CLOSE COVER by Lexi Blake
Close Cover is the first (although I am not even sure that is totally true) of the crossover books written in the McKay/Taggart world. I say it is the first as I have read all of them, and this is the one with the intro about the crossover. That said, they seem to have pretty simultaneous timeliness, so I don't think this is the one you need to have read first. But, it was one of my favorites (see above for the why, LOL).
Remy is the bodyguard, Lisa is the whistleblower who s just trying to do right in the world and make sure that she carves out her place in it. The problem? She is quickly learning that the place she thought was perfect isn't quite what she wants after all.
Enter Remy, the kind of guy who isn't what Lisa expects...but she wants more from him than just a fling...it's all he is offering, and it is what she settles for, but it is not what she wants. Remy, however, thinks it is all he can offer her, and that his life, the one he is determined to return to, is not one that will work for her.
I loved the way Remy and Lisa resolved this, the way the author made the decisions not only work for the characters but for the couple...I enjoy the books where the resolution of the story is more than "We love each other, it is all going to work out" and actually deals with the issue.
I believed this was a couple who is going to be able to make it work in the long run. I enjoyed this title and I recommend it.
HER GUARDIAN ANGEL by Larissa Ione
After a difficult childhood and a turbulent stint in the military, Declan Burke finally got his act together. Now he’s a battle-hardened professional bodyguard who takes his job at McKay-Taggart seriously and his playtime – and his playmates – just as seriously. One thing he never does, however, is mix business with pleasure. But when the mysterious, gorgeous Suzanne D’Angelo needs his protection from a stalker, his desire for her burns out of control, tempting him to break all the rules…even as he’s drawn into a dark, dangerous world he didn’t know existed. Suzanne is an earthbound angel on her critical first mission: protecting Declan from an emerging supernatural threat at all costs. To keep him close, she hires him as her bodyguard. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s in over her head, defenseless against this devastatingly sexy human who makes her crave his forbidden touch. Together they’ll have to draw on every ounce of their collective training to resist each other as the enemy closes in, but soon it becomes apparent that nothing could have prepared them for the menace to their lives…or their hearts.
JUSTIFY ME by J. Kenner
McKay-Taggart operative Riley Blade has no intention of returning to Los Angeles after his brief stint as a consultant on mega-star Lyle Tarpin’s latest action flick. Not even for Natasha Black, Tarpin’s sexy personal assistant who’d gotten under his skin. Why would he, when Tasha made it absolutely clear that—attraction or not—she wasn’t interested in a fling, much less a relationship. But when Riley learns that someone is stalking her, he races to her side. Determined to not only protect her, but to convince her that—no matter what has hurt her in the past—he’s not only going to fight for her, he’s going to win her heart. Forever.
SAY YOU WON'T LET GO by Corinne Michaels
I’ve had two goals my entire life: 1. Make it big in country music. 2. Get the hell out of Bell Buckle. I was doing it. I was on my way, until Cooper Townsend landed backstage at my show in Dallas. This gorgeous, rugged, man of few words was one cowboy I couldn’t afford to let distract me. But with his slow smile and rough hands, I just couldn’t keep away. Now, there are outside forces conspiring against us. Maybe we should’ve known better? Maybe not. Even with the protection from Wade Rycroft, bodyguard for McKay-Taggart, I still don’t feel safe. I won’t let him get hurt because of me. All I know is that I want to hold on, but know the right thing to do is to let go…
I loved the chance to see Cooper and his happily ever after. He deserves it, and even if you didn't really like him in the previous book (which I did) it doesn't take long in this one before you absolutely adore him and want the best for him. I liked Emily and Cooper, I liked them as a couple, and I liked who they were as people and how much they genuinely cared for one another.
Emily and Cooper have known one another for years and when he attends her concert, she invites him backstage. The sparks that have always been between them are there, but he has been burned before and he is reluctant to give his heart to Emily.
