Over the Line (Bodyguards Series #4)

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Overview

“Sweet Baby Jane” Perkins has carved out a mega-selling reputation as rock’s favorite bad girl. But her hard-living, tough-talking image can’t prevent the sharp dose of reality that hit home when her estranged mother is killed in a car accident. As bizarre coincidences escalate in her own life, Janey grows certain that someone is watching her every move, and it’s not one of her adoring fans…

Since leaving the Army Rangers six months ago, Jason Wilson has been adrift, a warrior without a war. Now he’s taken his ...

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Over the Line (Bodyguards Series #4)

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Overview

“Sweet Baby Jane” Perkins has carved out a mega-selling reputation as rock’s favorite bad girl. But her hard-living, tough-talking image can’t prevent the sharp dose of reality that hit home when her estranged mother is killed in a car accident. As bizarre coincidences escalate in her own life, Janey grows certain that someone is watching her every move, and it’s not one of her adoring fans…

Since leaving the Army Rangers six months ago, Jason Wilson has been adrift, a warrior without a war. Now he’s taken his first civilian assignment for his army buddy’s security firm: protecting a rock diva on her sold-out tour. Far from being a spoiled star, Janey is a revelation—sweet, modest, and incredibly sexy. Their friendship is turning to mutual, heated desire, but it’s a distraction that could cost them more than their hearts…

Drawn into the depths of a deadly secret, they’ll face off against a killer growing more ruthless every day, and Jase will discover just how far he’ll go to protect an explosive passion he never expected…

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A super-action packed investigative thriller.”—BarnesandNoble.com on To The Limit

“Gerard has done an excellent job capturing the same blend of action and lust that powered her first book in this series, To the Edge. Though reading the books in order is a plus, this is one tale that can stand on its own. The characters are riveting, the action fast-paced, and the storyline superbly created. This is a great tale that lets you appreciate the slower pace of your own life while reveling in the adventures of the heroine.”—Fresh Fiction on To The Limit

“A real page turner with wonderful chemistry between our two main characters…readers will be drawn into the story.”—Romance Designs on To The Limit

“This second book in Gerard’s ‘The Bodyguard’ series is even better than the first, To the Edge…taut, suspenseful…filled with action, sizzling sex scenes, and fascinating settings and situations.”—Romance Reader’s Connection on To The Limit

“Engaging…as always the action keeps rolling along, the interaction and dialogue is swift and cutting, and the romance is oh so satisfying to witness. Kudos for Cindy; she’s done it again. A definite keeper!”—A Romance Review on To The Limit

“Edgy, exciting, and sexy with two fabulous lead characters and a cleverly done mystery. This story doesn’t just sizzle, it blazes.”—Romance Reader at Heart on To The Limit

“Edgy and intense, this tale of romance, danger, and past regrets is a keeper.”

RT BOOKclub Magazine on To the Edge

“Passion. Danger. Excitement...Cindy Gerard delivers top notch sizzle.”

—Cherry Adair, USA Today bestselling author of On Thin Ice on To The Edge

”A tense, sexy story filled with danger...romantic suspense at its best.”

—Kay Hooper, New York Times bestselling author on To The Edge

”Heart-thumping thrills, sleek sensuality, and unforgettable characters. I have one word for Nolan Garrett. Yum!”

—Vicki Lewis Thompson, New York Times bestseller of The Nerd Who Loved Me on To The Edge

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312948597
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Series: Bodyguards Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.27 (w) x 6.68 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

CINDY GERARD is a bestselling author of nearly thirty contemporary romance novels including To the Brink, To the Edge, and To the Limit. Along with numerous industry award nominations, Cindy is the recipient of The National Reader’s Choice Award and Romance Writers of America’s coveted Rita Award. As one reviewer put it: ‘Ms. Gerard is a master at weaving tales that shoot straight for the heart—and she does it with incomparable style.’

