cover image Protecting the Lady

Protecting the Lady

Amanda Radley. Bold Strokes, $17.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-63679-003-9

The bodyguard romance trope gets a glamorous, sapphic update in this sweet but uneven contemporary from Radley (Under Her Influence). Lady Katherine Lovegrove’s father is presiding over the trial of a member of a notorious London crime family, leading to threats on Katherine’s life. Eve Webb left the security business five years ago, setting up a new life in Tokyo, but her old boss calls her back into the game in response to the threats on Katherine. Eve’s staunchly anti-monarchist, believing all aristocrats are entitled snobs—an opinion Katherine’s initial behavior does nothing to dispel. Katherine’s protests against her increased security and stubborn, foolhardy refusal to take the threat seriously will leave readers just as frustrated as Eve, especially after Katherine’s office is attacked and the pair relocate to the Lovegroves’ gorgeous country manor. When Katherine finally opens up about her mother’s death, her devotion to her charity work, and the difficulties of life in the public eye, it does much to humanize her, but Eve’s immediate turn from resentment to admiration still feels too abrupt. Their relationship makes several more vast leaps forward on the way to an action-packed finale full of heightened emotion and drama. Radley’s fans will enjoy the fun opposites-attract dynamic, but may feel cheated of the quieter details. (Oct.)