by Anna Brooks
“Link” is the 9th book in the ‘Guarding Her’ series by Anna Brooks, and links to the ‘Ryder Ranch’ and ‘Reason to Ruin’ series by the same author. You need not have read any of the books in any of the other series in order to enjoy and appreciate “Link” – but if you have, it adds to the fun.
Lincoln is a professional bodyguard and security expert, and a man who is both physically and mentally strong. He’s also sensitive to the emotional and physical needs of the woman he loves … before she even knows he loves her. How is that possible you might wonder? Well, he was half in love with Oakley since he met and got to know her while on a daily protection job. He was sure she felt the same way about him, but certain obstacles kept getting in the way. They get together briefly, it’s incredible, and she runs. One of the biggest obstacles has been her fear of potential future heartbreak. He’s been patient. He’s kept his distance from her, done extremely thoughtful things with her in mind, and kept tabs on her to be sure she’s OK. But he finally decides enough is enough and approaches her, and the connection between them is just as strong as it ever was.
There is a lot that takes place in this story. If you just looked at Lincoln on a surface level you might think that he’s incredibly hot, but he’s a bit too intense. Fortunately, the book tells us what’s in his heart and it shows how genuinely wonderful he is. Oakley was generally a good character, and I understood her fear of a relationship gone bad. A couple of times I thought she went overboard with that and needed to toughen up and deal with reality instead of running. It was ironic then that she ends up having to face a life-changing, dramatic event that she never could have anticipated.
This book is easy to read and is a page-turner because you keep wanting to find out what will happen next. It’s well-written and effective on multiple levels. Days after I finished reading it, little details about this story were still clicking into place in my head because initially I hadn’t realized how purposeful they were. The problem with this book being so good is that it maintains the high bar that the author has set for her work; I should clarify that it might be a problem for the author because it puts pressure on her, but it’s a pleasure for us as readers who get to enjoy the finished works. The end of this story leaves us primed for the next one, which seems like it will be about Callan, one of Lincoln’s colleagues. And something mysterious has gone on with one of Oakley’s sisters and Foster, who also works with Lincoln – I’m looking forward to finding out about that, too.