Security by Mandy Baggot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.
Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?
As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?
Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything
“Room service,” the voice called from outside in the hall.
“Please, tell me you didn’t order fucking room service,” Nathan hissed to her.
She was shaking, loitering by the bathroom door, not knowing what to do. She shook her head at him. His eyes were on her all the time. She’d not had the means to call room service even if she’d wanted to.
Nathan reached out and put his hand on the doorknob, preparing to open it. Autumn took a step back into the bathroom and squeezed her eyes tight shut. What should she do? She’d not been in a situation like this before. Should she pick up something to use as a weapon? There was a choice of a toilet brush or a razor she would have to unwrap from its plastic wrapping. She heard the door open, flipped her eyelids up and took a deep breath, waiting.
“Room service, Mr. Martin. Two full English breakfasts,” the voice announced.
“You must have the wrong room. I didn’t order breakfast, and I’m here alone. The name’s Shepherd,” Nathan replied.
“Oh, I do apologize, sir. I’ll go check the order with the kitchen. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
“Not a problem.”
She heard the door close and Nathan practically ripped the bathroom door from its hinges as he came to find her.
“We’re leaving. Get everything you came with. Leave nothing,” he ordered.
He’d noticed the black transit van pull into the car park earlier. Two men had left it. One returned fifteen minutes later and had been sitting in it ever since. The man seemed to be reading a newspaper, but he also kept looking at his watch and checking his rear view mirror. It wasn’t normal behavior for a normal person. It was, however, normal behavior for someone in a similar line of work to his.
Autumn was counting aloud as she checked and re-checked the small room. She didn’t have anything apart from that bloody purse and the stupid fucking designer hat, but he had to ensure she was alert to everything he said. The next time he asked her to get her stuff together, it might be a life or death situation. For now, they only had time against them.
She muttered to herself, breathing like an exhausted greyhound, gripping the purse as if it could save her life just by being close to her chest. Suddenly, he felt sorry for her. Yes, she was an irritating spoiled bitch, but looking at her now, all he saw was a terrified young woman. A beautiful, terrified young woman.
“Now, you do exactly what I say, is that clear?” he barked at Autumn as they waited at the fire exit that led out toward the car park.
Her head was spinning, she felt sick, and she had a run in her stockings. She couldn’t stop looking at it as it seemed to be growing by the second.
“Autumn, you need to listen to me if you want to stay safe.” Nathan took hold of her wrist.
She raised her head to meet his eyes with hers, and she nodded like a programmed robot.
“Right. Now, when I open this door, I want you behind me, holding on to my belt, head down, making for the car, okay? Don’t look up, just walk quickly and keep hold of me,” he said.
“You think there’s someone outside, don’t you?” Autumn asked through chattering teeth. “That’s why you were looking out the window.”
“That’s my concern, not yours. Head down, make for the car, keep hold of me,” he said again.
He took her hands and pressed them to the leather belt at his waistband.
His shirt wasn’t quite tucked in properly, and her fingertips touched the skin at his back. She shut her eyes and bit her teeth together, preparing herself for everything and nothing, all at the same time.
She felt him push the bar on the door, then, all at once, he strode off. The speed of his movement surprised her. She clung to his belt and tried to keep up with his pace.
She kept her head down, looking at the ground as Nathan hurried them toward his car. Paving stones turned into gritty tarmac. Her fingers chafed on the leather belt she suspected wasn’t really leather, and her heart beat a fast flamenco in her chest.
She heard the car door open. Nathan turned to face her, took her hands off his waistband, and pushed her down into the car. She clutched her purse and blinked to refocus on the outside.
Suddenly, a flash went off in her face, and a camera appeared at her passenger window. She let out a scream of terror, her hand instinctively reaching for the lock on the door. She couldn’t breathe, and her heart was racing again, but she watched as Nathan tackled the photographer to the ground and drew his weapon.
The paparazzo looked terrified. His eyes bulged, and with Nathan’s left hand around his throat and his right directing a gun at his temple, it was hardly surprising. But Autumn looked again at the photographer, and this time recognized him. He was paparazzi. He’d photographed her many times, and he was one of the faces she saw in the crowd at all her personal appearances.
She unlocked the car door and tentatively stepped out. “He’s a photographer,” she stated to Nathan.
He had his knee in the middle of the poor man’s chest, probably cutting off his air and crushing his rib cage.
“Having a camera doesn’t make you a photographer. Get in the car, Autumn.”
“I’ve seen him before,” Autumn said as she leaned over him. “He’s paparazzi. He’ll have ID. If you get off him, he can show you.”
He attempted to nod his head despite the restrictions on his neck, but Nathan held firm.
“Let him go, for God’s sake, you’re hurting him,” Autumn said.
The photographer was starting to splutter, and his face was turning an awful shade of mauve.
“Get in the car, Autumn. That’s an order,” Nathan spat, turning to face her.
Mandy has been writing romantic stories since her school days. Her first book Excess All Areas was published in 2008. Breaking the Ice followed and shortly after that, the romantic comedy Knowing Me Knowing You. Her fourth novel Strings Attached was released in November 2011 and novel Taking Charge was published by US fiction publisher Sapphire Star Publishing in May 2012. Mandy is also a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and a supporting author for the Festival of Romance
Jen's 5 star review
WOW! I read Taking Charge by Mandy Baggo - and I really enjoyed that one , but this one was off the charts!
This book is more than a romance book - this book really has you at the edge of your seat!
I've always loved the movie "The Bodyguard" with Keven Costner and Whitney Huston - But if you didn't like that movie, You'll still like this book - it had some similarities as the movie - but trust me, the book is way more than the few similarities.
Autumn is a Rock Star - she's good at what she does, and she loves it. But as any Rockstar book you've read in the past - sometimes the fans, the fame, it gets a little overwhelming after awhile.
The book starts off with Autumn getting the rundown of her schedule by her BFF and PA Janey - But Autumn had to make one quick stop to visit with her mother before heading to the studio - if she put off this drink with her mother, it would turn into a dinner and take all night. Right now she could make it quick and as painless as possible.
Her mother had arranged for Autumn to have a private bodyguard. Why? She had her own security team that she used when she needed to. But her mother had insisted. And just as Autumn was going to tell her mother off, she saw him.
Nathan... Nathan is a good guy. He believes in Truth and Honor, and sometimes doing things his own way to make sure that it happens this way. But he gets the job done. He didn't want the job of babysitting some spoiled rich pop star, but he owed a favor, and was determined to do the job right...
Nathan takes Autum away from her world in order to keep her safe. There is more to this than Autumn knew about.
In order to draw things out, Nathan had Autumn throw a party and invite everyone she knew.
Autumn found out who her true friends were, especially when she was almost kidnapped and her producer was killed while she was being forced into a van!
Luckily Nathan and his team got there in time - but the damage was done.
and it was about time Autumn learned the truth .....
WOW! There is just so much MORE to this story! The Truth - it's a biggie - and just when you think something is going to happen, something else pops up. And at the end - holy COW! Be warned - that ending is just.. WOW! That's all I'm saying :)