July 2, 2001
Intrigue's part of the Texas Trueblood series continues with "Secret Bodyguard." Jesse McCall is undercover as a chauffeur as he investigates a mobster. When the man's daughter reports her child has been kidnapped, he doesn't believe her. After all, a mobster's daughter has to be a liar, right? Can Amanda make this mysterious man believe her?
"Secret Bodyguard" reminded me a lot of Daniels's "Love at First Sight." In that book, all the characters were connected to one another in a dozen different ways, something that was implausible in a city the size she was describing. In "Secret Bodyguard," it's even worse, especially in a state the size of Texas. "Love at First Sight" pushed the limits of believability. "Secret Bodyguard" bulldozes straight through them.
For most of the book, there are two separate stories: the kidnapping of Amanda's daughter and the mystery of Jesse's birth. This isn't a very successful tactic. The stories don't progress together. The characters focus on one, then turn to the other, then back again. For a woman whose child is missing, Amanda doesn't have too much trouble forgetting about that while she and Jesse investigate his birth. I had the impression the book would have been stronger if the mystery surrounding Jesse's past was left out and the story focused on the other storyline.
Jesse isn't much of a hero. He continually jumps to the wrong conclusions about Amanda and his arrogance toward her is not endearing. It does provide the book's best moment, though, when he guesses what Amanda majored in at college and she knocks him out of his seat with her answer. There's nothing like seeing an arrogant hero get his comeuppance. The story is fastpaced and full of action, but the romance is underwhelming. Jesse and Amanda have very little contact for the first 75 pages of the book, which means they have to fall in love in a very short period of time. It's not very convincing, and the love scene in particular seems forced in rather than a natural reaction on the part of the characters.
Daniels does a good job setting up the next book, "Unconditional Surrender" by Joanna Wayne. "Secret Bodyguard" is an entertaining read, but is ultimately too farfetched to be credible. It was about an undercover cop, who was placed in a cardboard box and put in a field right after his mother was shot and killed. He was lucky enuf to have been found by the McCall family and was adopted by them and he was raised as one of 6 siblings.
Later in life he finds clues to who he is; later falls in love with wild girl, whose father is a mobster. Really good read! 4.25 Overall
I enjoyed reading about Amanda and Jesse. It's amazing that Jesse started his job to help find a missing baby, and to take down JB Crowe, a mobster. He also intended to find out how JB's daughter had arranged for her daughters kidnapping! He didn't matter that he felt a connection with her and attracted he was to her, he was a cop, she was a monsters spoiled daughter! It's never work!
Then the baby's father suddenly comes back to town, Amanda has a secret meeting, an article about an abandoned baby appears under Jesse's door step.
JB asked Jesse to follow his daughter wherever she goes. Not to let her out of his site.
Another meeting, foiled by bought cops, leads to a visit back where the baby abandoned baby was found.
As both Jesse and Amanda get to know one another better, they try to fight their attraction to each other. But as they begin to investigate, they see how great of a team the truly make.
Almost killed several times and kicked out of Red Rock. They soon realize after another failed attempt to get Amanda's Baby, that things were not as they seemed! Another kidnapping 25 years ago was payback for the mother killing herself after her lover was shot and killed. And then thinking her baby died, she didn't have anything to live for. Had she only known that her baby lived!
(And without giving too much away) I believe if The parents could see their little boy today, they would be so very proud of the man he became. Man of Justice and Husband to his fathers best friends daughter, a cop marrying a mobsters daughter, who would of thought!
July 2, 2001