Published: 18th January 2021
Former Navy SEAL and true crime author Simon Stone needs a break, not a girlfriend. After initial success with his first book, his reputation was smeared by a backstabbing ex and now he’s looking to redeem himself. Alisha Lewis, the sister of one of his former squad mates could be his ticket to his next bestseller. She’s sexy, smart and just happens to be an investigative reporter working on what might be the perfect story for his next book. A smuggling operation in a local auction house is intriguing, but so is Alisha. After the adrenaline rush of a stakeout gone bad, they share a night of passion, one they both agree was a mistake—especially after a cop buddy tells Simon that the story is all a fabrication by Alisha. But that one night of passion has lasting consequences when Alisha learns she’s pregnant.
Alisha’s life has certainly been better. She’d been on the cusp of exposing a major smuggling operation and now she’s pregnant and—thanks to Simon confronting her in the middle of the newspaper office—she’s been pulled off investigative stories. She’s got more than a bit of a grudge, so while she feels obligated to tell Simon about their little surprise, Alisha makes it clear that she doesn’t need his help. She didn’t expect him to insist on coming along to keep her and the baby safe. And she definitely didn’t expect to need his protection when they stumble on an abduction in progress. Soon, they’re up to their necks in crooked cops, kidnappers, and the kidnap victim’s abandoned baby. Not to mention the red-hot passion that continues to flare between them. It’s enough to give a girl fits. Worse yet? As they work to solve the mystery, Alisha realizes she’s starting to fall hard for the sexy SEAL. But will they be able to survive long enough to fall in love?
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Simon meets Alisha at a bar and they get to talking. Simon is a true crime novel writer looking for his next book plot and Alisha is a crime reporter who is willing to have an investigative partner. Their initial connection and conversation is also aided by the realisation that they have a common thread in the form of Alisha’s brother, who also happens to be Simon’s close friend. One thing leads to another and they spend the night together. And I’m pretty sure I’m not giving the plot away here when I say that as a result of that night, Alisha finds herself pregnant.
Alisha is a strong, feisty woman, who definitely knows her mind. She is career oriented and sees the future that she wants for herself clearly envisioned in her imagination. But when she discovers that she is pregnant, she struggles hard with how to proceed. It is quite a battle for her to come to grips with the upcoming changes in her circumstances and I did in parts find her a bit annoying while she was attempting to deal with it all. She sometimes becomes quite selfish and gives Simon a rather hard time, which had me wishing she would stop and think before she would open her mouth at times. But then again, Simon isn’t doing much better – he is struggling too, except he just seems to come to grips a bit faster with the fact that a baby is going to mean that some things have to change.
If you’re an avid reader of romances with SEALs or military guys as your preferred hero, this one is a bit different. Guarding His Fake Family isn’t your usual military / SEAL romance, as the hero has retired from service to be a writer. It will suit those of you who like to imagine the big muscles of military men without having to wade through gun fights and battle scenes, as there is none of that in this book. It is very tame in comparison to many books that have a SEAL as the main man. There are a couple of fight scenes, including a well-aimed roundhouse kick and a few verbal threats tossed into the mix, but overall, it is pretty gentle.
I found Guarding His Fake Family to be an easy, light read. It’s not going to offer you any profound words of wisdom or leave you feeling that you have had an enlightening experience, but it will definitely keep you entertained for an afternoon on the couch, or by the pool with a *insert preferred drink of choice* in hand.
Thank you to the author and NetGalley for my copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.
The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.
Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.
Katie Knight has been obsessed with stories and escaping to new and exciting lands for as long as she can remember. Her passion for writing only grew the more she read and eventually, she decided to start writing all the stories and characters that were demanding her attention.