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Defending Harlow

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Danger rises and love is threatened in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s fourth book of the Mountain Mercenaries series. Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has watched his fellow Mountain Mercenaries settle down with the women of their dreams, but he’s convinced he doesn’t need love. Then he gets a call from Harlow Reese—a chef at a local women’s s Danger rises and love is threatened in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s fourth book of the Mountain Mercenaries series. Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has watched his fellow Mountain Mercenaries settle down with the women of their dreams, but he’s convinced he doesn’t need love. Then he gets a call from Harlow Reese—a chef at a local women’s shelter—and begins to reconsider his decision.After being continually harassed by a local band of punks, Harlow asks Lowell to give the women of the shelter lessons in self-defense. She doesn’t expect him to take such a special interest in her safety, but he insists on escorting her to and from work, never taking no for an answer. Not that Harlow minds the personal touch…especially when it’s coming from her former teenage crush.Despite her long history of bad dating luck, seeing Black again makes Harlow rethink her self-imposed celibacy. Easy on the eyes and hard to forget, the man has morphed into an alpha stud. And Harlow may be exactly the type of woman Black is looking for. Making her feel safe isn’t only a duty; it’s a pleasure. But the threats are escalating. The motives are a mystery. And as the danger burns almost as hot as their passion, there’s much more at risk than their hearts.


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Danger rises and love is threatened in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s fourth book of the Mountain Mercenaries series. Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has watched his fellow Mountain Mercenaries settle down with the women of their dreams, but he’s convinced he doesn’t need love. Then he gets a call from Harlow Reese—a chef at a local women’s s Danger rises and love is threatened in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s fourth book of the Mountain Mercenaries series. Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has watched his fellow Mountain Mercenaries settle down with the women of their dreams, but he’s convinced he doesn’t need love. Then he gets a call from Harlow Reese—a chef at a local women’s shelter—and begins to reconsider his decision.After being continually harassed by a local band of punks, Harlow asks Lowell to give the women of the shelter lessons in self-defense. She doesn’t expect him to take such a special interest in her safety, but he insists on escorting her to and from work, never taking no for an answer. Not that Harlow minds the personal touch…especially when it’s coming from her former teenage crush.Despite her long history of bad dating luck, seeing Black again makes Harlow rethink her self-imposed celibacy. Easy on the eyes and hard to forget, the man has morphed into an alpha stud. And Harlow may be exactly the type of woman Black is looking for. Making her feel safe isn’t only a duty; it’s a pleasure. But the threats are escalating. The motives are a mystery. And as the danger burns almost as hot as their passion, there’s much more at risk than their hearts.

30 review for Defending Harlow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mindy Lou's Book Review

    Mountain Mercenaries is becoming a new favorite series of mine. I love these men and how protective they are. The main goal as the Mountain Mercenaries is to help women and children who are being abused. The first three books were about the heroine being one of those abused women. In Defending Harlow, the author switched things up a bit and the heroine is not a mission they go on. However, she does ask for their help with some punks harassing the women and kids at the shelter she works at. Harlow Mountain Mercenaries is becoming a new favorite series of mine. I love these men and how protective they are. The main goal as the Mountain Mercenaries is to help women and children who are being abused. The first three books were about the heroine being one of those abused women. In Defending Harlow, the author switched things up a bit and the heroine is not a mission they go on. However, she does ask for their help with some punks harassing the women and kids at the shelter she works at. Harlow and Lowell (Black) have known each other since high school but they haven’t seen each other since. The instant attraction is mutual but Harlow has a had a string of some very, bad luck dates and she’s over it. Due to this we got to see Black get creative in dating Harlow without Harlow realizing they were dating. I really enjoyed getting to know both Harlow and Black. If I had one complaint, it was the protesting too much. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine. I want to enjoy the budding romance without constant protests. I borrowed the audiobook on kindle unlimited and found out the narrator is one of my favorites. I love Stella Bloom!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erth

