Reviewed by Helyce
Ex MMA fighter Justice Wallington is new at being a bodyguard. Highly trained and extremely capable, he certainly doesn’t fit the look one would expect when hired to guard an heiress. But in the case of Fallon Wade, not looking like a bodyguard is exactly what was required.
Fallon Wade wasn’t always so sheltered, but after a family tragedy her parents simply became overprotective. Fallon, dealing with her own guilt and grief at what happened, just found it easier to go along with it, feeling that her parents had suffered enough and she should just tow the line, not make waves. At 24 however, Fallon is still inexperienced and innocent in much about adult life and simply being independant; and after a rather hurtful breakup, she decides it time to take her life into her own hands.
Unfortunately, this sends her parents into a panic and while they understand Fallon’s need to spread her wings, they will allow her to do so, only with the protection of a bodyguard. Fallon, knowing there is really no way around this, agrees.
Hard Justice is book two in the Body Armor series and another spinoff of Fosters Ultimate and Love Undercover series. I call them spinoffs because there are crossover characters and situations, something I really enjoy in Foster’s writing. You’ll even see characters from her original SBC Fighter’s series making cameo appearance here and there. I enjoy this aspect of her writing style a lot because it keeps characters alive for me and makes Foster’s books a comfort read.
I really liked Justice in this book. His character and demeanor were perfect for the role of bodyguard to Fallon. Justice doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he is serious about his role and clear on what his responsibilities are. Though intimidated a bit by Fallon’s family’s obvious wealth, he doesn’t alter himself in any way. He is, who he is; what you see is what you get.
Fallon was adorable in her innocence. It’s not clear initially why Fallon needs a bodyguard, but what is clear is that she is completely clueless and inexperienced in simple things that someone her age should have experienced. Going to a bar, having a drink, meeting people, going dancing-all things she hopes to experience under the watchful eye of Justice. As these two spend more and more time together, they form a bond of friendship, though there is a deep undercurrent of chemistry mixed in.
Added into the blooming romance Foster includes a mystery of sorts involving Fallon’s ex, Markus. The connection between Justice, another fighter and two gentlemen involved in an investment situation with Markus, slowly builds leading the reader down a curious path that I found a bit confusing. I admit I put the obvious culprit in the role of bad guy, only to find I was completely wrong. I didn’t like the side story involving the investors, Kern and York. The childish betting schemes they’d involved themselves in over the years was ridiculous and demeaning toward women, regardless of said women’s willingness to play along. The “bet” as it related to Fallon, Markus, Justice and Tom (a fellow MMA fighter) made them all unknown pawns in a dangerous game that had been set in motion with no care in outcome–except to win.
I enjoyed the whole opposites attract thing going on with Justice and Fallon. I liked that as Justice falls for Fallon, he doesn’t change at all; just decides what he wants and goes about doing what he does to make it happen. We see some character growth with Fallon as she breaks out of her shell, becomes comfortable in her own skin and explores life outside of her protected bubble–her confidence building out of the unconditional love Justice shows her.
We get a great reunion of sorts when Foster brings in previous characters to help out once it becomes clear what is going on behind the scenes. I adore that Foster does this! We also get a good idea of who is most likely next in this series, a fighter named Miles. I look forward to his story as he makes the move from MMA fighter to bodyguard. As focus was on Justice and Fallon, along with the mystery in the background–we did not get a lot of Silver and Enoch in this book. Two characters from the first book, Silver owns the bodyguard agency and Enoch is her personal assistant and right hand. I hope Foster plans to give Silver a book as well!
I’ve been reading Foster for years because she writes a romance that I can count on. I know what to expect and she delivers. It’s comfortable. This story was good. I enjoyed Justice and Fallon and while the mystery and some of the characters involved rubbed me the wrong way I still found that contentment I feel when turning the last page.