She needed him to guard her body, in more ways than one…
Ex-Army sergeant and security expert, Cody Matthews recently walked away from his company to work The Lucky B Ranch just outside of Marietta, Montana. The ranch is his refuge, but his hiding out is short-lived when he’s recruited into the Marietta Bachelor Auction and his high school ex-crush bids a small fortune to spend one weekend with him.
Hollywood starlet, Hayley Dawn O’Malley has had decent, honest, sexy Code Matthews on the brain ever since she left Marietta after high school to pursue her dreams. But now she’s back in town and someone is threatening her. Code, a natural-born protector, is the only man she trusts to keep her safe.
Spending their weekend date in a remote cabin, Code plays the role of reluctant bodyguard, yet Hayley isn’t going to let the tormented man deny his feelings for her, no matter the threat to her body or her heart.
I absolutely loved the previous Bachelor Auction Series from Tule Publishing, and nearly melted from joy, when I saw there's a new series coming! And the book one lived up to my expectations.
It is emotional, heartbreaking, raw, fearful, joyful, passionate, and sweet...
Cody carries so much pain inside him. This beautiful, capable, caring, protecting man, has seen and experienced too much, and had his heart broken one too many times, and is determined now to only protect himself, from any kind of emotional connection and feelings, even people, as much as possible.
Hayley is home in Marietta to close the only home she ever had, her grandmother's house in Marietta. There are bittersweet memories she has to face, of hurt, abandonment from her parents, love from her granny, and the first moments of passion with Cody.
The danger and fear from Hayley's stalker gave the story another dimension, and added some pepper to it, as I like to say. It also brought Hayley and Cody together, as reluctantly Cody agrees to protect her. The riding lessons, as well as the shooting practice, the beautiful scenery of Marietta, Montana, that the author so well paints with her words, all play into the story well, bringing Cody and Hayley closer together.
I liked that it was Cody that was the one, who was doubting, when it came to the relationship. He had to reflect in his life, and the long serious talks with Hayley, about past and present helped them map the future they wanted to go towards.
The hurting and vulnerability is so close to the surface, it was like waiting for the fireworks to burst, as they were opening up to each other about their past.
And they had to get rather deep, before they could see the light again, and figure out, if future together could be possible for them.
Emotional, raw, fearful, joyful, passionate, and sweet, indeed.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me