    Harlow calls her old high school crush, Black, when the staff and residents of the women’s home she works as a chef are being harassed by neighborhood punks. She has no idea that he is a former navy seal, and now a part of the Mountain Mercenaries whose goal is to rescue and help abused women and children. Hearing about all of Harlow’s horrible dates make it easy to see why Black has to be creative and sneaky to date her without her even realizing they are actually dating. There are plenty of fir Harlow calls her old high school crush, Black, when the staff and residents of the women’s home she works as a chef are being harassed by neighborhood punks. She has no idea that he is a former navy seal, and now a part of the Mountain Mercenaries whose goal is to rescue and help abused women and children. Hearing about all of Harlow’s horrible dates make it easy to see why Black has to be creative and sneaky to date her without her even realizing they are actually dating. There are plenty of fireworks in their budding relationship. Intriguing situations abound as the team tries to figure out the motive for the harassment. This is the 4th book in this fantastic series. While it is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Romance, intrigue, happily ever after...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    NOW LIVE! Amazon US * Amazon UK I am absolutely loving this series and these characters. I can't say that this was the most mysterious book from this series since I knew what was going on pretty much right away. But it was still intriguing and I liked getting to see how everything was going to play out. And I'm dying for the next book after getting a little peak at our next heroine at the end of this one. Definitely a must read series. NOW LIVE! Amazon US * Amazon UK I am absolutely loving this series and these characters. I can't say that this was the most mysterious book from this series since I knew what was going on pretty much right away. But it was still intriguing and I liked getting to see how everything was going to play out. And I'm dying for the next book after getting a little peak at our next heroine at the end of this one. Definitely a must read series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com DEFENDING HARLOW (Mountain Mercenaries Book 4) by Susan Stoker is a romantic suspense that has the men of Mountain Mercenaries working a case in their own hometown. When a women’s and children’s shelter is threatened, these dedicated men work to discover who is responsible and why. All of the books in this series can be read as standalones, but there is more character crossover in this book than in the previous books. Ex-Navy SEAL L Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com DEFENDING HARLOW (Mountain Mercenaries Book 4) by Susan Stoker is a romantic suspense that has the men of Mountain Mercenaries working a case in their own hometown. When a women’s and children’s shelter is threatened, these dedicated men work to discover who is responsible and why. All of the books in this series can be read as standalones, but there is more character crossover in this book than in the previous books. Ex-Navy SEAL Lowell “Black” Lockard has watched his teammates find their forever matches one by one and even though he is not ready for forever, he would like to find someone to share his time with. When Black shows up for his turn to teach self-defense at the women’s shelter, he is surprised to see that the new chef is an acquaintance from high school. Harlow is a beautiful person, inside and out, and Black wants to see more of her, but Harlow does not date. Harlow Reese loves her job and all of the women and children in the shelter. She is surprised when the boy she had a crush on in high school walks in to teach self-defense to the women. Recently a group of young thugs has started harassing the women and children and Harlow asks Black for his help. With Harlow’s “No Dating” rule, Black has to find a way to do things with Harlow without calling it a date. He starts by being available at all times to keep her safe and he begins to find that Harlow means more to him than he planned. The threats escalate and Black pulls in all of the Mountain Mercenaries to help find who is responsible. Can Black and the Mountain Mercenaries keep the shelter and its’ occupants safe as they work to uncover the threat? I really enjoyed the mix of romance and suspense in this book in the series. Harlow’s list of bad dates had me laughing out loud. She had bad things happening around her at the shelter, but she was not abused as the previous heroines. Lowell was an interesting mix of understanding and caring for Harlow, but he has a dark side that is revealed in this story. These two were perfect for each other and I cheered on every step Lowell took to get Harlow. The suspense plot was well written to keep the story fast paced and interesting. The sex scenes were explicit, but not gratuitous when they did occur. I can highly recommend this book and the entire series! I am looking forward to Ball’s story next. Thanks very much to Net Galley and Montlake Romance for allowing me to read this eARC.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wendy'sThoughts

    4 Not Dating Stars * * * * Spoiler Free Susan Stoker has put together a series which has all the alpha males you could want. In Defending Harlow, (Mountain Mercenaries #4), we continue the lives of these men who had dedicated their lives to protect and save those weaker than them. This group is guided by the leader none have physically met, yet respect and allow to direct their efforts in saving women and children when necessary. Through many of these missions, these men have met and fallen for th 4 Not Dating Stars * * * * Spoiler Free Susan Stoker has put together a series which has all the alpha males you could want. In Defending Harlow, (Mountain Mercenaries #4), we continue the lives of these men who had dedicated their lives to protect and save those weaker than them. This group is guided by the leader none have physically met, yet respect and allow to direct their efforts in saving women and children when necessary. Through many of these missions, these men have met and fallen for the women they saved. Lowell "Black" has watched and felt the twinge of "what if" when he thinks about his own life. He never was a relationship guy and knows he is too dark or bad for that to actually happen...but he also can't help feeling like something might be missing. Lowell goes the women's shelter to assist with self-defense lessons the guys give and he was surprised to see a blast from his past high school days. When he was a senior back where he lived, he remembered another younger student being in the yearbook class they had. Harlow was smart, fun, a little clumsy and cute. Now she was all grown up, mid-thirties and was the new chef for the shelter. Hellos were made with a brief catch up of how they both ended up in Colorado Springs. Harlow was a bit stunned to see her school crush all grown up as this Manly Man. What causes a deeper conversation between the two is how there has been verbal harassment of the women and children. At first, it wasn't more than calling out an annoyance but then it escalated. Harlow calls Lowell to follow up on the offer he had made to assist if the kids or women needed any help. After a quick call, Lowell rushes over to see what was happening... and he had a really bad feeling about it. Lowell and Harlow talk about the situation and in the course Lowell's interrogations about what had actually happened, he finds out Harlow hasn't been dating for a while now. The reason; Harlow has been the worst dating person known to man. She has experienced all of the worst dates ever. Men, who want to roofy her, men who are interested in her feet, men who propose at first meetings... you get the picture. Because of this, Harlow does not date. Period. This is a problem because Lowell wants to date her hardcore. He feels so comfortable around her, he feels relaxed and kinda happy. As a smart, savvy ex-Navy SEAL, he knows he has to figure out how to date her without her thinking they are dating. Challenged issued...Mission Accepted. All of this is the sweet part of the story. The other part is the mystery, suspense of who is threatening the shelter, why and what will happen. Although the story was crafted a particular way to lead readers in one direction, for me it was not hidden at all. I knew what was up and even though I did, I still enjoyed the tale. Remembering this is a series, with all the past histories of the secondary characters, there needed to have all of them involved in the mystery part. Eventually, it all came together and we received the discovery we needed to finish off the bad guys. The best part as I mentioned was the sweet caring of Lowell and his journey of falling hard for Harlow. She was also a woman who had experienced much, causing her to be wary of men and their motives for going out with her. What made everything good was how she instinctively knew Lowell was solid and would never hurt her purposely. This series will continue with the next fella's story; Ball better watch out, the Swat Officer he will be working with is one tough lady. A gifted copy was provided by Montlake Romance via NetGalley for an honest review. For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    Defending Harlow by Susan Stoker is 4 in the Mountain Mercenaries Series. This is the story of Harlow Reese and Lowell 'Black' Lockard. I have read the previous books (and Loved them!) but feel you can make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Lowell is feeling a touch of envy when his fellow Mountain Mercenaries are find their women. When a call comes in asking them to help train women to defend themselves at the shelter he goes forward to help. What Lowell finds is Harlow a women who at Defending Harlow by Susan Stoker is 4 in the Mountain Mercenaries Series. This is the story of Harlow Reese and Lowell 'Black' Lockard. I have read the previous books (and Loved them!) but feel you can make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Lowell is feeling a touch of envy when his fellow Mountain Mercenaries are find their women. When a call comes in asking them to help train women to defend themselves at the shelter he goes forward to help. What Lowell finds is Harlow a women who attended his high school back in the day. When he start asking questions he learns she is single and the spark for her just gets bigger. Harlow is done with the dating world after having so many frogs in her life, now her focus seems to be the shelter. When they start getting harassed she looks to get help teaching then to defend themselves. This was a steamy read along with the back ground mystery that make it a page turner for me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    I’m doing a SHORT review since I’m on my phone & in Cabo and I might lose it anyway. I love this series! There’s one more coming out in December. I’m so excited! In this book, Lowell falls for Harlow. No brainer. They go out but “aren’t dating” until they realize how the feel about each other. As of this book in the series there are now four couples that have fallen in love. At least one has been proposed to in this book and at least one is pregnant in this book. And I personally love how we get I’m doing a SHORT review since I’m on my phone & in Cabo and I might lose it anyway. I love this series! There’s one more coming out in December. I’m so excited! In this book, Lowell falls for Harlow. No brainer. They go out but “aren’t dating” until they realize how the feel about each other. As of this book in the series there are now four couples that have fallen in love. At least one has been proposed to in this book and at least one is pregnant in this book. And I personally love how we get introduced to the next character in the last few pages of the book. So the next book is defending Everly. And I know a little bit about her background now after reading the last few pages of this book. The ending is really intense because Nolan, a really bad dude, does something to try to force the sale of the building that’s a shelter for women & children. I can’t wait to meet Everly & her blind sister Elise in the 5th book in this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nerdy Dirty & Flirty

