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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Echoes by Judith Rochelle

Echoes by Judith Rochelle
The Protectors Series, Book 3
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (278 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Book Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Camellia

Just when Alexis Craig thought she'd finally gotten her life on a somewhat even keel, the terrible nightmares returned and then, out of nowhere, a stalker threatened her. First it was notes left at her office, then photos, then faxes and emails. Nick Vanetta, sinfully sexy partner in Guardian Security, thinks there's more behind this than just a simple fixation, and when someone takes a shot at Alexis, he wonders if the answer is buried somewhere in her past. As the two dig deeper into her family history, the chemistry between them heats to boiling. Can they find the stalker before it's too late?

Echoes sizzles with world-rocking love scenes and teems with hair-raising suspense and mystery. Judith Rochelle’s exquisite word pictures make the setting, action, and characters seem amazingly real. She gives the reader a vicarious experience with Alexis Craig and Nick Vanetta that is spellbinding.

When Nick Vanetta at Guardian Security gets a call from his friend Quinn asking for a favor, Nick decides to do the job personally. The tedious office work had made him restless of late and he knows he is the best when it comes to guarding someone. Of course, Quinn’s remark that Alexis Craig is “more than even you want to handle” piques his interest. He had also heard a hint of warning in Quinn’s voice when he said she is not a “love ‘em and leave ‘em” candidate, which is Nick’s style. After doing a background check, he finds Alexis is the owner and architect of the sought-after Craig Designs. The check did not tell him that she radiates an energy that fuels a zest for life and can also fuel a temper that scorches. When he walks into her office, he sees trouble. She is one “together” lady, beautiful, lush, sexy with real substance, and totally off-limits. The electricity when they shake hands puts his libido on high alert.

Alexis Craig has no time for distraction, but the ominous messages she's received cannot be ignored. When Quinn’s friend, Nick Vanetta, shows up to investigate, she tells herself to get a grip, but “feathery shivers” run down her spine when he speaks. He is like a sleek, stalking jaguar—powerful, controlled, dangerous. He takes her breath away, but she knows about men and their built-in need to propagate their own genetics. Her sterility left her out of the loop. She’d sworn off relationships four years ago--emotional bruises are slow to heal.

With silent but mutual agreement, both Alexis and Nick demand professionalism. Trust and respect grow as they work in tandem to find the stalker who gets more aggressive and dangerous. It becomes evident that Alexis’ nightmares, her mother’s death, the information found in the boxes in the attic, and her money are all associated with the stalkers actions. The plot becomes a complex tangle of past and present.

As Nick and Alexis practically live in each other’s pockets, a special love grows, not just the hormonal type, but a love that is intense and exquisite and brings true ecstasy. Then Alexis hears Nick talking to Stacy on the phone. His voice is gentle, caring, and happy as he talks of plans for later on. Alexis puts up her wall of defense. Life is miserable. She hurts. Nick is confused. The stalker closes in. Catastrophe comes.

Brianna, Alexis’s office assistant, as well as Ruben and Mary Medana that run her ranch, play important roles in the unfolding of a plot with twists and turns that keeps the reader enthralled. Judith Rochelle’s Echoes throbs with life, love, and intrigue with a happy-ever-after that makes the heart sing.