Cindy lives in the Midwest with her husband, Tom, two spoiled dogs and several fat and happy quarter horses. Visit her Web site at: www.cindygerard.com

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Three weeks later, Sunday, July 9th, South Florida Fairgrounds, Sound Advice Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach

She was a bustier-wearing, hard-living, tabloid-headlining, top-of-her-game rock star. And as of tonight, Jason Wilson was responsible for keeping her alive.

Lord Jesus God, what had No gotten him into?

Arms crossed over his chest, legs set wide, Jase stood well back in the wings, watching Sweet Baby Jane gyrate to a hard and heavy rock beat, then strut her stuff across the stage on needle-sharp heels, gearing up to close the first of three West Palm Beach bookings.

Sweet mercy, did the woman have stuff to strut.

No wonder they called her sold-out tour Fire and Soul. Sweet Baby Jane was the flesh-and-blood component of both the fire and the soul.

A wild, thick tangle of long blond hair streaked with shots of chestnut bounced on top of her head. Her lips were painted fireball red. She had a face made for magazine covers and, from where Jase was standing, put the wet in wet dreams. And her body—whoa. That was someplace he wasn’t going to go within a Baghdad mile of.

She wasn’t any bigger than a bug, her waist so small he figured one of his headbands would fit around it. Best guess, without those heels she’d probably top out at a little over five feet.

It was more than obvious that she was in great shape. Fighting shape. All slim limbs, toned muscle, and steady agility, she moved tirelessly and sometimes frenetically all the hell over the outdoor stage, her skin covered in a glittering sheen of perspiration.

Wet, he thought again. Very. Wet. Dreams.

He shook off the thought, tuned back into her performance. She had a set of pipes; he’d give her that. Although why she wanted to belt out that rock crap when she could groove on a sweet country ballad was beyond him. So was the reason she wanted to wear all that makeup and those skimpy, outrageous clothes—not to mention she seemed to have a thing for tattoos. Small ones—one on her neck, another on her biceps, and one just above her right breast. Probably more he couldn’t see, all with some deep, mystical meaning known only to her, no doubt. Babes, he’d learned, were like that.

Then there was the pierced belly button. For some reason, he actually found that a little scary.

But he wasn’t here to critique her choice of music—or her wardrobe or her body art. Or, for that matter, to wonder what she saw in Derek McCoy, the bleached-blond pretty-boy drummer with the ostrich-skin pants painted on so tight they announced to the world that he dressed to the left.

To each his own. Jase was here to provide security, not judge the rock world’s best bad girl and her bed partners as reported by Entertainer Magazine and half a dozen other rags.

And he was here to prove himself. If not in No’s eyes, in his own. He had a lot of proving to do.

Who’d a thunk it? Plowboy Wilson, country boy with a capital C, a personal securities specialist to a rock star. And not just any rock star. According to her file, she was big business, big draw, and major star power.

She was also in a little bit of trouble. Trouble of the crazed-stalker-fan variety.

Jase scanned the sea of fans rocking to the music and crowding the stage. What a mob. Seemed big venues had many things in common—whether it was the WWA drawing the crowd or Sweet Baby Jane. The scent of beer, weed, BO, and about a hundred or so different perfumes and colognes hung in the charged air like smoke.

House security was doing a good job keeping the crowd from mobbing the stage, but since Jase was officially on the payroll as of tonight, he was ready to move in if things got out of control.

The only thing out of control right now, though, was Sweet Baby Jane. Damn, she was a sight. And though she was a mite of a thing, onstage and in person she projected a much bigger presence than on TV or in print. Sure, he’d known who she was. He wasn’t a rocker, but he didn’t live under a rock, either.

She was “the next big thing,” the current decade’s answer to what you get when you cross Janis Joplin, Joss Stone, and Madonna.

And No trusted him to protect her. He shook his head, still bowled over by that vote of confidence. Never figured he’d see that on his résumé.

“Max Cogan is an old friend of Dad’s,” No had informed him at staffing yesterday, explaining about a call from a new client. “They served in ’Nam together.”