    Protecting the chef… The MM team had a new mission when Harlow reached out to Lowell - the shelter she worked at was under attack. The harassment was relentless and she, and the ladies who lived there, didn’t feel safe anymore. Enter Lowell and his bad-ass team of saviors… Susan Stoker is a queen of military romance! Her band of ex-military mercenaries are strong, smart and ready to help when Harlow filled them in on what was happening. Lowell jumped right into the thick of things, putting himself Protecting the chef… The MM team had a new mission when Harlow reached out to Lowell - the shelter she worked at was under attack. The harassment was relentless and she, and the ladies who lived there, didn’t feel safe anymore. Enter Lowell and his bad-ass team of saviors… Susan Stoker is a queen of military romance! Her band of ex-military mercenaries are strong, smart and ready to help when Harlow filled them in on what was happening. Lowell jumped right into the thick of things, putting himself physically in front of the pretty chef who had caught his eye. Harlow soon made herself his top priority even as he faced a lot of resistance. Not only did the mysterious threats to the shelter play havoc with his agenda but so did Harlow’s “no dating” rule. If why Harlow stopped dating had me in stitches (read her dating nightmare stories and not laugh, I know I couldn’t do it!) her insistence that there would never be a relationship between them, had Lowell in knots… This was an easy read with lots of smoldering glances, teeth gnashing and laugh out loud moments hearing about Harlow’s dating escapades. Who couldn’t relate and empathize as she worried about putting her foot into the dating pool again. I admired Lowell’s determination though and his sly style of getting under her defenses. And all that while fighting a mysterious threat. The drama was there, if low key, and the romance hit all the right notes. This author is an insta-read for me so I’m back to stalking mode again!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kendall {Book Crazy}

