FORGED IN DESIRE by Brenda Jackson


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An heiress in peril, a bodyguard with a heart of gold, and villains of every stripe populate this romantic thriller.

When wedding-dress designer Margo Connelly and her fellow jurors declare a man guilty of murder, they find themselves in the cross hairs of his paid assassin. Enter Lamar “Striker” Jennings, an elite bodyguard hired to keep Margo safe—and does he have his job cut out for him! In addition to being targeted by a killer, Margo is being harassed by at least three other parties: a cheating ex who wants to get back together, his former associate who nearly got arrested for helping stalk her, and her wealthy uncle’s mercenary girlfriend who sees her as a threat. In this spinoff from her Grangers series, Jackson (A Lover’s Vow, 2015, etc.) packs in a little too much action to be believable. The novel’s strengths are the propulsive courtroom scene in the prologue and the episodes that bring out Margo's and Striker’s personalities and pasts. Readers of the previous series may also enjoy cameos of characters from the earlier books. But the plot drags in the middle, and the many lovemaking scenes interspersed with two-dimensional bad guys and a bitchy villainess don’t quite lift it to the pace demanded in romantic suspense. It even takes a couple of climaxes for the multiple threads to be tied up.

Notable for an ex-con hero who's earned professional success despite having been dealt an unfair hand and a heroine who stops ignoring a fatal threat before the final shootout—unlike many "too stupid to live" heroines in the bodyguard-romance subgenre.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-373-79000-5
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2016


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