Ethan, Dallas, and Eve had also joined them at morning staffing, where they doled out assignments and briefed one another on their current clients.

“Anyway, Max manages Janey Perkins—”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Eve interrupted her brother, her blue eyes wide with excitement. “Dad is friends with rocker Sweet Baby Jane’s manager? Holy shit. Do you suppose I could get her autograph?”

Three sets of eyes—all blue like Eve’s—turned on the little sister whom no one in the group would ever mistake for a ditsy blonde.

Jase had heard stories about Eve Garrett—Eve McClain now—from No. Some of them made his short hairs curl. She was sharp and she was shrewd, and behind those cover-girl looks and misty blue eyes, she could hold her own with a Ranger chalk if she had to.

She had to be tough to keep up with the Garrett brothers, all of whom Jase respected. Hell. More than respected. He liked them. Admired them. They were heroes. Veterans. All ex–special ops, like Jase, which, in a way, made them all brothers. Sure, one gene pool had given the Garrett men their tall, dark good looks and another had given Jase a fairer complexion and a little less height, so it was obvious there was no blood relationship, but they were brothers, just the same.

And he was grateful as hell that all four Garretts—Eve, who’d once been a Secret Service agent, included—had given him a thumbs-up when Nolan had introduced him to them three weeks ago and they’d welcomed him to the firm.

Their father, Wes, a Vietnam veteran, had founded E.D.E.N. Securities, Inc., after he’d retired from the West Palm PD. Now, under the Garrett siblings’ capable hands, E.D.E.N. had expanded and built on Wes’s principles of integrity, trust, and excellence.

Jase was impressed as hell. He’d spent the past weeks familiarizing himself with company protocol, done some job shadowing, and sketched out a plant security plan that had been implemented. But he’d been itching for his first hard assignment. He’d do anything. Night security. Surveillance. Hell, he’d clean the head if they wanted him to, but that day at staffing, he’d been ready for something other than paperwork.

“I was just asking,” Eve had said with a roll of her eyes when her brothers’ “give us a break” stares told her what they thought of that idea of meeting the star.

“Cogan wants us to head up all aspects of security for Janey. Or Baby. Or Sweet. Or whatever the hell she wants to be called,” No had finished with a frown.

Then he’d tossed a file folder across the conference table toward Jase. “The tour moves from Miami to West Palm tonight and E.D.E.N.’s been tagged to provide personal and ongoing security for the star. This one’s yours, Plowboy.”

Jase had blinked. Stared at the folder. Looked around the table to see if anyone was laughing, like No had just pulled a big joke or something. No one was.

He picked up the folder. Squinted at his boss. “No shit?”

That had made them laugh.

“No shit,” No confirmed with a grin. “Read the file. It’s a six-month contract, subject to renewal. Pack a bag and head over to the fairgrounds. You’re about to break your cherry big-time.”

And that had made Jase laugh. A nervous, thanks-for-the-vote-of-confidence laugh.

He wasn’t laughing now. Sweet Baby Jane rock star was a tornado. A firestorm. He was going to have to pull out all the stops to keep up with her.

“Whatever it takes,” No had said.

Looked like it was going to take an army, Jase thought as she skipped across the stage, then leaped gracefully up onto a speaker. Fist in the air, she belted out the last notes to a hard-living, hard-drinking song about life and love on the road.

Yeah. It was going to take an army all right. An army of one.

The booze from the free bar flowed like a fountain. Janey avoided it and greedily gulped bottled water while around her everyone helped themselves to their alcohol of choice and a steaming buffet filled with local Cuban cuisine that ranged from black beans to plantains. Max Cogan, her manager and ever the promoter, schmoozed with the press, the local radio jocks, and their sponsors.

She was always dry after a concert. Dry and ready for some time to wind down alone. But the show was never officially over until the after-concert party wound down. Fans with backstage passes shoved concert programs under her nose and the noses of her band members and backup singers, then flushed red when they scored a much-coveted autograph.

As usual, her drummer, Derek McCoy, was eating it up with a spoon and making his usual and tiresome post-concert play for her.

“You were hot tonight, babe.” Slinging his arm over her shoulders and pulling her close, Derek made a big show of nuzzling her neck like it was something he had a right to do—which he sure as hell didn’t. If you believed the tabloids, however, Derek was her on-again, off-again love interest. Derek would like nothing more than to make those stories true.

Wasn’t going to happen.

He smelled like booze and smoke and the expensive leather of the black vest he wore over his bare chest. Twin nipple rings peeked out with winking diamonds whenever he moved. From the corner of her eye, Janey caught a glimpse of Chris Ramsey’s video recorder catching all the action. Janey gritted her teeth, not for the first time wishing she’d never let Max talk her into letting the freelance videographer tape the tour for an MTV documentary. The last image she wanted preserved for posterity was one of her and Derek in a clinch.

“What do you say we put a cap on the night in my room?” Derek continued, not taking Janey’s hint when she pushed against his side. “We can make the night even hotter.”

Janey squirmed out from under Derek’s imprisoning arm. For the sake of the gathered crowd, she forced a smile rather than snarl at him. “Okay, we’ve gone over this before, but for clarity’s sake, what part of ‘when hell freezes over’ isn’t registering with you?” she asked sweetly so only Derek could hear.

How a man with such a swaggering ego could affect the look of a pouty little brat she’d never know.

“You know, one of these days, I’m going to quit askin’,” Derek warned through a smile that held more venom than regret.

She waggled her almost empty bottle of water at him. “This is me—living for the day you keep that promise.”

She was beyond caring that she’d dealt his massive ego another blow. Derek was becoming a pest—one she really didn’t have time to deal with.

“’Fraid you can’t handle my brand of action?” he taunted with a sneer.

She couldn’t help it. She laughed. Derek considered himself God’s gift, and it royally pissed him off that she wasn’t interested in unwrapping his “package.” “If that’s what you want to think, you just run with it.”

She turned to walk away, but he grabbed her arm, jerked her up tight against him, and pressed his mouth to her ear. “You’re a cock tease, you know that? Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. But there’s one thing I do know. One of these days, you’re going to be sorry for stringing me along. Very, very sorry.”

Janey dealt with the little shot of unease that zipped through her blood by turning it into outrage. She glared from his hand where it wrapped in a bruising grip around her upper arm to the ugly anger in his eyes. “You are very close to crossing a line here, Derek. Get your hand off my arm and walk away and I’ll chalk up your little tirade to the booze and a bad day. . . .

“Now,” she ordered when several seconds passed and he still hadn’t let go of her.

“Fuck it,” he swore, and released her with a flourish. “No skin off my ass.” And finally, he walked away.

After a deep breath, Janey finished her water and grabbed another bottle, her attention suddenly riveted on a clean-cut, all-American-boy type approaching her.

Just what the doctor ordered. A diversion from that nasty little scene with Derek. And what a diversion. He was not the prototype of her usual fan, who preferred grunge to gleam. This boy practically shined.

His hair—a sun-bleached brown—was buzz-cut, his black T-shirt and jeans pin-neat and free of holes. Not a scrap of leather, a piercing, or a soul patch in sight. His complexion was apple-pie and wholesome. She’d guess him at about five nine, five ten. And while it was obvious he’d spent hours pumping weights and bulking up the impressive muscles that strained the seams of his black T-shirt, she’d bet tonight’s gate receipts that those baby blues hadn’t witnessed half the things most rocker fans his age had seen.

Innocence. Something about him flat-out shouted it.

She couldn’t resist smiling at him as he came within a yard of her. And when he actually blushed, she felt a curious surge of protective instinct. All that naïveté was refreshing. And kind of cute. So was he—in a baby-face, beach-boy-with-a-body kind of way.

For the first time ever, she considered the merits of a one-night stand. That’s how hot he was.

