Series: Argeneau #19
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Avon on 24 September 2013
Marguerite is worried that Nicole Phillips’ life is in danger after a spate of suspicious incidents. She enlists Jake Colson (aka Stephano Notte) to protect Nicole without her knowing. You see, Nicole refuses to believe that recent events were more than accidents so Jake offers his services as her housekeeper. He might not be able to cook but his bodyguard skills sure come in handy as the ‘accidents’ escalate.
Nicole is in the process of escaping from a verbally abusive and controlling husband. He wanted her because she was a successful artist but rather than appreciate her skill, took delight in denigrating her. Nicole has spent quite a bit of time healing emotionally and trying to deal with the backlog of projects she was forced to take on so it’s no wonder Marguerite was concerned.
I’m not a huge fan when characters change completely from earlier books. Here we have a name change, occupation change and seemingly a personality change which took me a little while to adjust to. When we last met Jake he was working with his vampire brother for the Argeneau family business. His step-father is a vampire who turned his mother and his brother was born a vampire. Rather than letting him in on the family secret, he was manipulated by those around him until they thought he was old enough to handle the truth. Jake resented being turned into a ‘monster’ after he was viciously attacked and distanced himself from his family. I don’t question his hotness as we are told he excels in that area but I do question his skills as a bodyguard because he didn’t do much in the way of background checks.
Given Jake’s difficulty adjusting to the world of vampires, Nicole’s attitude seemed odd. When her lover announced he was a vampire and she was his life mate, Nicole didn’t freak out but embraced the lifestyle wholeheartedly. I assumed that someone who was just getting out of a dodgy marriage would have some reservations about Jake’s pronouncement but they just didn’t emerge. RI thought it was a bit weird that Jake’s cousins stuck around while Jake and Nicole had very loud, mind-blowing sex just to make sure she didn’t get hurt and even tucked the two into bed after they had passed out.
The big ‘we are not vampires but advanced life forms with nanobots that keep us in peak condition but need blood to sustain them’ speech is starting to get a little old. There is only so many ways you can write it and unfortunately by book 19, the good ones seem to have been used up. I did have some quibbles with the plot as a very likely contender for villain of the piece just disappeared and the real villain’s motive came completely from left field. I also have no idea how Marguerite know that Jake and Nicole were life mates when the two hadn’t met. The woman may be gifted in the matchmaking department but this seemed a bit much. The suspense section lacked…suspense…as I never really felt that Nicole’s life was in imminent danger. A vampire bodyguard was pretty much always going to win over a human.
I think my tastes must be changing as I obsessed more over the plot and characterisation issues rather than focusing on the main point of the book which was the romance. It was a fun, quick read that followed the Argeneau formula to a T.