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KEEPING ANNIE SAFE
[ 3-day rental ]
KEEPING ANNIE SAFE
The man who saved her life will soon learn just how strong and determined Annie is!
Victim of a near-fatal stabbing, Annie, an editor, is saved in her moment of need by Dane, CEO of the Dundee Agency, a security firm. He is a strong, picture-perfect Southern gentleman. He may be the kind of man who wants to protect women, but if he thinks Annie is weak and will follow meekly along, he is sorely mistaken! The man who attacked Annie must have something to do with her friend’s disappearance two days earlier after getting hold of a major scoop. Annie and Dane decide to chase down the truth, no matter the cost!
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©BEVERLY BEAVER / NANAO HIDAKA
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- A bit of drama, a bit of romance, and overall, pretty good! 4
- CJ 01/14/2020 1 people found the following review helpful
SPOILER ALERT: This story started out surprisingly serious, and it makes me wonder if the actual novel might be as much suspense as it is romance. Also, there is a lot of detail in this story, so – guaranteed – this summary misses a lot. It makes me wonder how much more detail was lost turning this into a graphic novel. I may have to check that out at some point, but as to the story, the first four, beautifully colored, panels get us started with the heroine noting that her “friend and subordinate editor” has gone missing with the ominous last words, “I’ve found the most incredible scoop,” while in his office, the hero is being told he needs to get some recreation time in. The next few panels have the hero, the CEO of a security agency, being strong-armed into taking a vacation followed by the revelation that heroine’s friend has likely been murdered to cover something up. And to top it off, because the friend was in contact with the heroine, the heroine now a target too. This surprised me. An actual murder? In a romance? That was different and certainly gave the story a more serious bent. And so we move on to ‘the meeting.’ Our 10-year widower hero, retired from the FBI, is reminiscing along the docks about using work to escape the death of his fragile wife when the heroine comes running to him for help, collapsing in his arms, having been stabbed. He stays with her at the hospital until she wakes and she tells him about her friend. The police were less than helpful when she reported her friend missing, and they are no more helpful now, so the hero takes it upon himself to make sure she gets to her hotel when discharged. As they drive, we get a little of the heroine’s background. The hero is a Southern gentleman and she’s had more than enough problems with patronizing, cheating Southern gentlemen in her past, including her father and her ex. At the hotel he wants to stay with her, fearing if her hunch is right, she may still a target, but she promises to keep her door locked. He leaves reluctantly but hasn’t even reached his car before he gets a bad feeling and listens to it. She opened her door for a ‘police officer’ and was attacked. She managed to injure her attacker, who then ran, but she confirms it was all related to her friend and they wanted a ‘package’ which the heroine says her friend mentioned in their last contact. It was supposed to be sent to her boss (the heroine), but it hasn’t shown up. The hero stays to guard the rest of the night and wonders why this woman, so far from his ideal and different from his wife, is intriguing him. The next day the police are finally willing to listen. The couple also realized they have a mutual family friend – the hero’s father-in-law, who is running for Governor, is her uncle’s golfing buddy. In fact, the heroine had her friend writing about the gubernatorial elections. Had she discovered something she wasn’t supposed to? Considering all that has happened, the heroine realizes she needs a bodyguard and the hero ends up being the only one available, though both might wish otherwise for different reasons. The heroine has, however, started noticing THIS Southern gentleman may be different from those in her past. Their next stop looking for the package is a cottage her friend used. On their way, they stop by the heroine’s family’s and her mom see’s the heroine is falling for the hero. She thinks it’s a fine match, especially since through their mutual connection the hero's reputation is that of an excellent son-in-law. At the cottage, they find notes on the gubernatorial elections, and some mention of names and relationships they don’t recognize alongside the father-in-law’s name. The hero immediately states there is no way the father-in-law is involved in anything shady. Then, when they leave someone takes a shot at them. In the intimacy of the aftermath, he kisses her and she returns it. Returning to the family house, there has been a break-in, but nothing significant was stolen. Everyone wants the heroine to go into hiding, but she refuses saying the only way to catch those involved is to use her as a lure. The hero swears to protect her with his life and that night their intimacy goes much further. The next morning, they get the report of her friend’s body being found - murder is confirmed. The hero steps back stating he needs to take their relationship back to professional before his abilities as a bodyguard are compromised. She agrees although for different reasons. They’ll pretend it never happened. (And personally, I was disappointed. Plotwise, they really didn't need to go all the way, so it was just another gratuitous sex scene which, personally, I feel diminishes the romance.) After this, things start falling into place. The names they found connect to a long-settled scandal at the father-in-law’s chemical plant where a manager was caught illegally dumping chemicals in the river, and who then committed suicide when he was found legally responsible. The hero is put on the spot, realizing he may have to choose between long-standing family or what is right and his newfound love. We all know the choice he’ll make, but that doesn’t make it easy for him. The finale starts when ‘the package’ is finally found, and there is a gun, a hostage, and a confrontation before it’s resolved. Once it is, the hero is ready to leave and asks the heroine if there is any reason for him to stick around. The answer she gives is disappointing, but as he walks out the door, she realizes what her pride is doing and breaks down, calling after him. It’s mutual love as they share how the other changed their heart and we get a proposal and kid comments. We never get to see a wedding, but we do get to see the kid prediction come true. I really enjoyed this story. I dislike that this author, like so many, felt the need to include sex that served no purpose to the actual plot in her story, but other than that it was a well-crafted tale and the artist did an excellent job adapting it. I really enjoyed their drawing style as well. I would recommend this story. In fact, if it weren’t for the unnecessary sex, I would have given it 5 stars.
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