Keeping her safe is crucial. Guarding his heart is impossible. Haunted by his time in Iraq, former soldier Schwartz Patton goes off the grid, retreating deep into Montana’s untamed wilderness. Now, ten years into his self-imposed solitude, his brother tracks him down and asks for a favor. A woman is in danger, and she needs help…and Schwartz is the only one who can protect her. Designer-loving city girls like Janelle Keebler don’t belong in the wilderness. Unless, of course, they’re witnesses to a murder by their psycho drug-trafficking ex-husbands. Still, Janelle can’t help the immediate physical response she has to her sexy-as-sin protector that leaves her wanting more than she could have ever imagined. Even if he does make terrible coffee… Every word, every touch, every kiss ignites a need Schwartz thought he’d lost forever. He can’t stop the desperate attraction simmering between him and Janelle, even if he wanted to. Even if it means it could get them both killed.
Janelle glanced out the window again. A funny-looking black-and-white bird was picking at the remains of a box of french fries squashed into the asphalt. A woman in chaps walked bow-legged from a horse trailer at the gas pumps toward the front of a convenience store, a gust of snow dust swirling around her boots. Next to the bus sat a pickup truck so ancient, it had five colors of paint on its rusty hood. There was a man in dark sunglasses motionless behind the wheel.
Janelle stared. The driver stirred, then opened the door. A leg the size of a tree trunk swung out, followed by another, and Janelle felt her heart surge throbbing into her throat. There was nowhere for her to run. Nowhere to hide if Jacques and his men came looking and—
The man slammed the door of the pickup and stared up at the bus, a permanent scowl etched into his clean-shaven face. As he tugged off his sunglasses, Janelle felt her heart skid back to a normal rhythm. Well, mostly normal.
The guy was huge. The guy was terrifying.
The guy was Schwartz.
The photos she’d seen of him were nearly a decade old, but she would have known those eyes anywhere. The clear gray-brown hue, their haunted depths, the deep fan of lines spread out from each corner.
But as much as she fixated on his eyes, she had to admit the rest of the package was pretty fine to admire as well. He was scary-big like his brothers, but well put together with broad shoulders and a chest that looked like he might be wearing armor plates under his faded flannel shirt. He had a slim waist and well-worn jeans that strained a bit over his—
“Ahem.” The bus driver cleared his throat. “You getting off, miss?”
I will be if I keep staring at that guy’s crotch.
Protector For Hire is the fourth book in Front and Center Series and it made me want to read the first three books. It can be read as a standalone without difficulties but I got curious about the previous stories, so I’ll probably read the first books in this series.
Grant, Schwartz’s brother, asks him to hide and protect Janelle from her ex husband and even though Schwartz has been living like a recluse for the past ten years, he can’t refuse his brother’s request, so he agrees to protect her and figures it’s going to be like any other mission. One that he’s determined to accomplish at all costs.
Janelle is on the run and needs to fall off the grid but she doesn’t have the skills to do it alone, so she has to trust Schwartz, who she never met, to protect her and to hide her until her ex husband is in jail.
Janelle beats herself up for her poor choice in men and Schwartz has been punishing himself for surviving his last tour.
I really loved Schwartz, his burden is heavy and his values are held high. I really liked how Janelle got under his skin, how she made him open up and it was a real surprise how the city girl adapted so well to the wilderness. Apart for the lack of good coffee! But in all their differences, they’re perfect for each other. Their story is full of humor (their trips to town were hilarious!), suspense, lots of heat and sweet moments. And the Patton family won my heart! I’m adding the first three books in this series to my TBR list.
Tawna Fenske is a romantic comedy author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Her offbeat brand of romance has been praised by Booklist as “A tame Carl Hiaasen on cupid juice,” and RT Book Reviews nominated her debut novel for contemporary romance of the year. Tawna is a fourth generation Oregonian who can peel a banana with her toes and who loses an average of 20 pairs of eyeglasses per year. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband, step kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets.