Review: Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox06:31
Author: Ruthie Knox
Date of publication: 11 March 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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My rating: 4 stars
Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.
An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.
Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?
This is the second book in the Camelot series about the Clark siblings. After giving the readers the beginning of Amber and Tony's story in the novella How to Misbehave, Ms Knox continues with Caleb's story in Along Came Trouble.
I enjoyed this book a lot but not as much as Flirting with Disaster (the final one in the series, dealing with Katie and Sean). Just as in her other works, here Ms Knox created a complex love story with strong characters involved in deeply emotional relationships. Surprisingly, what made this story work for me was not the hero, as is generally the case, but the heroine. Don't get me wrong I loved Caleb, he is a great guy, but Ellen was amazing.
Ellen is a divorced mother of a two-year old boy dealing with a number of personal issues. She is a wonderfully complex character. She shows both strength and determination and at the same time she is vulnerable and insecure. I really liked the way her character developed throughout the story and I found her easy to relate to and to understand. So, even though I appreciated Caleb for the badass alpha male that he was, it was Ellen who was the star in this story for me.
Caleb was also a great character, albeit a bit more predictable and cliché. His character was presented through his relationships with the rest of the characters - his family, his employees, his friends, his clients. He was a bit static as a character, certain of himself and his feelings from the very beginning, yet I found him quite likeable. He acted Mr. Know-it-all, yet he took time to listen to everybody and tried to help and support them in the best possible way.
My main complaint is that the relationship between Ellen and Caleb felt a bit like insta-love, especially on his part. I liked how certain Caleb was of his feelings, yet they developed a bit too fast, a bit out of the blue. Ellen's fears and insecurities seemed more genuine and realistic.
There was also a strong secondary love story going on - Ellen's brother Jamie and Carly's turbulent relationship was really entertaining and fun to read. It provided quite a few laughs coupled with some pretty serious reflections. He is a mega successful pop star and she is a pregnant divorced small town girl. I really liked Jamie and his transformation from a spoiled celebrity into a responsible and caring family man and father.
I liked how Ms Knox introduced and explored complex family relations - divorced single mother Ellen, divorced and pregnant Carly both meeting wonderful men willing to commit to them and their children.
I loved that the love stories involved women with children/pregnant. Realistic characters, likeable, easy to relate to. We see Caleb's relationships with his parents and his sister, Ms Knox explores the complexy of family ties and they affect us - Carly and her grandmother, Ellen and Jamie and the way their mother treated them, Caleb and his mother and father, Katie's failed marriage.
The greatest strength of Ms Knox''s writing are the unique, yet ordinary character she creates. They feel like real people living real lives, experiencing real emotions. I can recommend her books to all fans of contemporary romance - steamy love stories with a touch of humor grounded in the complexity of modern-day family and friendship ties.
My journey into the lives of the Clark siblings will continue with Making It Last, a novella of Amber and Tony's well into marriage, undergoing a crisis. You can look for my joint review of the How to Misbehave and Making It Last in the coming weeks.