Series: Camelot #2
Format Read: eARC
Release Date: March 11, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble
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?
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: How to Misbehave, Flirting with Disaster, and About Last Night.
This book made me laugh almost as much as "How to Misbehave" did. I have decided that it simply isn't a good idea to read Knox's books while in the naproom at school. The woman makes me laugh so hard I cough up a lung. That's tolerable, the darn things are diseased and defective anyway, but heaven help me if I wake up the kids. :P Now, it's not that "Along Came Trouble" is a comedy, it's definitely not. But Knox doesn't forget to use humor in her stories and her characters have a sense of humor. It's a quality I appreciate, adding depth and interest to her stories.
The action in this story takes place in a fairly short time frame, about a week or so, and that gave me pause. Caleb and Ellen jumped in the sack and fell in love very quickly, it just seemed unlikely, especially given Ellen's problems with her ex. Caleb was the first man she was involved with since the divorce and while she squawked a lot about what she did and didn't want, her follow through was minimal. Ellen's ex, Richard, is very much a stereotype, which was disappointing. Caleb struck me as overly pushy at first, and he was pushy, but as we got more inside his head, I didn't mind as much. I could understand his perspective even when I disagreed. Both Caleb and Ellen were stubborn, with Caleb the more flexible of the two. Ellen was ferociously protective of her independence and her home; she's downright territorial about her home and its importance, something Caleb never quite understood, but it and her independence drove many of her actions:
She'd built herself a fortress on Burgess Street in Camelot, Ohio, and stalked around the battlements, proud and independent. Nobody was going to help her, because she'd finally figured out how to be sufficient all by herself.
After a lifetime of depending on people, it had felt so good to be enough that she'd turned it into a vice. Independent Ellen didn't believe in love. She didn't need romance. And she didn't recognize the best thing that had ever happened to her until she'd driven him away.
There are actually two love stories interwoven in the book: the predominant love story with Caleb and Ellen, and then Ellen's brother Jamie and her next door neighbor Carly. I was rooting for both couples, enjoyed both their stories. Carly and Jamie's nicknames for Carly's unborn baby, Wombat and Shrimp, made me laugh. I really liked Carly's Nana; she is a hoot and a strong character in her own right.
Despite my niggles with the book, I enjoyed the characters and cared what happened. Plus there are Johnny Cash references. :) Knox spins a story that keeps you hooked. The story kept me interested, and up late reading, and I need to get my hands on the next book. If you haven't started this series, go get them now. Although this is the second book, you can easily read it as a stand alone.
I received an e-galley from the publisher for review.
Thanks to Ruthie, I have an excerpt for you today. Grab a drink, get comfy and read on!
I’m here today to talk about Along Came Trouble, my latest novel (and longest so far). Out next week from Loveswept (Random House), it’s the second story in my Camelot series. Bea said of the first story in the series, the novella How ToMisbehave, “I loved this, BUY IT!” Here’s hoping this one meets with as much enthusiasm!
I suppose I have to admit right up front that Along Came Trouble is a bodyguard book. But I think of it as a book that’s really about what happens when a woman meets the right man at the wrong time and has to decide how much of herself to give him when she doesn’t feel like she’s got any self to spare. And most of all it’s about how hard it is to find a balance between dependence, independence, and interdependence—and how love can lift our burdens and help us become better versions of ourselves, if we are brave enough to let it.
In this little snippet, the heroine, Ellen, is talking to her brother, Jamie. He’s a pop star (think Justin Timberlake), and on his most recent visits to sleepy Camelot, Ohio, where Ellen lives, he’s gotten involved with her neighbor, Carly. This ended badly, as anyone but Jamie might have predicted it would. Just moments before, Ellen met her own romantic interest—bodyguard Caleb—and promptly fired him.
“So I’m guessing a guy showed up, and you sent him packing?” Jamie asked.
Was that the best way to summarize the morning’s events? It left out Weasel Face, the assault-by-tea, Caleb’s arrival, Caleb’s smile, Caleb’s biceps . . . “More or less. There was another photographer out there.”
His eyebrows drew together. “Sorry, Ellen.”
“Not your fault.”
It was, but she had a hard time holding the press against Jamie for more than a couple of minutes at a time. He’d only ever wanted to sing. The rest of this had come to him accidentally, all part of the celebrity package.
Plus, he couldn’t help it that somebody local had sold a cell-phone shot of him and Carly to the tabloids. He’d been far more upset about that than Ellen had. After the picture hit the Internet, he’d picked a pointless fight with Carly that ended in their breakup and his retreat to California. A few hours after his plane lifted off, the first photographer had landed on Ellen’s lawn.
“Anyway,” she said, “this security guy showed up and ran off the photographer, and he talked me into letting him put a car out on the cul-de-sac. So you got your wish.”
“Good. I thought for sure you’d fire him on the spot.”
I tried that. But it hadn’t worked, and she still wasn’t quite sure why. The whoa thing had distracted her. That, and the appeal of not having to worry about keeping one eye out the window at all times. “I still could.”
“Don’t, okay? It’s bad enough that I can’t be there. I feel better knowing somebody’s watching out for you guys and Carly.”
“I’m not letting him within ten feet of my house.”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Just work with him as much as you can stand to. And be nice, huh? It’s not his fault you’re insanely touchy about that house.”
Jamie raised an eyebrow, and she gave it up without even finishing the sentence. She was insanely touchy about her house. But it wasn’t as though she hadn’t earned the right to be.
This house was the prize she’d rescued from the wreckage of her marriage. It was where she’d learned independence, where she raised her son, and she refused to cower behind her own doors, locked down for fear of a few lowlifes with cameras. She couldn’t stand the idea of bodyguards and alarm codes, gates and barricades messing with her peace. Not when it had taken her so long to find it.
“‘Insane’ is a strong word,” she said. “And I’m almost always nice.”
“You’re always nice to me and Henry, but you’re basically a bitch for a living.”
“That’s different. That’s professional bitchiness, and I get paid good money for it.”
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Ruthie Knox graduated from Grinnell College as an English and history double major and went on to earn a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use. She debuted as a romance novelist with Ride with Me—probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story yet to be penned—and followed it up with About Last Night, which features a sizzling British banker hero with the unlikely name of Neville. Other publications include Room at the Inn (a Christmas novella) and How To Misbehave, book 1 in the Camelot series. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia.