Six-foot-two and ripped…with superior computer skills, Josef “Joey” Clad is not your typical ex-Marine. The co-owner of Iron-Clad securities is 100% Alpha male, but under his muscular physique, he’s the best hacker in Miami who specializes in running Iron-Clad’s cyber ops. The perfect skill set for their new client who is getting threatening emails, a client who he definitely wants to get to know better. Much better. Single mom, widow, Olivia Monroe has exceptional dreams that she refuses to let go of. Fifteen years ago, she left her broken home in New York City and never looked back. Now a dark horse candidate for Florida governor, she’s not looking for a relationship. Even with the hot guy who sweeps in and saves her computer the night before a big speech. Her hero has trouble written all over him. Joey is too handsome, too funny, too confident, and way too hard to resist. Too bad he’s now her bodyguard.
Source: Netgalley and Purchase My Rating: 5/5 stars
Time for some harsh truth: at the end of the second book in the Iron Clad Security series, I absolutely despised Joey Clad. I found him to be arrogant, somewhat cruel, and completely dismissive of the talents and skills of others. In short, he’s a dick and I didn’t quite care if he ever appeared in a book again.
Then I read this book . . . .
From one book to the next, Joey Clad is a completely different person and I totally loved him in this go ‘round! Joey introduces himself in the opening scenes of Kiss Kiss Bang, and he has nearly totally honorable intentions. Joey sees a woman in line for Geek Squad, and when he sees her begin to melt down, he knows he must step in and help her. Helping her is the honorable part, wanting to meet the hot lady is the not so honorable part, but Joey just can’t seem to help himself. Within minutes, and after some identity confirmation, the hot lady agrees to accompany Joey to his offices so he can fix her computer.
Olivia Monroe isn’t a risk taker. Olivia Monroe plays by the rules, does her research before opening her mouth, and walks a straight and narrow path. She has to! Olivia Monroe is currently running for governor of Florida and she must always present and conduct herself appropriately. Leaving a store in her pajamas with a hot guy after melting down over her dead computer isn’t exactly the image she wants to portray, but, as the saying goes, needs must. For unexplained and very disconcerting reasons, Olivia trusts Joey immediately. For even more unexplained and disconcerting reasons, she also finds herself tremendously attracted to him and attraction to hot, new guy won’t help her campaign image at all.
Meeting Olivia turns Joey’s life upside down and right side up in short order. One encounter is all it takes to have him utterly convinced she is the woman for him. When he meets her completely adorable daughter, the deal is sealed as far as Joey in concerned. Now, he just has to figure out how to convince Olivia of the rightness of their relationship! As it turns out, there’s a crazy person out there hell-bent on hurting Olivia. Joey’s wheelhouse absolutely includes protecting others from such madness which means he gets a great deal of one on one time with Olivia until the mystery is solved.
Even with all of Joey’s incredible skills, hunting down Olivia’s attacker isn’t easy. It requires a great number of twists and turns, and some dredging up of the past. What’s more, with each new attack, Olivia’s opponent takes advantage of the opportunity. Olivia has to creative with her campaigning which means relying on Joey to deal with her protection. The process is as intense as it is scary and both emotions bring Olivia and Joey closer together both physically and emotionally.
The Bottom Line: I want to roll around in this book I enjoyed it so much! The change in Joey from one book to the next was significant for me, and I am so happy with the personality adjustment. Joey is strong, capable, commanding, sexy, loyal, and loving yet never to the point of overshadowing Olivia. Olivia is strong, determined, intelligent, and loyal. She has a mission, a goal, but also the desire to protect herself and her loved ones; she isn’t stupid and knows when she needs to ask for help. Joey’s help 😊 One of the things I particularly appreciated about this book is the connection between Olivia and Joey; once they are together, they are together. There’s no cold-feet, I’m in over my head, we must break up for a bit because of some lame miscommunication. This situation isn’t the norm in romance reads and I was glad for the change of pace that did nothing but increase my liking of this book. Finally, there is the ending of this read. I am a big fan of karma and slimy humans getting exactly what they deserve, and this book offers up a healthy dose of completely satisfying karma; essentially, the perfect ending.
About the author and where to find her:
Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”–Mark Twain. Or even simpler, “Just Do It”—Nike. And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red.That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second. When she’s not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.