Review: The Rancher Bodyguard by Carla Cassidy

the rancher bodyguardTitle: The Rancher Bodyguard

Author: Carla Cassidy

Mills & Boon imprint: Romantic Suspense

Year of publication: 2009

The heroine: Shop owner Grace Covington

The hero: Lawyer/Rancher Charlie Black

The blurb: Grace Covington vowed never again to lay eyes on the arrogant, hotshot defense attorney who’d broken her heart. But everything changed when her stepfather was murdered, her sister found holding the bloody knife. Charlie Black was the only one who could help.

Accepting the case would shatter the simple life Charlie established after taking charge of the family ranch in Cotter Creek, but he couldn’t deny Grace’s pleas. Discovering who was bent on destroying the Covington clan might be the only way to prove he was a changed man capable of protecting her–body and soul.

Standalone or series: Book eight in the Wild West Bodyguards series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Grace and Charlie dated for six months and broke up eighteen months before the book starts. They apparently had different ideas about the relationship at the time – she was in love with him and serious about it, he thought it was a just a casual thing (but was secretly in love with her) – and while the relationship was intense and the sex was amazing, they lived in different places so they only saw each other two weekends a month. Grace decided to surprise him one weekend when she said she couldn’t make it and caught him in bed with some redhead he’d drunkenly picked up at a bar. Cue end of the relationship.

When Grace’s stepfather, William, is found murdered and her teenage sister, Hope, is accused of the crime, Grace turns to Charlie because he used to be a successful defense attorney. She makes it clear she’s only interested in him helping Hope clear her name… over and over and over. Their mother, Elizabeth, disappeared without a trace just before Grace started dating Charlie, but she never told him what had happened. It seems they didn’t communicate a whole lot while they were together, and that’s a big reason why they crashed and burned.

While Hope is in hospital, because she has been drugged (but the popo still think she’s guilty of the crime), someone tries to take out Grace as well. Charlie becomes her bodyguard and tries his best to prove he’s not the same man he was when they split, but Grace insists on bringing up his cheating time and again. I get it. He cheated on her and she was devastated, but if she really felt that strongly she could have found another attorney – Charlie couldn’t have been the only one in the state. The constant catty remarks from Grace became grating, and when he finally called her on it I cheered.

There’s a whole subplot involving the missing mother, which I correctly guessed, as I did the identity of the killer and why they did it. Grace finally decided she could let go of her anger, so they got their happily ever after. This book was okay. Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it? No.




Pregnesia by Carla Cassidy

pregnesiaTitle: Pregnesia

Author: Carla Cassidy

Mills & Boon imprint: Intrigue

Year of publication: 2009

The heroine: School teacher Jane Doe/Julie Montgomery

The hero: Former Navy SEAL/co-owner of repossession company Recovery Inc.

The blurb: Former navy SEAL Lucas Washington was an expert at tackling impossible missions. But when a striking – —and very pregnant— – woman turned up in a car he was repossessing, suddenly he was in over his head. Shaken and bruised, she couldn’t remember what had happened to her or why she was terrified of going to the police. Lucas made it clear he could be trusted, and vowed to protect her until she was safe. Hours turned to days as they searched for clues to her hidden past. Then a family came to claim her, and a happy ending seemed imminent. But had he just delivered his Jane Doe to safety – …or into the hands of a killer?

Standalone or series: This is the last in The Recovery Men trilogy, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Let’s take a few moments just to revel in the gloriousness that is the title of this book, shall we? Pregnesia. Pregnesia. If I spent a thousand days thinking about it, I don’t think I’d ever come up with this gem 🙂

I really enjoyed this book. Lucas and his sister, Loretta, grew up in a violent family. Lucas was beaten every single day until he fled home at eighteen. Because of this, he won’t even entertain the idea of being a husband and father. He just doesn’t have it in him to love someone else that way.

However, when he does a 2am repossession as a favour, he finds a tiny, blonde, eight months pregnant woman in the backseat, bloodied and battered. She’s clearly terrified and doesn’t know who she is or what her name is, let alone what happened to her. Lucas can’t turn his back on her, and the idea of going to the police terrifies her for reasons she can’t name, so he takes her to Loretta’s unit; she’s a nurse and lives down the hall from him.

Lucas calls on his Recovery Inc partners, Micah and Troy (whose stories are presumably books one and two in the series), to help him try and figure out what has happened to Jane and who she’s running from. She has flashes of memory and just knows things about herself, but has a feeling of dread that she’s running from someone trying to hurt her.

After more than a week, her brother-in-law turns up to claim her. Lucas is suspicious, but this guy has paperwork to prove they’re related and Julie, as it’s revealed her name is, reluctantly agrees to go along. By the time she goes with Robert, she knows she’s in love with Lucas (she knows her husband is dead) and knows he feels the same way about her, but he refuses to acknowledge it because he’s so haunted by his childhood. Julie doesn’t want to be a burden, so she goes.

After following a hunch, Lucas is worried he’s delivered Julie straight back to the people she was running from, so he enlists a friend from the police to help him see her. Julie is able to give him a signal and he, Micah and Troy bust into the church compound where Julie is being held to rescue her. Once she’s safe, though, Lucas is still stubbornly refusing to acknowledge he loves her – until she goes into labour. Lucas promised she wouldn’t have to give birth alone, so he goes to the hospital, quits being an idiot and admits he loves her, and holds her hand as she gives birth to their son. Awwwwwww.