Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bridegroom Bodyguard - Lisa Childs (HI #1511 - Aug 2014)

Series: Shotgun Weddings (Book 3)

Someone is trying to kill bodyguard Parker Payne. But what's more shocking is the woman who shows up claiming he's the father of her child. The baby boy is Parker's spitting image, but how could he have forgotten a passionate encounter with this woman with caramel eyes?

Sharon Wells has raised Parker's son since his birth. Now with a homicidal maniac coming after her and her son, it's Parker's unexpected proposal that may be the real danger. Sharon knows Parker just wants to protect them. But with passion flaring and a murderer intent on completing his personal mission, any distraction could mean the difference between life and death.

The final book about the three Payne brothers and it was just as good as the other two. Parker was in the hospital recovering from an explosion when he is visited by Sharon and a baby who looks just like him. She claims that Ethan is his son, but he doesn't remember her. Just as they finish discussing the baby's parentage, Sharon's car explodes in the hospital parking lot, showing her that she is in danger also. When Sharon is named as Ethan's guardian in his mother's will, Parker's mother suggests that Sharon and Parker marry to ensure that Ethan is protected.

Sharon expects that this is simply a temporary marriage, until the danger is over. Even though she has been the one caring for Ethan since he was born, she has no ties to him except those of love. Sharon sees herself as a very forgettable person. She was orphaned as a young child, after witnessing her mother's murder. She was then raised by her grandfather, who was a cold man who looked at her as a mistake that her mother made. She knows Parker's reputation as a playboy and doesn't think she would appeal to him at all. She falls fast and hard for him, but has no hope for a happy ending for herself.

Parker is known as the playboy of the Payne family and claimed that he will never marry. Though everyone thinks he just wants to enjoy the ladies, it goes much deeper than that. He lost his father as a child and never wants to be in the position where a wife and children would mourn if something were to happen to him. I loved seeing how quickly he accepted being a father and how that crack in his walls opened up a larger one for Sharon. Can he allow himself to love her too?

The mystery in this one is who wants both Parker and Sharon dead and why. They start by trying to get answers from Judge Brenda, only to discover that she and her bodyguard are dead. They are shot at, run off the road, and harassed by one of the investigating officers. It seems that no matter what they do, whoever wants them dead is always ahead of them. I figured out pretty quickly why they were being targeted, but the who was well concealed until the end. There was quite an interesting twist with a new character and which side of the law he was really on. I really wasn't too worried, but I could see why the Paynes were concerned. 

Once again, family is a big theme in the book. The Paynes support each other through everything that gets thrown at them. I loved Mrs. Payne and the way her big heart just sucks everyone into her circle of love. Stacy's brothers from Explosive Engagement also had an important part to play in this story. I'd love to see more of them, especially Milek and his ex-girlfriend Amber. I would also like to see more of the Payne sister Nikki, who finally seemed to be seeing more action in the business, as well as getting to know Agent Nicholas Rus.

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