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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Bodyguard and the Snitch by Christy Tillery French

The Bodyguard and the Snitch by Christy Tillery French
Publisher: L & L Dreamspell
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Natasha risks more than her life when she guards a defense attorney targeted by the Mafia.

Protection specialist Natasha Chamberlain thinks guarding a defense attorney from a disgruntled client should be a fairly normal job, but when she learns he’s been targeted by the mafia, she’s ready to call it quits. However, the attorney holds her to their contract and Natasha finds her own life placed in danger along with her bodyguard cohorts, Pit and Bigun.

Natasha’s fiancĂ© Jonce Striker is fit to be tied when he learns this, which only confirms to him that the bodyguard field is too dangerous for his love. After Natasha is shot trying to protect her client, Striker delivers the final ultimatum: leave the bodyguard field or lose him. Natasha makes her choice but will she live to regret it?

Natasha Chamberlain returns in the latest Christy Tillery French thriller, “The Bodyguard and the Snitch.” The prior book in the series, “The Bodyguard and the Rock Star,” set a high standard, and it was nice to discover French’s gift for the edgy but focused style is amazingly consistent.

Natasha’s job seems pretty straightforward. She’s a bodyguard, not a private eye, after all. However, threats to her latest client are not from one unhappy person, but from a batch of much more organized criminals. Natasha is in very real danger – a fact noted by fiancĂ© Jonce Striker, which only complicates things for Natasha. She is a professional, and stuck with the job, so she does the best she can.

The strength of characters shine here, largely through dialogue. The usual coarse cohorts (in the shape of hirelings) join in the body guarding endeavors, the millionaire client (amusing in so many respects) is both obnoxious and strong-minded. The funny old celeb name – coupled with the Danny DeVito looks, make the client fellow standout from the outset. Tommy is also scared, and it doesn’t take Natasha long to figure out that he has good reason to be. Throughout, secondary characters play an active roll, and on the whole, are well developed. Take Detective Jake McLoud – very much a peripheral player here - manages to be that attractive potential other man.

But Striker is in there, from the start, heart and soul. While Natasha and sundry others sort through the complexities of this case, Striker’s concerns grow. Appearing to be Tommy’s little fling does not ease the building tension, either. We can see, early on, that this romance is heading toward a critical point…but does Natasha take the warnings seriously? Can she handle it – or accept the consequences? Those questions really build, even as we struggle through the mire of criminal action, and not-criminal but close enough of Mr. Millionaire defense attorney.

The mystery is a satisfying blend of intrigue and the obvious. This is not the classic chase the clues type mystery, but an ongoing effort to sort out danger to the client, and current action.Romance and mystery blend to create a gripping, suspenseful story.