Freak. Witch. Ugly. Abomination.
Having grown up with a port-wine birthmark on her face and neck, Quinn Dixon’s heard them all. Her own mother couldn’t bear to touch her, let alone strangers. Years of stares and insults from everyone from classmates to foster families have made her understandably reluctant to trust. So when John comes along, of course he couldn’t be interested in more than a brief affair. He’ll get sick of all the gawking and whispers soon enough and leave her…just like everyone else.
John “Driftwood” Trettle was captivated by Quinn the moment they met. After months of skirting around their attraction, one pivotal evening finds John seizing the reins and refusing to be denied a chance to prove he’s worthy of Quinn’s time, her trust, and her love. To show her he’ll have her back, always, and defend her against anyone cruel or stupid enough to hurt his woman.
But he can’t protect against an unknown threat. Even if it wears a familiar face…
** Shelter for Quinn is the 13th book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.
intriguing and seductive
SHELTER FOR QUINN is the thirteenth instalment in Susan Stoker’s contemporary, adult BADGE OF HONOR: TEXAS HEROES romantic suspense series focusing on a group of first responders and law enforcement heroes, and the women they love. This is thirty-one year old, fire fighter John ‘Driftwood’ Trettle, and twenty-eight year old lab technician Quinn ‘Emmy’ Dixon’s story line. SHELTER FOR QUINN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Quinn and John) SHELTER FOR QUINN follows the friends to lovers relationship between thirty-one year old, fire fighter John ‘Driftwood’ Trettle, and twenty-eight year old lab technician Quinn Dixon. Quinn Dixon knows discrimination and bullying first hand. Born with a port-wine birthmark on her face and neck, our heroine bares the brunt of rejection and nasty comments every day of her life. Meeting fire fighter John Trettle gives our heroine the hope for a future but a future that is threatened by hatred and betrayal. What ensues is the slow building romance between John and Quinn, and the potential fall-out as Quinn is targeted by a psychotic mind.
John and Quinn met through mutual acquaintances and friends, friends who support our heroine regardless of her handicaps or looks. Quinn struggles with the public bigotry and hatred she must endure; John battles to protect the woman with whom he is falling in love.
The relationship between John and Quinn is one of mutual attraction; a friends to lovers romance that pulls John into Quinn’s world of intolerance inflicted by those who refuse to accept or acknowledge the physical differences between one another. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
There is a large ensemble cast of colorful and familiar secondary and supporting characters including a several previous story line couples and characters. We are introduced to Hudson’s (aka Taco) new girlfriend Jennifer, as well as travel agent Koren Garner. Koren and Taco’s story line is next in Shelter for Koren.
The world building focuses on discrimination, intolerance, hatred and bigotry. Most of Susan’s heroines struggle with some sort of physical, emotional or traumatic issues that affect their every day existence; her hero’s continue to be impossibly perfect and the epitome of fearless, accepting and bold.
SHELTER FOR QUINN is an emotional and sensitive story line. The premise is intriguing; the romance is seductive; the characters are colorful, strong and energetic…..but I did struggle with (or question) the inordinate amount of discrimination and bigotry directed at our story line heroine: is the intolerance a reality for people afflicted with port-wine birthmarks, or exaggerated for the fictional bias. Other than the immediate group of friends, virtually every one she met or those with whom she came in contact with were narrow-minded and intolerant of her birthmark, to the point of distraction, hatred, bullying and life threatening- a real or abstract reflection of the world in which we live?