The author has been a Must Read for a long time and this story is exhibit A as to why. In a roll-reversal, this tender yet passionate romance between two capable, deftly drawn characters enabled me to sink down into a story that kept me engaged and left me satisfied in the end.
This is the third book in the series. Somehow I missed the second one after having read the first, but the references back to what went on in the second book allowed me to navigate this book out of order just fine. I will of course remedy this oversight the first chance I get.
The story opens with Prince Armand’s best friend and lawyer, Richard Prentiss, refusing the security detail that Armand set on him after the hit and run accident that almost ended his life. Richard hates the idea of always being under surveillance even if it is for his own good because of his past and even because of some of his discreet present activities. Armand loves him like a brother and still believes Richard is in danger. He doesn’t want to lose him so he honor’s Richard’s wish by pulling back the overt security and in its place installs a hidden specialist.
Kate learns from her boss that the Prince is transferring her off his fiancé to his best friend. She will take up the guise of Richard’s legal assistant which will keep her in close proximity to him much of his day as he works long hours. From almost the moment, Kate started watching after Richard, she struggled to see him as just a job. It was not long after watching the way he worked hard and cared about his clients and his charity work that she knew that she was compromised and struggled to remain objective. Richard doesn’t help matters in that he is strongly attracted to her too. As with everything else, the man is a force of nature and works past her defenses. She’s living a lie even if her feelings are real and Richard’s past has made lies particularly abhorrent to him so she knows that her attraction will only end in heartbreak. The knowledge that she loves Richard only redoubles her efforts to keep him safe- putting her own life on the line- even though someone is determined to take him out.
As I noted above, this was a roll-reversal story. The woman is the skilled warrior-protector and the man is the one whose strength is in his heart and care for others. I loved how this dynamic felt natural and really worked in this story without unbalancing the romance or the character development. The problem of Kate having to continue the lie about her job to keep Richard safe was yet another strong piece to the plot. It was neat to see the brotherly love and friendship between Armand and Richard even if Armand’s overbearing personality annoyed the heck out of Richard and Richard’s need for independence worried Armand to death.
And the romance development? These two were just right for each other and fit so well together that I eagerly read through their scenes as the tension increased toward the big reveal. There was this huge problem looming on the horizon when Richard would eventually learn the truth and I both anticipated and dreaded it just as Kate did. They were so mature though that I knew I didn’t have to fear that it would overbalance into too much wallowing and angst. The action element of the story balanced with their romance helped.
So, my concluding thoughts are that this story didn’t have a weak point and I look forward to more of this series and more from this author period. The witty dialogue, nicely paced development, tender moments and hot passion were so strong and well-done.
I would suggest this story/series is for those who enjoy contemporary romance that gives a strong plotted easy read storyline and passionate romantic characters.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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