Monday, November 24, 2014

Groom Under Fire - Lisa Childs (HI #1500 - June 2014)

Series: Shotgun Weddings (Book 1)


When her real groom is kidnapped, Tanya Chesterfield convinces bodyguard and all-time crush Cooper Payne to marry her in order to fulfill the terms of her inheritance and secure a possible ransom. But when there are no demands for money, only attempts made on Tanya's life, Cooper's protective instincts go into overdrive. Nearly losing her makes Cooper realize he never stopped loving her, and their pretense as husband and wife resurrects the passion between them. Cooper has vowed to honor and cherish her, and he is determined to find the truth -- even if it means in the end he must let Tanya go.

Good reunion story with danger pushing Tanya and Cooper together. Cooper has finished his time in the Marines and has joined the family security business. His first assignment is to protect Tanya, who has been receiving threats regarding her upcoming marriage.

Tanya is marrying Stephen, another friend of theirs. What nobody knows is that this is a simple business arrangement between two friends, so that Tanya get her inheritance. When Stephen is kidnapped the day before the wedding, Cooper's mother suggests that he step in so that Tanya makes her deadline. Tanya has been in love with Cooper for years, but he's never indicated an interest in anything but friendship, so she made her arrangement with Stephen. With the attacks on her, she's determined to grab what she can with Cooper. 

Cooper has also loved Tanya for a long time, but has always felt that she's too good for him. This feeling was reinforced by her grandfather many years earlier when he told Cooper to stay away from her. He hates the idea of Tanya marrying Stephen, but he believes she loves him so he keeps quiet about his own feelings. He gets a bit confused when they experience some serious passion between them, as he still believes Tanya is in love with Stephen.

There were times when I really wanted to smack them both. If Tanya had simply told Cooper WHY she was marrying Stephen, a lot of the confusion over feelings might have been avoided. Cooper needed to realize that Tanya doesn't care about any monetary differences between them and never had. He was going to just walk away at the end if he hadn't been forced to actually talk to her.

The mystery and suspense were pretty good. Someone wanted Tanya dead and it was pretty obvious that it had to do with her inheritance. It became clear that it was someone who knew her pretty well, because several of the attempts had to do with health issues that wouldn't be known to just anyone. There were several possibilities, and although I did figure out who it was the other suspects were realistic. The action was pretty intense, with Tanya nearly dying twice, multiple shots being fired at all of them, and a host of other things that kept them jumping. I did like the way it ended, with a good lead in to the next book.

I also enjoyed the relationships among Cooper's family members. Mom may not be part of the security company (she's a wedding planner), but she still excels at keeping her boys in line. Logan is the oldest and feels responsible for everyone, and tends to be on the serious side. Parker is next and is the playboy of the family. He comes across as pretty lighthearted except when the chips are down. Cooper is next and always felt a bit on the outside. Nikki is the youngest and only girl. She is part of the security company but feels as though none of her brothers see her as a capable adult. They are always there for each other when they're needed, but there are still some times when they get in each others' faces. I loved some of the teasing between them.

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