Monday, January 20, 2014

Spotlight/Review–Guardian for Hire by Christine Bell

Full-Frame_Asolo Silver

                           Published January 13th 2014 by Entangled: Indulgence

                       Okay, seriously. Having a tiny orgasm just looking at the arms.


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Sarabeth Lucking's life is turned upside down when the couples’ retreat she works for winds up embroiled in the biggest scandal of the year. With her reputation in tatters, she can’t imagine things getting worse, until her former co-workers are rubbed out, and a bad-ass, ex-Army Ranger shows up hell bent on protecting her. She shows him the door, perfectly content with letting him go find someone else to brood over. Right up until her car explodes into a ball of flames...

Gavin McClintock grew up on the streets of Edinburgh, so protecting Dr. Stick-Up-Her-Rear isn't on his bucket list. Still, a promise is a promise, and, after her brush with death, he’s going to do whatever it takes to keep Sarabeth safe. When she finally gives in and shreds her librarian-in mourning look in favor of a sex kitten, the revealing clothes and sexy new hairdo unleash the spitfire she’s been hiding beneath that shell of propriety.

Maybe the doc isn’t the only one in need of protection…



He picked up the book that had wound up next to her on the bed and held it close to his face.

"Savage Surrender?" he murmured softly.

"You're the one who bought it," she grumbled. "I couldn't sleep and I didn't want the TV to wake you. It's not like I had a lot of choices." She jerked her chin to the little pile of books.

"Right. Next time we're on the lam, I'll make sure to get a list of preferred reading material."

He tossed the book back on the bed and turned toward the door before looking back at her. His gaze tripped lazily over her sheet-covered form, and her whole body tightened in response. "You know…if you can't sleep, I have some suggestions."

She forced a laugh and hoped it didn’t sound as fake as it felt. "Oh, I bet you do. Look, it was only a dream. I have no control over that. It was probably a combination of being overtired and stressed after today, like you said yourself. Then you showed up and my brain naturally cast you as the hero of the story. I was reading. Totally logical."

"Very, Mr. Spock."

She narrowed her eyes at him.

"But I was about to suggest some relaxation techniques I learned when I was overseas. Breathing exercises and the like. We often went for long periods without sleep, and when we had the chance, we had to be able to basically sleep on command or risk total physical exhaustion."

She let that sink in and shifted against the sheets, cheeks flaming again. So, not hot, sweaty sex, then. Was she forever doomed to say stupid and embarrassing things to this guy? She vowed that from now on, she'd leave off the whole jumping-to-conclusions portion of the show and wait until he finished talking to respond.

"That said, if breathing isn't for you, I can definitely help you out with the total physical exhaustion part."

Her eyes had adjusted to the relative darkness and when she looked up, she could see his gaze drifting lower to her exposed legs and back up again to meet hers.

She waited. Then waited some more. But there was no add-on. No kicker that made her feel silly when she realized she'd misinterpreted what he was saying.

"I—" She cleared her throat and tried again. "I, ah, think I'll pass."

"Suit yourself.” He shrugged, but the need in his eyes was anything but indifferent. God, why did his chest have to be so dang gorgeous?

“But the offer’s open. If it makes a difference, I can guarantee you total relaxation and a good night's sleep."

"It's doesn't." It totally did. In fact, the words alone had about assured that she wouldn't stop thinking about it. But jumping into her first one-night stand after a major emotional upheaval was a textbook response to emotional trauma. People thrown together in perilous, high-octane situations did stupid things with—and to—each other all the time. As a mental health professional, she recognized that and refused to allow herself to be a statistic. Giving in to her base desires would only make things worse in the long run.

But what a way to go down.

"Night, Doc." He approached the door again, pausing in the frame so that a slice of light illuminated his strong jawline. "And if you dream about me again, make sure you keep it accurate and give me an eight inch—"


She slammed the pillow over her face and bunched the sides over to cover her ears, but it didn't deaden the sound of his laughter.



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Aaaaaaah!! Awesome, totally effing awesome.
Christine Bell is a totally “new2me” author although I had heard and seen her name making the rounds on the blogosphere. I really wasn’t looking for another or series to jump into and then I saw this cover that gave me goosebumps and drool mouth, so I was like “Gotta get me some of that…” Oh baby, did I get some! Just kill me now because I could die a happy woman. Guardian for Hire had zero flaws. 

Sarabeth started out as a bit of a weenie, but she had some damn good reasons. I fell in girlfriend love with her because she absolutely evolved into a kick ass, my kinda chick, heroine. She was smart, stubborn, and grew to be absolutely fearless. Plus, she had fantabulous taste in men. Trying to put a horrible situation behind her and regain a semblance of a normal life, the past jumps up and she finds herself the target of a hit. Did she give up? Nooooo, after a few bumps, she learns to roll with the punches and learns she is actually a worthy person who deserves love and respect.

Gavin, ah, my luscious Gavin of the beefy arms. Well, he is just my every dream come true. Damaged from a troubled childhood, he is obsessed with structure, security and distance. When he first meets Sarabeth, he is pretty sure he has her pegged. When she calls into question his initial assessment and then proceeds to smash all his preconceived notions, he is adorably ill prepared. It was like watching a hockey goalie try to handle a Faberge egg without breaking it. Too cute! 

When these two finally get together, Good Lord, Almighty! They set the pages on fire. Christine Bell lays the smackdown on the reader with the sizzle and pop. Gavin lives up to the cover and Sarabeth lets loose her inner wanton. I was equally as pleased that this aspect was built up to the point that the reader is extremely tempted to cheat and move ahead a few chapters just to sneak an illicit peak.

The action and suspense were perfectly incorporated to the mix with just enough tension to balance out the heat.   While there was never any chance of not having an HEA, the journey to attainment was fraught with ups, downs, laughter, danger, tears and character growth. You better believe this series has jumped onto my "Must read" radar. Check it out and let me know how right I am.

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Christine Bell is a USA Bestselling Author of contemporary romance novels and one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em.

Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be an pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun, sexy romances, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons.




Legal Disclaimer

Because the government can not keep it’s nose out of my business, I find it necessary to make the following statement.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. I have no dog in this fight so the expressed opinions are mine and mine alone. I received no compensation, no hugs (physical or virtual) or any other incentive to influence my review.

I requested to review this book, so how could they sway my opinion one way or the other.

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1 comment:

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

OOoo now that's a good bit of beefcake! Yum! I've read some of her others and enjoyed them. Had no idea about this one. Woot! Thanks for the heads up!