Thursday, October 17, 2013

Renegade Guardian - Delores Fossen (HI #1457 - Nov 2013)

Series: Marshals of Maverick County (Book 4)

With two infants already missing, Maya Ellison worried that her son would be targeted next. She would guard him with her life, but for once she wouldn't have to do it alone. Slade Becker went beyond the call of duty and sequestered the single mother and her son on his ranch. 

Slade guaranteed their protection, and soon Maya learned there was no place safer than within his embrace. Just as she knew there was no place in Texas that the kidnapper could hide from the imposing U.S. marshal--and nothing on earth that could break up their new family....

Very good book.  Someone is kidnapping adopted baby boys in the Maverick County area.  Maya was unaware of this until Slade was assigned to protect them.  There is something about him that puts her on edge but she can't deny that he can protect her son.  As the attempts escalate their attraction also grows.  Then Maya discovers that Slade's protectiveness is a lot more personal than he let on.  

I liked Maya's independence and determination.  She had survived a brutal attack that left her unable to have children and cautious around men.  She took control of one of her dreams and adopted a baby boy, only to find out that he could be the target of a kidnapping.  When Slade is assigned to be their protection she is nervous around him at first.  He's tall, serious and very intense.  It becomes obvious pretty quickly that he can keep them safe from whoever is after them.  Once she learns to trust Slade the initial attraction she felt starts to grow.  Because of her scars from her attacker she is very self conscious around him.  I liked the way that he showed her that the scars don't matter.  She also becomes concerned about the intense way that he watches her son.  When she finds out why she is worried that she could lose the baby to him.  I loved her determination during the confrontations with the kidnapper and the way she was part of the solution.

Slade is one of six marshals who are working the kidnapping cases.  He has volunteered to be the protection for the one infant who has not yet been kidnapped.  He is determined to keep them safe and is tested from the very beginning.  First he has to overcome Maya's reluctance, which doesn't take long after the first attempt is made.  He also has to fight his attraction to her which is a distraction to his mission.  This is something he doesn't do too well at as Maya fascinates him. I loved the way that the attraction grew deeper and he began to think of having her in his life permanently. He also has to contend with the fact that one of the three babies is possibly his son from a one night stand.  Being around Evan is an eye opening experience for him.  He discovers a kind of caring he'd never experienced before.  I really loved the scenes where he was caring for the baby and his family just stared at him like they didn't know who he was.  The confrontations with the kidnapper at the end were very intense and had a couple interesting twists.  

There wasn't much mention of the ongoing series mystery of who all was involved in the murder of the former director of the children's home where Slade and his brothers grew up.  Their foster father isn't seen at all and barely mentioned.  I'm looking forward to finding out how it turns out.

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