    I read ARCs of the other books in this series and I loved the first three books a lot, so I was excited when I heard about this book releasing! I then received an ARC and made it my next read because the synopsis sounded amazing! After reading this book, I can say that I loved it a lot! The plot had me hooked right from the first chapter and I had a hard time putting it down! This meant that this book only took me a few sittings to read! The plot had plenty of romance in it and the romance allow I read ARCs of the other books in this series and I loved the first three books a lot, so I was excited when I heard about this book releasing! I then received an ARC and made it my next read because the synopsis sounded amazing! After reading this book, I can say that I loved it a lot! The plot had me hooked right from the first chapter and I had a hard time putting it down! This meant that this book only took me a few sittings to read! The plot had plenty of romance in it and the romance allowed for some very sweet and hot scenes! There was some action and suspense too, which added a lot to the plot! There wasn't as much action and suspense as there have been in other books in this series, but there were a few heart stopping moments! The characters were also amazing and made this book even better! Harlow was the main female character, and I can't remember if she made appearance in the third book in this series, but I think she did! I loved Harlow in this book! She was very sweet and it was easy to see how much she cared about the women and children in the women's shelter! Harlow was also easy for me to connect with and she grew a lot in this book and put herself in danger to protect others! Lowell “Black” was the main male character and love interest of Harlow! I loved Black in the other books in this series, so I was really excited to read his story! Black was such an amazing guy in this book! He was such a gentleman and I loved the way he was with Harlow! He was protective of her and challenged her to do things that she wouldn't normally do! Black also worked hard and he did work a dangerous job, but he did it because he wanted to look after others and help them! This made me have a lot of respect for him! I loved that this book was written from both Harlow and Black's point of views! I was expecting this because the other books in this series have been written from dual point of view, so I'm really happy that this book was too! It helped me connect more with both Harlow and Black and understand them more! It allowed for more things to happen in the plot too, especially as both characters didn't spend every minute of the book together and were going through their own situations! This book was also written in third person, which I normally don't like, but this author's books are so good that I've been able to read quite a few of her books without any problems, which makes me so happy! I'm assuming that there's going to be another book in this series because of the ending of this book! I can't wait to read it! I can't find any information on the next book on Amazon or Goodreads, but I hope that it releases soon! I still have quite a few of this author's other books to read though, so I have plenty to keep me busy until the next book in this series! The cover for this book is also seriously hot! I love how well it matches the covers of the other books and it would definitely draw me to it if I didn't recognise the author's name! The cover model is also the perfect Black! Big thank you to Susan, Montlake Romance and Netgalley for an ARC of Defending Harlow!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    DNF Boring as hell Tried for 2 days

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lorie

    I absolutely love this series!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Nikolas

    Believe in love Lowell and Harlow each had a hard time thinking they would find someone to settle down with. It was great watching them fall. This is a slow burn with lots of suspense.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Big Joe Rossi

    I like these books, this series, they have ALL been good reads but I think they could of all be GREAT reads. The suspense is there. The build up is there. To me the ending just fall short. Boring. Anticlimactic. In this one Lowell “Black” Lockard runs into a former high school friend, Harlow Reese, who is working at a local shelter as a chef. Young men are taunting and terrorizing the women and children but haven't broken the law...yet. Him & the team of course help out and try to figure out wha I like these books, this series, they have ALL been good reads but I think they could of all be GREAT reads. The suspense is there. The build up is there. To me the ending just fall short. Boring. Anticlimactic. In this one Lowell “Black” Lockard runs into a former high school friend, Harlow Reese, who is working at a local shelter as a chef. Young men are taunting and terrorizing the women and children but haven't broken the law...yet. Him & the team of course help out and try to figure out what and who is behind the acts. Drawn to Harlow, something he hasn't been to another woman in a long time, he is eager to ask her out, but she gave up dating. After the description of her passed dates, you can understand why. So Black has to work around that and make "hanging out" things for them to do. All while keeping her and the others safe AND finding out who is the cause.. The ending was good. A rescue. BUT and a big BUT the person responsible, their demise was so UNEVENTFUL I almost gave this book a 3 star. I mean I want the bad alpha heroes to make the guilty pay in some fashion. Doesnt need to be death or violence but this was so BLAH.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    DEFENDING HARLOW by Susan Stoker. Well, what can I say? Ms. Stoker sure has a knack for writing tales with strong alpha Heroes and, independent heroines, that need a little help once in a while from those strong Heroes. Harlow and Lowell, a/k/a Black, have reconnected and their connection is evident. Harlow, having had many, many horrible dates, has sworn off dating. Lowell, being the smart and suave character he is, manages to slip under her defenses without her even realizing it. I loved it! H DEFENDING HARLOW by Susan Stoker. Well, what can I say? Ms. Stoker sure has a knack for writing tales with strong alpha Heroes and, independent heroines, that need a little help once in a while from those strong Heroes. Harlow and Lowell, a/k/a Black, have reconnected and their connection is evident. Harlow, having had many, many horrible dates, has sworn off dating. Lowell, being the smart and suave character he is, manages to slip under her defenses without her even realizing it. I loved it! His "non-dates" were awesome! Of course, it wouldn't be a Susan Stoker story without danger and there is that too. I did feel the danger wasn't at quite the same level as some of her other stories, but Lowell and Harlow made up for it tenfold. Cannot wait for Ball's story next (fingers crossed)! (received ARC for honest review)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jara Beaubien

    Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has over time seen his friends find the one for them, and to see them happy but he still did not believe he would ever love. (haha). Harlow Reese knew Lowell back in High school and she liked him then. As time passed, and poor girl, the dates she had were to say possibly made in hell or Satan himself come for a visit. She gave up on men and dating, that is until Black aka Lowell stumbled into her. As Lowell and Harlow meet and get to know one another, thin Lowell “Black” Lockard, former Navy SEAL, has over time seen his friends find the one for them, and to see them happy but he still did not believe he would ever love. (haha). Harlow Reese knew Lowell back in High school and she liked him then. As time passed, and poor girl, the dates she had were to say possibly made in hell or Satan himself come for a visit. She gave up on men and dating, that is until Black aka Lowell stumbled into her. As Lowell and Harlow meet and get to know one another, things heat up and not just between them, but around them. Wont say much more, do not want to give the plot away, but have to say this, its another amazing story, well written and great characters.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kylee

