When reading a novel, we want to identify with or connect with the heroine or the hero – depending on the kind of book it is. Or at least understand where they are coming from. But in a romance novel – we want to LOVE the heroine as well as the hero, or the romance just doesn’t work. How many romance novels have we read where the heroine is annoying or spoiled or just dumb and the hero is an ass – and they’re that way throughout the entire book? How can we get behind a romance when the lead characters are unlikeable? It’s impossible!
But Prudence Hartley in the new romantic suspense, A Bodyguard to Remember by talented author Alison Bruce, is definitely a great heroine – someone we can identify with, root for, and laugh with. She has the ability to look at the lighter side of a dark situation. She’s a single mom in the ‘burbs and certainly not an ass-kicking tough gal, but when her kids are threatened – she goes into action. And she has a wonderful ability to welcome everyone into her family – including the cops assigned to her case.
And I love the love story in this book. There is a terrific chemistry between Pru and her “bodyguard” a federal agent named David Merrick (love that name too). He is everything you want in a dream boat cop hero- stoic and strong but with an undercurrent of humour. There is a line in this book – something David tells Pru – towards the middle/end that I just love. And I know you will too. This is definitely a great read and the start of a wonderful series.
Prudence Hartley has the usual single mom problems: getting her kids to school on time; juggling a gazillion errands while trying to get a full day’s work done; oh, and don’t forget about dinner.
But Pru’s problems become a tad more complicated and a lot more dangerous when she finds a dead man in her house. Or a dead spy to be exact. Suddenly, a federal agent named David Merrick shows up and whisks her and her kids into protective custody. Pru has so many questions spinning through her brain she doesn’t know where to begin. How is she going to keep her kids safe? What was the dead spy looking for in her house? Why are the spies after her? Oh, and there’s one more question . . . just a pesky, minor thing. Why does Merrick have to be so damn sexy and protective?
Nothing like a great opening line to set the hook: “It started with a dead body on my living room floor.” And from there A Body Guard to Remember is a catch worth reading with a lively mix of colourful characters, murder, indeed on a living room floor, cops, protectors in various good looking postures, a plot with a neat climax twist and budding romance…right here in Canada’s capital.
Bruce’s grasp of partnering two genres into one well-paced novel is well known and is as sharp as never in A Body Guard to Remember. Action, quick and forceful, action, gentle and affirming, add a plot worthy of a seasoned crime writer and a supporting cast with struggles and dreams galore makes for a, I’ll just read a bit more,” and you’ll find as I did, you can’t put it down.
If A Body Guard to Remember is book one, Men in Uniform, I can’t wait to read book 2. ~ Don Graves. Canadian Mystery reviews.
A Bodyguard to Remember starts with a bang. Dead body on the floor and a protagonist who is very much alive with humour and warmth. From the beginning, I was hooked on Pru. Her sense of humour and good moral compass are a delight. But dead bodies bring the police, and there is a mystery to be solved. Who killed the stranger? And why leave the body in Pru’s living room? Not only is she a suspect, but her own life could be at stake. I won’t give away the plot, but what happens next is classic romantic suspense.
Let me state how refreshing it is to have a heroine who is into her thirties and who actually has children. Bruce handles this deftly; the children provide believable motivation for a lot of Pru’s actions. We admire her even more because of how she manages to deal with the angst of protecting her children instead of just herself.
A Bodyguard to Remember is the best type of romance book; lots happens, more than just love is at stake, and you don’t know who Pru will end up with until the very end. This is a fun read, and Alison Bruce is a talented storyteller. My kind of book. Five stars.~ AMAZON REVIEW
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. In addition to writing, she is the Publication Manager of Crime Writers of Canada and part-time tech guru to the technology-impaired.
Alison writes mysteries, romantic suspense and historical romance. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity–traits she hopes to pass on to her children, Kate and Sam.