Arden Ryan is forced to leave her job in the secret service after an incident leaves her mentally and physically injured. She returns home to Chicago where she is surrounded by family and friends who can help her heal. Her slightly overbearing parents want to keep her safe at home, but her best friend thinks what she needs to heal, is to get back out there and do what she does best, protect people.
Evelyn Glass was at the top of her acting career when she suddenly disappeared from the public eye. The official line is that she was taking time to focus on her family. She’s now back in the spotlight and bigger than ever. She has a spot on a top-rated tv show and as her popularity grows, she is gaining a lot of attention, wanted and otherwise and it is getting out of control.
When Evelyn’s Dad decides she needs a bodyguard she’s not happy and is uncooperative at every turn. But when your new bodyguard is ex-secret service and stubborn as a mule it’s hard to escape her. Arden doesn’t think guarding Evelyn is the best idea, she’s still broken and needs time to feel whole again. However, she just can’t seem to walk away. The actress has gotten under her skin and is worming her way into her heart. With sparks flying, heads clashing, and hearts and lives on the line, the road these ladies need to travel to heal and love again is filled with bumps. But as the saying goes, the road to happiness never runs smoothly, you’ve just got to be brave enough to take it.
Pros And My Favourite Parts
I love this book, it’s one of those books that intrigues you from the start, eases you into the storyline then grabs hold of you and keeps you there. The characters are complicated and deep, and the author slowly reveals them to you throughout the book. The romance is filled with tension and super steamy and the storyline running in the background is loosely based on the film ‘The Bodyguard’ – it’s dreamy.
Let’s talk about the characters
Arden Ryan is in her mid-30s and has spent her working life proving that she is as capable as a man. She fought hard, worked hard, and ultimately ended up with the top job in the secret service, protecting the President. But Arden’s biggest asset is also her greatest downfall, she feels too much and lets her heart rule her head. The advantage of following her heart is that she has great instincts and can feel when something isn’t right. However, it also means she leaves herself open to being persuaded to bend the rules for someone special and this is what put her life in danger. When the book starts, she’s trying to heal from what she thinks is the biggest mistake of her career. She’s broken but isn’t used to showing weakness. She’s closed herself off and isn’t willing to let anyone close. But she’s strong and brave and her heart has different ideas.
Evelyn Glass is the perfect public figure, but in private she has icy walls up around her heart and struggles to trust. I wouldn’t call her an Ice Queen, but she has some of those qualities. Zak did a great job showing us how Evelyn struggled with her growing feelings for Arden, because not only did it mean she has to admit she needs someone, but it also requires her to allow someone into her heart. I love Evelyn, these icy women win me over every time. She overcame a lot to be back in the spotlight, and in her early 50s, she has come back and taken the industry by storm once again. She is feisty and knows what it takes to succeed. It was beautiful to see the personal growth she had and how unafraid she became to go after the love she wanted. She shows such courage throughout the book whether it was by protecting herself or finally letting that ice melt and trusting someone else to protect her.
Romance is at the core of this book, and it’s breathtaking, you feel it sizzling from the start, and it’s delicious. I had tears in my eyes and my chest was aching and I couldn’t get enough. The storyline is also great. There is some action and suspense as well as twists in the plot and I was left guessing until towards the end.
This book is written in the third person from Arden’s point of view. This is my first Erin Zak book and what jumps out straight away is that she always lets the reader know what Arden is thinking, the inner dialogue is realistic, and I was never left guessing. The sex scenes are jaw-droppingly good because the dialogue between Arden and Evelyn was so sexy and full of feelings. They talked throughout their encounters about what they wanted and how it felt, it made me melt, and it was wonderful.
Cons And Heads Up
There is mention of an abusive relationship from the past, with some description. It is very mildly described and is left up to the reader’s imagination.
This book is firstly a romance that blends with mystery and suspense. Arden along with her best friends Mel and Sabina are trying to solve the case of who is threatening Evelyn Glass. As the story unfolds it is clear that whoever it is knows what they are doing and will stop at nothing to reach their goal. But they are no match for the three women who leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of their client.
Arden and Evelyn’s journey will keep you wanting more and with every step Erin Zak delivers it. The feeling of family and belonging weaves into the story perfectly and the supporting cast of children, friends, and parents are all endearing and integral to the plot. The healing the main characters go through to be together is admirable.
It’s steamy, sweet, and charming, and you don’t want to miss it. This is a book that you want to get comfortable with, get your favorite drink, settle into your most comfortable reading place and enjoy.
Excerpt from Guarding Evelyn by Erin Zak
“He sighs. “Unfortunately, I don’t feel comfortable discussing all the details until I know you’re going to take the job.”
“Well, no offense,” Arden starts, “but I don’t feel comfortable taking the job until I hear all the details.”
“The details are that I’ve been receiving threatening letters and had someone break into this apartment and write horrible things on my walls in red paint.”
Arden turns to the very irritated voice behind her. Standing there is Evelyn Glass. Holy fucking shit. She’s one of the most famous actresses active in Hollywood at the moment. She’s Evelyn fucking Glass.
Arden slides off the stool and stands as straight as possible. “I’m sorry, ma’am. I meant no disrespect.”
Evelyn’s facial expression does not budge. She is annoyed, and it’s clear whatever has happened has affected her deeply. “Believe me when I say that I am not happy about needing to do this. The last thing I want to do is upset my life with this”—she waves her hand through the air—“ nonsense.”
“But it’s necessary,” Connor says softly, and Arden watches the way his words push against Evelyn’s demeanor. She seems as if she’s done fighting him, but the defiance hasn’t completely left her posture.
Evelyn moves closer to them, her wide-leg linen pants flowing with every step she takes. Arden cannot pull her gaze away.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9798840467077
Publisher: Indie Author
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