Review: Sheltering Lawson (Hope Parish Series) by Zoe Dawson

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Lawson Edwards has been running for so long, she can’t remember what it’s like to have a normal life. Destitute, living in her car, this former stripper hits Suttontowne and lands a job as a waitress at Outlaws. It’s only temporary until she gets enough cash to run again. Staying in one place too long wasn’t safe. But when Ethan Fairchild finds her after she faints from hunger, she just can’t shake him. He’s solid and strong, caring and protective. But Lawson cannot and will not involve him in her problems. There can be no happily ever after for her in his arms.

Ethan Fairchild ran off after a nasty fight with his preacher father who wanted Ethan to follow in his footsteps. It wasn’t what he wanted and the expectations for Ethan’s future were too much. Ethan joined the Marines and after his discharge returned back to his father and Suttontowne. Now he’s busy partnering with Chase Sutton on his Bait and Tackle business and still bartending for Outlaws. When he finds Lawson on the ground outside of Outlaw’s, he helps her and his sixth sense tells him that she’s in trouble. It isn’t until he learns of her current desperate circumstances that he realizes what kind of trouble. He wants to help her, but his heart has different plans when it tumbles for her. Will she trust him and make a stand—with him or flee and break his heart?

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: ARC from author and purchase

My Rating: 5/5

Lawson Edwards has been on the run for the better part of a year.  In that year, she’s done things she never imagined having to do, she’s lived in a way she never knew was possible, and she’s never stopped looking over her shoulder.  As fate would have it, her days of running have come to end right outside the one place in the world she will be able to find all the help she could ever ask for. 

Lawson comes from a wealthy southern family with ties to nearly every level of society.  She’s known wealth and the best money can buy, but in the last year, that’s all been cruelly ripped from her.  Make no mistake, Lawson doesn’t have to have the money, she can get by without it, but she would like to stop running, stop constantly looking over her shoulder in fear, and find a place where she can settle down.  The demons Lawson left behind when she ran are leviathans and facing them is sure to cost her life.   With few options and even less money, Lawson decides Suttontowne is as good a place as any to rest for a bit and replenish her funds. 

As luck would have it, Lawson is just outside of Outlaws and Brax is need of a good waitress.  Lawson needs job and is willing to work to earn her keep.  Within just a few days, Lawson feels right at home and with each new person she meets, she finds Suttontowne feels more like home.  A dangerous feeling for a woman who can’t be found.  Even more troubling is Ethan Fairchild, the sexy bartender who seems to want nothing more from Lawson than to help her.  Ethan is startlingly handsome, has a heart of gold, and may be more dangerous to Lawson’s safety and security than the leviathans from her past.  It’s always risky to become entangled with a man, particularly one who can so easily steal a woman’s heart.

Ethan Fairchild has spent his life in service to others.  Ethan wants his life to matter, he wants to help others, but he isn’t sure his father’s plan for him to become a preacher is the way. For many years, Ethan has put off telling his father the truth of his feelings, but Lawson’s presence and her influence make the procrastination far more difficult.  Being close to Lawson, helping her, and even loving her means being honest about every aspect of his life and facing his father with his truth.  Ethan vows to do just that once he knows Lawson is safe and nothing can hurt her.  As their relationship deepens and Lawson begins to open up to Ethan, he is sure he can help her if she will only allow it.  Getting through to her is a prickly business as Lawson is just about the most stubborn human Ethan has ever met and he’s friends with the Outlaw triplets 🙂

As things come to a head, both Ethan and Lawson know, without doubt they want their respective futures to include one another, but in order for that to happen they must face their issues.  Before Lawson can even board the plane, her past comes roaring into town in the form of her husband and father-in-law.  They come wielding nothing short of ill intent and a tire iron and if Lawson doesn’t keep her wits about her, she’s not going to get her happily ever after. 

The Bottom Line: For the time being, Sheltering Lawson is to be the final book in the long-running Hope Parish series and it is above and beyond a fitting end.  On top of being a really, really good read, Sheltering Lawson also features damn-near every character from the series.  Oh, their appearance isn’t gratuitous, but a part of a well-planned and wonderfully written plot that brings the entire series full circle.  I have loved this series from the very beginning and even this many books in, the plots are still interesting and fresh, the characters still full-bodied and real, and the consistency is just incredible.  This is a series that will absolutely hold up over time and be well worth revisiting!

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About the author and where to find her:

Zoe Dawson

Zoe Dawson lives in North Carolina right on the Mason/Dixon line. She discovered romance in her teens and has been spinning stories in her head ever since. Her heroes are sexy males with a disregard for danger and whether reluctant, gung-ho, or caught up in the action, show their hearts of gold.  Her imagination runs wild with romances from sensual to scorching including romantic comedy, new adult, romantic suspense, small town and urban fantasy. Look below to explore the many avenues to her writing. She believes that it’s all about the happily ever afters and always will be.

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