Guarding Kelsey by Kat Attalla
When an independent, blue-blooded heiress is placed in protective custody with a controlling, blue collar cop, the sparks fly. Detective Wolf Krieger blames himself for his partner's death. If he had followed procedure and called for back up instead of following his over-eager partner into a dangerous situation, Mark might still be alive. Since then, Wolf has trusted nobody: Not his new partner and certainly not himself. Remaining a loner allows him to keep his edge while working as a homicide detective. He doesn't want to be responsible to another person. his captain, however thinks he is a loose cannon. In an effort to reign Wolf in, he is assigned the job of protecting a society woman who has received death threats after witnessing a gangland murder. He should be on the streets investigating, not stuck in some penthouse, babysitting a witness. Especially one with brains, beauty and a body that could tempt a saint onto the road to sin. He is no saint, but he is immune. Or, so he thinks.
Kelsey Winston is not your average heiress. In fact, she would trade all her wealth for one more day with her father, the only decent man on earth, who died in an apparent accident three months earlier. A short and very bitter marriage to a violent man shattered her opinion of the male species. Her master's thesis work in the study of domestic violence hasn't helped to improve the conclusion. And the dark, brooding detective who is assigned to protect her when threats are made against her life, is not likely to change her point of view.
Wolf is determined to keep a cool distance from the elegant beauty despite an undeniable attraction. Her defiant attitude with him fosters his belief that she is a spoiled princess, unconcerned about the danger her willful actions can cause herself and others. His assignment is to keep her safe, and he will do his job his way, whether she likes it or not.
I loved the first half of the book--the action was fast-paced, the dialogue between Kelsey and Wolf was sharp and the mystery of who was behind the threats was interesting. But somewhere around the middle of the book things changed. That pacing slowed, Wolf fixated on Kelsey's wealth as a deterrent to her ever having "real" feelings for him and Kelsey decided that sex wasn't the same as love and then got her feelings hurt when Wolf didn't confess to loving her after they slept together. I felt that Kelsey went from smart and capable to whiny and dependent. Wolf went from jumping to the wrong conclusions about a stranger based on past experience to creating excuses to stay away from a woman he is coming to know very well.
Kelsey meets Wolf when he responds to a shots-fired call at a thousand-dollar-a-plate charity dinner only to meet Kelsey who is fleeing after being taken out of the ballroom by the shooter. The shooting is deemed a mob-related murder. When disturbing notes and items are left in Kelsey's apartment, it is thought that the murderer is mad about leaving a witness behind but something about that theory doesn't add up for Detective Wolf. He ends up being put on protective duty. It soon becomes clear that Kelsey's family if filled with money hungry greedy-gusses who could give a hoot about Kelsey herself but for some reason she is hell-bent on defending them. It was then that I started to fall out of love with the book. Her determination to not even hear Wolf out when it came to listening to the reasons her family might have for wanting her out of the picture was both stubborn and stupid. I can forgive the former, but not the latter. Her family has never done anything to engender such trust while Wolf has literally put his life on the line for her.
I don't regret reading this book, but I do wish the promising beginning had not fizzled out to such a lackluster ending. If I already have something else by this author on my Kindle I will happily try it but I doubt I go looking to purchase it otherwise.