    Defending Harlow is the fourth book in the Mountain Mercenaries series and this book had me falling further in love with these guys. Black meets a face from the past who is now in need of some help. However as Black sets out to assist Harlow he sneaks under her radar to start dating her. These two will steal your heart, have you on the edge of your seat and have you hoping as Black defends Harlow these two realize what really is at stake. A love story packed full of heart, compassion and learnin Defending Harlow is the fourth book in the Mountain Mercenaries series and this book had me falling further in love with these guys. Black meets a face from the past who is now in need of some help. However as Black sets out to assist Harlow he sneaks under her radar to start dating her. These two will steal your heart, have you on the edge of your seat and have you hoping as Black defends Harlow these two realize what really is at stake. A love story packed full of heart, compassion and learning to ensure life has no regrets.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Avid Reader

    Defending Harlow (Mountain Mercenaries #4) by Susan Stoker 5 stars M/F Romance Triggers: Stalking, Arson I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads. While it's not necessary to read the previous books, I would recommend them. They are all fantastic and it gives you insight in to the Mountain Mercenaries that you would otherwise not understand. This is Lowell's book. I love that he is getting a story. He's calm when necessary but finds that he feels a little lost at the moment. When he Defending Harlow (Mountain Mercenaries #4) by Susan Stoker 5 stars M/F Romance Triggers: Stalking, Arson I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads. While it's not necessary to read the previous books, I would recommend them. They are all fantastic and it gives you insight in to the Mountain Mercenaries that you would otherwise not understand. This is Lowell's book. I love that he is getting a story. He's calm when necessary but finds that he feels a little lost at the moment. When he reconnects with someone he went to high school with, he can't help but be attracted. When she calls and asks for his help, he'll stop at nothing to make sure that she's safe. Harlow is a great main character. She's strong, but also knows when to lean on those around her. She has an amazing heart and you get to see it shining through her character at every turn. I love how she defends the kids and knows how to help the women. I also love how she sees Lowell. These two have some steamy moments, but overall, while there is some mystery, this was much more relationship oriented than the previous books. I missed the fast pace, but still found this book very enjoyable. I can't wait to see what happens next. These are fantastic!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Lazaridou

    Defending Harlow is the fourth book in the Mountain Mercenaries series by Susan Stoker. The main characters are Black, an ex-SEAL, who owns a gun range and is a MM on his spare time and Harlow a chef who works at a women's shelter. Some men are causing trouble at the shelter and Harlow asks for Black's help. They knew each other when they were in high school and now life has brought them back into each other's lives. After a series of very bad dates, Harlow has decided to stop dating altogether. Defending Harlow is the fourth book in the Mountain Mercenaries series by Susan Stoker. The main characters are Black, an ex-SEAL, who owns a gun range and is a MM on his spare time and Harlow a chef who works at a women's shelter. Some men are causing trouble at the shelter and Harlow asks for Black's help. They knew each other when they were in high school and now life has brought them back into each other's lives. After a series of very bad dates, Harlow has decided to stop dating altogether. So what can a man do to convince her to give him a chance? He takes her on non-dates that actually date. I loved that part. He was slowly easing Harlow into dating him without pushing her too much. For a couple that's not dating for quite some part of the book, these two had a good romance. Black was proving to be the kind of man who is worthy of been in your life and was also kind and thoughtful. Harlow was such a great heroine. I am sure you will love her. She is very caring and I could see her operating a shelter of her own one day. While I was reading the book, I was thinking that she and the other heroines in some way could run a shelter and help the women and children in need. I felt a lot of emotions while reading this book. I could have sworn that the big bad guy is crazy (even though he is not) since he was willing to do everything in his power to get what he wanted even if it meant killing people. While Harlow is not in danger as the previous heroines had been, we still get some intense scenes that made me worry about the fate of some of the characters. Still, I think that her case gave the guys a breather. I am saying that having in my mind that in a rare scene all the couples got together and they were just hanging out. That was one of the best scenes in the book. I also loved how a certain proposal was done. That chapter was my favorite and it made me cry. I wish I could say more, but I don't want to spoil something so good to the rest of you. I shed a happy tear or two because it was written so well and it brought me so many good emotions. I was so excited to find out that the guys are going to finally help Rex find his wife or at least what happened to her! As I have said before, I hope they will find her, but at the same time, I am afraid to see what has been done to her. I am hoping she is hiding somewhere because I don't want to think of her as a prisoner or worse, for so many years. The couple of the next book is Ball and a feisty SWAT officer. And oh, boy, the started on the wrong foot so badly, that I doubt their transition to couple will be easy or fast. Ball has been burned in the past and Everly will be the one to show him how a real partner should be like. I have gotten very hyped for Rex book since I have been waiting for it for a while now, but Ball's book is also looking very promising.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janise Way

