We're back at the Campbell Cove Academy for this Paula Graves Intrigue, and, once again she delivers action and a great heroine in Charlie (Charlotte) Winters, a woman from a poor family who got mixed up with a girl from a wealthy one. She feels someone is watching her and she may be in danger, so she signs up for self-defence classes at the Academy, where her instructor is Mike. Here's the blurb:
A cold case is reopened, placing a witness in the crosshairs—and a bodyguard by her side…
Charlie Winters has caught security expert Mike Strong's attention. A member of his self-defence class, she seems to need to know more than just how to protect herself. After a little digging, Mike discovers that the cute redhead has a reason to worry—she may have witnessed a murder. Using all of his connections, Mike tries to solve the cold case. But as Charlie's memories from the past begin to resurface, her future seems marked for death. Offering up his skills as a bodyguard, Mike promises not to leave her side. And Charlie's obvious relief at not having to fight alone convinces him there's much more to this mystery he has yet to uncover.
Charlie is really the core of the book. Mike is OK, but he's not the mega alpha maie that's often found in Intrigues. Nor is he someone who's damaged in some way, so there's none of that "two damaged people find and heal each other" business going on.
As usual in Paula Graves' Intrigues, there's a definite undercurrent of class politics involved, and that suits me fine.
And no bonking! Wonder of wonders! But there's a mutual attraction that's given a chance to grow during the course of the book.