Hauberk Protection #3
We begin our tale with a picture of a happy family. We meet Chad and Lauren, the content married couple with an appetite for kinky bedroom games (BDSM warning). We also meet, albeit somewhat briefly, their newborn child Emily. All is well, but then the story suddenly fast-forwards ten years and our happy family are no more. Chad and Lauren are divorced after the premature death of their newborn daughter Emily. They haven’t spoken to each other in all this time, but their paths are about to be thrust together as a deadly enemy of Lauren’s threatens the safety of them both. Lauren now works for a Black-Ops operation for the American Government. Although there is a threat to Chad, she can’t tell him what the threat is. Together with her boss, they come up with an elaborate cover scheme for Chad’s security firm to protect her from a threat. Of course, no one at his firm is to know, until the final minute, that the person that they need to look after is Lauren; after the melt-down that Chad went into after she left, they would never agree to help. But it does make sense to the other partner in the firm, Sam, that Chad be out of the way, after he gets notification that the local press is planning on rehashing Chad’s supposed part in the FBI’s failure to prevent 9/11. The deal is set up, and it isn’t until they get to the safe house set up to protect Lauren that Chad discovers that he is to be sharing a home with his ex-wife for the foreseeable future. Unwilling to give up on his duty of protection, Chad prepares himself for some serious temptation in the form the woman he has never stopped loving. Emotions begin to rise, and soon they give into some temporary sexual release. However, will the lies, unspoken emotions and interfering external influences, allow these two finally have their HEA?
I enjoyed this book. Chad was a fabulously tortured man, who just couldn’t understand why his wife upped and left him at the lowest point in his personal and professional life. His conclusion? She blamed him for his part in the lax security that preceded the 9/11 tragedy, the death of their baby and the publication of the sex tape which threatened to ruin them both. Lauren is a mixed bag of emotion. She truly thought that Chad didn’t want her anymore and that he, like her, blamed her for the death of their baby. I liked the way the author portrayed the struggle of a family trying to deal with the aftermath of SID. I never felt she rushed the characters to deal with their emotions; the ten-year gap allowed sufficient time to pass. There are some truly heinous side characters in this book. I’ll bet you money that Chad’s sister leaves as bad a taste in your mouth as she did mine...a well-written psycho b@tch. My one problem with this book is the ending of the suspense plot. I won’t ruin it but it’s one of those huh? moments that, not only did I not see coming, wasn’t really needed with the existing set up.
Overall, a fabulous love story with a suspense plot that, for the most part, held together well. I enjoyed Chad and Lauren together as a couple and wanted them to make it work. Recommended but read the first two first!