Engaging Sam by Ingrid Weaver

engaging samTitle: Engaging Sam

Author: Ingrid Weaver

Mills & Boon imprint: Silhouette Intimate Moments/Passionate Protectors

Year of publication: 1999

The heroine: Caterer Audra McPherson

The hero: Undercover cop Sam Tucker

The blurb: Audra McPherson didn’t recognize the man who burst into her bedroom. She’s never seen her reclusive neighbour so close, or so naked! Sexy Sam Tucker was hardly the quiet businessman she’d imagined…

Probably because he was actually an undercover cop who needed her to pose as his fiancée. But did Sam have to make their “engagement” so realistic with his passionate kisses?

Standalone or series: Part of the Men in Blue series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: My copy of this book is listed as part of the Passionate Protectors series, and I struggled to finish it. Not because it wasn’t good – it was – but because the print was so freaking tiny that it gave me a headache, even with my glasses on.

Audra McPherson has sworn off marriage. She was going to marry her childhood sweetheart when she was younger, but then he was paralysed in an accident. He told her to leave him but she refused, moving in to look after him until he died two years later. They’d both made the decision to wait until they were married before having sex, so when the book starts Audra, who hasn’t really dated anyone since her fiancé died, is still a virgin. She leads a spinster life; she loves to knit, read and cook. All that’s missing are the cats.

When her neighbour of a few months climbs into her bedroom window one night completely naked, Audra is thrust into a world she’d only ever read about. Sam Tucker is reluctant to drag his attractive neighbour into his undercover operation, but when he finds out that her family catering business, for whom she works, has landed a lucrative job catering the wedding of the daughter of a suspected money launderer that Sam and his team are trying to bring down, he manages to persuade her to help. Audra tells Sam that her father and oldest brother will only hire family on jobs, so Sam talks Audra into posing as his fiancée so he can work at the wedding and gather the information needed to bring the bad guy down by telling her he’ll make sure she gets the fifty thousand dollar reward for catching this guy. Audra dreams of opening her own restaurant and the reward money will make that happen.

Audra’s large and overprotective family accept Sam for the most part, delighted she’s found love again after spending so many years alone. Audra’s mother also caught Sam leaving Audra’s apartment the night he busted in, so she has no trouble believing the relationship is real. The more time they spend together, the more they have trouble keeping their feelings fake. Sam thinks he’s better off alone, having come from a troubled childhood, and Audra is reluctant to open her heart again after losing her ex. But when Sam refuses to budge from her side as her bodyguard after she agrees to testify against the bad guy when she sees him murder an associate at the wedding (and promptly gets shot herself in the crossfire), Audra comes to realise that she really does love Sam. After watching Audra in hospital and defending her to her family, Sam realises he feels the same and wants to make their engagement real.

I really enjoyed this book and I loved both Sam and Audra. It stands the test of time; there’s nothing in it that reminds you it’s almost twenty years old. Worth a read 🙂