Author: Diana Palmer
Publication: HQN Books (July 26, 2011)
Description: Can she convince a man to let down his defenses when he's set on guarding his heart? Tall, dark and eligible? That's all that matters to the women of Jacobsville when it comes to handsome and aloof FBI agent Jon Blackhawk. But if it were up to him, he would never settle down. Luckily, Jon has the best gatekeeper: his efficient and reliable assistant, Joceline Perry. Without her help, he'd be at the mercy of husband hunters—but the more he comes to rely on her, the more he notices how invaluable she really is… While Joceline can't deny that her boss is attractive, as a single mother with responsibilities she's determined to be professional. But when Jon is accosted by a criminal seeking revenge, she comes to his aid—fueling the spark that is growing between them. As the attempts on Jon's life increase, Joceline stands by his side. But when the smoke clears, will the man who avoided love realize that all he ever needed was right there all along?
My Thoughts: This was a typical Palmer. Jon Blackhawk is an FBI agent, rich, and determined not to marry. Joceline is his executive assistant (don't ask her to make the coffee!) and just getting by financially. She has an illegitimate son who has asthma and requires frequent hospitalization and expensive medicine. When a criminal targets Jon, events spill over on Joceline and her son. This brings out all of Jon's protective instincts. And as they get to know each other out of the office, he also is attracted to her.
Joceline has secrets though. She is the only one who knows that her son is also his son. They were at a party, he was drugged, and things just happened. She has told everyone that the father is a soldier who was lost in the middle east but that lie is about to blow up in her face.
I liked the banter between Jon and Joceline. Joceline is no one's idea of a pushover. She is a strong, confident woman who gets in over her head when danger comes to her. Jon is protective and caring and a little bit abrasive. He isnt the woman hater that a lot of Palmer's heroes are. He doesn't date even though his mother is determined to marry him off and keeps parading prime specimens (in her opinion) past him.
The one part of the story that I had a problem with was how badly Jon's mother treated Joceline just because she had a baby outside of marriage. It was written off as happening because of her strong religious beliefs but just seemed cruel, capricious, and decidedly unChristian to me.
I think fans of traditional romances and especially fans of Ms. Palmer's work will enjoy this one.
"Another five minutes of discussion on new hairstyles and I think I'd have gone to the window and jumped out."I received the eARC from NetGalley for review. You can buy your copy here.
She gave him a bland look. "We're on the first floor." she reminded him.
"I meant, I'd have jumped out and hit the ground running," he amended.