 books39 followers
April 9, 2021
Everyone deserves their HEA!

This second book in the Lucky Strike series is about playboy Ryan and survivor Anna. While the insta attraction was a little hard to wrap my head around for these two characters, their story grew on me as they revealed more about themselves. This is a *steamy* read and makes me want to take a trial to Portland to see if the bar scene is really this hot!
1,784 reviews7 followers
August 19, 2020
I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put book down once I started. I had to know what will happen. This book had some shocking moments.

I loved Ryan and Anna together, they hit it off from beginning when Anna walked into the pub. Ryan helps Anna a lot before they give into the chemistry.

I can't wait for more.
Profile Image for Erin Knuth.
311 reviews7 followers
September 8, 2020
Another foray into the Lucky Strike Pub world!

This time we get to see playboy Ryan transform into an attentive, loving protector with Anna, a gentle newcomer on the run. Their instant connection runs deep (and then HOT!) Also super fun? Glimpses into Callie and Jake from Loving Callie!

Can't wait for more in this series - that epilogue has got me salivating ;-)
74 reviews1 follower
December 3, 2020
Sweet contemporary romance

Ryan and Anna's story was a heartwarming, sweet romance with a great hea ending - just as it should be! I'm really looking forward to reading Reagan and Chase's story next!
Profile Image for Courtney.
156 reviews
January 25, 2021
I had high hopes for this book as it is one of my favorite tropes, heroine running from a dangerous past and finding love in a protective hero. While I did enjoy reading this story, overall it ended up falling a little flat for me.
Profile Image for Daphne Drake.
Author 10 books21 followers
February 4, 2021
If you’re looking for a sweet romance Protecting Anna is a great choice. It starts on a heavy note but things shift and you get to see instant chemistry flare up between two great characters. This story continued to show that with the right person (or people) in your life anything is possible.
49 reviews
May 12, 2022
romance with a twist

Great and quick read. Loving this series and can’t wait to read the next one. True love and safety wins! Never lose hope of finding it and don’t settle for anything else. Thankful for my one and only!
Profile Image for JudyAnnLovesBooks.
1,602 reviews68 followers
August 14, 2020

Sexy, lady’s man Ryan, is into hookups and one night stands. As co-owner of a successful bar, The Lucky Strike, he is living every single man’s dream. It’s the perfect job for him because he doesn’t do relationships, never has, never will, he’s upfront and honest about it and has never strayed the course. Until her.

Anna is broken. Love has not treated her kindly. The man of her dreams turned out to be the man of her nightmares and she was left a shadow of her former self because of it. Manipulated and controlled, lost and alone, she manages to find the strength to get out and away, to start a new life, never planning to trust a man again. Until him.

A chance encounter on a cold winter’s night catapults Anna into Ryan’s world and both will be forever changed because of it. Ryan starts to feel, want, need, things that he’s never once imagined for him. Anna, bruised, hesitant and afraid, is surprised by how safe and cherished a perfect stranger, a man no less, makes her feel.

Slowly, beautifully and carefully they fall in love. Their happily ever after isn’t easy but it is bittersweet and well deserved. TBR and Enjoy and if you haven’t already read Book 1 Loving Callie, you really should.
Profile Image for Erica (_speedereader_).
451 reviews13 followers
August 19, 2020
I have really enjoyed the Lucky Strike Lovers series so far! Anna, a woman running from a bad relationship, finds solace in the Lucky Strike bar when she steps off her bus from California. Her aunt has recently passed away and has left her house to Anna in a time of much needed refuge. When she gets into town, she certainly doesn't expect to find Ryan - an anti-relationship bartender and co-owner of Lucky Strike.

Something about Anna draws Ryan in immediately and he feels the need to spend all of his time with her and protect her from the thing she won't talk about. Eventually we find out that Anna's ex-boyfriend was in with a really bad crowd and has been committing crimes under Anna's nose.

