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Friday, January 6, 2012

Guarded Hearts by M. J. Fredrick

Guarded Hearts by M. J. Fredrick
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (169 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

What does she fear more, surrendering her privacy or her heart?

Texas Congresswoman McKenna Jones’s life is in danger when her father’s old enemy surfaces. She’s the target of revenge and narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt. She's advised to go into hiding until the threat has passed, but her fight to get an important bill passed forces her to stay right where she is. When Ethan Riggins is assigned to protect her it may be a sacrifice on her privacy, but it's no real hardship since he's sinfully sexy and easy to work with.

For Ethan Riggins, it's a struggle to keep his distance from the congresswoman. McKenna is his assignment, and his friend’s daughter. She also happens to be smart, driven and beautiful. Being around her makes him want to loosen the reins on his emotions, which he's kept in check for far to long.

When the threat escalates, Ethan and McKenna have to take charge of the investigation so they can discover if a happily-ever-after is in store for them?

The kind of man congresswoman McKenna Jones doesn’t want is whom she has fallen in love with. She does not want a marriage like her parents had with all the yelling and hurting and then separation—all of which she had to endure as a child. She has carried many emotional scars into adulthood. Consequently, when her father has one of his operatives be her bodyguard, McKenna plans to have as little to do with him as possible. She has and likes to have control as does Ethan Riggins, the bodyguard. But control seems to take a holiday as these two share close quarters.

M. J. Fredrick has the adrenaline pumping and the heart racing from page one in Guarded Hearts.

While McKenna is trying to get a bill passed to do good, others are working overtime to do evil—to her. Her father’s past misdeeds have caught up to her. Her father, John Klein, a counterterrorist, has always been too consumed by his work. He has nothing to give of himself to his family. His emotions have been “on ice” for so long he cannot thaw them. Yet, he pulls out all the stops in an effort to protect McKenna. However, his failure to give enough information to her or to his best operative Ethan Riggins, gets a lot of people hurt or killed—not even he is invincible.

McKenna’s heart and brain are out of sync when it comes to Ethan. His operative mode is too much like her father’s for her to consider getting emotionally involved with him. But his demeanor with his family shows a different Ethan—gentle, loving, fun and full of humor. His gentle, soothing voice and touch can melt away her resolve.

Ethan Riggins knows from experience that marriage does not fit with his job and he certainly knows the boss’s daughter is off-limits. But he admires the beautiful, brave, caring, but stubborn McKenna with her determination and she is sexy as all-get-out. There is something about her that undermines his rigid control and all his rules.

Ms. Fredrick tells a spellbinding story. Of course, I wanted some resolution for McKenna and her parent’ dysfunctional relationship so she could lay her bad memories to rest and move on to a happy-ever-after without them and didn't entirely get that. However, with adrenaline revved up and love scenes that are earth shattering, Guarded Hearts is a page turner—great entertainment that I heartily recommend!