Book Review: Love Protects by Julia David

Love Protects (Leaving Lennhurst #3)

by: Julia David

About the Book:

From a desperate yet useful childhood at the Lennhurst Asylum and School for Disabled Children, Anna is married off to a plantation baron, a man old enough to be her father. When he collapses on the frozen pond and drowns, could it be the freedom she’s never known? With barely a day of peace as a young widow, her cold-hearted step sons throw her from their father’s home.

William Gibbs thinks he knows desperation. With the death of their mother, he is left to raise his four younger siblings in their one-room cabin. One deemed a lunatic, who runs from home, he can’t find a moment to keep her safe and work their small tobacco farm. Without the crop, they’ll all be destitute.

On a dark rainy night searching for his missing sister, Will turns to the local reverend for help. Their simple solution is to marry off the woman who has been sheltering in their church. A woman who reports she’s worked with the insane. “A wife will cost you nothing.” The reverend’s wife points out.
Will agrees to take Anna as his wife. Unbeknownst to Will, she wasn’t a paid nurse, but a previous patient at Lennhurst Asylum. Has his desperation and a crowded cabin just gotten worse?

Just as the new family finds care and acceptance for one another, Anna is arrested for the murder of her first husband. Moved with his ever growing feelings for his new wife, Will vows to protect her from the ludicrous charges.

But what about the baby nursing at her breast? It’s not Anna’s first husbands or Will’s baby. And she did not give birth. What kind of hoax is it? Should her past and the innocent babe in her arms sentence her to life behind bars?
Can Will protect her in time?

Purchase Link:

My Thoughts:

Love Protects is the third book in the Leaving Lennhurst series by new-to-me author Julia David. While this is book three, it easily could have been book one and reads well as a stand-alone. Love Protects is an engaging marriage of convenience tale of healing and trusting God when everything is out of our control.

I read the whole book in two days, so the author did a wonderful job of keeping my interest and put forth a compelling story. The story takes place in a time when the misunderstood were locked away: anyone considered to be a danger to themselves or others or unable to function in “normal” society. Such is Anna’s story. Falsely accused of murder, as a child, Anna was sent to live at Lennhurst Asylum where like Joseph in the Bible, found purpose and acceptance among those who lived and worked there. Until her family married her off to an older, abusive man, who made her life a living nightmare. This is where the story begins.

Will is a wonderful big brother, doing his best to raise his mother’s children from three marriages, but he’s in over his head until he marries Anna. Of course, then he feels like he might be in way over his head! It was so sweet “watching” him woo his new bride, while doing what he could to be respectful of her feelings and past heartaches. I love marriage of convenience stories, and the romance in Love Protects unfolds very nicely and organically. I also loved how one of Anna’s greatest critics eventually becomes her greatest ally.

While Love Protects is engaging and compelling, it also needs a bit of a warning. If this book was a movie, it would have a rating of at least PG-13, maybe higher. As a marriage of convenience story there is a lot of discussion about the “relations” part of marriage. The book opens with a rape scene. There’s suggestive content like the husband being “jealous” of the nursing baby. Also, a teen girl is discovered to be pregnant by her stepfather.

I don’t recommend this book from anyone under the age of 16. I do recommend this book for mature readers who love marriage of convenience stories, historical romances, and stories where characters find healing from their wounds due to the ugliest things in life.

About the Author:

Julia David is an avid journal writer, published romance author, serial DIY’er and certified life coach. Addicted to Hallmark movies and baking, she believes it’s crucial to have some predictable things in life. Her tag line ‘escape to an era where true love prevails’ was from her own reason for reading stacks of books. Married and mother to five, she also ministers to pregnant and parenting teens. Find more at

One thought on “Book Review: Love Protects by Julia David

  1. Alicia Haney says:

    Wow, this book sounds intriguing and like a very good page turner! Thank you for sharing your book review, I would love to read this book so I will be adding it to my TBR list.


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