Wednesday, February 27, 2013
5 Flames for Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox
Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.
An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.
Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?
I debated on the rating for this book. Then I realized it had stayed with me for a few days after reading it, and I wanted to read it again. That made it 5 flames for me. As with How to Misbehave, I finished with a smile. If I could describe it in a word, it would be “sweet.” It’s so easy to relate to these characters because they are average and that’s one of many aspects I love about this Camelot series. In How to Misbehave, we met Amber and Tony, a program director and a building contractor. In Along Came Trouble, our main characters are a single mom and a former soldier starting a new security business. They could be your neighbor or relative or a friend.
Ellen Callahan is a single mom. She’s proud of standing on her own two feet after a disastrous marriage. She lives for taking care of her son and her home, which to her represents her recent successes.
“That spring, the first furled shoots of the hosta poked through the mulch, proving that Ellen was not incompetent, as Richard had so often implied. She and the baby were, in fact, perfectly capable of surviving, even thriving, without anyone’s help.”
Her home and gardens are her visual reminders of what she has survived and her touchstone for the future. She’s learned to take care of herself and is proud of it. Then Caleb Clark arrives in her yard, ready to rearrange her life and her lawn for the sake of security.
Caleb is a fifteen year veteran of the military police, returning home to start a new security business. Even as a civilian, he’s still in the caretaker role, helping his parents with their apartment complex, giving his sister a job and a place to stay, and now taking care of Ellen as part of a work contract. Caleb is totally swoon-worthy, not just for his physique, but for the way he takes care of the people in his life, and he’d totally love to be more than just a bodyguard to Ellen.
When Caleb “whoa” Clark comes along, Ellen’s ready to have rekindle her sex life, but is petrified of losing her independence, and therein lies their conflict. You just know the sparks are going to fly, and they do.
Ruthie Knox uses her secondary characters perfectly to move the story along and give us an insider view of these two main characters. While I found the Carly/Jamie storyline a bit of a stretch, I absolutely loved the relationship between Caleb and his sister Katie. Their teasing is good natured and caring, and I can’t wait to find out more about Katie and her situation.
Along Came Trouble manages to be both modern and yet nostalgic at the same time. It’s sweet, sometimes with sly, witty humor and sometimes outright funny with the type of humor that helps you get through the day. There’s great dialogue and realistic internal monologues. I loved how Ellen describes Caleb’s kisses:
“He could kiss like kissing was the only thing on his agenda, and honestly, if you could kiss like this, why put anything else in the day planner? “
I really liked both main characters, and could totally relate to Ellen and her fear of losing her independence. After her marriage, it’s easy to see why she would be gun-shy with any man, especially someone as dominant as Caleb. One of my favorite scenes occurs toward the end of the book, when their roles are reversed and Ellen ends up taking care of him. Sweet!
I would recommend this series, and I look forward to what is coming up next in this series.
Thank you to Netgalley and Loveswept for the galley in exchange for my honest opinion.