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The Bodyguard
Shelby Maxwell
Paperback
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BOOK SYNOPSIS
Maggie Wilson, a novelist who considers her life jinxed after losing her fiancé, and Eddie West, a bodyguard hired to protect her, create an illusion to find a crazed fan hell-bent on revenge. Join them as they fall in love in their quest to bring a murderer to justice.

BOOK EXCERPTS
Maggie Wilson dabbed under her eyes, then clutched the tissue and stepped into the aisle. The gulf surrounding her shattered heart widened with each step as she neared her fiancé’s coffin. She raised her chin, drawing a deep steadying breath, willing the threatening tears not to fall. Tears would make this horrible nightmare real.

Maggie’s literary agent, Byron Pierce, walked by her side, and the slight pressure of his hand caressed her fingers, although it did little to fill the empty void within her. Maggie met Byron’s concerned eyes. She nodded, then released his hand and walked to the coffin alone.

She brushed Michael’s blonde hair, sliding her finger down the side of his cold face. The tears she had quelled thus far slid down her cheeks. Seconds ticked by before Bryon’s fingers cupped around her elbow.

“I’m okay.” She choked back the tears. “Give me a minute.”

He nodded, released her arm and took two steps backward.

Maggie bent and kissed Michael’s forehead. A tear dropped onto the lapel of his black suit. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, squeezing her eyelids shut. This had been her fault, though she didn’t know why or how; still, something inside her knew. Michael was the second man she’d intended to marry who died in a terrible accident. Her jinxed life had sent him to his death as surely as it had killed her high school sweetheart. She vowed there would not be a third.

Maggie did her best to quell her raging emotions. Blowing her nose and wiping her eyes, she turned and fell in step with Byron, who escorted her to the second row of benches where her mother sat with Laura Deveraux, Maggie’s best friend.

A concerned look shadowed her mother’s features as her gaze swept past Maggie and settled on Byron. The expression didn’t escape Maggie. Her mother had never liked Byron and had been vehemently opposed to Maggie hiring him; she thought him unscrupulous. That was the only thing she and Laura had in common.

The service was brief. Michael was an only child, and his parents were deceased. The minister’s few words at the interment were spoken with reverence and sympathy. Maggie clung to his every word.

Among those present at the graveside were a host of college professors who worked with Michael during his years with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington before he left to fulfill his dream as a professional golfer. Also in attendance were several of Michael’s golfing buddies that he’d been scheduled to compete against at Pebble Beach, the day following his death.

A sea of bleakness permeated from Maggie, bringing back an endless vortex of numbness. A wave of loneliness that she had fought hard to overcome three years ago now seemed her constant companion.

* * * *

Three Months Later

Maggie entered the Barnes and Noble Book Store at the Arboretum Shopping Center in the Charlotte, North Carolina suburb promptly at six forty-five, giving her just enough time to get her thoughts together before the book signing was scheduled to start. She sat down at the table where her latest bestseller sat stacked and waiting.

Maggie withdrew a letter from her jacket pocket to reread it; tears pricked at the back of her eyes. She drew a quick, hurried breath, willing her nerves to calm down, and stuffed the envelope back in her pocket moments before the Barnes and Nobel employee released the rope allowing the crowd of people to come toward her.

The first man in line started toward the table. His rounded eyes were hooded and a look Maggie couldn’t quite distinguish filled them as his fingers shoved his mousy brown hair back from his forehead. He thrust a copy of Maggie’s latest novel toward her. She glanced up, refusing to make eye contact.

“What’s your name?”

“Joe.”

“Thank you, Joe.” She took the book from him and opened it. “I hope you enjoy the book.”

“I’m not buying it for myself.”

Maggie relaxed her hold on the pen and looked up at him.

BOOK REVIEWS
"...I found this an incredibly gripping read. The growth of their relationship is very involving, and the suspense portion of the story has so many twists and turns that it left me breathless." ~~Maura Frankman for The Romance Studio


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"...A good career beginning for this debut novelist; I look forward to
reading more romantic suspense from her."~~Beth Anderson for Rendezvous Reviews


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"Part-romance, part-suspense, THE BODYGUARD grabbed my attention from the very first word. Maggie is a success at what she does, showing the world an independent woman. However, on the inside, Maggie is like a frightened little girl afraid to reach for that brass ring. Why should she when every time it's within her grasp she loses the man she loves? When Eddie enters her life, Maggie isn't sure if it's going to work out or not. He comes off a bit high-handed at times, ruffling her feathers, and yet, Maggie knows deep down that it's for her protection. Eddie is tenacious, cautious, and wants very much to keep Maggie safe. Falling for her is an added bonus, but it's also a major distraction, especially when the stalker gets too close. Their relationship develops throughout the course of the story with neither of them willing to admit their feelings for one another.

A host of secondary characters round out our story adding insight, background, and lending a helping hand when needed. Some of the most important include Maggie's mother, Natalie, who has already lost her husband and son to a killer and has no intention of losing Maggie; Mac, a friend of the Wilson family and a man in love with Maggie's mother; and last but not least, Cody and Aimee Daniels, a brother and sister team who work along side Eddie to solve the case. Now, we also have a villain, and when his identity is uncovered, it will shock you. So be warned!

Shelby Maxwell's THE BODYGUARD is an intriguing romance that readers are sure to eat up."

Sinclair Reid, Romance Reviews Today


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"Ms. Maxwell offers glimpses into the busy life of a famously successful novelist and the sexy bodyguard who is hired to protect her. These two characters are intelligent and caring, the romance between them is very sweet, and the secondary characters are well-written and likable, crucial to the storyline. I was caught up in the suspense, and was surprised to find out the identity of the person who had murdered so many people who were close to Maggie. This is a very good book and I give it high marks."

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Laurie, Blue Ribbon Rating: 4


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"The Bodyguard spins a fast-paced chiller that takes the reader on a roller coaster ride. It is a complete page-turner that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats. The characters are true to life with their emotions and expressions. Maggie’s mother, Natalie, is great in her role, trying to protect her daughter in every way possible, and the other secondary characters are well-rounded, making this a mind-blowing read. The intriguing story blends in a way that no one knows who the stalker is until the last minute. Ms. Maxwell did a remarkable job in showing how strong Maggie is on the outside, yet how very humble she is on the inside; it's like she is almost afraid to come out of her shell. The way she and Eddie banter with each other really made the story. The chemistry between the two is wonderfully written. Ms. Maxwell has penned a captivating story that weaves romance, mystery and non-stop action.

Reviewed by: Linda L 5 Angels, Fallen Angel Reviews


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MORE BOOK INFO
ISBN: 1593744439
ISBN(13-digit): 9781593744434
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 320
Paper Weight (lb): 13.4



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