Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Guarded Widow by K M Gaffney

From Goodreads:
Two years after her husband’s accidental death, Olivia Jones has successfully rebuilt a stable, loving home for her four young sons. Alone, the way she prefers to handle life.Then a series of disturbing events shatters her safe world. Lies begin unraveling as her husband’s past comes back to haunt her. Against her better judgment, she must rely on an arrogant, local police officer for answers to her questions. Out of desperation, she is forced to open her home, entrusting him with her family’s safety. Will she ever trust him enough to let down the guard around her heart?

Gavin Rafferty had never met a stronger willed, more organized woman in his life. He certainly never meant to become enamored with the attractive, single mother and her sons. But he did. Olivia’s ability to handle her boys and her life impressed him. Her cool demeanor and pretty face attracted him. But it was the brutal attack on her life that enraged him. After unearthing incriminating secrets buried with her deceased husband, and witnessing the extent unto which someone intended to keep them hidden, Officer Rafferty vows to protect the young widow by standing guard, twenty four-seven.

My Take:
This is an older story, so you have to deal with head hopping. Meaning you go from one person's point of view to the other every couple of paragraphs. Sometimes it's irritating, but you just kind of go with it.

The story is fun and intense at times because of the suspense elements, which are done very well. However, some of the dialogue seems stilted and unrealistic. I liked the chemistry between the characters, and I kept reading because of the tension. These two are super attracted to each other, but Olivia gives a little speech about turning her life over to God after her husband's death, which for her means no sex out of wedlock. I appreciate the sentiment and values (agree personally) but it came across as awkward and a little preachy in the story. Gavin however is a good man if a bulldozer sort of guy. He respects that and keeps himself under control.

The attacks and ending really keep the story moving. There is one mild sex scene at the very end which is where the movie rating comes from.

I give The Guarded Widow a solid 4 and a PG-14 rating.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
PG-14—somewhere between PG-13 and R. Not erotica, but at least a paragraph of on screen sex
R--swearing (F bomb, on “screen” sex, sometimes feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot, but not always

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