Novellas can be tough, as there is the requirement to get the action going quickly and yet leave the reader believing the events. I thought this was handled well by making the crossover, the need for Wade (a bodyguard from Lexi Blake's McKay/Taggart) to protect Emily from a crazed stalker/fan. The events of this not only move the relationship forward, but also add a tension to the story that is external...which works better when the book is shorter.
As always, this was well-written and you were able to relate to the characters. They seemed realistic, you liked them, you believed in them and that their choices were logical and made sense for the characters.
Seeing the characters from the Lexi Blake books was also a lot of fun. I have read all of the titles in the crossover, and I enjoyed them...although this one was probably my favorite.
I enjoyed this title, and I recommend it.
HIS TO PROTECT by Carly Phillips
Talia Shaw has spent her adult life working as a scientist for a big pharmaceutical company. She’s focused on saving lives, not living life. When her lab is broken into and it's clear someone is after the top secret formula she’s working on, she turns to the one man she can trust. The same irresistible man she turned away years earlier because she was too young and naive to believe a sexy guy like Shane Landon could want her. Shane Landon’s bodyguard work for McKay-Taggart is the one thing that brings him satisfaction in his life. Relationships come in second to the job. Always. Then little brainiac Talia Shaw shows up in his backyard, frightened and on the run, and his world is turned upside down. And not just because she’s found him naked in his outdoor shower, either. With Talia's life in danger, Shane has to get her out of town and to her eccentric, hermit mentor who has the final piece of the formula she’s been working on, while keeping her safe from the men who are after her. Guarding Talia's body certainly isn't any hardship, but he never expects to fall hard and fast for his best friend’s little sister and the only woman who’s ever really gotten under his skin.
RESCUING SADIE: A Delta Force Heroes/Masters and Mercenaries Novella by Susan Stoker
Sadie Jennings was used to being protected. As the niece of Sean Taggart, and the receptionist at McKay-Taggart Group, she was constantly surrounded by Alpha men more than capable, and willing, to lay down their life for her. But when she visits her friend in San Antonio, and acts on suspicious activity at Milena’s workplace, Sadie puts both of them in the crosshairs of a madman. After several harrowing weeks, her friend is now safe, but for Sadie, the repercussions of her rash act linger on. Chase Jackson, no stranger to dangerous situations as a captain in the US Army, has volunteered himself as Sadie's bodyguard. He fell head over heels for the beautiful woman the first time he laid eyes on her. With a Delta Force team at his back, he reassures the Taggart's that Sadie will be safe. But when the situation in San Antonio catches up with her, Chase has to use everything he's learned over his career to keep his promise...and to keep Sadie alive long enough to officially make her his.
His to Protect by Carly Phillips
Shane narrowed his gaze, not liking the sound of that at all. “I’ll get to the bottom of it,” he promised, knowing his friend was in China and would be worried sick about his sister. “Keep in touch,” Tate demanded. “Will do.” Shane disconnected the call and looked at Talia. A woman he hadn’t seen since high school because, although he was good friends with her brother, he and Talia ran in different circles. They always had. A year younger, the little brainiac who’d tutored him in chemistry his senior year had saved his ass and enabled him to graduate. Too bad he’d been stupid enough to kiss her as a thank you, then shove his tongue down her throat and his hand up her shirt like she was a horny cheerleader and he was the football captain copping a feel. Which he had been. But she wasn’t that kind of girl. She’d deserved better. No wonder she’d pushed him away and slammed the door in his face, avoiding him afterward. Then life had taken them their separate ways. But now she needed him and he found irony in that. He had wrapped the towel around his waist and tucked the corner in to keep it in place. Folding his arms across his chest, he pinned her with his most serious gaze. “Tate says you’re in trouble. And I can’t help you unless I know the extent of it. So let’s hear it,” he said, getting down to what he did best. Business. Because if he kept staring at her porcelain skin, big brown doe eyes, and silky, chocolate-colored hair falling haphazardly and adorably out of a bun on the back of her head, his cock wouldn’t go down and this situation would remain embarrassing. Apparently she still made him lose control just as she’d done years ago.
About Carly Phillips:
Carly Phillips is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.