Private security entrepreneur Jeb McCormick is in over his head with his latest client. Not only is the painfully shy woman he’s meant to be protecting a total knock-out, she’s also his former Army buddy’s sister. Helping her find the reason why anyone would ransack her house is demanding enough, but keeping his hands off her is proving to be the real challenge.
Carolina Walker wants a quiet life, thank you very much. She left intrigue and deception behind in Washington D.C., never expecting it to follow her home to Bowling Green, Kentucky. When events happen that can’t be explained away, help arrives in the form of the very attractive and muscular Jebediah McCormick. But as the tension escalates between Jeb and Carolina, so does the danger facing them…
This is a solid story with likeable characters – and a hefty side-dose of paternalistic behaviour by the men.
I think there’s plenty to like, and I’m sure others will, too. However, I have big problems with men talking to women like they’re too timid to cope with reality.
The characterisation of the men in this book relies heavily on the creepy-as-hell promise ring, daddy owns my virginity and will come after you with a shotgun culture you hear coming out of more conservative regions of the US.
The heroine of this book is nearly thirty, but when her uncle (not even her father) finds her hanging out with a decent, high-achieving, reliable man he reacts like this:
“Take a hike, boyfriend. I’ve dealt with men like you my entire life. You may be good in a fight, but there’s no place for you in Carolina’s life. My brother is gone; that makes me the man who says you’re not good enough. Get your shit and get out.”
(This is the same uncle who just told the hero off for swearing in front of “ladies”!)
Weirded out, I kept reading.
Only to reach a point where the hero literally tells the heroine a bedtime fairy tale to help her sleep.
“A bedtime story.” He offered his elbow and escorted her back to her bedroom.
“Make it a happy one. One to chase the boogeyman (sic) away.”
And then she begs him to begin it ‘once upon a time’ – which he does. He even throws in princesses…
The men in this book treat women like infants.
This is the sort of patronising behaviour millions of women are taking to the streets to protest, and so I couldn’t stomach it in my romantic fiction. If that sort of thing doesn’t bother you as much, the writing is solid, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one more than I did.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.