Police officer Seth Colter regularly volunteers to serve food at a local soup kitchen. When a beautiful, but shabbily dressed young woman comes through his line, he feels an instant connection with her. Unable to stomach the idea of her being out on the streets, cold and alone, he follows her back to her little nook in a back alley and offers her a place to stay. At first, she's wary of him, but eventually he convinces her to give it a chance. However, he never expected his brothers, Michael and Dillon, to also have the same reaction when each of them meet her. The three siblings were raised in an unconventional family with three fathers who are all married to the same woman, but in spite of their unusual family tree, they never anticipated going down that same path until Lily came into their lives. When Lily is accidentally shot, they take her back to the small town they all grew up in to recover, while offering her their protection and love. But can she accept all three of them as her life partners and will their love be enough to help her overcome her tragic past?
Lily Weston has been living on the streets ever since a tragedy left her with nothing that mattered anymore. On the streets, she can be a nameless face of whom no one asks questions, but she's been burying her grief. Then Seth comes along with his generous offer of a warm bed and food. At first, she isn't too sure about him, but the promise of getting out of the cold, even for one night becomes too tempting to resist. However, she never would have imagined that not only Seth, but also Michael and Dillon, would all want her. For someone who hasn't experienced affection for such a long time, the love and comfort they and their family offer is a balm to her wounded soul. But before she can fully commit to a future with them, she must first find a way to come to terms with her past.
Colters' Lady is the second book in Maya Banks' Colters' Legacy series. It features Seth, Michael, and Dillon, the three sons of Holly, Adam, Ryan, and Ethan from the first book, Colters' Woman. These boys are all grown up now and searching for their own HEAs, but unlike their fathers, they didn't anticipate that their future would lie with the same woman. Police officer Seth is serving food at a local soup kitchen, something he does regularly, along with his fellow cops, when a beautiful woman comes through his line. He feels an instant connection with her and has to know more about her, so when she leaves, he follows, only to discover that she's homeless, living in a cardboard box in an alley, which makes Seth's protective instincts kick in. He can't let her stay out in the cold, so he buys her a cup of hot chocolate and offers her a place to stay at his house. At first, Lily isn't too sure about the arrangement, but eventually the desire for a human connection that she's long denied herself and the lure of a warm bed make her agree. She's attracted to Seth and being near him makes her feel things she hasn't in a long time, but she vows to only allow herself this one night of indulgence. Then his brother, Michael, shows up and experiences the same visceral reaction to Lily that Seth had. Feeling like she doesn't deserve the fantasy they're offering her, Lily runs back to her place on the streets, where she's shot in the crossfire of a gang war. Seth and Michael find her and take her back to their parents and the small community where they grew up to recover. There, she also meets their youngest brother, Dillon, who can't resist her either. Although they never thought this was the way their lives would go, none of them is willing to give her up, and so they embark upon the same unconventional relationship path their parents went down. But Lily is holding onto a tragic secret that has caused a pain so deep she's forcefully shut herself off from it and it will take the unconditional love of all three men to heal it.
I can't really say much about Lily's past without giving away spoilers, but suffice it to say that she experienced a tragic loss for which she blames herself. After losing everything and having nowhere else to go, she ended up on the streets, homeless. In a way, she feels it's her just penance for what happened. It's also easier from an emotional standpoint, because out on the streets, she's just another nameless face who people tend to avoid, making it easier for her to bury her grief without others asking questions. Then a handsome stranger comes along, offering her hot chocolate and a warm bed, but asking nothing in return except that she give him a chance. At first she isn't too sure about it, but she's been alone for so long that the promise of a little affection and human connection, not to mention being off the cold streets, is too tempting to pass up. Soon she finds herself enveloped not only in Seth's love, but also that of his two brothers, and then his entire family. Lily can scarce believe that even one gorgeous man, much less three, want her as their life partner. Deep down she doesn't feel that she deserves her good fortune, but as she discovers the family that she's been longing for and an undeniable love for these three men, she can't resist. And their love in return gives her the courage to face the pain of her past. Lily is a very sweet heroine, who's been through a lot. Her grief and self-blame have basically caused her to check out on life, but the love of three good men restores her faith in herself and gives her hope for the future. She's also very openhearted and open-minded to fall in love with all three and eagerly accept the unconventional relationship they propose. My only small complaint is that it takes until near the end of the book for her to open up to the brothers about her past, so her dealing with it happens pretty quickly. Also, nothing is really stated about her own family ties. We're only left to speculate that she likely doesn't have any, given that she was homeless and none show up in the story.
Seth, Michael and Dillon are three young men who were fully aware of their own parents' unusual marriage, but none of them ever thought they would go down that same path. Seth is a cop with the Denver Police Department, who was recently shot in the line of duty. He's nearly recovered and ready to get back to work, although his parents are lobbying for him to come home to their small town of Clyde, where Lacey, the local sheriff, is about to retire early to care for her ailing husband. She'd dearly love to appoint Seth to serve out her term, but he's been reluctant to commit. Michael and Dillon never left Clyde. Michael is the local country vet, while Dillon owns a successful pub, among other real estate ventures. The three men have never shared a woman until Lily comes along, but after each of them has the same intense love-at first-sight reaction to her, they know they're all doomed. They'll have to find a way to make it work, since none of them would willingly give her up. Seth, the oldest and my personal favorite, is a quiet leader, and gentle voice of reason. Michael and Dillon were always getting into mischief together growing up, and are still the two most likely to be stubborn or gang up on Seth. Michael has a more dominant personality, which he also unleashes during sex play with Lily. Dillon is clearly a smart businessman who's doing quite well financially, while physically, with his full-sleeve tats, earring, and Harley, he's a stereotypical biker dude. These three brothers have very different temperaments, but they were brought up in a houseful of love and have plenty of love to give. They hold nothing back with Lily, showering her with all the affection, understanding, trust, and protection she could possibly need. And of course, they pleasure her into oblivion, too.;-)
Overall, I really enjoyed Colters' Lady. I liked the first book of the series, but I think this one was even better. Initially I had my doubts, because just like with the first book, I struggled a bit with the magical connection the Colter men have to their lady. It's presented as this magical thing that's been passed down for several generations in which all the male Colter siblings fall hard and fast for the same woman, leading to a polyamorous relationship. This is akin to the fated mates trope found in many paranormal romances, something that I'm more accepting of when the characters aren't human. At first, everything felt like it was moving a little too quickly, including Lily's reaction to each of her men and her ready acceptance of being romantically involved with all three at once, but the further I got into the story, the stronger the connection between the four of them grew until it felt more natural. I also have to give the author props for wringing a lot of emotion out of me when Lily finally confesses her past and then faces it head on. Those parts left me teary-eyed, which IMHO is the mark of good writing. I also fell for all the heroes and can't deny that the fantasy of three gorgeous men lavishing all their love and attention on one woman is an appealing one. So for those reasons, I had a really good time reading Colters' Lady. Although their story felt fairly complete, there was certainly more room for additional storytelling, so I was excited to discover that the fourth book, Colters' Promise will revisit these characters. But next up is Callie Colter, the baby of the family, who'll become the heroine of Colters' Daughter. I look forward to reading both of these books soon.
Note: This book contains explicit language and sexual situations, which could be objectionable to sensitive readers, including ménage a quatre and anal sex within M/F, M/F/M and M/F/M/M combinations.
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