Series: Colorado Fosters (Book 4)
OF ALL THE PROTECTORS IN THE WORLD…
Dylan knows that he's a sucker for damsels in distress -- it's a Foster gene, for crying out loud! -- and that he's promised himself not to get burned again, but to let a mother and child sleep in a car? Not on his watch. Just a little bit of help to get her back on her feet, is all. Then the beautiful woman and adorable son can -- no, will -- go on their way…
Her instincts scream yes! His actions are genuine, eyes sincere, and he's surrounded by loving family -- why not trust him? There's also another big reason: Chelsea Bell and her son have no other option here in Steamboat Springs but to lean on Dylan, albeit temporarily. Swallowing her pride and reaching for Henry's little hand, they walk from the frigid cold car to Dylan's waiting arms…and into a world of possibility…
Terrific story about two emotionally wary people brought together by their need to care for a little boy. Chelsea has hit rock bottom in her life. She and her son came to Steamboat Springs for a job that fell through, leaving her with little money and a car on its last legs. It has been just her and her son since before he was born. Henry's father deserted her as soon as he found out she was pregnant. Her parents disowned her when she refused to give the baby to them to raise (her childhood had been terrible). Her apartment burned and her sister's husband threw them out after a short time staying with them. She has learned the hard way that the only person she can depend on is herself.
Dylan saw Chelsea and Henry come into the pub and had a feeling from the beginning that something wasn't right. He wasn't going to get involved, as the last time he got involved with a woman in trouble it didn't turn out well for him. He got burned and now he takes a rather cynical look at women. But when he finds Chelsea and Henry sleeping in their car, he can't just walk away. So he talks her into staying the night in the apartment over the pub, intending to send them on their way in the morning. But by that time, his protective instincts have kicked in, and he's unable to resist trying to help.
Chelsea finds it very difficult to believe that Dylan is offering his help without expecting something in return. She's even more surprised the next day, when his family arrives with plans to help her. She wants to believe that they are sincere, but she's never experienced anything like it. She's desperate enough that, for Henry's sake, she'll swallow her pride, but risking her heart isn't something she's willing to do.
I loved seeing them get to know each other thanks to trying to make things okay for Henry. Dylan finds himself spending more time with them, fighting his urge to try to fix everything for her. He starts to find her independence rather frustrating, and his growing need to help her worries him. He's also becoming really fond of Henry. I really liked seeing how good he was with the little boy. He's also falling for Chelsea, but senses that she's hiding things, which plays on his fears. Before he can ask her to reveal her secrets, he has to face his own. Chelsea is falling for Dylan, but having been hurt so much in the past she has trouble trusting what she feels. She's sure that once her "problems" are fixed, Dylan will move on to the next damsel in distress.
It was wonderful to see the trust that developed between them. Just as things were really looking up for them, Chelsea's past came back to haunt her. It was wonderful to see Dylan's unquestioning support for her and the difference it made to what happened. It also gave Chelsea the courage to open up to Dylan about the rest of her past, in spite of her fears.
Henry was an adorable little kid. It was fun seeing him wiggle his way into Dylan's heart. He has some pretty interesting views on things, such as twin babies and the noise they make, and the importance of root beer in his life. He also loves his mom very much and is aware of the things that make her happy. He's determined to make Dylan a real part of their lives. I loved seeing what he did at Hayley and Gavin's wedding. It was sweet and hilarious all at the same time.