The Agent Next Door
Second Service, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Adrienne Bell
Date of Publication: May 20, 2014
Number of pages: 154
Word Count: 46,300
Erin Holliday has worked hard to build the perfect life: beautiful house, safe neighborhood, trusted friends. But everything she cherishes is threatened when the new neighbor moves in. As the daughter of a slain motorcycle gang leader, Erin knows what trouble looks like—she’s spent a lifetime trying to avoid it—and John Ryman certainly fits the bill. Her head tells her to keep her distance, but her heart has other plans.
Ex-Navy SEAL John Ryman has spent his whole career surrounded by danger. Now he’s ready to settle down, and a quiet suburban life will suit him just fine, if his gorgeous new neighbor is any indication.
But when a previous mistake has explosive consequences, John and Erin are thrown together, and it doesn't take long for them to realize that the only way they’ll survive to build a future together will by settling the debts of their past.
I was offered this book from the author for an honest review after reading the first book in this series, The Wedding Trap through Netgalley. Since I was so pleasantly surprised by the the first book, I agreed. I believe that this could be a stand alone book. Beth and Alex had a small cameo appearance in this book, but knowing their history was in no way vital to this story. So no fears if you don't want to read book 1.
We first meet Erin as she is busy transplanting some daisies into a flower pot on her front porch. Her elder neighbor (cause I wouldn't want to be the person who calls Marianne Wilson elderly) is with Erin, keeping her company and spying on the moving van that has pulled in across the street. Marianne was a bit brash, a lot pushy and had no problem with telling you her opinion. Erin contrasted nicely. She was quiet, reserved and a bit shy.
John Ryman is a former Seal who has just recently left the field and has his first long term 'desk' assignment with Homeland Security. John was looking for some peace and had changed his entire life to be able to have a refuge from the instability of the rest of the world. When he meets Erin, he realizes that she is the embodiment of everything he has been looking for. He is drawn to the sparkle in her eyes, her intelligence and of course, her lush curves.
When an operation that John was in charge of goes sideways and the crime lord that they were after gets away, Erin's life is put in danger. At first she fights being placed into protective custody and demands to stay in her neighborhood. She had quite enough of being bounced around and relocated as a child. Plus, the longer John and Erin spend together, the more they come to care for each other. But they will both have to tame the demons haunting them as well as face down the current threat, if they want to have a future together.
I really, really liked this book. There was a nice mix of action and emotion, the dialogue was realistic and well done and the characters were three dimensional and interesting. The author did an excellent job of walking the line of dramatic without being melodramatic. There was no wishy washy back and forth that some authors use to torture the reader with. Erin and John had some communication issues, but they worked on them - together. I gave this book 5 stars.