TITLE: Protecting You (Bailey Brothers Series book #1)
AUTHOR: Claire Kingsley
GENRE: Contemporary romance
PUBLISHER: Always Have, LLC
PUBLICATION DATE: May 21, 2020
TROPES: Childhood friends to lovers
TWs: Description of rape (not graphic)
FORMAT USED: Audiobook
NARRATORS: Aaron Shedlock, Samantha Moore
RATING: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5
Protecting you is book #1 of the Bailey Brothers series detailing the story between Asher Bailey and Grace Miles. This is a spin-off from the Miles Family Series, but it’s not necessary to read that before starting this book. It’s a short book whose primary purpose is to set the stage for the rest of the series as it introduces each of the brothers while giving a glimpse into their family life in the quirky town of Tilikum.
Grace Miles misses her easy friendship with Asher, but growing up means growing apart. And really, how could he fall for her when they spent their childhood getting muddy in the creek and splitting sticks of gum? But this summer, something feels different. If Grace didn’t know better, she’d think Asher was flirting with her. Those dark eyes, hard body, and wicked smile make her insides swirl and her heart dare to hope for things she’s convinced herself she’ll never have.
Falling for your best friend shouldn’t be complicated, but for Asher Bailey, loving Grace is anything but simple. The road to romance isn’t smooth thanks to his pack of wild brothers who are protective of the girl next door, a take-no-sass grandmother, a small town where gossip is a spectator sport, and a feud that spans generations. But Asher realizes his feelings are too big to ignore.
Loving her isn’t the risk. Losing her would be.
And one night, one kiss, changes everything. Finally admitting their feelings is the beginning of their happily ever after. Until their fairy tale love story is tragically interrupted, and neither of them will ever be the same.
Asher is the oldest of 5 rambunctious brothers. And since childhood, he’s had feelings for Grace, the quintessential girl next door. But life got in the way, and they grew apart. Now that Grace is home for the summer, he finds that all his old feelings are resurfacing, and he can’t see a reason to resist them anymore. I loved that he was the one to initiate and make his feelings known, while giving her the space to figure out if she felt the same way.
I really enjoyed getting to know the unique personalities of each of the rowdy brothers. While some remained stoic and others provided comedic relief, the camaraderie and shenanigans between them were super fun to read about and had me smiling and laughing so many times.
Their grandmother heads the Bailey clan and handles all the brothers without ever raising her voice. Her kindness and warmth are seeped into the wisdom she doles out anytime she can, and she remains a valuable character throughout the series.
Asher and Grace’s story is sweet and heartwarming, and you can’t help but root for their happily ever after. The first time they slept together was a touching scene that you don’t see very often in romance novels.
As it’s a short book, the story is fast-paced. You are introduced to many characters that play important roles throughout the series, from Grace’s mother and brother to the quirky old guy in town who is always fighting with the squirrels. But the information never leaves you feeling overwhelmed. Instead, it makes you feel like you are a part of the town of Tilikum and its eccentricities.
The ending was really unexpected as it does end on a cliffhanger, but it invokes the necessary suspense and excitement needed to move into book 2 – Fighting for Us.
Aaron Shedlock and Samantha Moore did a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. Their voices matched the characters perfectly and complimented each other well. I definitely recommend listening to this book as an audiobook.
Protecting you by Claire Kingsley is an emotional, moving story featuring two people brave enough to take the leap into love. If you want to escape to a crazy, little town filled with genuine and funny characters, then this book is for you.
If you’ve seen a different cover for this book and are wondering if it’s the same novel, I have included the original and updated cover below to avoid any confusion.
RATING: ★★★★/5 ᐧ || ᐧ Told in dual POVs, Protecting You is the origin story of the Bailey Brother series featuring the love story between Grace and Asher, the oldest Bailey brother.
Author: Claire Kingsley
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