I did things a little backward when I read the spin-off series first, but I finally had a chance to come back for the FBI couples after getting the biker couples when these were up as freebies. I eagerly picked up this first book in the Guardians series and it dove right into the story for a fast-paced read.
The story opens with Brock Williams and his FBI team investigating reports that an abandoned house known for use in making meth has some activity. Their raid produces two frightened children and an injured woman. He slowly gets the story out of her and learns that these three escaped a bad situation, but there are others that they need to be looking for. Brock doesn’t know what all they are dealing with, but he does know that Bailey Harper is now the material witness that he has to keep alive. It doesn’t take him long to realize that this case is personal and he’ll do whatever it takes to solve the case and keep Bailey safe.
Bailey went through a harrowing experience when she allowed her college roommate to talk her into a party and it went bad from there. Now, she is in hiding after someone tried to take her life at the hospital and she is confused about the feelings Brock brings out. She has never been this attracted to a guy, but Brock holds her at arms length because she is his job. It’s frustrating, but she learns that she’s not the only one feeling impatience for the case to be over so they can explore their feelings. The answers finally come and they are shocking, but at least she has Brock at her side to help her face it all.
This story is one of those that has a solid foundation or ‘good bones’, but it didn’t quite get there. Beyond the premise which is solid, the development was weak, the transitions were rough, the plot got loose, and the romance was not developed much.
I felt dropped into the story and then hustled through it. I was confused or lost a few times whether it was the suspense part of the case mostly happening off scene or the romance going from strangers to declaring ‘I love you’s to doing it like bunnies and marriage. Blink and you missed something. The FBI procedural part of it made me cringe because normal rules were bent to accommodate the story and I’m not talking about the forbidden aspect of the Special Agent falling for his witness, but the many improbable actions that happened while Bailey was in custody.
But, as I said, there were good bones to it. I was vested in the likeable characters and I enjoyed the surrounding cast too. The idea of their romance and their passion worked for me even if it happened too fast. These two are sizzling and dive right in to the sexy times. The suspense had a twist to it that was foreshadowed enough that I wasn’t surprised, but it still added a layer of sympathy for when it was revealed. I am vested enough that I want to go on and get Dallas and Masie’s story and of course eventually Jaxon.
In summary, I was left wanting more, but not hating what I got. I know that the writer hit her stride by the time the spin-off series occurs two books later so I’m game to keep going. It was a quick read and I think those who enjoy mild romantic suspense and slightly spicy romance should keep it in mind.
Romance Roundabout #190 RS
New to Me #95 series
Mt. TBR #87
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