Absolute Trouble

All Night Long

A Great Catch

Her Bodyguard by Michelle Jerott
(Avon, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-380-81317-3
Iíve been frustrated by the last few books Iíve read. Lots of sex (and believe me, Iím not complaining about that) but nothing in the way of ROMANCE. You know the type of books I mean. The couple meets and after a few of hot glances...into the sack they go. For me, half the fun of reading romance is to share the passion building between the couple before they consummate their relationship. Iím relieved to report author Michelle Jerott has not forgotten the all-important art of building sensual tension to a fever pitch, making Her Bodyguard an almost perfect romance.

Lili Kavanaugh is a successful New York bridal shoe designer visiting Chicago to give a lecture at the Art Institute and, perhaps, do a little PR work for her company. Being the victim of an attempted kidnapping was not the type of PR she had in mind.

Liliís concerned parents insist on hiring a bodyguard, although Lili is certain the kidnapping attempt was a mistake. They hire a team of bodyguards, lead by the drop-dead gorgeous, sexy-voiced Matt Hawkins, who prefers to go by the moniker of "personal security specialist.Ē

Well, it turns out Lili is wrong. Someone is definitely after her and will stop at nothing to get her...including taking out her bodyguards. When a sniper shoots two of her bodyguards, Lili and Matt are forced to disappear until he can figure out exactly whatís going on.

The answer appears to have something to do with the shooting of a gangster in 1933, in an isolated lodge in Wisconsin. So Matt and Lili, pretending to be newlyweds, travel to Wisconsin to unravel the mystery. Although the pair is drawn together, Matt is sure heís not good enough for a successful shoe designer and Lili is dead-set against a relationship with a man who works in such a dangerous profession.

This is a great couple and their differences make them the perfect complement to one another. Matt is strong, capable, intelligent and certain that his troubled past makes it impossible to have a relationship with a successful businesswoman like Lili.

Naturally, Lili will have none of that. Sheís equally as intelligent, a bit outrageous and the type that doesnít merely let life happen, she reaches out and grabs what she wants. And she wants Matt. I was a bit unsure about her at the start, she comes across as a bit spoiled. But Matt understands her behavior is simply her way of dealing with her fear and loss of independence after the kidnapping attempt.

This would have been a perfect read for me except for Liliís insistence that Matt quit his job as bodyguard. Although the book clearly illustrates the danger of Mattís line of work and his disillusion with it, I couldnít get past the feeling that Lili was asking Matt to give up an important part of who he was in order to be with her.

The pacing in Her Bodyguard was perfect. I especially appreciated the fact that the ending was not rushed. It drives me nuts when everything is suddenly resolved in a page and a half, leaving me feeling as if several pages fell out of the final chapter. That doesnít happen here and the leisurely pace helps to intensify the romance.

Matt and Lili have a terrific chemistry and I enjoyed every moment I spent reading Her Bodyguard. Iím sure you will, too.

--Karen Lynch

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