    Wanna go to Target with me? Come on, I know exactly what I need; I have a list. Grab a cart. If you read my review of Susan Stoker’s book ‘Defending Allye’ awhile back, I compared this series to a trip to Target. And since then the series is up to book 4. That’s where we are now; book 4 , ‘Defending Harlow’. So, let’s go back to Target. So, Mrs. Stoker has been busy setting up new plan-o-grams and rearranging gondolas. Sorry, that’s Target speak. Just go with it for a minute, please. So, the sum Wanna go to Target with me? Come on, I know exactly what I need; I have a list. Grab a cart. If you read my review of Susan Stoker’s book ‘Defending Allye’ awhile back, I compared this series to a trip to Target. And since then the series is up to book 4. That’s where we are now; book 4 , ‘Defending Harlow’. So, let’s go back to Target. So, Mrs. Stoker has been busy setting up new plan-o-grams and rearranging gondolas. Sorry, that’s Target speak. Just go with it for a minute, please. So, the summer line is here. And it’s happy, relaxing, shiny and new. That’s what this new SS (Susan Stoker) book is. The displays are set differently in the summer. They’re eye-catching, but relaxed. They’re easy. This Harlow chica with her Lowell (Black) isn’t stacked with massive, heart-stopping drama. She won’t scare you with outrageous shenanigans. It’s more...summer-y. It’s about the Mountain Mercenaries doing their alpha-stuff in their hometown. It’s about two people reconnecting as adults. It’s about thinking you know what you want, but finding something you need. It’s exactly like when those dudes in the red & khaki stage the new line of merchandise. Establish the base, secure the shelves with supporting characters, hang some drama from risers and label everything with bright signs from the ceilings. So, yes. I had a good time inside this book. Harlow is like any woman you know: great skills, hidden talents, big heart, and frequent mistake-maker. Lowell is like any man you might know: great skills, hidden talents, big heart, and frequent obtuse idiot. Don’t worry, they both come to their senses. And while I’m on this review—can I just say: REX?! I have a feeling that he’s gonna be like Christmas in Target—that takes up the whole back corner of the store with its goodness!! 😝🥰 Disclaimer for people that need disclaimers: I’m a real person, reading a real book and writing a real review; no weird bot-y business here—just me and my iPad.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kahea

    ***5 Stars*** Susan Stoker hit all the right buttons again with this baby. Fun, sweet, swoon worthy read, with a lot of heart and a good dose of suspense to keep things interesting and bring out the best, and worst, in all the characters making me want to spend a lot more time with all of them. I adored Black/Lowell & Harlow. Black is all kinds of honest, protective and loyal, but also a little sneaky when necessary. What I really liked about him was that when he got something wrong he owned u ***5 Stars*** Susan Stoker hit all the right buttons again with this baby. Fun, sweet, swoon worthy read, with a lot of heart and a good dose of suspense to keep things interesting and bring out the best, and worst, in all the characters making me want to spend a lot more time with all of them. I adored Black/Lowell & Harlow. Black is all kinds of honest, protective and loyal, but also a little sneaky when necessary. What I really liked about him was that when he got something wrong he owned up to it, no excuses given, and worked to never to do it again Harlow has a huge, generous heart that gave selflessly, even though it was quite battered, and had the type of confidence that drew you in. Also her being a chef and loving to cook was a huge bonus Their journey to their HEA was sweet, fun and smexy, but also a bit frustrating as they - well, mostly Harlow - tried to avoid what was going on right in front their noses. Thankfully, Black was all kinds of sneaky goodness and their friends and family didn’t pull any punches when it came to give their opinions. They worked for me as a couple on all levels and I loved just hanging out with them and watching as they got closer than they’d ever dreamed. This was another fun read, that can be read as a standalone, but after meeting all the guys and their women ~ at least those that have found their HEA’s ~ you’ll want to read all of them. The suspense aspect of the story was very well done, and though it kept me guessing at who the baddie could be, it never detracted from all that was going on with Black and Harlow. And after that little tease at the end, I cannot wait to get my hands on Defending Everly! ~ Copy provided by the publisher & voluntarily reviewed

  21. 4 out of 5

    Reina Torres

    Oh my stars!!! All Five of them!!! Harlow has my heart... she gives so much of herself to others and Black... I love that he gets to share in her giving heart... and he gives her his right back... it’s not easy, but soooo worth it!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toria

    Great book Susan Stoker never disappoints! This is another great book in the Mountain Mercenaries series. Black and Harlow were geeat together. Looking forward to the next book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Ok..this is going to be a bit of a different kind of review for me. I usually start off with gushing about Susan Stoker and how much I love her books. Don't worry...I'll still get to that but first I want to talk about her newest book Defending Harlow. Anyone who's read Ms. Stoker knows you're gonna get an over the top hot alpha and a kicka$$ heroine. There's going to be action, drama (or ANGST) and plenty of swoon-worthy romance. And this book has that...kinda. Ms. Stoker starts a new page with Ok..this is going to be a bit of a different kind of review for me. I usually start off with gushing about Susan Stoker and how much I love her books. Don't worry...I'll still get to that but first I want to talk about her newest book Defending Harlow. Anyone who's read Ms. Stoker knows you're gonna get an over the top hot alpha and a kicka$$ heroine. There's going to be action, drama (or ANGST) and plenty of swoon-worthy romance. And this book has that...kinda. Ms. Stoker starts a new page with this second-chance romance between Lowell "Black" Lockard and Harlow Reese. From the very beginning of the book, the tone is different. Think of when you walk in your house and smell your favorite meal cooking but there's something "different" about the smell you can't put your finger on. The slow build up between Black and Harlow is ingenious. The reader gets to enjoy getting to know the characters, their quirks, and hang-ups on a much deeper level. The witty banter back and forth and teasing from Black's friends lend the book the levity to deal with some deeper issues in the book. As the book ramps up Ms. Stoker pulls the reader along with teasing glimpses of background info about sub characters and her well know action and angst. So by the end of the book, you feel like you just had the best well-rounded meal EVER. The flavors were a little different but the food was JUST as good! Now the "gushing" part of the review. Ms. Stoker continues to deliver outstanding books to her reader time after time. Each book is new and fresh with fabulous characters and well-developed stories. How she is able to turn these out at such a quick pace (although I wish it was quicker still) and keep the quality and depth to each book is a wonder to me. If you've never read Susan Stoker, you don't know what you're missing. Pick this book up. Pick them ALL up.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Gibbs

