Book Title: Franco's Fortune (Redemption Series #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Cara Marsi
Date Published: 28 February 2013
"When a female bodyguard is hired to protect a rich playboy, she finds saving his life is easier than protecting her heart."
When the past and present collide...
Somebody wants rich playboy Franco Callahan dead. When security expert Josephine Fortune arrives on his doorstep thanks to his sister Doriana, Franco finds it hard to refuse. He's had a secret attraction for the diminutive bodyguard since they met at Doriana's wedding five years before.
But attraction is all it is. Combat boot-clad Jo is not the kind of woman Franco usually loves and leaves. Which makes the ruse that Jo is his new live-in girlfriend just that until Jo gets a makeover. Suddenly seduction is on his mind and Franco has all the time in the world to pursue it—and Jo.
Martial artist Jo can take down men twice her size without blinking, but Franco's appeal outmaneuvers her emotional defenses. Jo's tough exterior hides a dark past, and Franco seems determined to learn her every secret. But he has secrets of his own.
The more Franco gets to know Jo, the more he realizes he needs her in his life, and not as his bodyguard. But as the threats to Franco escalate, Jo must use every one of her combat skills to protect him.
Can Jo keep both Franco and her heart safe, or will they pay the ultimate price for love?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the second book in the Redemption series. I really enjoyed it.
Franco Callahan is a fantastic character. I first met him in the first book of the series, Logan's Redemption, but he only had a cameo appearance in it; he was only in a couple of scenes. I was glad of the opportunity to get to know him better. He is a playboy, but only on the surface. Underneath this facade, he is a very serious and determined man, with a surprising gentleness which made me melt. He has now taken over the family business, but a threat against his life has him scared. That is, until Jo Fortune stepped into his life. Now he's afraid of losing his heart.
Josephine (Jo) Fortune is also a fantastic character. I really liked her; she is very capable and determined, and is dangerous in her own way. Again, this is another character which made a cameo appearance in the first book. Jo is more comfortable in her fatigues and combat boots, but to keep her boss's brother-in-law safe, she will have to step out of her comfort zone. Falling for her charge is not in the plan, but as she gets to know him better, she finds herself more and more attracted to him. However, Jo has not had a happy childhood and an event in her past threatens to drive her into running away before her heart gets broken by the sexy playboy.
I started to read this story and was quickly swept into it. The story is told from the points of view of both Franco and Jo. I am a sucker for romance novels with a bit of mystery, intrigue and danger in them; this book has it in spades. The action and danger begins almost straight away and grabbed my attention. The mystery and suspense surrounding the threats to Franco's life kept me wondering. There are several twists and turns, as well as red herrings, which kept me guessing right up until the end. I loved the way the characters interacted; Franco's arrogance and Jo's stubbornness kept each other in a pressure cooker filled with passion. When it erupts, both of them are scorched. There are some other characters in the story, but they somehow feel like background extra's, with very little character development. But, we do get to meet Franco and Doriana's cousin Anita again, and Harris, Jo's partner and friend. We also get to meet Detective Dave Morelli, who is in charge of the investigation into the attempts on Franco's life. Again, this is a rather formulaic romance and similar to many other romance novels I have read over the years, but I really did enjoy it from beginning to end. I am now looking forward to reading Luke's Temptation as soon as possible.
Cara Marsi has written a wonderful contemporary romance. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. Her characters are not perfect and have flaws, but this makes them seem more realistic and alive in my opinion. I am looking forward to reading more of this author's work in the future.
Due to scenes that are a little explicit in nature (although not as explicit as some books I have read), I do not recommend this book for readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love steamy contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton
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