Defensive Heart (The Donnellys #2) by Dorothy F. Shaw #mf #review @DorothyFShaw 1

Defensive Heart

Uptown girl, tattooed bad boy. Think you know which one is wild? You’d be wrong.

The Donnellys, Book 2

Greenwich Village is home to successful artist Jimmy Donnelly, and the world is his playground. A broken heart in college left him with zero interest in being tied down. But when he meets a sexy, quick-witted Manhattan attorney, he reconsiders his bad boy ways.
Sonja Martin’s life is filled with work, an ex-husband who refuses to stay gone, and a teenage daughter who won’t follow the rules. Jimmy, with his myriad of tattoos and piercings, looks more like one of her clients than a potential lover. But when every argument between them feels more like foreplay, she can’t seem to stay out of his bed.

The heat burns through whatever defenses Sonja thought she had. And Jimmy finds his every fantasy fulfilled—and exceeded—by a woman whose fire burns as bright as her fiercely guarded vulnerability.

But his case for breaking her out of her self-imposed mold might just be dismissed. And he’ll lose the best thing he’s ever found.

Warning: This book might piss you off. But if I’ve done my job, while you’re busy being pissed off, you’ll also fall in love with the hero and the heroine. May contain: A pompous, misogynistic ex-husband. A rebellious teenager. A ton of sex. Adventurous sex. Make-up sex. Desperate-OMG-GET-YOUR-CLOTHES-OFF sex… Did I mention there’s a lot of sex? addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16 Angela_s PonderingsTAG

As much as I enjoyed Unworthy Heart, I liked Defensive Heart even more. It’s probably the whole “bad boy with a heart of gold” angle, but I loved Jimmy Donnelly. While I didn’t love watching Sonja stomp on his heart over and over, I was able to forgive her because I understood where she was coming from and as the author revealed more and more about Sonja’s past over the course of the book, her behavior made more sense. Fortunately, by the end of the book, I no longer wanted to throttle Sonja’s daughter either – ground her well into adulthood, yes; throttle her, not after she gave her mother the talking to she needed.


This installment overlaps slightly with book one as it shows Ryan and Jimmy’s trip to Vegas, which is where Jimmy meets Sonja. While the two rub each other the wrong way when they first meet, within minutes of pushing one another’s buttons, Jimmy finds himself attracted to Sonja’s frosty demeanor and fiery attitude – her fire and ice. Fortunately for Jimmy, Sonja is not only visiting Vegas at the same time he is, she also lives in New York and not too far from him. When he finally returns to New York and calls her to set up a date, Sonja feels as though too much time has passed and she’s firmly shut the door on her moment of insanity – there’s an 11-year age difference, for goodness sakes! (That’s her assessment, not mine by the way.) So Jimmy sets out to woo her and show her that he’s worth the risk. As one of ten siblings, Jimmy has a rather persistent nature and finally wears her down. He soon learns that getting Sonja to agree to a date is a very minor victory, but he’s determined to show her that there’s more between them than sexual chemistry. And they have some freaking hot sexual chemistry. Good grief! Their dynamic in bed, the piercings, and the dirty talk insured that Sonja wasn’t the only one squirming. But when Jimmy pushes for more, Sonja has to face her real fears and decide where her priorities lay at home and at work.


I really loved watching Jimmy and Sonja together. When Sonja managed to relax and just enjoy her time with Jimmy, they were both sweet and seriously hot together. I loathed the relationship Sonja had with her ex-husband and was really appalled at what she allowed him to do. Even though she didn’t realize it at the time and fought against it until she no longer could, Jimmy coming into her life was exactly what she needed. Jimmy helped her find her way back to herself and gave her the courage to stand up to her ex and call him out for his behavior. I hated that she ended up hurting Jimmy so completely before she stood up to her ex. But I was glad that she recognized that it was up to her to repair their relationship and that she needed to win Jimmy back. I also liked the relationship that Jimmy and Sonja’s daughter developed. Other than Sonja breaking his heart, the only other thing I really didn’t like about the book was the ex-husband – he was a…I don’t have a word I can use to describe him accurately (at least not one I can use in a review). Defensive Heart was an excellent addition to The Donnellys series and I’m looking forward to reading Shattered Heart soon for the next Donnelly sibling’s story.


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