I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
I saw the movie Spy last weekend (LOVED IT!) and when I walked out of the theater, I was dying for a good romantic suspense. A few days later, BwaB came out and I was so happy. I adore Roxanne St. Claire's writing. This story is from the combination of her Guardian Angelinos series along with Barefoot Bay. To date, there are three planned books. (I have the prequel from her newsletter.)
Kate and Alec are paired up as part of an almost-witness-protection program located at Barefoot Bay. Kate's father, a judge, has been receiving threats (about Kate). Alec is a second generation Russian immigrant who is wanted by a U.S.-based Russian mobster. So, as part of their mutual covers, they post as newlyweds. Alec, a former marine and MMA-trainer, also acts as Kate's bodyguard.
Kate has just gotten out of a horrible, controlling marriage and the last thing she wants is to be shackled to another guy--as his "wife"--for her protection. I thought their backstories worked and set up a nice, initial tension between Kate and Alec. Kate is studying for the bar exam and has a habit of questioning/grilling Alec about himself. Alec doesn't feel worthy of Kate. Watching him slowly see that he is was one of my favorite parts of the book.
What I loved: Kate and Alec are thrown together, including having to hold hands to cover up his identifying tattoo; they have great chemistry; there were funny and sweet moments; cameos by uncle Nino and Gabriel (hero in book #3); and a truly scary bad guy.
I'm so excited for this spin-off series. Can't wait for the next book! (I know, I know--such a fangirl.) ;)