While this story was a little bit insta-love for a guy who seemingly didn't believe in commitment thanks to some deep seated issues with his father, I liked Anna and Ryan as a couple and found myself rooting for them.

Read this book if you enjoy cute dogs, a solid group of friends, and a guy who finds love when he doesn't really believe he can give it.
3,106 reviews15 followers
August 13, 2020
Anna escaped from a brutal life. She'd been given a chance at the cost of her last family member. Her gran left her a home. Now all she needed was a job. Warming up after her long bus ride put her in a pub to get the hot drink and ended up with a job. And more.

Ryan was tending bar on the slow night she walked in and captured his attention. He was a one-night-stand kind of guy. His experience of relationships taints his confidence of finding a future for himself.

Their beginning became more. He made her feel safe but resisted anything longterm. When trouble finds her maybe his thinking will change.

I enjoyed the story and their love and friends from the previous story in the series. However, after being in a controlling abusive relationship I would think she would be more resistant to quickly fall again.
Reviewed for Words Turn Me on.

Profile Image for Fiona.
469 reviews10 followers
August 14, 2020
This was an enjoyable and sweet love story. Having fled from an unsavory relationship, Anna finds love, comfort, safety, and passion with Ryan. Jarrett does a great job of detailing their love story, the ups and downs as they learn to trust each other, sharing their past and tentatively taking steps toward a future together. Anna, believes she is weak, but she is an incredibly strong, caring, and beautiful woman. Ryan is afraid he takes after his father in more than just his looks, but in reality he is a man capable of love, fidelity, as well as being a protective, sexy alpha male (swoon worthy book boyfriend). If you are looking for a feel good romance that is a fun and steamy read, this may be the book for you. Advanced copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amber.
260 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2021
This is the second book in the four book Lucky Strike series. Fleeing an abusive relationship Anna ends up back in her home time alone and jobless. Ryan is working as a bartender at the Lucky Strike pub during a snowstorm when Anna blows in. Both Anna and Ryan have a past they are trying to move on from. Can they move on together?

Anna is so strong in this book and Ryan is a complete sweetheart. I absolutely love their story. This book does end on a bit of a cliffhanger leading into book three of the series. There is suspense, drama, and desire throughout this book.
Profile Image for Caroline O'Sullivan.
603 reviews26 followers
October 4, 2021
I was given this book by the author in return for an honest review.

This book is number 2 in the lucky strike series, it can be read as a stand alone but I definitely recommend reading Loving Callie first to meet some of the other characters. 

In this book we meet newcomer Anna and of course the sexy bartender ryan that we met in book 1.

Ryan was an absolute playboy in Loving Callie but in this book we get to see a whole other side to him as well as learn about why he acts the way that he does. This man has had a rough ride growing up and this has always controlled his behavior, but maybe Anna can help with that. We see that he is respectful, caring, loving, protective, romantic, handsome and of course charming.

Anna is a sweet, loving, caring, respectful and beautiful lady who happened to fall for the wrong man. She was in a terrible relationship which has no doubt scarred her for life and Will make her nervous about meeting anyone, can Ryan help her with that?

Ryan and Anna have an instant connection,  maybe it was fate that brought them together. They both went through things that meant they met, it was like they were supposed to cross each others path. This book showed us that no matter what life throws you, always try and see the silver lining. Maybe this was your path after all.

This book definitely shows us about trust and hope, trust in theirselves and each other and hope that everything will work out.

Anna and Ryan really bring out the best in one another, and help to bring the others joy back, showing what true love really is.

This book is a really sweet read, one that you could easily read in one sitting. 

Thanks for the chance to read this beautiful book
Profile Image for Kelly Kay.
Author 22 books237 followers
January 12, 2021
This series keeps getting better. Loved Anna. And Ryan is a wonderful pivot from the domineering Billionaires I've been reading lately. A small-town romance that reads like a sweeping epic. Totally worth your time & money.
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