I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Barefoot with a Bodyguard by Roxanne St. Claire
Series: Barefoot Bay Undercover #1
Published by South Street Publishing on June 12, 2015
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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When former CIA consultant Gabe Rossi creates a secret “privatized witness protection” operation hidden within the security firm at the local resort, things get a little more suspenseful on the island paradise. Gabe’s clients need to keep a low profile and stay safe while he helps them create new identities...and, sometimes, they find love. (To find out how Gabe started the operation, be sure to read the series prequel novella, Barefoot Bound.)
About to take the bar exam after ending a five-year marriage that derailed her career plans and her life, Kate Kingston craves independence and a vacation. Somewhere warm with sea breezes, sunshine, sand...and no scary threats against her that have been showing up in her dad’s office. Barefoot Bay is the perfect place for some serenity while she studies and puts her life back together. But when she meets the brooding wall of muscle her father hired to protect her, Kate feels her hard won independence slipping away as fast as her resolve to avoid men who wield power over her.
Mixed martial arts trainer Alec Petrov has been on the run for a long time. Guarding a feisty attorney-to-be while pretending to be her husband is not a bad way to live off the grid, hidden from the Russian mobster who is hunting Alec with deadly intent. But Kate brings out a tender side Alec doesn't understand, or believe he deserves, and he soon realizes that keeping them both safe is only half the challenge. Keeping his hands off her and his attraction under control will be every bit as difficult in the close quarters of an exclusive resort. When their make-believe honeymoon in paradise turns sensual, complicated, and dangerous, Alec and Kate realize it’s not just their lives that are in jeopardy, it’s their hearts. And they’ll have to fight to the end to save each other…and their love.
Recently divorced Kate Kingston has received death threats, sent to her father who’s a Philadelphia judge. Since it isn’t clear why she’s targeted, Dad arranges for her to go undercover in Barefoot Bay with protection provided by Gabe Rossi. He figures he can kill two birds with one stone when he assigns another client, mixed martial arts trainer Alec Petrov to be part of Kate’s cover and her bodyguard, posing as her newlywed husband. Alec’s on the run from the Russian mob so the situation is dangerous.
It doesn’t get much scarier than the Russian mob so things were always quite tense in this story. I loved the parallel points of view from all those involved as it kept the suspense level very high. However, it was balanced by the developing romance between Kate and Alec. I really fell for him as he was pretty special, not at all my typical “type” but a very well developed (pardon the pun) character. There were a few times, however, that I wanted to throttle Kate because of a couple of TSTL (too stupid to live) moments where she could have gotten Alec killed.
I loved the story, the characters (yes, Kate redeems herself), the suspense and the humor. The romance was lovely with some over-the-top sensual interludes. There’s a couples massage on the beach that you really have to read and highlight because once isn’t enough. Can’t wait for the next book.
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