Friday, May 2, 2014

Review–Justice For Abby (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #6) by Cate Beauman

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Published April 10th 2014
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Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

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Justice For Abby is one of my favorite stories in The Bodyguards of L.A. County series (Okay, they all are, but I really love Abby and Jerrod!). I truly enjoyed writing their adventure. Oftentimes I found myself caught up in Abby’s rollercoaster ride as she heals from her experiences as a survivor of the Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring. At times I cried with her, and at others, I laughed. She’s so strong and sweet, but she’s vulnerable and struggling. Enter Jerrod Quinn, the perfect man to provide her protection and help her overcome her ordeal in his own quiet way.

Although Abby’s story is one of fiction, sex trafficking is a very real crisis for millions of young women, men, and children all over the globe. My idea for this novel came after a night in front of the television watching crime television. A segment showcasing the mysterious disappearance of a young woman named Amy Bradley bothered me greatly. She vanished from a cruise ship in March of 1998 while vacationing with her family. Unfortunately, Amy has yet to be found, but she is believed to be alive, stuck in the horrific world of human sex trafficking. I immediately began my research into this very troubling epidemic and shortly after wrote Forever Alexa, the story of Abby’s sister dealing with the aftermath of Abby’s disappearance. My readers have requested Abby’s story, and I felt the need to share her experience.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Abby and Jerrod as much as I enjoyed writing these two fantastic characters.

~Cate


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The black bag was ripped from her head, along with several strands of her hair. Abby blinked against the bold light of the naked bulbs hanging from the low ceiling. She glanced around the dingy space in shock as her gaze traveled from girl to girl—six young teens, dirty, bruised, and malnourished, staring up at her through bland eyes while they sat or lay on filthy mattresses on the
dirt floor. “What—”

“In.” Victor shoved Abby into a small, windowless room, slamming the door, locking her in with a rusty scrape of something sliding against the heavy metal barrier.

She walked on shaky legs to the wooden chair in the corner and collapsed to the uncomfortable seat, clutching her arms around her waist, shivering as she bit hard on her bottom lip while tears rained down her cheeks. Where was she? What was this place? She shuddered, remembering six sets of listless eyes holding hers. Nothing good was happening here.

She covered her face with trembling hands and gave into her sobs, relieving the worst of her dread, wishing for nothing more than to be home with Lex and Livy. Thinking of her sister and niece, she forced away her tears, taking several deep breaths of stale air. If she wanted to see her family again she needed to pull herself together. She couldn’t get herself out of this—whatever this was—if she didn’t think. There had to be a way out. Her eyes darted around the barely lit space, searching for a weapon, another exit, anything.

The door opened, and she rushed to her feet as a tall, well-built man stood haloed in the beam of light from the room beyond. Abby blinked as he stepped forward. “Renzo?” She bolted from the corner and fell against her friend’s firm chest as a wave or relief flooded her. “Oh, thank god.”

His strong arms wrapped around her.

“I’m so glad you’re here. I don’t know what’s going on. I need help. Can you help me?”

“What happened?” He eased her back some, but she refused to release him from her grip.

“My family—we were on our way home from Virginia Beach. We stopped at a rest area, and two men grabbed me and brought me here.”

“You were with your sister and niece?”

“Yes, Alexa and Olivia. I think they’re okay, but I need to call and make sure. Will you get me out of here?”

“Of course.”

She could hardly believe she was leaving. “Thank you. Thank you.” She hugged Renzo again as tears of gratitude flowed free. “I knew this had to be some sort of mistake.”

“Come on, let’s get you home.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and walked with her to the door. “Oh, wait.” He stopped.

“What?”

“I can’t let you go.”

Did you enjoy the excerpt? You can read the first chapter on my website,
www.catebeauman.com


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Music always plays a huge part in my writing process. With two boys and two dogs in the house, music helps me “get lost” in my story. I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube and put together a playlist of songs that I feel represent the characters or the situations they face as the novel unfolds. Here are a few of the songs that I had on “repeat” while I created Jerrod and Abby’s
story! You can listen to them on my website www.catebeauman.com.


The soundtrack, of sorts, for Justice For Abby:

· Applause by Lady Gaga
· Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
· She Is by Ben Rector
· I Should Go by Levi Kreis
· The Other Side by Jason Derulo
· Why Don’t You Love Me? by Hot Chelle Rae ft. Demi Lovato
· We Owned The Night by Lady Antebellum
· Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw
· Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol
· Come Back by Pearl Jam
· By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North
· Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran

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I really thought this would be a routine bodyguard/subject book, boy was I wrong. Cate Beauman's characters popped! By the end of this book (which I read in one sitting) I was exhausted but replete. Jerrod Quinn is an ex- marshal with lots of experience in witness protection, and he knows that an emotional involvement with his subject will cause distractions that can have deadly consequences. The heart and libido don't necessarily care about facts. With Abby's anonymity falling apart, the pressure increases and evil is banging on the doors. Fighting himself is not something Jerrod has time for, not with the threat of death coming for Abby.