And that’s how deprived you are, she told herself with a self-effacing smile. Ah, the downside of celibacy.

Oh well. A little harmless flirting couldn’t hurt.

“Hi, sweetie.” She was still jazzed on the residual adrenaline that always gave her a buzz during and after a solid performance. Plus, she was a little revved up from her face-off with Derek. “You a member of the fan club? And does your momma know you’re out this late?” she added with a teasing grin.

He smiled then. All slow and amused and lazy. And something amazing happened to his face. It transitioned from Babe in Toyland to just plain babe. Twin dimples dented his clean-shaven cheeks. The Michael Douglas cleft in his chin widened. And though he couldn’t have been much more than seventeen, he suddenly looked a whole lot older—and just a little more naughty than he might be nice.

The fleeting notion of groping a groupie raised its ugly head again. Especially when she got a whiff of him. Clean. Mostly he just smelled clean. It was a turn-on of epic proportions.

She gave herself a mental head slap while a hundred conversations from the gathered crowd buzzed around them. Can we say statutory rape?

“Actually,” he said, in a voice that was gruff and gravelly and way outdistanced the youthful picture he made, “I’m on the payroll.”

She brushed a fall of damp hair behind her ear, ran the cool water bottle over her forehead. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. Yours.”

She did a double take. Looked him up and down.

“Jason Wilson, ma’am.” He offered his hand. “I’m your new securities specialist.”

Janey blinked. Then blinked again as a wave of disbelief rose inside her like a helium balloon. She pushed out a laugh.

“That’s a joke, right?”

He tilted his head, shrugged. “No, ma’am. No joke.”

“Oh, for the love of . . . Max!” she yelled, and, grabbing Jason’s hand, tugged him across the room in her manager’s direction.

“Yo, what’s up?” Max Coogan turned, cigarette in one hand, gin in the other, still smiling over something a local sponsor had said. He sobered abruptly when he saw her face. “What? What’s wrong?”

“By any chance, have you met my new bodyguard?”

Max’s brows rose as he glanced from Janey to the “bodyguard” in question. He managed an uneasy smile. “Problem?”

“Problem?” She couldn’t believe this. “Yeah, there’s a problem. While he plays bodyguard for me . . . who’s gonna babysit him?”

Janey rode the hotel elevator in silence, tuning out Max and her new “bodyguard’s” conversation as they ascended to the Breakers’ penthouse suite.

She mentally shook her head and thought back to the conversation that had landed her in this position in the first place. It had been Monday night, after the third and last Miami concert.

“Things are getting out of control, snooks,” Max had said, slumping in the backseat beside her as the limo crept away from the back entrance of the concert hall. He’d tugged at his ripped jacket sleeve, then given up on setting it right, with a disgusted grunt.

As usual after a concert these days, hundreds of fans had crowded next to the stretch, screaming her name, some of them crying, some of them stoned, all of them hoping for a glimpse of their rock idol behind the bulletproof smoked-glass windows.

“And I’m getting too old for this shit,” he’d added wearily.

“I’m getting too old for it.” The adrenaline rush that always followed a performance had started to let her down.

Copyright © 2006 by Cindy Gerard

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 29, 2012

    Excellent choice

    I really enjoyed reading this book and so far all of her books that I have read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Must read

    Best series! Read these in order and then move on to the BOI series. Excellent characters and perfect combination of suspense, action and romance!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Adventure!

    This Cindy Gerard adventure had a little bit of everything. It had the perfect blend of characters to keep it interesting and the perfect amount of thrill and drama to keep your heart racing. The Bodyguard series is definitely a keeper in my library.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Loved It!!

    It was an exciting and great read can't wait for the next book in the series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2007

    Amazing

    I do have to admit, there are a few too many bad guys in this story, but Cindy Gerard works it out quite well in my opinion. This is an awesome series. Will be disappointed when it ends. Again, well written, likable characters and just a real good story. The chemistry between Jase and Janey is to die for. All the books in this series could do as a stand alone but to get the full effect read them in order. 1. To the edge, 2. To the limit, 3. To the brink, 4. Over the line

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2006

    I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!