    Lowell Lockard or "Black" as he as known to his friends is a retired Navy Seal who works for the Mountain Mercenaries. He also owns his own gun range and volunteers to teach women self defense and does other charity work. The only thing missing from his life is a woman he doesn't even know he wants. He sees his fellow Mountain Mercenaries fall one by one but he doesn't think that's for him. Enter Harlow Reese who is a chef at a woman's shelter. She also was a year behind Black in high school and Lowell Lockard or "Black" as he as known to his friends is a retired Navy Seal who works for the Mountain Mercenaries. He also owns his own gun range and volunteers to teach women self defense and does other charity work. The only thing missing from his life is a woman he doesn't even know he wants. He sees his fellow Mountain Mercenaries fall one by one but he doesn't think that's for him. Enter Harlow Reese who is a chef at a woman's shelter. She also was a year behind Black in high school and they knew each other but they didn't date. She had a massive crush on him though but he left for the Navy and they never saw each other again until now. Harlow and the other women at the shelter are being harassed and antagonized and it's amping up so Harlow calls Black to help. This book is a bit different from the others in the series in that Harlow isn't exactly a mission. The Mountain Mercenaries haven't rescued her. She is not a size 2 and I love that. She is a full figured woman with a heart of gold. She cares about others and not necessarily herself. She is amazing in her own way but when she meets the women of Black's coworkers she is in awe. Harlow is every bit as strong as the other women but in a different way. She hasn't been kidnapped, tortured, or almost been killed. She is NOT into exercise and she makes that clear. She also doesn't date. She has had too many BAD experiences, some of which are funny. I liked her character a lot. I also like Black and the more I read, the more I liked. Harlow didn't make it easy for him and he had to get creative in order to "date" her and man those dates were amazing! As the story unfolds we meet some wonderful characters at the shelter, esp. the kids. Black and his friends do everything they can to find out what is behind the harassment before it's too late. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    My2CentsBookReviews

    This is one of those books you will read over & over-it's a keeper! I was unable to put the book down I RARELY give 5 stars, it earned it!!! Lowell or black a special ops retired Navy Seal has been on hiatus from dating he gets bored too quick and he hasn't found anyone worthy of dating seriously. He has his gun range business and he team with the mountain mercenaries in which they rescue woman and children from abuse, human sex trafficking. It's fast pace and deadly but 100% worth it. A women's This is one of those books you will read over & over-it's a keeper! I was unable to put the book down I RARELY give 5 stars, it earned it!!! Lowell or black a special ops retired Navy Seal has been on hiatus from dating he gets bored too quick and he hasn't found anyone worthy of dating seriously. He has his gun range business and he team with the mountain mercenaries in which they rescue woman and children from abuse, human sex trafficking. It's fast pace and deadly but 100% worth it. A women's Shelter has helped them with the people they have rescued that didn't have help to get on their feet. So the men volunteer to help the owner out. The new cook is Harlow and she knew Lowell from high school. Harlow is a heart inside & out and her deeds definitely getting her on the good list. She call Lowell due to difficult events that are making the women & children stressed. That has to stop. The background into residents, owner and employees has to be completed. Harlow takes of last dates makes you positively understand her anti-aging rule. Lowell try to brea! That rule. The terrorizing the house and drama of this case has been fast last suspense ful, I didn't want to put the book down. Who needs this book - anyone dating , what not to tolerate and how to act. How a real relationship should be, humor, compromise, trust and giving!The challenge s may need so.e digging to get to the bottom of things. I don't want to spoil this story I have read several Susan Stokers books this one is #1 must read! Violence 2 sex 2 More revirws: https;//www.my2centsbookreviews.com or instagram: My2cents_ Booklover Thank you!

  26. 5 out of 5

    BleuBelle

    DNF around 30%. I didn't like that this was a second-chance romance. Hero and Heroine knew each other since high school, she pined after him but he didn't notice her. And now years later, she's had a bad date after bad date with no luck (which seems desperate and not believable. She mentioned she went on 420 plus first dates that were awful), while he enjoyed dating many many woman. Hero enjoys the "game", learning about new women and getting them to know better, in bed too. But he's not labeling DNF around 30%. I didn't like that this was a second-chance romance. Hero and Heroine knew each other since high school, she pined after him but he didn't notice her. And now years later, she's had a bad date after bad date with no luck (which seems desperate and not believable. She mentioned she went on 420 plus first dates that were awful), while he enjoyed dating many many woman. Hero enjoys the "game", learning about new women and getting them to know better, in bed too. But he's not labeling himself a man-whore. Heroine tells everyone (even a bartender) that she meets, about her bad luck with dates. And the she tells them exactly what happened and that all men are dumb and such, and that she now doesn't want to date. But in secrecy she pines after the Hero all the while. She wants husband and children. Hero wants to date her (be her boyfriend, but not her husband). He dismisses her personal space, always touching her back and her face and her hair. Even going into her home while she gets her purse without being invited. Then finds it funny that Heroine doesn't like it. Well this was really immature, way over the top and the Hero would be crazy stalker/domineering material if not for the fact that he's the Hero in the story. I really like reading books from Susan Stoker. But this was just bad.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kari Hansen

    Lowell is an ex-Navy SEAL is a member of the Mountain Mercenaries who has watched his teammates find their “ones” and he would like the same thing for himself but doesn’t believe it will happen for him. When he is asked to teach self defense at a woman’s shelter he is surprised and intrigued to find out that he and Harlow, the chef, went to high school together. Harlow had a crush on Lowell when she was a teenager but with her dating history she is taking a break from men. Lowell enjoys spending Lowell is an ex-Navy SEAL is a member of the Mountain Mercenaries who has watched his teammates find their “ones” and he would like the same thing for himself but doesn’t believe it will happen for him. When he is asked to teach self defense at a woman’s shelter he is surprised and intrigued to find out that he and Harlow, the chef, went to high school together. Harlow had a crush on Lowell when she was a teenager but with her dating history she is taking a break from men. Lowell enjoys spending time with her however he knows that she would never agree to a date so he suggests a non-date. As they spend time together their feelings for each other escalate but so does the danger that is surrounding the shelter. It becomes a race against time as Lowell and his teammates try to uncover the truth behind the threats before they are successful. Witty banter, great secondary characters and just enough suspense to keep you guessing make this an enjoyable story and a great addition to the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    patrick Lorelli

    Book 4 in the series has not one woman is in need of help like the other books but a woman’s shelter needing their help. One of the women the chief Harlow Reese had seen Lowell Blackwell at his gun range. What Lowell doesn’t know is that she remembers him from high school. She was a few years behind him. When she asks for his help he has known problem jumping in then he brings in the team to find out why the shelter is being targeted like they are. Harlow and Lowell want to be together but at th Book 4 in the series has not one woman is in need of help like the other books but a woman’s shelter needing their help. One of the women the chief Harlow Reese had seen Lowell Blackwell at his gun range. What Lowell doesn’t know is that she remembers him from high school. She was a few years behind him. When she asks for his help he has known problem jumping in then he brings in the team to find out why the shelter is being targeted like they are. Harlow and Lowell want to be together but at the same time, Lowell does not want to lose focus of the job at hand. He also is getting upset with their boss because he feels that he is letting them down as far as who could be behind these attacks. Especially after a fire starts. What was also different about this book was that Harlow told him about all of her bad sates and that she did not want to go on dates with him. He agreed and yet she did not realize that all of the different places that he took her were actually dates. This whole story was different than the other books and I really liked it and it still had action and the same characters from the other books. This is a very good book with a very good storyline. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

  29. 5 out of 5

    Reading In Pajamas

    ✦Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: DEFENDING HARLOW by Susan Stoker https://wp.me/p3d0RZ-b8A Publication Date: June 4, 2019 Genre: Romantic Suspense Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna Rated 4.5 Stars This is my favorite of the Mountain Mercenaries series. Harlow and Black were both characters that were easy to bond with and I loved watching Black’s ingenious plan to win her heart play out. It was sweet, romantic, and had just enough sex to spice it up. Black’s fellow mercenaries interacted more, a ✦Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: DEFENDING HARLOW by Susan Stoker https://wp.me/p3d0RZ-b8A Publication Date: June 4, 2019 Genre: Romantic Suspense Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna Rated 4.5 Stars This is my favorite of the Mountain Mercenaries series. Harlow and Black were both characters that were easy to bond with and I loved watching Black’s ingenious plan to win her heart play out. It was sweet, romantic, and had just enough sex to spice it up. Black’s fellow mercenaries interacted more, and their banter made them feel like a close-knit group with unshakable bonds. Just what I love in a group series. The action flowed quite nicely with the budding romance, never appearing gratuitous or forced as it reached its climax. I only have one request….I want to know more about Rex! I guess I’ll just have to wait impatiently for book 5. *Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ~*~*~*~ Kindle https://amzn.to/2MjM3OO

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Bromley

    Another great book can't wait for the next one It's always daunting to start a new series by a favourite author but as you read book after book and then in no time you are up to book four, you finish and you think gosh can it get any better than this. Obviously it can because Ball is next and I so can't wait to read his book. Black knew Harlow from school but didn't know she had a bit of a crush on him, in need of his help due to the residents at the shelter being harassed, it soon becomes appar Another great book can't wait for the next one It's always daunting to start a new series by a favourite author but as you read book after book and then in no time you are up to book four, you finish and you think gosh can it get any better than this. Obviously it can because Ball is next and I so can't wait to read his book. Black knew Harlow from school but didn't know she had a bit of a crush on him, in need of his help due to the residents at the shelter being harassed, it soon becomes apparent that the men are on their own as their handler has his mind on other stuff and the harassment goes further than before. As lives are out in danger it's up to the men to find the baddie. I loved Black and Harlow and they worked so well as a couple.

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