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Abby is recovering from a horrific kidnapping and captivity in a human trafficking ring. Even though she is getting her life back into some semblance of normal, she still has to remain under wraps until after the trial. With her career starting to take off, Abby is tired of being at the mercy of her former captors. The villains are not about to go down without a fight, and they are determined to make sure that Abby will never live long enough testify. What I loved about Abby was her never quit, positive, still loves life attitude. Even though she still has nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks, she still has an optimism that was just remarkable.


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From paragraph to paragraph this story shifts and changes. The betrayals and surprises come at the reader at a furious pace. And while this story revolves around a very dark occurrence, there are enough moments that will make you smile, chuckle, snort and go "awwwww", that you won't be overcome with the gloomies. Jerrod at the photo shoot, you MUST read that! It was such a hoot and then it gets smoking HOT!  Even though this is part of a long standing series, the reader will have no problems reading Justice For Abby as a stand alone. (But the other books are so great, why would you want to?) I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was ecstatic to see Abby finally get some closure on her horrible experience. Job well done, brava.


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MORGAN'S HUNTER
Morgan Taylor, D.C. socialite and wildlife biologist, leads a charmed life until everything changes with a phone call.  Her research team has been found dead—slaughtered—in backcountry Montana.

As the case grows cold, Morgan is determined to unravel the mystery behind her friends’ gruesome deaths.  Despite the dangers of a murderer still free, nothing will stand in her way, not even the bodyguard her father hires, L.A.’s top close protection agent, Hunter Phillips.

Sparks fly from the start when no-nonsense Hunter clashes with Morgan’s strong-willed independence.  Their endless search for answers proves hopeless—until Hunter discovers the truth. 

On the run and at the mercy of a madman, Morgan and Hunter must outsmart a killer to save their own lives.

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FALLING FOR SARAH
Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart.  After two years of grieving, she’s found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood’s A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee... until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss. 

Sarah’s world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband’s memory.  But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won’t stop until he has what he prizes most.


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HAILEY'S TRUTH
Hailey Roberts has never had it easy. Despite the scars of a tragic childhood, she’s made a life for herself. As a part-time student and loving nanny, she yearns for a family of her own and reluctant Austin Casey, Ethan Cooke Security’s best close protection agent.

Hailey’s past comes back to haunt her when her long lost brother tracks her down, bringing his dangerous secrets with him. At an emotional crossroads, Hailey accepts a humanitarian opportunity that throws her together with Austin, taking her hundreds of miles from her troubles, or so she thinks.

What starts out as a dream come true quickly becomes a nightmare as violence erupts on the island of Cozumel. Young women are disappearing, community members are dying—and the carnage links back to her brother.  

As Austin struggles to keep Hailey’s past from destroying her future, he’s forced to make a decision that could turn her against him, or worse, cost them both their lives. 


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FOREVER ALEXA
First grade teacher and single mother Alexa Harris is no stranger to struggle, but for once, things are looking up. The school year is over and the lazy days of summer are here. Mini-vacations and relaxing twilight barbeques are on the horizon until Alexa’s free-spirited younger sister vanishes. 

Ransom calls and death threats force Alexa and her young daughter to flee their quiet home in Maryland. With nowhere else to turn, Alexa seeks the help of Jackson Matthews, Ethan Cooke Security’s Risk Assessment Specialist and the man who broke her heart. 

With few leads to follow and Abby’s case going cold, Alexa must confess a shocking secret if she and Jackson have any hope of saving her sister from a hell neither could have imagined.

 
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WAITING FOR WREN
Wren Cooke has everything she’s ever wanted—a thriving career as one of LA’s top interior designers and a home she loves. Business trips, mockups, and her demanding clientele keep her busy, almost too busy to notice Ethan Cooke Security’s gorgeous Close Protection Agent, Tucker Campbell. 

Jaded by love and relationships in general, Wren wants nothing to do with the hazel-eyed stunner and his heart-stopping grins, but Tucker is always in her way. When Wren suddenly finds herself bombarded by a mysterious man’s unwanted affections, she’s forced to turn to Tucker for help. 

As Wren’s case turns from disturbing to deadly, Tucker whisks her away to his mountain home in Utah. Haunted by memories and long-ago tragedies, Tucker soon realizes his past and Wren’s present are colliding. With a killer on the loose and time running out, Tucker must discover a madman’s motives before Wren becomes his next victim. 
 
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Cate Beauman has worked with children of all ages for most of her adult life. She fell into writing more than dreamed it. "Writing novels never made my bucket list. One day I picked up a pad of paper and scribbled down the thoughts in my head. Next thing I knew, I had over 100,000 words. I've basically been obsessed ever since. Now I can't imagine doing anything else."

A former New England resident, Cate now makes her home in Tennessee with her husband, two boys and their St. Bernard, Bear.

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Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads
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1 comment:

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

Sounds excellent! I've not seen her books before. I'm so giving these a read. Thanks for the intro to em :)