Black Ties and Lullabies - Jane Graves
Released July 2011
Black Ties and Lullabies was supposed to be out in February (I read it in December, so the actual publication is a half a year away). The publishers opted to revamp the cover, so the release was delayed for a few months. I'll admit, I like the new cover better, but the wait is definitely going to disappoint Graves' fans. Given that tidbit, if any of the storyline is also changed with the repackaging, I apologize.
Bernadette "Bernie" Hogan is a no-nonsense bodyguard. She's former military and doesn't take crap from anyone. Jeremy Bridges is the CEO of a multi-million organization. Though he doesn't feel he needs protection, others do and Bernie is his bodyguard at the moment. The pair get along as well as oil and water.
Bernie's sick of Jeremy's repeat conquests and Jeremy's sick of Bernie's snide comments. Yet, during a robbery, they find themselves alone in Jeremy's panic room where a quick round of sex leads to an unplanned pregnancy.
Bernie doesn't believe Jeremy has what it takes to be the father she knows her child deserves. Jeremy sets out to prove her very wrong. Before you know it, the pair learns unexpected news and begin wondering if they've been wrong about the other. Could love really be in the air?
Black Ties and Lullabies is one of those romances that makes me feel all warm and cuddly. I tend to be a sucker for story lines with children as a driving force in a couple's union. This definitely fits the bill. The characters are strong and likable, though I did find myself annoyed with some of their decisions at times, but that's par for the course.
I loved some of the minor characters and really hope they'll return to other books in the future. Max, Bernie's friend and fellow bodyguard, is a delight. He's stoic, knows his place, yet is fiercely loyal to those he loves. I'd like to see more of him!