Review: Explosive Engagement by Lisa Childs

explosive engagementTitle: Explosive Engagement

Author: Lisa Childs

Mills & Boon imprint: Intrigue

Year of publication: 2014

The heroine: Jewellery designer Stacy Kozminski

The hero: Former detective/bodyguard Logan Payne

The blurb: Nothing has fazed Logan Payne in his entire career as a bodyguard. That is, until he’s tasked with protecting his biggest enemy. Stacy Kozminski isn’t too thrilled about having to work with Logan either, but when attempts are made on her life, she knows he is her only hope if she wants to survive.

Soon, a target is placed on both their backs, and they have no choice but to fake an engagement to protect one another. Logan won’t let Stacy out of his sight. But is it because he doesn’t want to fail his mission… or because he’s come to care for her?

Standalone or series: Book two of the Shotgun Weddings series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: I love the Payne family. I’ve already read Cooper and Parker’s books, and when I found Logan’s I knew I had to buy it. Logan is the eldest Payne (his twin is Parker) and CEO of the Payne Protection Agency. He was seventeen when his father, a cop, was gunned down during a robbery by Patek Kozminski. Every time Kozminski came up for parole, Logan would speak at the hearing to ensure his father’s killer never got out.

When Kozminski is murdered in prison, he leaves behind his three children: Garek, Milek and Stacy. Stacy and Logan’s paths have crossed many times before, and they hate each other. Or do they? Logan has never blamed Stacy for what her father did, but he’s always resented her loyalty to her father and her blind faith in his innocence. Stacy begged Logan once not to attend a parole hearing for her father, but he refused, determined to keep the man in prison.

When Patek dies, someone comes after Stacy and Logan. The who and why isn’t known at first, but between bullets and bombs, Penny Payne, matriarch and matchmaker extraordinaire, declares that they only way for them to stay safe is to marry. Getting married is Penny’s solution to pretty much everything, as you’ll see when you read the other books. Logan is sure that Stacy’s brothers are behind the attempts on his life, and Stacy herself has doubts because they have killed for her before (yes, you do find out who and why, and no, I won’t spoil it), so she follows Penny’s logic and announces her engagement to Logan, thinking her brothers will back off if they believe Stacy’s in love with him. Penny Payne has always looked out for the Kozminski children, who were teenagers when their father was incarcerated, so they respect her.

Penny has it in her head that Logan and Stacy really are in love, united by their shared grief over their fathers, and when Logan starts to believe Stacy when she says her father never killed his, he investigates and finds out she was right. I won’t tell you who the real killer is, but it’s the same person responsible for everything. They’re caught in the end, and Logan and Stacy decide to make their engagement real. Another enjoyable instalment in the Payne family series.

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