    This whole entire series is great. I will admit the third book (Ethan) is my favorite in the series but they were all extremely good. I know Manny's book is coming but I hope to God they continue after that. This is definitely one of my all time favorite series of books. Read them....you will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    Too much going on!

    The story started out strong - but mid-way through there was just too many bad guys in the mix. By the end, I felt that Ms Gerard rushed to tie it all together and be done with this story. The characters definitely had chemistry and with the right editing this book could have been great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2006

    I LOVE this series!!

    Cindy Gerard has once again delivered, in what I'm thinking is her best to date. When Jason 'Plowboy' Wilson hits rock bottom, he turns to his good buddy Nolan Garrett to take a job offer at E.D.E.N. he'd previously turned down. His first assignment is to gaurd the wildly poplular 'Baby Jane'--a rock star!! Jase quickly figures out that there is much more to the petite Jane than you could ever guess--and that she is capable of keeping it together, even when there are people dying, bird hearts are being left for her, and she's being stalked...He's impressed, and reluctantly attracted. For Jane, who has spent the last two years celibate after being hurt, Jase's HOT body, baby blue eyes, and gentle way of handling her are too much too resist--and although he's trying to keep her strictly in the 'job' category, she's made up her mind she wants more...The suspense is tight, and will have you guessing all over the place. The romance is sexy and sweet, and the love scenes HOT. There is nothing else you could ask for--except for the next story to hurry along!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2006

    A reviewer

    Cindy Gerard continues to shine with Book #4, OVER THE LINE in her The Bodyguard series for St. Martin¿s (June 2006). Jason ¿Plowboy¿ Wilson gets fired from his stint as a WWA wrestler when he refuses to throw a fight. He¿s desperate for a job utilizing his unique military skills after retiring prematurely from the Army Rangers due to hearing loss from an explosion. Jase takes his former commander, Nolan Garrett up on a job offer to join E.D.E.N Inc. security firm as a bodyguard for rock star ¿Sweet Baby Jane¿ Perkins. Despite her wild rocker reputation and poor upbringing, Jase discovers Janey is a really sweet person and not effected by her fame and fortune. When Janey¿s life is threatened there are several members of her entourage including an ex-con stalker, who could be the guilty party. Jase takes Janey to his parent¿s Iowa farm to hide out and she¿s even right at home there. OVER THE LINE is Ms. Gerard¿s most suspenseful book-to-date which will keep you guessing until the very end. Add to this ¿sweetheart¿ couple Jase and Janey in a hot, steamy romance and you have a most engaging reading experience. Don¿t miss this one! - Patricia Rouse, Rouse's Readers Groups

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    Excellent E.D.E.N bodyguard thriller

    Six months ago Jason Wilson left the Army Rangers only to learn his hearing prevents him from doing police work and the wrestling federation wants nothing to do with him either. After realizing his lone companion is a cockroach, Jase flies to Florida to accept work from his former superior officer Nolan Garrett who along with his three siblings runs E.D.E.N. Securities. --- Jase¿s first assignment is to keep safe rock star bad girl Sweet Baby Jane who fears stalker Edwin Grimm, just freed from prison will come to complete the job of killing her. Thus she reluctantly accepts Jase as her personal bodyguard. Jase begins to observe and admire the off stage Janey Perkins who is so different from her public persona. When her mom dies in a car accident, Jase wonders if someone, perhaps Edwin, cleverly disguised a homicide. What he does not ponder is that he willingly would risk his life to keep the tattooed lady he cherishes and loves safe. --- The fourth E.D.E.N bodyguard thriller may be the best tale in what is one of the superior series on the market in the last few years. The lead couple consists of two deep complex protagonists while the suspense is top rate and filled with twists and turns. Romantic suspense fans will want to read this strong one sitting tale. --- Harriet Klausner

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