Sweet Beginnings: Protecting You by Claire Kingsley Review

by Theja Pk
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paperback of protecting you by Claire kingsley laying on top of open book and wooden tray

Last updated on February 15th, 2024

In this review of Protecting You by Claire Kingsley, we delve into the origin story 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.

Protecting You – Claire Kingsley

4.5 out of 5
illustrated book cover of protecting you by Claire kingsley showing a red truck with pumpkins in the back, amidst a mountainous landscape

GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUB DATE: May 21, 2020
TROPE: friends to lovers
TWs: Description of rape (not graphic)

The Bailey Brothers series opening novel is an emotional, moving story featuring two people brave enough to take the leap into love.

Characters
5 out of 5
Plot
4 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
4 out of 5
Narration
5 out of 5
Table of contents

Synopsis

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 dares 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.

Characters

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.

Plot

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 quite unexpected with its cliffhanger, but it invokes the necessary suspense and excitement of the story’s conclusion in Fighting For Us.

Narration

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.

Conclusion

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.

Cover Change

The series recently received an update with beautifully illustrated covers, which are absolutely vibrant and capture the charming atmosphere of the small town.

But, I am a bit biased towards the originals because I think the men chosen to portray the brothers were a perfect match for their respective characters.

ORIGINAL COVER
UPDATED COVER

Enjoyed this review of Protecting You by Claire Kingsley? Then, be sure to add it to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!

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