Sunday, May 5, 2013

Conceal, Protect - Carol Ericson (HI #1415 - Apr 2013)

Series: Brothers in Arms (Book 6)


A disappearing roommate and a break-in are all Noelle Dupree needs to take what may be a permanent vacation. The Colorado ranch she inherited is the perfect getaway. It even comes with a hard-bodied cowboy who seems more than willing to be at her beck and call. But there's more to "Jared Douglas" than meets the eye.

Although Noelle thinks everything that happened is random, Special Agent J.D. knows better. An international arms dealer has set his sights on Noelle, and he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants. Keeping Noelle safe soon becomes more than just a mission for the highly trained spy. Because this time, it's not only his career that will suffer if he fails.... 

Good book, this is a continuation of the story from Run, Hide.  JD has been assigned to keep an eye on Noelle, who had been the roommate of the woman who stole the missing plans.  When she heads to the family ranch in Colorado he arranges a way to help her out with some car trouble and leads that into signing on to do some handyman work for her.  He's on site when she discovers that someone has been in her house and later discovers a hidden camera in her room.  Because they don't know yet if Noelle was aware of what her roommate was doing, he can't tell her who he is or why she is in danger.  All he can do is be there, which he does an excellent job of.  JD is very quickly convinced that Noelle has no idea of what Abby had been up to, and when they are run off the road he comes clean with her.  I really liked the way that he was so sure of her innocence and was definitely in protector mode.  He was also very attracted to her but tried to resist it.  He doesn't want to take advantage of her stress but she really gets to him.  

Noelle has come to the ranch to get away from her home in DC.  Her husband had been murdered and that stress had aggravated some OCD tendencies she had.  Then her apartment was ransacked so she left.  She started to relax a little until the trouble appeared to have followed her.  The arrival of the cowboy JD was perfect timing for her.  She could get some work done to the ranch and have someone there who might be able to protect her. She was also very attracted to him. After they were run off the road she was stunned to hear JD tell her who he was and why he was there.  Once she got over the idea of who was after her she became pretty invested in helping JD figure out where the plans were.  She had a pretty good mind and used it pretty well in trying to solve the mystery.  She did have a pretty stupid moment there at the end, but fortunately it worked out for her.

The actual romance in this book was fairly mild.  The attraction was there, and shown in a few heated encounters, but it wasn't as big a part of the book as it usually is.  There was a lot more attention paid to the mystery part of the story and the actions taken by the bad guys.  It was easy to see that they are getting desperate by the things that they did and didn't do.  The ending was definitely intense and frustrated that I have to wait until September for the next book.

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