Black Ties and Lullabies

Author: Jane Graves

Publisher: Forever

Release Date: July 1, 2011

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5.0


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Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Hogan makes her living as a bodyguard for the wealthy CEO of Sybersense Systems, attending extravagant fundraisers and always on the lookout for the many threats against him. Her mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is in the beginning stages, still living on her own. But Bernadette is always on the lookout for any signs that she is getting worse. Although her employer pays her well, Bernie has to take care of her mom, so she spends little money on herself, even living in a rundown apartment, which is not in the best area of town. Frequently upset with her playboy employer, she always speaks her mind to him, even if it results in insults to him. Bernie had been daddy’s little girl, so when he was killed on duty as a police officer, Bernie was devastated. Although her mother had always wanted her to dress in pretty dresses and be more feminine, she followed in her father’s footsteps.

Jeremy Bridges, the CEO of Sybersense Systems, grew up without a mother and his father could not have cared less about him. Jeremy had managed to get into a good school, hoping to make something of himself and get away from his alcoholic father who was jealous of him. Using his ingenuity, he had managed to start up his own company and now he is extremely wealthy. However, he has a problem with always wanting to be in control of any situation. He enjoyed the fact that his bodyguard spoke her mind to him and loved her comebacks to him. She attended the weekly fundraisers with him, at which he always picked up some gorgeous woman who had little in the way of intelligence. He was beginning to get tired of this routine. Jeremy did not quite fit in with the upper crust on purpose, usually pairing his Nikes with his tuxedo. He enjoyed shaking up the old biddies that ran the fundraisers, knowing they just barely accepted him, but only because of his money.

One night, Bernie noticed a woman at a fundraiser and knew she had seen the woman before, outside of Jeremy’s home. Although she warned him, he ended up picking up the woman and taking her home. As Bernie prepared to go on home, some sixth sense kicked in and she let herself into Jeremy’s home, finding him standing at gunpoint in front of the woman. As she watched, Bernie glanced at the monitors and saw a truck with men coming up to the home. Knowing she did not have much time, she tackled the woman and just as she heard the footsteps of the men coming into Jeremy’s home, she rushed him into the panic room and called the police. As they waited, she lost her patience. She had warned him, and he had refused to listen. Finally having had enough, she quit, but he tried to get her to take her job back by offering her more money. Before they knew what had happened, their anger at each other turned into passion. After an unforgettable intimate encounter, they received the all clear, and she stormed out.

Two months later, Jeremy was still trying to get her to come back as his bodyguard. He had had enough of his present bodyguard who was always saying yes sir to him. Jeremy wanted Bernie with her snarky attitude.

In the meantime, Bernie was filling in on other bodyguard jobs, but was constantly sick, thinking she was getting the flu. That is, until one night at a poker game with her fellow workers, a bet about her illness forced her to take a pregnancy test. Sure enough, she was pregnant. When she tells Jeremy, at first he believes she is trying to get his money. But after some reflection, he realizes that Bernie is different. She gets to him, making him laugh and making him think. Now all he wants is to be a father to their baby, but how can he convince Bernie of that fact. After all, she is well aware of his playboy lifestyle. Can he be the father his father had never been, and can he convince Bernie to give him a chance?

Laugh-out-loud funny, BLACK TIES AND LULLABIES is a sensual and hilarious contemporary romance that you won’t want to put down until you reach the very last page. I hated to see it end. Although Bernie and Jeremy seemed to be from two different worlds, they were ideal for each other. Watching as she, with Jeremy’s help, deals with her mother’s illness will touch your heart. Filled with emotion, humor, wonderful characters, hilarious repartee, romance and loads of love, this is definitely a story for the keeper shelf. I look forward to reading more stories by the truly gifted author, Jane Graves. Do not miss BLACK TIES AND LULLABIES! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great story with plenty of humor and heat.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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