Posted on November 28, 2016 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in 4.5 stars, Author Assistant, Cate Beauman, Contemporary Romance, Review, Romantic Suspense / 0 Comments

Ethan Cooke Security and their bodyguard team return to action in Deceiving Bella – book eleven in Cate Beauman’s Bodyguards of L.A. County series.
With over 7700 reviews and a 4.4 rating for the entire series, see why the Bodyguards of L.A. County is a multi-award winning series.

New to the series? 
No problem! Each book in the “Bodyguards” series is a stand-alone title. Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary.  Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters.  Don’t hesitate to jump right in

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Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences. 
The Inspiration Behind Deceiving Bella:
I must admit that one of my most favorite parts of the writing process is figuring out who my characters are going to be. Typically, I have vague ideas but as I start the storytelling process, my heroes and heroines evolve and grow until I can visualize them as living, breathing people. I always begin with character sketches, giving each central figure in the story a life that starts with their birth and takes them to the present day. It’s vital to know who they are and how they tick (the experiences that make them exactly who they are when my readers meet them). For Deceiving Bella, I thought it would be fun to share an adventure where the hero and heroine have absolutely nothing in common (or so it seems). Despite Reed and Bella’s differences, they make a great team. I hope you enjoy their story.

Deceiving Bella by Cate Beauman is the 11th book in the Bodyguards of LA County series. It can be read as a stand-alone. I got my first taste of the series and the author’s work when I read Falling for Sarah the second book in the series. I had enjoyed it, as such when the opportunity came for me to read the latest installment, I was over the moon. 

What I enjoyed most about this story was that the balance between the romantic and suspense elements was perfectly done. The author spent time building on the emotional aspects of the story and managed to keep me on the edge of my seat in the process.

The story began on an emotional high and kept that momentum to the end. From the moment I was introduced to Bella, my heart went out to her. She had been through so much as a child. Her childhood was not perfect.  She grew up believing her father did not love her and was ashamed of the life her mother lived.  As such she dedicated her life to helping children who had experienced pain and loss at a tender age. She had a generous heart, always willing to give a hand to those in need.  As such, it came has no surprise that Reed McKinley would be attracted to her.

Reed had relocated to the Los Angeles area after a seventeen-year stint with the NYPD.  Years which were spent seeking revenge against the Caparelli family, a quest which had consumed him and made him a shell of the man he once was.  He currently works with Ethan Cooke’s security firm, a job which keeps him occupied and leaves him no time for himself much less a relationship.  However, he would soon find himself in a battle for his heart when he met his generous and equally gorgeous neighbour.

The characters were well developed. There was sufficient back story for me to establish a connection with both Reed and Bella.  I understood Reed’s need for revenge and the hold it had on his life.  It led to a breakdown in his relationship with his mom. The need was so much that even though he was no longer a cop, he found himself embroiled in the investigation when new evidence came to light.  An act that would prove detrimental to his budding relationship with Bella.

I enjoyed Bella’s interaction with her dad.  Those moments were happy and at the same time heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Bella.  Living without her father for twenty-one years and when she is finally reunited with him only to find out he is dying.  I could see how painful it was for her.

Reed and Bella’s relationship was not without its conflicts. After weeks of trying to fight their attraction, they finally gave in.  However, secrets threatened to destroy their newfound happiness.  

The story moved at a steady pace. It was tied up nicely and there were no loose ends.  The story flowed seamlessly. It demonstrated that things are not always black and white.  Not because something appears to be correct, it does not necessarily mean that it’s so.  Also, it showed the devastating effects that secrets can have on a relationship.

This was an enjoyable read and one which I highly recommend.

About the author:
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.
Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full length romantic suspense novel.
Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading
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